Like many of you, I’m always on the lookout for cool new ways to drive conversions and leads on my site.
When it comes to finding genuinely useful software tools to help my business accomplish this, it can be tough — after all, new products launch almost daily, and it’s difficult (not to mention time-consuming) to figure out which solutions will actually help. One tool that has shown significant promise for my company is Bounce Exchange.
Before we go any further, I want to clarify that aside from being a user of the service, neither myself nor my company has any professional relationship with Bounce Exchange. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the service.
My company has been using Bounce Exchange, an automated customer acquisition program that promises to reduce bounce rate and increase time on-site, for the past several months.
According to Bounce Exchange’s official site, the program uses patented “Exit Intent” technology to determine how (and when) visitors leave your site, and serves up automated overlays designed to motivate users to remain on your site, as shown here:
What this means is that Bounce Exchange can detect when a visitor is about to click their browser’s “Back” button, open a new tab, and other navigational actions that signal they’re about to leave. Specially designed overlays are then presented to the user, encouraging them to either visit another page, sign up for an offer or perform some other action.
In addition to the aforementioned Exit Capture Overlay, there are several additional types of campaigns you can run with Bounce Exchange. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
The “Nano” bar campaign type allows you to place a banner at the top of the page, as you can see in the highlighted area of the image above. “Conversion” bars can also be displayed at the bottom of pages.
The “Rail” campaign type, shown above, allows you to position smaller overlays to either the left or right of the page.
When we signed up for Bounce Exchange, we wanted to:
Bounce Exchange can (and has, in our case) helped accomplish these goals and more.
One of the most effective uses of Bounce Exchange for us has been traffic shaping. As we’re always promoting new products, features, events and content, we don’t want to rely solely on our email distribution list to get the word out. After all, bombarding customers with emails isn’t exactly the best marketing strategy.
The challenge is that more than half of our web traffic is to old blog posts as opposed to the latest offers that we want to promote. To get around this problem, we used Bounce Exchange to shape our traffic to highlight certain offers — an approach that proved highly effective.
In January, we held a webinar about insane ways to triple click-through rates (CTR). We generated a campaign to promote the webinar that resulted in almost 51,000 impressions and 621 clicks — with a CTR of 1.22%. This was far better than the average display ad.
Across all of our promotion channels, we landed nearly 2,000 registrants — all within a two-week period. While I can’t say for sure the exact number of registrants that came from Bounce Exchange, I’m certain that it played a role in making that webinar our most successful event ever.
Another way we used Bounce Exchange to great effect was as part of a newsletter subscription test. We introduced an overlay campaign on our blog content pages, encouraging visitors to sign up for a newsletter.
Over the course of three months, the campaign generated more than 245,000 impressions and almost 2,000 email captures. Bounce Exchange was converting bouncers into email subscribers at an approximate rate of 0.80%, which is a pretty big deal if your site has more than half a million unique monthly visitors as mine does.
After the success of the email subscription campaign, we decided to use Bounce Exchange in a more targeted manner. We used Bounce Exchange to target visitors to specific key pages on our site (such as some of our primary offer and pricing pages) with an overlay encouraging them to download an eBook.
This three-month campaign resulted in 1,330 impressions and 85 eBook download email captures – a conversion rate of 6.39%, which is obviously much higher than conversion rates of most traditional methods.
Okay, so we’ve established that Bounce Exchange can be useful — at least we certainly thought so. However, even if you’re more focused on improving conversion rates or increasing the number of leads generated by your site, Bounce Exchange could still offer you some value.
How? By establishing and strengthening brand recall. The longer visitors remain on your site, the more likely they are to remember your company and products. You could think of it as another way of remarketing to your site visitors – but instead of waiting until they’ve already left, you’re taking a more proactive approach to holding onto them.
Obviously there are several other factors to consider if you’re thinking of using the service, but we found that Bounce Exchange did have a positive effect on conversion rates, as well as time-on-site and bounce rate. Check this out:
The image above shows fluctuations in our bounce rate. Our baseline bounce rate when we weren’t using Bounce Exchange was around 69%. We were able to drive it as low as 40% when we had active campaigns running – a huge difference. Those bumps that you see in the bounce rate graph are due to the fact that we were turning on and off various Bounce Exchange campaigns to coincide with various promotions. Bottom line? The more aggressively we used the service, the lower our bounce rate became.
Bounce Exchange includes design services to create all of the overlays you see in the examples above as part of the monthly subscription fee. This is an attractive proposition, as businesses that lack in-house designers (or the time to produce their own visual elements) can still utilize highly polished overlays. The stronger the overlays, the more likely site visitors are to click on them and perform another action.
We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of Bounce Exchange, but it would be remiss to ignore the drawbacks of the service.
The biggest issue we had with Bounce Exchange was the price. Yes, it’s a cool product, but it’s far from inexpensive. The subscription fee varies depending on the size of your site, but for us, the costs have exceeded several thousand dollars per month.
Of course, this fee includes not only a subscription to the service itself but also the design of the overlays that will appear on your site; but, even I was a little skeptical of the costs initially. To their credit, the team at Bounce Exchange is completely transparent about their price banding, with this information openly available on the site. Still, it’s a major consideration for businesses that are thinking about using the service.
Another problem with Bounce Exchange is that it’s not really a viable option for sites with lower monthly traffic, despite the benefits that reducing bounce rate and increasing time-on-site could offer. To make the most of Bounce Exchange, you need a decent amount of traffic to see any real benefit, e.g., around half a million unique monthly visitors. These limitations put Bounce Exchange beyond the reach of many sites.
A final issue I came across was a difficult mobile experience. On mobile devices, it was pretty hard for users to close out the various overlays. Several months ago, I was chatting with Om Malik (the founder of GigaOM) on email — he had asked me for some data for an article he was working on related to Google earnings, so I sent him a link to some data on my site.
Unfortunately, that was the week we first started using Bounce Exchange, and he was unable to view the content, citing inability to close out the overlay. So, the poor browsing experience on mobile cost me a rather big press opportunity — boy was I ever bummed out. As a result, we quickly configured our Bounce Exchange campaigns to exclude mobile visitors.
Overall, Bounce Exchange is a strong service that offers some real benefits for a price. Bounce Exchange helped us:
To put this spend into perspective, we’re spending more than $1 million on paid search this year, and almost that much on content marketing efforts, too. Prior to using Bounce Exchange, nearly 70% of our site visitors stayed for just a few seconds and ended up bouncing away.
If your business is like mine, it makes sense to spend a few thousand dollars a month to keep visitors on your site for longer, capture more contact details or promote an offer more widely. If, on the other hand, you’re a smaller business with less money to spend, or if your traffic numbers are relatively low, Bounce Exchange likely won’t be a viable option.