Challenge:

SurveyMonkey sought to increase sign-up and retention rates, conversion-to-paid rates, and user engagement and performance, while keeping the testing queue manageable.

Solution:

They turned to SiteSpect for a more flexible and nimble optimization solution that allowed SurveyMonkey to quickly create tests which could be managed by less technical personnel.

Online surveys have become an integral tool by which organizations gather customer insights that inform important business decisions, and act as a complement to other tactics that gauge customer sentiment, such as face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and social media. One innovative company at the forefront of the online survey market is SurveyMonkey, the world’s largest and most trusted online survey platform.

SurveyMonkey’s site has received 479 million unique site visitors to date, with 43 million surveys completed and 2.2 million responses received every day. In 2011, the company sought new technology to meet its aggressive site testing goals. It was imperative that the new testing solution enabled the company to create tests more quickly and have them managed by less technical personnel. After running sample tests and conducting due diligence, SurveyMonkey decided that SiteSpect’s comprehensive testing and optimization solution checked all the boxes.

Only SiteSpect lets companies test every part of their site, from how it looks to how it works. For example, customers can test front-end usability, back-end functionality, dynamic content, mobile web, and native mobile apps — all with targeting and personalization in one solution from SiteSpect. With the power of the world’s most comprehensive digital optimization platform, online businesses are able to test, target, and optimize everything on their site without limits.

“SiteSpect offers a non-intrusive reverse proxy solution, which quelled our concerns of the testing system affecting page load time or performance,” said Deirdre Norris, Product Manager at SurveyMonkey. “The SiteSpect on-premise solution satisfied our security and privacy requirements and is capable of performing a wide variety of test types and analytics. It met all of our criteria in these three key areas.”

Creating clearly defined testing priorities.
With SiteSpect, the SurveyMonkey product management team set their sights on creating an updated web optimization program that delivered results for both SurveyMonkey and Wufoo, an online form builder company that it acquired in 2011. The sites’ high traffic volumes allow SurveyMonkey to engage in a good deal of A/B and multivariate testing. In order to keep tests high impact and the testing queue manageable, Norris and her team keep testing priorities well defined and stick to these priorities closely. These optimization priorities are focused on improving:

  • Sign-up rates
  • Conversion-to-paid rates (on LTV-basis)
  • Retention rates (decrease churn rates)
  • User engagement (largely through targeted product marketing)
  • Performance parity of new or improved features

Testing the hypothesis: following the data.
Although SurveyMonkey and Wufoo still operate as two distinct websites, the subscription-based freemium model is shared by both. However, shortly after the acquisition, Wufoo began offering annual subscriptions. The change in plan offerings required some testing by Norris and her team in order to determine which page template converted better. The Plans and Pricing page defaulted to display the monthly plans only, with a single call-to-action to see the annual plan offering.

“We tested adding more prominent links to the annual plan version of the page,” explained Norris. “We hypothesized that we would see an increase in annual plan conversion rates and a decrease in monthly plan conversion rates, but we wanted to make sure that net-net, the result was a positive LTV impact. Through testing, the variation showed a lift in LTV, so it’s now live in production.”

After the success with the Plans and Pricing page test, Norris and team decided to optimize the sign-up flow. SurveyMonkey asked users to provide additional information about the kind of surveys they were interested in before they were dropped into the product, and the company wanted to make sure this additional step did not negatively impact sign-up or engagement rates.

Norris and her team assumed that asking users to provide more information would show a drop-off in the sign-up rate, but would also show improved engagement since they would be able to provide more targeted content based on information that users provided. However, sometimes even the most logical assumptions are not proven by testing, which was the case in this particular test.

“We were testing something that conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t do, which is making your sign-up funnel longer, but the results were actually counter-intuitive,” said Norris. “The test showed that adding the additional step did not significantly affect sign-up rates, and actually improved our engagement metrics -- so this additional step is now included by default.”

In the end, SurveyMonkey found that site testing did exactly what it’s supposed to do: either prove or disprove a hypothesis. Testing takes the guess work out of designing and continuously improving a web site that customers want to come back to and use.

As for companies that still think web optimization is a luxury, rather than a must-have? “If you’re never done any optimization testing, you’re probably missing a lot of low-hanging fruit. Use your traffic wisely,” concluded Norris.

About SurveyMonkey.
SurveyMonkey is the world’s largest survey company, helping customers collect more than 2 million online survey responses every day. SurveyMonkey revolutionizes the way people give and take feedback, making it accessible, easy and affordable for everyone. The company was founded in 1999 with a focus on helping people make better decisions and has built technology based on more than 10 years of experience in survey methodology and Web development. Customers include 99 percent of the Fortune 500, academic institutions, small businesses, HR departments and neighborhood soccer leagues everywhere. The company has more than 200 employees throughout the United States and Portugal, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.

About SiteSpect, Inc.
SiteSpect provides the world’s most comprehensive optimization platform, enabling web and mobile marketers to significantly improve key metrics such as conversion rate and engagement. SiteSpect’s solutions include rapid A/B testing, multivariate testing, behavioral targeting and personalization, landing page optimization, mobile web optimization, and web performance optimization. With SiteSpect, marketers enjoy unmatched speed and flexibility without the need for ongoing IT involvement. SiteSpect’s patented technology and professional services are used by many of the world’s leading online businesses, such as Wal-Mart, Staples, Mozilla, JCPenney, MTV, ASOS, Overstock.com, VEGAS.com, and leading financial services companies. For more information, visit www.SiteSpect.com or call 617-859-1900.