The best part of doing research online before making a purchase is finding the product or service that perfectly fits your needs. Ideally, that's what your website should be doing as well. Guiding your visitors to help them find what they are looking for.
I manage eCommerce marketing and customer relations support for Lostgolfballs.com, provider of premium used golf balls. To say I wear a lot of hats would be an understatement. At the end of the day, the campaigns I execute need to have bottom-line results.
As we were looking to improve our conversion rates, one thing stood out. We couldn't tell if our pages were helping our visitors find the ball that was best for their golf game.
Uncovering The Problem
The most important thing to know about LostGolfBalls.com is that we are golfers. Each and every one of us. We love and respect this amazingly fulfilling (and fickle) game. As fellow golfers, we are all on a personal mission to make sure all our customers are getting the best ball for their best game.
For more than 20 years, LostGolfBalls has served our fellow golfers by providing an outstanding product at an outstanding value. Our golf balls are recycled from the very best courses nationwide, carefully inspected and sorted, and finally, washed with an environmentally friendly cleaner to provide a top quality product at half the price of new.
We noticed that our second most viewed website page and our top viewed blog posts were all about choosing the best golf ball. This supported our hunch that a lot of people are unsure what golf ball to choose or are trying to confirm that the ball they have been using for years is truly the right choice.
Unfortunately, it was unclear how helpful our pages were to our visitor's purchasing decision. We didn’t know how many of these visitors were purchasing based on the information we were providing.
Our Top Viewed Blogs:
The Original "Best Ball for You" Website Page:
The numbers spoke for themselves. We needed to find a way to make a real-time, trackable recommendation to help our visitors quickly and easily see what their best golf ball should be based on their personal game.
Determining a Plan
In order to provide a real-time recommendation, we would need to have an interactive assessment on our website for people to answer various questions about themselves and their preferences. In order to make it trackable, we needed to use HubSpot.
I worked with my HubSpot Premier Services team, Stephanie Lussier and Rob Ainslie, to come up with a solution. With Stephanie’s creative and innovative thinking, we were able to design a campaign to help our customers find what was best to suit their game, given their age, athletic ability and brand preferences.
Together, we designed the following plan to create this real-time, trackable recommendation tool:
- Create a formula for providing a touchless recommendation through the website
- Build smart lists, forms and landing pages to collect the information and segment contacts based on their responses
- Build the pages to deliver the golf ball recommendations based on responses
The Interactive Assessment Process
Here’s how we built it out.
1. Identify the questions we need answered to make an accurate golf ball recommendation
In order to make an accurate recommendation to our customers, there are a series of questions we need to ask. These are based on the questions we ask when a customer calls us to ask what they should buy.
We created a new contact property for each of these questions and designed each to be a drop-down field so that we could control the potential options and the accuracy of the results. For some questions, like swing speed, we used ranges to help cut down on the number of combinations we would need to display.
2. Document the recommendations based on each combination of answers to these questions.
Our sales reps make golf ball recommendations all day, every day. We simply needed to write it all down in a format we could use. To do this, we organized an Excel spreadsheet with every combination possible. There are 92 combinations!
3. Create a page and form for each question
Next was providing touchless, virtually instant, recommendations through our website. We wanted this to feel more like an experience than a standard form submission. To accomplish this, we chose to have each question living on its own page. For each question, we created a separate form and included email as a pre-populated, hidden field so that we could ensure the information would all be collected on the correct contact record. We added each form to it’s own page and linked them to each other by selecting the subsequent page’s URL as the page to redirect to when the form is submitted.
4. Create a smart list for each recommendation based on the respective answers
Using the Excel document as the reference for which answers pair with each recommendation, we created a smart list for each recommendation. The criteria and logic of the lists were based on the answers. Here is an example of one of our lists:
To stay organized, we named the list with the recommendation.
5. Create the results pages for the recommendations using smart content to display the accurate recommendation(s)
In order to display the correct results to visitors based on their answers, we needed to use smart content on the results page. What we didn’t know, until we got started, was that there is a limit of 20 smart rules per rich text module. Finding this previously unknown limit made creating the results page the trickiest part.
Fortunately, we were able to get creative and instead of creating one results page, we divided the 92 recommendations across 5 separate results pages. Using a smart call-to-action, we could dictate which results page someone would see based on the recommendation list they were on.
The goal for this campaign was to identify leads who are looking for golf ball recommendations, provide a recommendation, and make it easy for buyers to purchase.
Since going live, the Best Ball for You Recommendation tool has contributed to 10% of our revenue in 3 months. 50% of the buyers go on to purchase at least one of the recommended golf balls from the assessment. We have also set up workflows to send people their results via email and bring them back to our website to complete their purchase.
With HubSpot’s Reporting Add-on, we continue to measure the success of this campaign in two ways:
- The total revenue from people who take the assessment and then purchase.
- The total revenue from people who take the assessment and then purchase one of the recommended golf balls.
Below you can see the customer growth we have seen since going live in September.
HubSpot and Premier Services have allowed me to dream big. No idea is too small. It sounds cliché, but we pushed HubSpot to its limits and beyond and I am grateful for their support.