I often spotlight startups or marketing tools on this blog.
It’s not because people ask me to (it’s actually the other way around, I ask them).
It’s because digital moves so fast, and to keep up you always need to be testing: testing not only things like offers, messaging, headlines, prices; but also testing new tools and technologies.
And on this theme of “testing”, I’d like to share the latest tool that I’ve added to my marketing stack.
It’s a conversion optimization tool called Reactful.
I’ve been using it for a few months with a client, and so far am really impressed with what I’m seeing.
But first, some context…
I’ve always said that a business website really only has two purposes:
- To attract visitors
- To convert visitors into followers, prospects, leads, and customers
That’s it, two simple purposes.
And one stat I mention all the time is that businesses spend $92 driving visitors to their website for every $1 they do converting those visitors.
That makes no sense.
Doubling your website’s conversion rate has the same effect as doubling its traffic – but likely at a fraction of the cost.
But businesses still need to invest in conversion, much more.
Which brings us to the topic of the day: Reactful
Reactful Conversion Tool
I’ve used conversion tools like Gleam, Opt-in Monster, and countless lead-capture WordPress plugins, but I haven’t come across a tool that has real-time, data-driven and personalization capabilities like Reactful.
As they say on their website, Reactful helps “turn ‘maybe later’ visitors into ‘let’s do this’ customers by reacting to visitor intent in real-time”.
It’s able to quickly identify issues and opportunities on your site that can help increase conversion.
Here’s just a couple visitor scenarios from their website:
What I like about Reactful is that it takes the approach that no website is one-size fits all.
Visitors have unique goals, motivations, and challenges when visiting your website, and Reactful helps by providing direction, relevant information, and tips to get them what they need, faster.
It’s easy to use, requires no coding, and can even make data-driven recommendations for improving conversions.
You can target visitors with “reactions” and deliver a different message based on referring domain, device, new vs. returning visitor, and country and state/province.
I would like to see the capability to target by city and not just state/province. As well, I’d like to see a “priority” feature, where you could prioritize certain reactions over others using a weighted system, as well as a “timed” feature where a reaction automatically expires after a certain deadline or other metric.
Interview with Reactful CEO Jonathan Friedman
I caught up with Reactful CEO Jonathan Friedman to ask him not only about Reactful, but the state and future of conversion optimization.
Q: What is Conversion Optimization?
JF: CRO is the science of getting more out of your existing traffic. It’s about making sure you don’t have holes in your bucket rather than pouring more and more water into it. From a philosophical sense, it’s the art of information presentation and timing in order for the right message to make the “jump” from a source you control to your prospects’ brains.
Q: According to one stat, businesses spend $92 driving traffic to their website for every $1 they do converting that traffic, why such a discrepancy?
JF: IMHO there are two arguments:
The “no one got fired for buying IBM” argument which in essence means that you can’t go wrong with buying more traffic. You will almost ALWAYS get more conversions from doing it, in the same way you will be able to fill your leaky bucket to the brim if you use a bigger hose. It takes more sophistication or higher up leadership to course correct from this strategy.
It’s a natural arms race and currently the pendulum is swung to one side. Arms races happen in nature all the time; Say a Cheetah starts running slightly faster. She catches more prey and it starts putting pressure on the Impalas to jump slightly higher until the advantage is rebalanced. Many advertising experts will tell you that plenty of Adwords campaigns are just not sustainable at the current state. The pendulum will swing back since this state is so highly unbalanced
Q: Reactful is a conversion tool, how does it help businesses optimize their websites for maximum conversions?
JF: At Reactful we’re building a tool that is focused on actions instead of analytics. Data is, of course, the main driver for actions and we’re making sure it’s surfaced for our customers alongside a direct path to action. In other words, we make it easy to make impactful changes on your site in minutes based on your data and best practices. We’ve automated a lot of the nitty gritty of optimization and we hear from our clients that optimization becomes almost “fun”.
Q: There’s lots of conversion and testing tools out there, what makes Reactful different?
JF: We saw a big gap in the market since in our view, current CRO tools are broken:
- They are reactive. You need to know beforehand what will improve your CRO and then drive a complicated product to do it
- They don’t aggregate learning across customers. Every customer has to start their practice from 0.
- You are still married to engineers. Yes, they they claim that you don’t need need them but the truth is, if you want to do anything that’s slightly more complex, you start to need them badly.
Our secret sauce is that we heavily use AI for the data processing making it easy for you to make impactful changes in minutes in an engineer free zone. We use a conversion recipe library to aggregate learning across all our community which they then all enjoy.
Q: What about Google and penalizing popups on mobile sites, does Reactful have a workaround?
JF: Google in penalizing those annoying pop ups that take all the screen space and are intrusive. With Reactful we are completely against these kind of experiences in the first place and have written about this extensively on our blog. The kind of “Reactions” you can launch with Reactful are Native looking, unique and have finesse. They are experiences rather than a “pop-up”.
Q: Who is it for and how much does it cost?
JF: Commercial website marketers with at least 30,000 Monthly sessions who are looking to make an impact on their conversion rates quickly and effectively and are frustrated with their current stack. To be used in conjunction with other tools such as A/B Testing software, analytics etc. Our prices start at $299 per month.
Q: Any new features/advancements coming up?
JF: Oh yes! Expect many new and unique Reactions to be launched, more goals to be optimized, better auto scanning of your site to find the right Conversion Recipes and better insight uncovering. We’re also diving deeper into mobile web with many unique Reactions that are coming there too.
Q: Where do you see conversion tool technologies going in the next few years?
JF: AI powered Chatbots are an interesting development. The ability to more vaguely define a conversion goal and have a computer derive context and spring into action is one of the most exciting narrow AI applications out there in my opinion. You can bet Reactful will also be heavily involved there too.