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The Grasshopper / KISSmetrics Phone Number Challenge

When you buy something online, what are some of the things that make you feel comfortable about making a purchase? Is it reassuring symbols, like TRUSTe or VeriSign? Is it the trustworthy and professional look of the website design? Or is it that there’s an actual phone number you can call? Perhaps it’s some or all of the above.

Jonathan Kay, the Ambassador of Buzz at, has a hunch that when a website posts a visible sales or support phone number, there is a greater likelihood that customers will do business with that website. Additionally, directing people to call in for purchases has the possibility of more sale completions and upselling possibilities. There is a nice case study from that validates his hunch.

We Want To Test This Hypothesis

We decided to collaborate with Grasshopper and present a phone number challenge to any online business that doesn’t currently have a phone number highly visible on their website.  And to compliment this challenge with the sweetest of toppings, we’re going to offer a free KISSmetrics account and a free Grasshopper virtual phone system (with 800 number) for life!

The general idea is that with KISSmetrics and Grasshopper you can A/B test your website (using variations with and without a phone number) to find out which version performs the best for the metric you want to improve. The performance metrics that you’ll test will be up to you. Here are some possible metrics to improve:

  • Sign-ups
  • Sales
  • Time on Site
  • Your own custom metrics

Our goal is to help you improve these metrics. KISSmetrics will support you through the installation process and show you how to run and monitor your test.

Additionally, you will get a free Grasshopper phone system to use for your sales and support line. It includes unlimited extensions, voice to email, and much more to make phone sales and support a cinch.

We’re Looking For A Few Good Websites

We are seeking three businesses that are willing to test Jonathan’s hypothesis. We have allocated 6 weeks to conduct these tests. If you think your website fits this bill, please read our guidelines below to see if your website will qualify. This is a chance to improve your most important metrics, and get familiar with KISSmetrics and Grasshopper.

Guidelines For Entry:

Any company can enter The Phone Number Challenge, but only three will be chosen. Here’s the criteria:

  • Never used KISSmetrics before
  • Do not have a phone number on your site
  • Company is under 3 years old (looking for start ups)
  • Have a real product or service and are charging money for it
  • Must be comfortable sharing real numbers relating to this experiment (not necessarily revenue)

The length of this test will be 6 weeks. And yes, you will get KISSmetrics and Grasshopper for life!

the kissmetrics grasshopper phone number challenge

Stay Tuned For Updates to the Phone Number Challenge

As we monitor the performance of our chosen contestants, we will periodically post updates on both the KISSmetrics and blogs.

  1. Great idea for a challenge! To me, the phone number is FAR more valuable than a Verisign widget, etc.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on whether Toll free numbers play into the equation, since wireless/skype has all but eliminated LD charges for many people.

    Sadly, I’ve used KISS before, so I can’t throw my hat in the ring.

  2. When is the final date to enter I’m very interested.

    • Hey Joshua – We are planning to keep the application process open for about 2 weeks (unless we get an overwhelming response). So if you submit before the end of next week you should be good! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks for the interest man, love it.

  3. I just submitted my site! The sites in its third year of life and it’s only me and a shipping guy so I think we count as a start up! Would love to know how quick we’ll hear a response – if I don’t make the cut for this study I’ll end up doing a simple one. I had the phone number up and visible for a few weeks, but the phone calls took away from my other work it made me back it off. I need to justify hiring someone to handle customer service (phone and possibly chat) based on the increase in sales/lift in conversions.

    Thanks for the chance! Love the idea.

    • David Gadarian Jul 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Interesting thoughts. A phone number seems to add definite value from the perspective of a potential buyer. I think for site owners as @tim pointed out, the downside of providing one can be the some site owners do not want to talk to their customers, or at least they need to manage the phone time.

      A company that I really admire that I would love to see take this challenge is MailChimp (alas I believe they are older than 3 years).

      Separately, I’ve really been enjoying what you guys have to say. Thanks!


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