Mersey Maritime sees impressive conversion uplifts on a series of experiments
Mersey Maritime is one of Europe’s most successful maritime cluster organisations, representing the interests of over 1700 Maritime, Logistics and Energy businesses on Merseyside and beyond.
It was set up in 2003 to represent the interests of the Ports and Maritime Sector on Merseyside, helping create the right conditions for business growth.
They operate as a not-for-profit organisation at the public-private sector interface, working with hundreds of businesses whose activities span the 33 sub-sectors that make up the industry in the Liverpool City Region.
Mersey Maritime is a membership organisation and therefore retaining and gaining new members is paramount to their ability to deliver the support and services that so many businesses rely on.
During early 2020 Covid-19 began to have an impact on their physical events, where many new members were recruited and therefore the Mersey Maritime website gained increased importance as the primary method of engaging with their members, new and old.
Updating and refreshing the website became a priority. The new content would have to work hard to engage visitors from the moment they landed. And most importantly, it had to drive new visitors to sign up as members.
“We’re delighted to have been working with Webtrends Optimize for a few months now. The timing couldn’t be better as we move our offer to a more digital platform, providing our industry with an enhanced, more engaging experience. “
Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE
CEO Mersey Maritime
The way forward was to understand if these changes would resonate and improve engagement. It was decided that using Webtrends Optimize to test layout, content and imagery would deliver Mersey Maritime the confidence that the proposed changes would be effective.
The plan was to devise three experiments, although circumstances around Covid-19 added a fourth:
The Membership Benefits page outlines the potential benefits of joining and the Membership Enquiry page was the page which included a form to fill out to join.
“It’s often difficult to see the wood for the trees, but Webtrends Optimize were able to take what we thought was a good member experience and turn it into an exceptional one”
Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE
CEO Mersey Maritime
All four experiments were AB tests where the proposed new content was measured against the existing pages.
Experiment 1 – Improve click through to the Membership Benefits Page using a ‘Join Us’ button site-wide.
This hypothesis was that if there was an easy way for visitors to sign-up as members at any point in their journey this would lead to increased membership.
The conversion goals would be based on visitors reaching the Membership Benefits page and further on to the Membership Enquiry page.
The experiment ran for just under 8 weeks across desktop and mobile devices.
The result of the experiment was exceptional, showing a 25% increase in visitors on desktop reaching the Membership Page and 116% increase on mobile devices. Not only that, but overall there was a 71% increase in visitors reaching the Membership Enquiry Page.
Experiment 2 – Improve user experience on Membership Benefits page.
With Experiment 1 being such a success, it was important to maximise those visitors reaching the Membership Benefits page and convert them into members.
The existing layout was a touch confusing and did not clearly outline the differences between each level of membership.
The experiment composed of re-designing the table and moving other assets around the page so as to promote existing member organisations first to show the strength of the overall membership body.
The experiment ran for 30 days.
The results of the experiment were again extremely positive, showing an 800% lift in visitors converting to the Membership Enquiry page (with a 99.7% chance to beat control).
Experiment 3 – Improve the form design and flow on the Membership Enquiry page.
Seeing such an amazing improvement with experiment two, it was now even more important to capitalise on the increased number of visitors landing on the Membership Enquiry page. Webtrends Optimize’s experience in form optimisation would help to maximise the forms potential to convert. In addition, some further changes were made around the form itself.
The experiment ran for nearly 60 days.
Many people would assume that a form is easy to design and implement but this experiment showed that by careful consideration of fields and field placement as well as the overall design of the page can show significant improvements on conversion. Experiment three showed a 164% uplift with an 85.4% chance to beat control.
Experiment 4 – Displaying a Hello Bar to display important information
This experiment was born out of the Covid-19 restrictions during 2020.
There was a desire to put front and centre, the changes that related to how Coronavirus was affecting Mersey Maritime. Although this was experiment four, it actually took priority over the other experiments and was delivered first.
The Experiment was to create an area on the homepage that would be informative and user-friendly at the time of entry to the site to direct visitors to certain pages.
Whilst this experiment concentrated on Covid-19 news, the concept of hello bars could be re-used at other times with more personalised messages.
The success of this experiment would be to measure those visitors who clicked on the Events page and as a second measure those that visited the Membership page.
Whilst not such a dramatic improvement as the other experiments, this did show a very positive 39.8% lift at an 85.2% chance to beat control.
“We were very keen to introduce our partner Webtrends Optimize to Mersey Maritime as we were confident from the outset their team could really make a difference to Mersey Maritime’s online presence.
The results achieved across the rolling experiments speak for themselves. These, along with other valuable insights gained along the journey, have changed the way Mersey Maritime think about their online member experience.”
Head of Engagement and Digital Content Services – Maritime Digital Hub
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