I led the team that won the opportunity to help the Avon Foundation for Women with their site to support their Two Day Walks for Breast Cancer.  

The Problem

  1. The Platform was our first challenge.  The front end of the system was very clunky, no staging environment, no way to FTP files and you had to manually copy and past each page.  The vendor also made is clear that the there wasn’t much customization available other than the ability to skin it- which wasn’t going to solve some of the issues we saw with the site. 
  2. The second major issue was the UX and content strategy.It was clear that who ever was managing the site had just tacked on content and pages every time it was requested so the result was a ton of duplicated content and it was very poorly organized.
  3. The third and probably biggest hurdle was their business model.  We knew going in that we had to overcome two obstacles to registration for the event.  The first is the physical nature of the event, it is a two day event where the participants walk 26 miles.  The second was the fundraising requirement; registrants have to raise $1,800 in order to participate in the walk.  Our clients believed that people wouldn’t sign up online so their business model was to use the site to drive leads that they would close over the phone.  This approach had several fundamental flaws.

What we did.

We mapped the existing content, documenting duplicate and out of date material and then created an entirely new information architecture that organized the content with the goal of addressing the two largest concerns about participating in the walk- fundraising and the physical challenge of doing the walk. 

We brought in a great developer group- 14/4 and with them dug into the site documentation and ultimately were able to implement all of the features, functionality and template customization that we were told we probably couldn’t do.

We created a modern, clean design that focused on driving registrations and moving people through the conversion funnel across multiple visits.  We simplified content and forms working with the client to demand less information from prospective walkers and offering more in return.  We didn’t hide from the perceived “issues” we took them head on.

We implemented google analytics and started to measure and track user flows through the site and the funnel to understand what content was clearly more important than others and then making sure that content was brought to the top of the site to make access easier.

We implemented multi variant testing on the home page and key pages within the conversion funnel to tune how people were moving through or dropping out of the funnel.  This led to a lot of small changes throughout the site that seemed counter intuitive but proved to drive results.

Results

Web participation and registration increased.  The fist year of the new site web registration doubled.  More importantly, the number of web registrations that met their fundraising goal was well ahead of the curve: a 70% rate compared to other forms of registration that fell to 45%.

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