Contentsquare Data Says People Don’t Like Free Beer


Catlin Roberge

October 21, 2020 | 4 min read

Contentsquare’s marketing team ran a campaign this summer offering a custom consultation with one of our resident UX-perts over a cold beer. Because who can say no to the offer of refreshing yourself and your website at the same time? As it turns out… quite a few people. 

Sure, we assumed there would undoubtedly be individuals who weren’t intrigued by the words “eight complimentary craft beers,” but as a marketing team that has gifted brews in the past, we know just how popular the opportunity for free beer can be. That insight, of course, comes from a pre-COVID era. Quite a few things shifted in 2020 and we realized our methods needed to shift with it.


Our Hoptimistic Approach

Surprising people with beer was one of the highest performing direct-mail campaigns that we ran in 2019. Showing up to the office and receiving an unexpected box filled with eight different craft beers delighted many people enough to take the time to chat with us. 

Then, 2020 happened.  

People swapped their daily commutes and office appearances for the shelter-in-place work from home lifestyle. We were remodeled into remote workers. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer became hot commodities. Happy hours were reduced to Zoom calls. It was a whole new world.

What we initially thought would be a few weeks turned into many months and most of our memories took place within the walls of our respective homes. Everything moved digital – we had meetings, events, and happy hours all online. Even online grocery shopping took off. Direct-mail campaigns were no exception.

People were staying in place for (at least) the foreseeable future and one can only send so many digital gift cards. So the question was, how do we continue to utilize our fan-favorite campaign when the element of surprise was no longer an option? We had to revamp our entire approach. Get “crafty,” if you will.

And so we did. Instead of sending beers to the office world to charm people into taking meetings, we shifted to offering digital consultations over a cold one. We asked prospects to sign up for a quick chat with the promise they would get beers delivered straight to their home to enjoy during the meeting, or after. The surprise may have been taken away, but the free beer remained and that’s all that mattered right? Not exactly…


Not Ale It’s Cracked Up to Be

As soon as the campaign went live and the first emails were sent out, we expected the meeting requests to roll in. 

Ok, we aren’t that presumptuous, but we did expect to get at least a few requests the first week. Or maybe by the second week… The third? More than a month into the campaign, we only had two people claim their opportunity to parlay over pilsners. Where did we go wrong?

It was time to take a closer look at the experience and why people weren’t converting. 

Luckily, we have this tool called Contentsquare (shameless plug). As a marketing team, we’re the exact audience to whom we often market our tool and often use it in-house. We activated our CS Live extension to see what was working and, more importantly, what wasn’t on our campaign landing page. People were getting to the page, they just weren’t converting – but why? 

The promise of complimentary craft beers clearly wasn’t enough. We wanted to know where we went wrong. Why were people bouncing without claiming their brews?

We started by investigating click rates. Where were the hot zones on our page? Were any elements particularly frustrating to our landing page visitors? 

Our first move was clear. One of the highest clicked elements on the page wasn’t even clickable! Rookie mistake. An arrow that was meant to signify that scrolling down would reveal more details about the offer was not relaying that message. 

We also checked our click recurrence and noticed that the same element wasn’t just getting clicked, but getting clicked multiple times! The frustration was obvious. 


Step 1: Remove Visitor Frustration

To start, we removed the arrow and replace it with the copy, “Scroll down for more info 👇.” Just like that, no more clicking frustration.

This was, of course, only frustrating for the people that actually saw this ultimately annoying arrow. When we checked our exposure rate, we were surprised to find that 50% of our header content (and the CTA!) wasn’t being seen by almost half of our visitors. The good stuff was below the fold.

We may be offering eight hand-selected craft beers, but what good is it if no one sees the offer?


Step 2: Bring Key Info Above The Fold

Next, we shrunk the top banner to make sure the most relevant content is above the page fold and entice visitors to scroll down to learn more. 

One of our biggest quick wins was to make sure the submit button was visible when you loaded the page. As one of our client onboarding managers once told me, in order for someone to buy shoes on a website, they need to see the button that says “Buy Shoes.” It was time to cut the dead weight in the contact form and bring that button further up the page. We turned back to our click rate and noticed that 2.58% of visitors clicked to add their postal code but only 1.28% clicked to select their state. Did we need the state if we knew the postal code? No.


Step 3: Increase CTA Visibility

Again, we noticed our “Submit” CTA on the page’s form was hiding beneath the fold. People landing on the page couldn’t immediately understand what action we wanted them to take and bouncing. To increase the visibility of the CTA, we cut unnecessary form fields and moved privacy and shipping rules to the bottom of the form. That raised the CTA above the fold and made it easier for viewers to understand what the page was for. 

The last thing we checked was the attractiveness rate, or what percentage of visitors seeing a page element is likely to click on it. Turns out our CTA at the very bottom of the page, or “Book My Hoppy Hour,” was a very popular option for the people who actually reached the bottom of the page. We had some good news, something was working as it should. 

Once we made these slight tweaks to our simple landing page, we saw immediate improvement. Our page visitors were finding the information they needed to feel more confident booking a meeting and the requests started rolling in. 


Our Hoppy Results

People do still like free beer! But, it’s not just about the end result, it’s about the journey they have to take to get there. Contentsquare helps uncover exactly how your prospects and customers navigate the digital experiences you create. And sometimes, a few small tweaks can have big results – as we can confidently attest to ourselves!

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