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Bauer Media adopts multivariate testing to drive cross-channel subscriptions

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By Jessica Davies | News Editor

March 5, 2013 | 3 min read

Bauer Media is adopting multivariate testing (MVT) to drive cross-channel customer engagement and subscriptions for titles including Grazia, Heat, and Empire.

The publisher is working with MVT specialist Maxymiser to help manage its half a million subscribers whose registrations it manages via its subscriptions site Great Magazines.

Currently visitors to the subscription website must choose from a range of subscriptions offers and then make a further choice of whether to pay by credit or debit card. Bauer plans to work with Maxymiser to test the most suitable page layout to improve user experience and refine the selection process.

It will also test the Great Magazines checkout page to ensure consumers are being given the simplest and most informative experience whether they are accessing it via desktop, tablet or smartphone device.

Simon Blanchard, head of data and online marketing, Bauer Media said: “Before working with Maxymiser we undertook some basic testing with Google Website Optimiser, but we needed an approach that would provide us with greater support and expertise around which tests to build and why, as well as the technology to provide far deeper insights to satisfy complex optimisation challenges.

“We want Maxymiser to help us offer an uncomplicated and engaging experience when visitors come to the site to browse or to subscribe. There are various choices of brand and offer and it is important that the visitor is enabled to make these choices quickly and efficiently while understanding why we were asking for certain pieces of information.”

The publisher is also planning to run tests on the checkout pages to ensure they are optimised for desktop as well as mobile devices, with it claiming over a third of its traffic now coming via smartphone and tablet devices combined.

“The checkout process was originally designed for desktop users. We need to ensure our customers have the same great experience from any device they choose, whether that is a mobile device or desktop,” said Blanchard.

Meanwhile Bauer Media will run tests specifically for Grazia’s subscription page following its digital magazine launch last year. The aim is to ensure it offers readers a mix of print, digital or combined subscription.

“The great thing about Multivariate testing with Maxymiser is that we have a clearly defined hypothesis which we prove or disprove via testing, the results of which shape our strategies across all the other brands and user journeys,” added Blanchard.

Last month The Economist’s global digital publisher Nick Blunden said it has found readers are willing to pay more for a mix of print and digital subscriptions, rather than preferring to use one particular channel in isolation.

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