Josh Eboch is the Political Director for Senator John Cornyn’s campaign.
He is an accomplished online marketer who we recently partnered with on a wildly successful landing page optimization test. I took a few minutes to talk to Josh about his first experience with testing and increasing donor conversion.
Tell us a little about what you do.
I’m the Political Director on Senator John Cornyn’s re-election campaign. My role focuses on the intersection of campaign strategy and digital marketing. That means I direct our staff and vendors in the implementation of our email marketing, social media, online messaging and fundraising programs, as well as supporter data collection and analysis.
What initially attracted you to the idea of landing page optimization?
With more than 8 years of experience as a direct response marketer, my top priority has always been conversion rates. So it seems self evident to me that any good online program would place a high value on optimizing landing page performance. I never fully realized the science behind it all until I met Tim.
Tell us about this first test. What was the hypothesis? What were you trying to improve?
Our goal was to improve the conversion rate on our donation landing pages. Our hypothesis was that donors would respond better to a redesigned landing page that placed the donation form at the bottom of the page beneath several paragraphs of text and images describing Senator Cornyn’s conservative record.
The first test we ran bombed. What was running through your mind?
I figured our hypothesis must have been wrong. But I also thought there were other possible reasons for the poor performance of our treatment page. Specifically, due to technological factors, the design was incongruous with the rest of the user experience, which may have introduced friction. I wanted to try again right away.
What adjustments did you make?
We went back and made less radical adjustments to our original donation landing page layout. Instead of changing the format, we added our credibility-focused copy and imagery to the existing design.
Tell us about the results. What do they mean for the Cornyn campaign? What effect did this have on your co-workers/team?
The results were amazing. We saw a 258% increase in conversion rates over the original page. That meant we could now expect to convert more than three times as many visitors into donors, which in turn means a more invested and engaged supporter base for our campaign. Everyone on the team was thrilled with the results and excited to keep improving.
Do you think that the optimization methodology applies to other areas of what you do?
Absolutely. Optimizing response results can be applied to anything from email acquisition to persuasive messaging experiments. We will continue to apply these techniques wherever possible moving forward to ensure we maximize efficiency and effectiveness throughout the campaign.
Most importantly — what did you learn about your donors from this experiment?
Beyond basic demographics, I think we learned that our donors are thoughtful people who want to understand in clear terms who Senator Cornyn is, and why he needs and deserves their support. They clearly responded to the additional information about Senator Cornyn’s conservative record and history of serving Texas that we provided on the modified landing page.
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