Case Study: CSI Software

Bonjour, Guten Tag and Welcome. Today’s Case Study is a reader request: CSI software. It’s going to be a quick one because I’m travelling at the moment, so I’m going to run down on the top 3 things this site is doing right and the top 3 things it could improve on. So here we go.

Background

To be honest, I’d never heard of this company before they were submitted, but they appear to be a player in the cloud software company Toronto market. Rather than selling particular software products this appears to be the holding company for various smaller software companies.

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The Good

  1. Clean and Consistent Design

The design is very clean, modern and features consistent colour schemes, layouts and fonts. The corporate branding is consistent throughout which is nice and something I’d look for in any company website.

  1. Easily Accessible Contact Form

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One iron rule of web design is that if it takes a customer more than 5 seconds to find your contact information, it’s not prominent enough. CSI have a contact form on every footer of their page as well as a contact number and postal address, meaning anyone can quickly fire off a business enquiry if they need to.

  1. Information Portal

The website appears to mainly function as an information site and the webcasts, spreadsheets and downloads the company offers are well laid out in a blog format under different categories. Each category seems to be updated regularly which undoubtedly helps with Google rankings.

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The Bad

  1. No CTA

Nowhere on the site does there appear to be a call to action to induce the visitor to take any action. This leads me to feel like CSI are leaving money on the table as some of the website visitors are undoubtedly prospects who are looking for products or services that the company offers. If that’s the case then push them down your sales funnel!

  1. Rule of Three!

CSI don’t appear to follow the rule of three! Cardinal sin!

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  1. No email capture

The site seems to function as an information repository for the company, but there’s no email capture form or newsletter signup to be found anywhere on the site. If visitors are on the site to learn about your company, then you should definitely offer them an email list to provide regular updates to turn them into raving fans. No brainer!


Just a few ideas there but I hope those are helpful to the anonymous reader who submitted them!

Case Study: Statement-Matching.com

Today I’m going to dig into a smaller accounting software company called Statement-Matching.com. Unlike some of the case studies we’ve looked at, this is a company whose product is 100% digital so the quality of their website is going to affect their income hugely. Let’s dig in.

Background
Statement-Matching.com is an accounting software solution which automates the supplier account reconciliation process. Their target audience is small but high-end, meaning it’s essential that these guys have a great funnel in place to convert the small amount of visitors who will be hitting their site. I see some things these guys are doing well, and some things they’re not, so let’s start with the good.

Home Page
As with any subscription product, we would expect some sort of discount on the first month or a free trial period to lure in subscribers, and one of the first things that catches your eye on the Statement-Matching.com homepage is the free trail page really pops out the top navbar, being highlighted in red. I often see businesses on top of their CTA’s in the body of their web page but they often miss it in their navbar, so this is good to see.

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Authority
I’m always talking about authority and social proof on this blog and you can see right from the get-go that Statement-Matching.com are including some of their notable client logos to inject some social proof into their sales pitch, a tactic that I always endorse.

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Funnels Galore
Further down the page we can see another highlight box and call to action, pushing the prospect towards a live demo. One nice touch here is that the guys behind Statement-Matching.com have several funnels going on, one towards a free trial, one towards a live demo, and one towards a free one off reconciliation. All have their own landing pages and work to bring in prospects who have difference preferences. This is a nice touch but I’d like to see them focus on one funnel at the expense of the others and really highlight it.

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Ease of Use
The “book a live demo” page features a calendar which prospects can directly book a slot into to view a live demo. This is a nice step to reduce friction and avoid a back-and-forth exchange that puts prospects off and reduces conversions.

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Rule of Three
At the bottom of the page, we see the rule of three coming into play nicely, a design principle that continues throughout other pages on the site.

Greasing the Groove
The live chat functionality apparent from the chatbox at the bottom of the page which is an easy way to handle objections from the prospect. Prospects will always have questions and objections that hold them back from continuing down your sales funnel, and you can either address this with well-written copy, an FAQ’s section or simply having a live chat function so that prospects can easily ask you questions. Making it easy for prospects to contact you is a simple way to grease the groove of the sale by ensuring they stay in your sales funnel.

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Improvements

Image Sliders
One of the first things you see is the image slider which takes up most of the screen. I would actually ditch this as it has been shown that automatic image sliders and carousels actually lower conversion rates.

Mobile Friendly
Looking at the Google Mobile viewer, we can see the site is mobile optimized, but that it doesn’t look nearly as pretty on mobile as it does on desktop. This might not be a problem in this case since it’s a B2B product, so the majority of the traffic is likely to come from desktop, but in any case, I’d recommend avoiding this issue from the start and using a mobile responsive theme right away.

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Summary

Although there are a couple of tweaks I’d make, overall, I think there a bunch of nice features that help this website convert and I’m sure this site doing a great job of moving prospects and visitors to the site towards the sales. Good job guys!

Case Study: Maids in Black

This week we have the website of another local business up for dissection at the hands of yours truly, so let’s dig in to see what this company are doing well to convert their website visitors to sales, and what they could be doing better.

Background

Maids in Black are a cleaning company for the Washington DC area. They’re essentially a lead generation service for freelance cleaners – they provide the customers and outsource the cleaning to independent contractors. This is a great business model as it means the company just needs a great web presence to bring in customers and generate sales, but they don’t necessarily have to worry too much about the delivery (although obviously, the reputation concerns mean that they need to high quality contractors).

Above The Fold

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I talk about above the fold elements a lot on IvanTheReds because what the customer first sees when landing on your site is extremely important It can be the difference between them bouncing off your page or making a sale right there and then. In the case of maids in black, the latter option is much more likely as the company have made a few wise moves.

First is the headline and subheading which lets the visitor immediately know what service is – a cleaning service for the home. The subheading lets the visitor know they can book a cleaning in 60 seconds using the web form. The web form lets the visitor instantly price up a clean and book it – this is huge because it lets the visitor immediately see the price and book if they’re in a rush.

The other nice move is the explainer video and reviews button. This means if a visitor isn’t quite ready to book a service or wants to do a bit more investigation on the company there are 2 great sources for them to check out – a really well produced explainer video which paints the company in a great light (social proof) and a review button which shows all the positive reviews and happy customers Maids in Black has garnered. The reviews button also wobbles and floats continuously at the bottom of the screen – this is a tactic that I think is underutilized in web design since it’s a great way to draw the visitor’s eye to your call to actions.
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The above-the-fold element also have buttons for booking a recurring clean. Here we can see that the mid-range option is highlighted to draw the visitors attention, helping to draw visitors away from the cheapest option towards a more profitable package for the company. There are also increasing discounts for each level of recurring clean – a nice touch.

Below the Fold

 

The next section is a brief explanation of how the service works. There are a few things I like here.

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Concise
The explanation is kept simple. There are probably less than 50 words – if the visitor wants to know more they can keep scrolling but this section just outlines how the service works in a nutshell.

The Power of Three
As I’ve mentioned before, three is the magic number when it comes to art. We can see this section is broken down into 3 which makes it visually appealing and easy for the brain to understand.

Aspirational Imagery
The images show happy couples, relaxing, living in a clean house. Since we know that consumers buy goods for who it will make them become rather than what it will give them, aspirational imagery is really important on any sales page.

Call to Action
Having multiple call to actions is important to keep pushing for the sale.

Trust

The next section gives a bit information and trust and security measures the company takes. Again they follow the rule of three here and give a bit more text information to assuage any concerns the visitor might have. In sales terms, the Maids in Black team are essentially handling any objections the visitor might have.

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Testimonials
Underneath we can see the company providing more proof in the form of testimonials. I can’t reiterate enough how important social proof is in making sales, and this is something Maids in Black do really well. Notice also the aspirational imagery in the background.

Branding
Another subtle way to bring in social proof and improve trust is the form of logos or brands. This makes the prospect think that these brands endorse the product and in this case we see Maids in Black use the logos of some the media outlets who have featured them. If your product hasn’t featured by other blogs or brands there are other ways you can use logos

 
– If you process payments using Paypal or Visa, then include Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, etc. logos.
– If you belong to any associations or groups, then feature their logo on your home page.
– If you deliver a service rather than a product then feature logo of any products or services your company are familiar with. Examples could include WordPress for a web developer, Quickbooks for an accountant, Toptable for a restaurant, and so on.

Summary

Maids in Black does a really great job with their home page and I’m certain that their site is converting well and making money. If there’s one thing you should take away from their site it’s to remember that the main emotion your prospects are experiencing when considering buying from you is FEAR – fear that they will make a purchase they’ll regret. Maids in Black do everything they can to address this fear and push the prospect towards the sales – adding social proof and trust through reviews, testimonials, logo branding, aspirational imagery, guarantees and clear and concise explanations. Learn from them and have fun implementing some of these ideas on your own site!

Case Study: Honest Burgers

Something a bit different for this case study because I’d like to take a look at a website that doesn’t actually sell anything. Honest burger is an independent restaurant chain that has been opening several sites across my city of London, and it’s a firm favourite of mine. The food is simple, straightforward, and, as the name suggests, honest, so I want to look at this as a great example of a company’s online presence reflecting the aesthetic of the brick and mortar shop and general offline brand.

Home Page
The honest burger restaurants serve a small menu of well made burgers with a choice of small cocktail and beer menu (no desserts). It’s simple but delicious fare, and the website reflects those simple-yes-well-made values. In this case the website doesn’t serve to sell anything directly but rather to give information about the locations of the restaurants and their background story, so we’re not going to get much in the way of conversion rate optimisation on this site.

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I love the simplicity of the homepage – a simple green and white colour scheme with a picture of a delicious looking burger above the fold. Beneath the above-the-fold image there are three highlight boxes giving the most important info to a visitor – the location of the stores, the blog, and the mailing list sign up. Flat design throughout, combined with a straightforward but punch colour scheme, gives a really nicely put together and consistent brand image.

 

Locations
The custom map with bespoke fonts, colour and pins with small burgers on is a nice touch and you can see by the picture of each location that the green and white branding is consistent with the shopfronts and interior of all the restaurant locations.

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Menu
The menu’s keep the same boxed branding and font, using different shades of green. In general the site makes good use of the rule of three – where possible, presenting options or boxes in groups of three – an idea which Steve Jobs popularised to keep options and aesthetics as simple as possible (by the way, if you have more than 3 options, try and at least stick to an odd number, like 5 or 7). You can see the rule of 3 at play on the menus with the chicken/beef/veggies distinction or the Toast/Pork/Buns on the brunch menu.

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Story
There’s a nicely put together video which gives the story for the guys who founded Honest Burgers. The video helps give an emotional connection to the brand and it’s nice to know a little bit more about the humble beginnings of an independent chain like theirs.

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Footer
The website keeps things even more simple by making every page navigable from the footer – so you can access every restaurant location or inner page from any other page on the website. This is a great idea if your site doesn’t have many pages since it’s easy to do without cluttering the footer and helps visitors easily find what they want without getting lost.

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Overall I think Honest Burgers is a great little website that performs it’s function well whilst keeping a consistent aesthetic with the philosophy o

Case Study: Wet Shave Club

Wet Shave Club is a subscription box company that delivers monthly boxes of shaving products for men. I’m not going to dig into the nitty gritty of the business model here, suffice it to say that these guys are selling luxury products  (is it really necessary to spend $30/month on shaving? absolutely not) on subscription, which gives them the dual benefit of great margins with a recurring revenue base, and although I have access to the company’s revenue numbers, I’m sure they’re in great shape financially.

The reason I wanted to sample these guys as a case study is that they’re site is a conversion machine – again, I don’t have numbers to verify what their conversion rate is – but we see plenty of best practice principals at play in terms of conversion rate optimization in part of what is really a very compelling and excellently designed site. So let’s dig in to what they are doing right.

Wet Shave Club

Above the Fold

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Straight away we can see a clear explanation of what their product does: The way wet shaving should be, with a call to action below and a short explainer video. A visitor immediately knows that the product is about and what the benefits are. Strong start.

Social Proof

Social proof is one of the core tenets of persuasion (and likewise, conversion, i.e. persuasion using written copy and other forms of online media), and it’s something that litters the Wet Save Club landing page.

E.g. displaying their stats on customer numbers:

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Aspirational imagery of their customers:

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Their members on Instagram:

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And popups that show when someone starts a subscription in real time. This is a really nice touch:

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There’s also an animated button in the bottom left that with a link to more testimonials:

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Overall, their page is absolutely littered  with trust building elements like reviews, testimonials, and other forms of social proof that build trust and make the visitor want to try them out. This is a really strong part of their landing page.

There’s also an exit intent popup that instills urgency by giving the visitor a time-limited discount coupon available for 2 minutes. Again, a very clever strategy.
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Call to Actions

As you would expect, the page is littered with call to actions to either learn more or try their first box.

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The CTA’s are highlighted really well in  red, and actually the links on the top navbar are mostly transparent other than the CTA which really stands out.

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Clarity

The homepage also has an explainer video and a short, concise explanation of how the product works and what the main benefits are. There’s no confusion about why this is a great product but the page isn’t unnecessarily overburdened with text either.

Conclusion

Wet Shave Club have a great landing page in terms of CRO and there are alot of elements here that anyone looking to optimize their own landing page would do well to emulate and incorporate into their own site. In particul