Behavioural modelling and experimentation a winner for Employsure

Employsure is now able to better understand the psychology behind the user journey

LANDESK acquires former LANDESK One Partner, Xtraction Solutions
LANDESK acquires former LANDESK One Partner, Xtraction Solutions

Behavioural modelling and experimentation have allowed workplace relationships specialist, Employsure, to chalk up a 109 per cent uptake in conversions.

By adopting a culture of experimentation, where every new idea is tested and constant iteration is vital, Employsure says it is now able to better understand the psychology behind the user journey and fuel growth.

In one example, Employsure focused on a test page promoting the Advice line, highlighting simple offers and generic messaging. After applying behavioural models, the team realised these users were in crisis and were actually viewing the Advice line as an emergency hotline.

This data led to a pivot. With language that shifted towards empathy, Employsure was better able to communicate with customers about their fears, Ben Scemama, a senior marketer at the group, said.

The culture of experimentation for Employsure has been so successful, Scemama wonders how the business actually ever made decisions without it. He told CMO less than 5 per cent of what is tested is successful. This means prior to the experimentation, the company had a 95 per cent chance of failure without even realising it.

“We don’t know what we don’t know. Without experimentation, our decisions are very subjective, or based on opinion or intuition, and it doesn’t allow room for choices. Without experimentation, businesses go in one direction until something happens, positive or negative,” Scemama explained.

“Experimentation allows us to take different directions. It can still be based on opinion, but at least we can challenge them, or if we dig further, we can use data and insights to experiment with different things. It is key to understanding our clients; without it, we haven’t really asked them.

Related: Why you should be embracing a test-and-learn culture

“We cannot just try experimentation once; it cannot be a one-shot thing, we need to always challenge what we are doing. Experimentation has to evergreen otherwise it doesn’t make any sense.”

While Employsure is six years old and experienced massive growth to date, the company didn’t previously have time to focus on what to deliver and to whom, Scemama continued.

“We had a lot of data, so we tried to do some experimentation around content. We were able to confirm assumptions and discover new things. Importantly, we tried a model around empathy; the program was around the mindset of our prospects when they are looking for our services. This has been quite successful,” he said.

Another test run is around urgency. “Some clients are contacting us because they have a serious matter to address, so they are quite scared. We tried something around the urgency and implemented a hotline for business owners, and that avenue has also been successful,” Scemama explained.  

“Of course, this has to be in line with SEM strategy, content and landing pages. It been very important to understand the journey of our clients at all stages.”

Audience targeting

It’s also important to target very specific audiences with the specific needs they have, all of which are different, Scemama said. A typical landing page, for instance, to generate leads may have 50 different variations just to address the right audience, in the right industry, in the right location.

“Then the language of our people on the phone is adapted based on that model as well. We have the empathy model, and the urgency model as well, and it’s a different approach for different prospects,” he said.  

Within the journey of Employsure prospects, there are three different personas: Those who are proactive and looking for information; those who need help right now as they have an issue; and those looking to reach their potential and be better in business. The experimentation then informs the behaviour models, and the company uses Optimizely to run experimentation across all landing pages and websites.

“We use call tracking, which is very important for us, so we can direct prospects to the right team,” Scemama said. “Everything is integrated together with Optimizely, allowing us to measure success, such as number of phone calls we receive, based on variations of the experiments. Everything integrated with our CRM, so we know which ones are working better and generating calls.”

Scemama said Employsure has found experimentation the best way to indirectly communicate with customers.

“When I think about it, I don’t know how we decided on anything before, like what products, UX, branding or messaging to use. We never asked the client properly before. Experimentation allows us to confirm that our clients like something,” he added.  

“So many businesses are still assuming they know what their customers want. People who are running a business must have a culture of experimentation. It’s important to know how to reach out to your audience and how to talk to them, and what they are looking for, otherwise someone will do it for you.”

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