And They’re Off! – The Grasshopper / KISSmetrics Phone Number Challenge

Last month we announced the winners of the Grasshopper / KISSmetrics Phone Number Challenge. Out of about 30 entries, three businesses were chosen: Flowr, The Site Slinger and DODOcase.

Each one of these outfits were given a free lifetime account of both KISSmetrics and Grasshopper phone service. In return, we get to conduct a case study of each website to see if sign-ups will increase due to the addition of a visible phone number on their home page. Click here to read Jonathan Kay’s hypothesis about adding a phone number to a company home page.

Initially we were going to track each of these websites simultaneously. However, DODOcase got so excited with KISSmetrics that they jumped into several conversion optimization trials. This means that we’re going to have to conduct their test later when they have finished their initial rounds of experiments.

For now we are going to focus on Flowr and The Site Slinger. Read on to see what home page variants were created for this case study.

TheFlowr.com Home Page Variants

The image below is the original Flowr home page. If you look closely, you will see that there is no phone number on the page.

the flowr.com home page

In the next image, you will see a screenshot of the home page variant with a phone number and the call to action “Want to have a chat? Call us at..” (look for the red asterisk).

theflowr.com variant home page

The Site Slinger Home Page Variants

Below is a screenshot of the original Site Slinger home page. Again, there is no phone number visible on the page.

site slinger home page

Next is a screenshot of the home page variant of The Site Slinger. Notice that the phone number is in two locations. Once at the top right hand corner of the page and once above their video.

Ready, Set, Go!

Over the next six weeks, we are going to A/B test these home page variations. The hypothesis is that having a phone number will present visitors with an increased feeling of trust which could lead to more sign-ups. In addition, a phone number may provide an easier way to order, which may lead to increased sign-ups as well.

Check back with us in six weeks to find out the results of this test!

  1. This is intriguing! Our sales department insists on telephony as a conversion tool, down to the point that it’s compulsory to leave one on our contact forms! I’ve been having heart attacks trying to work out a way to measure them valuably, but overall we have grown this year, so there must be something in it? Right? Really interested to see the results of your test!

  2. Yeah who knows. My instinct tells me it really depends on the type of business. But we’ll see :)

  3. I feel like having a phone numbers just continues to make online shoppers lazy. The information they need is already on the website they would just rather call and ask as opposed to actually looking for the info or emailing us. Think about it: I am a small business and I base my prices on overhead. If I have to pay a person to answer the phone during business hours then the shopper will end up paying that employees wage. It is no secret that a shopper will call 9 times out of 10 as opposed to actually making an effort to find the info they need themselves. For a small business it’s a hard pill to swallow to think you need to pay someone to sit by the phone when you can just have another employee answer emails maybe two hours out of the day. Very hard pill to swallow, just my opinion though.

  4. We have a grasshopper number on our site and expect it will increase conversions (I see no way it could decrease them!), plus it’s just the right thing to do multiple ways to get in contact with real people.

    There was a blog post a while ago from a small web app (can’t find it), he found that not only did it increase conversions but that 95% of calls were related to signup. Literally money in the bank.

    We also rock Olark as well.

  5. Isn’t the attention these sites are getting right now on kissmetrics going to likely increase signups and skew the data?

    • @chaim – the blog posts on Grasshopper / KISSmetrics might increase overall traffic to their sites, however we are still running an A/B test. Which means that 50% of the traffic will go to a page WITH a # and 50% to a page without. It should not matter if its 10,000 or 20,000 views as the experiment shows both scenarios equally.

      That make any more sense?

      Jonathan

      • I understand what you’re saying, but I also slightly agree with Chaim, since KISSmetrics is essentially vouching for these two sites and adding by mentioning them on their blog.

        I know I was enticed to sign up just because you guys blogged about them, and that mattered more to me than the phone # present.

  6. Looking forward to the results of the challenge. It is kind of obvious that the one with the telephone number will convert better, the idea is to know by how much. Enough to justify hiring someone to pick up the phone anytime it rings…

    • I don’t think the results will justify having someone answer calls. I still don’t see the trade off to paying someone to answer the phone and training them to actually be able to help the customer.

      Here is what I did: I have grasshopper on my site right now (broke down and got it) and we just have department options, it doesn’t ring to any phone and callers can only leave a message. If they do, we search our database to with the number they called from and then have one of our CS people email them. We give the customer the piece of mind of a 1-800 number without the hassle on our end. 90% of them just hang up and don’t leave a voice mail, and contact us via our CRM or just find the info on our website (which is what I wanted to happen to begin with).

  7. @DubC Can you briefly tell about your experience w/ having a 1-800 number on your site? Can you cope w/ the number of calls and do customers appreciate it (which then, I suppose should translate into higher conversion rates)?
    I am the same position as you: Do we want to “sponsor” a support agent for customers who rather talk on the phone than reading copy on a website and is it worthwhile? Thanks for your help!

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