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CRO Statswatch: Going behind the numbers…

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts” -Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal In Bohemia (Arthur Conan Doyle).

Marketing types love statistics. They’re the backbone of what we do, allowing us to measure the success of our initiatives and to make informed tactical decisions for future campaigns. Here are a few interesting studies I’ve seen recently, and what we can learn from them…

Only 60 per cent of businesses can calculate Email marketing ROI

According to the Digital Marketing Association, over a third of companies are not able to calculate the amount of revenue generated from Email campaigns. Of the 60 per cent of respondents who indicated that they could or did calculate their revenue return 89 per cent said Email marketing was either important or very important to their organisation.

According to the DMA of those who calculate their ROI from email marketing, 20 per cent accrue more than £51  for every £1 spent and 49 per cent said that they achieve a ROI of between £1 and £10. This leads to a estimated average of over £20 for every £1 spent on email marketing campaigns

The main lesson that we can take from the DMA’s report is that it is essential to calculate the ROI of all marketing campaigns. That way, it can decided whether to continue with the current strategy or reattribute funds to other campaigns that are performing better such as CRO, PPC and SEO.

Three out of four businesses plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year

According to an online survey by E-Consultancy, 71% of businesses have indicated plans to increase digital marketing budgets this coming financial year. By comparison only 20% plan to increase offline budgets. 70% of companies have also said they would be increasing the amount spent on content marketing.

The digital industry has long been playing second fiddle to traditional media but all trends point to digital marketing emerging at the forefront of how brands market themselves. Those companies that fail to embrace the digital revolution could face a bleak future.

A picture is worth a thousand words (and a 9 per cent increase in sales)

A recent case study published by VWO shows the effect that increasing image sizes on product category page can have on conversion rates and revenue, and why in some cases they may be better than providing in-depth product information

In the test two variations were created; the first had larger images with very little text and the second had smaller images with more text information.

Figure 1

Control – Original size of product images along with text description


Figure 2

Variation One – Large Product Images


Figure Two

Variation Two – Small product images with text description

The results showed that Variation One. with the larger images, was the winner and led to a 9.46% increase in sales with a 96% statistical significance. The larger product images proved more effective regardless of the products type.

This behaviour can be seen offline too; in general shoppers who are presented with a range of products will ‘zero in’ on one or two then proceed to pick them up and look at them more closely, or even try them on in the case of shoes and clothing.

In both the online and the offline world users begin by looking at a product as they make their journey from interest to desire and then finally to purchase. So in the online world it is essential to have large, clear and nicely shot product images. It is also advisable to allow users to see multiple images per product, and give them the ability to zoom in on the products.

This may be a labour-intensive measure – particularly for retailers with an extensive range – but statistics bear out that the increase in sales should more than outweigh the additional costs involved in sourcing the images and installing the necessary functionality on your site to properly exploit them.


Stats include calculating email marketing ROI, digital marketing budgets, and CRO case study. Data provided by Econsultancy and Visual website optimizer.



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