Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing interviews from some of the masterminds behind Smart Traffic here in the community. We put various Unbouncers in the hot seat and asked them all our burning questions (these questions were curated by the most frequently asked questions that we received from you – brilliant marketers).
Smart Traffic is impressive, but it’s also new, and savvy marketers like yourself aren’t going to blindly switch anything on on your campaigns unless you’ve done your homework.
On our first stop on the Smart Traffic Q&A Community Roadshow we chat with Tommy Levi, Director of Data Products at Unbounce. Tommy is our in-house subject matter expert on machine learning, and leads our teams of Data Scientists and Data Engineers at Unbounce as we deliver AI to the masses. If you need more convincing of how big of a smartypants Tommy is, he also has a PhD in String Theory.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the Q&A!
1. What problem is Smart Traffic intended to solve?
Smart Traffic solves the mistaken assumption that there is a single “best” landing page for your audience. Your audience is made up of diverse groups of individuals, and, as humans, it is statistically unlikely that they would all agree on what is the “best” landing page experience for each preference or need. You have finite resources, so it is unlikely you have the ability to create optimized experiences for every audience possible. Smart Traffic allows each member of your audience to be matched to the landing page that best speaks to them, improving their experience, and increasing the number of conversions you as a customer are likely to receive with minimal outputs.
2. What is Smart Traffic ‘learning’ from?
Smart Traffic learns from every single visitor to your landing page; learning more with every visit. Each visitor has a set of rich, insightful attributes we can measure, e.g. their device and geo-location.
With each unique visitor, Smart Traffic updates what it knows about how likely visitors like them are to convert on your landing page variants—this is machine learning in a nutshell.
So the next time a similar visitor comes to your landing page, Smart Traffic has a better idea which variant is most likely to lead to a conversion for them.
3. Why should I trust Artificial Intelligence (AI) with my marketing materials?
The AI team at Unbounce cares deeply about only delivering AI solutions that add value for our customers. Value doesn’t just come in the end result of more conversions, but the means by which we get there. When we started building out Smart Traffic as a potential feature, we took extraordinary steps to ensure it delivered this value:
- We built a full fledged simulator that allowed us to work with historical data. In essence, we can go back in time and replay history for customer pages with Smart Traffic turned on and off, and compare the results. We did this thousands of times, looking for how often and by how much Smart Traffic improved things. We found that for essentially every page and customer we examined Smart Traffic improved their conversion rate on average, and virtually never harmed them.
- We ran a small pilot study with a group of actual customers, and confirmed all the results we had from the simulations.
- During the closed beta, the open beta and now with it in general availability, we continue to monitor its performance.
By mindfully using machine learning and advancing AI technology, we believe these steps when combined with Unbounce’s commitment to our customers, should help you trust Smart Traffic and benefit from this technology.
4. How does Smart Traffic compare to A/B testing?
Smart Traffic is a paradigm shift compared to A/B testing. It’s a completely new way to create your best converting content, with increased ease. With A/B testing, even if you find the “best” variant after rounds of testing, that will be shown to your entire audience. Really, what you’ve found is the “best average” landing page for your entire audience. Smart Traffic does away with the notion of a “single best”, replacing it with “multiple bests” and recognizes that your diverse audience needs a diverse set of messages, offers and landing pages. It personalizes your content for the purpose of increasing conversion rates with every visit to a page of yours.
A/B testing is also complicated. You have to define a clear hypothesis, and properly set up a controlled test, including worrying about things like test size, significance, power and sample size. If you get any of those wrong, it could invalidate your entire test, or worse, guide you to making the wrong decision. It requires costly resources, such as time to, create, wait, and even then validate. Most A/B tests require large amounts of traffic. Smart Traffic on the other hand starts optimizing with as few as 50 visitors to a page, and requires no complex setup beyond creating at least two variants and turning it on.
Are there times when you want to run an A/B test? Of course, like any tool there is a time and a place. If you’re trying to learn something about your entire audience, and optimize that (e.g. what font are you going to use for headlines on every single page), and you have the expertise to properly scope, set up and run the test it could be very valuable. For most common situations though, we find Smart Traffic delivers better results, faster and easier than A/B testing.
5. How would you explain Smart Traffic to someone who isn’t very technically savvy?
Smart Traffic is about finding the best match between the best landing page and best visitor. It recognizes that your audiences and potential customers aren’t all the same—and so continuously learns at scale how to personalize your existing content for them. By doing so, Smart Traffic dramatically increases your ability to get the most conversions you can get from each visitor, with minimal output and existing content. Note: Page variants that are underperforming won’t get much traffic sent to them.
Imagine you’re a soft drink company and you know that selling “pop” is great on the west coast, but “soda” is where it’s at on the east. Wouldn’t it be great if you could personalize what each visitor sees based on where they are? But what about more subtle differences, maybe there’s regions in the Southwest that call it “coke”, and your British audience likes “fizzy drink”, and what about people that use iPhones? Imagine a system that could not only allow you to personalize your message, but automatically figure this out for you. That’s Smart Traffic.
And there you have it! If your brains aren’t melted from all the information we just shared, feel free to add any further questions in the thread below and @tommy.levi will be on standby to provide further clarification.
Stay tuned for our next stop on our Smart Traffic Q&A Community Roadshow where we’ll talk to the brains behind our Customer Marketing strategy.
Happy Smart Traffic-ing!