Intellimize named a Cool Vendor by Gartner

Intelligent website optimization recognized in 2020 Cool Vendors in Personalization report

 

Intellimize has been included in the list of Cool Vendors in Personalization1 by Gartner. This year’s vendors “focus more on delivering personalization that has a discrete connection to revenue.” Gartner’s Cool Vendor research is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products, and services.

Gartner recommended that digital marketing leaders responsible for technology “align their personalization strategy and investments to business objectives like revenue growth,” and “track key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion and average order value to measure the impact of tactics like personalized on-site search and product recommendations on product discovery and purchase.”

“We’re honored by the Cool Vendor recognition from Gartner,” said Guy Yalif, CEO and co-founder of Intellimize. “We intelligently optimize each unique buyer’s journey to drive more revenue, more customers, or more leads to sales, based on our customers’ business objectives. Our machine learning solution unlocks this value for our customers by providing a personalized experience for each of their web visitors. Intellimize delivers an average of 46 percent lift in online conversions.”

 

Gartner Disclaimer:

The GARTNER COOL VENDOR badge is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

1 Gartner, “Cool Vendors in Personalization,” Jennifer Polk and Jason McNellis, October 8,2020.

Intellimize Raises Additional $12M To Accelerate Intelligent Website Optimization

Addition leads the round as new customers Snowflake, Sumo Logic, and Unilever Prestige sign on and former Tableau CMO Elissa Fink joins Board of Directors

Intellimize, the leader in AI-driven, intelligent website optimization, has raised $12 million in additional funding to help medium- to enterprise-scale businesses increase revenue, customers, and sales leads by using machine learning to tailor visitor experiences on their websites.

Addition led the round, with participation from previous investors Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures. This Series A-1 round brings the company’s total raised to $22 million.

“Addition’s partnership will enable us to rapidly expand our intelligent website optimization solution and deliver on our mission to optimize buyer journeys everywhere,” said Intellimize co-founder and CEO Guy Yalif. “It’s in our name – Intellimize means intelligent optimization.”

Intellimize uses machine learning to optimize the individual steps of each unique buyer’s journey in real time and automatically adjusts web pages in response to changes in the buyer behavior over time, delivering an average of 46 percent lift in online conversions.

“Intellimize is a revenue-driving game-changer for marketers,” said Aaron Schildkrout, Investor at Addition and former Head of Growth at Uber. “The company puts real AI directly into the hands of CMOs, allowing them to unlock the world’s most sophisticated experimentation and personalization capabilities with minimal effort. We invested because we think pretty much every digital company that’s operating at scale would see significant lift by running Intellimize.”

Yalif added, “With these funds, we are accelerating our investment in machine learning so that we can holistically personalize each unique buyer’s full journey from start to finish and improve conversion rates for B2B, ecommerce and financial services customers. Together, we’ll revolutionize the prospect experience and deliver more revenue, more new customers, and more leads to revenue-focused marketing leaders.”

 

New customers sign on and achieve lift with Intellimize

Word about Intellimize is traveling fast among senior marketers with Snowflake, Sumo Logic, Bill.com, Tableau, Unilever Prestige, and Chrome River joining the growing list of Intellimize’s customers.

Denise Persson, CMO at Snowflake, said, “With Intellimize, my demand gen team is empowered to scale and optimize our web personalization to keep up with our increasing web traffic.” Persson continued, “We can now capitalize on each engagement and convert quality leads for our ever-growing sales team. Intellimize is intelligently optimizing the experience for each unique prospect, from account-based-marketing-driven named enterprise accounts to anonymous small businesses.”

Aurelian Lis, CEO of Dermalogica, shared how Intellimize is helping Dermalogica tailor the customer experience, “Intellimize helps my team focus on our deep, innate creativity by automating much of the rote work of experiment management, and that’s important to me as part of our brand.” Lis said Intellmize has helped Dermalogica achieve 100 percent lift on adding items to bag with subscription, where customers sign up to receive products at regular intervals. Lis added that his teams have run more than one thousand tests which, in combination, have created more than one billion possible personalized buyer experiences. “Intellimize has delivered incredible conversion increases while helping my teams around the world better understand our prospects,” he concluded.

Suku Krishnaraj, CMO at Sumo Logic echoed Lis saying “With Intellimize, we were able to scale years of testing into several months, across 192 experiments and more than one billion possible page versions.” Krishnaraj continued “Digital channels, including our website, are a top source of high-quality leads and pipeline for our sales teams. The rapid testing process is delivering significant improvements in conversion rates across our site.”

Yael Zheng, CMO at Bill.com, broke it down this way. “We are focused on getting more prospects to discover, sign on and benefit from our AP and AR automation solutions,” she said. “We sell directly to small and medium sized businesses and partner with accounting firms, financial institutions and technology partners, so it’s essential our website be customized for different visitors. Intellimize has not only helped us make paid search campaigns much more efficient but also compressed what would have been years of testing efforts into months.”

Bryan Law, VP Marketing Operations at Tableau added “We’ve achieved over 40 percent lift in digital transactions with Intellimize. They are an incredible partner with both amazing technology and services that allow us to increase the velocity and impact of our optimizations.” Law continued, “With Intellimize, we’ve compressed decades of traditional testing into a single year. We’ve run more than 300 tests which, in combination, meant we optimized across more than 1.2 million unique versions of our site.”

 

Former Tableau CMO Elissa Fink joins Intellimize board of directors

Intellimize welcomed former Tableau CMO Elissa Fink as the newest member of its board of directors. Under Fink’s leadership, Tableau grew from roughly $5 million to over $1 billion in revenue.

Echoing the new customers, Fink said companies realize the value and benefits of Intellimize immediately. “I really wish I had Intellimize when I was at Tableau. It would have made driving revenue much easier and helped me better understand the prospects I was working so hard to woo. Intellimize is becoming a foundational part of any marketer’s tech stack. I’m excited every time I introduce new CMOs to Intellimize because they immediately realize what a growth lever it will be for their business. Having personally experienced tremendous scale, I think this company is going to go the distance.”

“Elissa’s experience as a successful operator and marketing leader make her a tremendous addition to the Board at Intellimize,” said Mike Dauber, General Partner at Amplify Partners.

Yalif added, “Elissa and I hit it off from the very first time we spoke. Her counsel has already proved invaluable to our company as an advisor, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have her now join us as a member of our board.”

 

About Intellimize

Intellimize intelligently optimizes each buyer’s path to drive more revenue, more customers, and more leads to sales from websites. Our unique solution enables experimentation and personalization at an unparalleled scale. On average, our customers achieve 46 percent lift. We work with great companies like Drift, Looker, Unilever, Sumo Logic, Tableau, Emburse, and many more. We’re headquartered in San Mateo, CA. We’re backed by leading early-stage investors including Addition, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures.

Why Local Optimization Goals Are Winners

Web optimization goals

When we started Intellimize, we thought that optimizing for our customers’ ultimate goals would be the best way to achieve the business outcomes they were seeking. This is common wisdom and often practiced when buying ads. When it comes to websites, we were wrong! We discovered some non-obvious things along the way. It turns out that focusing on nearby goals and optimizing every step in the funnel typically works better. Now we recommend local optimization rather than optimization for an end goal several steps away in the buyer journey. This is counterintuitive and many would say it’s incorrect. Let me share why we generally think it’s the right approach.

 

The case for local web conversion optimization

To explain, let’s consider an extreme example. Assume you have a 10 step signup flow for a trial offer. Let’s say you choose to optimize the CTA (call to action) wording on your landing page at the start of the 10 step flow. Common wisdom would say that you should optimize for the signup that happens 9 steps later in the flow. This is just what we did with many customers early on at Intellimize.

However, we found that CTAs that we thought would perform well performed poorly, while CTAs we thought would perform poorly performed well. And then the performance flipped. There was a seemingly never-ending series of inexplicable ups and downs in conversion rates.

Why? After a lot of digging through data, we have come to believe that this happens because there is not actually a meaningful correlation between a few changed words on step 1 and a signup on step 10. There are many interim steps in between, and what happens on those steps often matters more to reaching the ultimate conversion than what happened on the first step. Maybe one step requires entering a credit card number and another step requires entering sensitive information. The uncomfortable reality is that often these interim steps would have more of an impact on whether or not a prospect makes it through to successfully sign up for a trial than the words on the first page.

While this may sound extreme, we routinely have customers who want to do just this – change a word or image and optimize for a conversion many steps later. This is common wisdom, but our experience showed that it’s wrong.

So what should we do instead?

In most of our client engagements, we optimize each step to get to the next step – and we optimize every single step in the funnel, from beginning to end.

We recognize that the goal of that CTA wording, for example, is to get the prospect to take the next step in the funnel. CTA wording that gets more visitors moving forward in the funnel is a good thing. Once a prospect is in the flow, we will optimize each successive step to get the right people all the way through to trial signup.

“But wait a minute”, you might say. “Isn’t this just pushing a bubble of people that would’ve dropped out anyway to the next step?” This is a risk, if you only optimized one step. You might inadvertently “click bait” prospects, effectively pushing uninterested folks one step further in to the funnel when, in fact, they were going to abandon on the first page.

However, if you optimize every step in the funnel and measure progress against a holdback (aka control) group that doesn’t get an optimized experience, you can tune the impact of the stepwise optimizations and improve the final result. You can move prospects through the entire funnel.

When taking this approach, we also suggest measuring from beginning to end to see the cumulative impact of each step’s optimization. This end-to-end measurement is measuring the business results you seek while optimizing each step individually.

Coming back to our example: typically, a few words on the homepage don’t actually get a prospect to a successful trial signup, unless the signup is on that page or the next page. What those few words on the homepage actually do is get that prospect to the next step in the funnel. Now on that next step, you should optimize and create the right experiences to get to that prospect to move forward to the next step. And so on.

This counter-intuitive approach was not obvious to us when we started. We learned by analyzing thousands of campaigns and seeing that this step-by-step approach drove better outcomes with more predictability than the common wisdom approach of optimizing for the ultimate outcome.

 

 

Don’t we optimize online ads for the end result?

I’m sure that some readers will think this feels all wrong and counter to what they’ve learned over the years. If that’s you, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a background in digital advertising, where conventional wisdom also says to optimize for the end result. For digital ads, we agree! There are two key differences between optimizing digital ads and optimizing website experiences.

First, with ads, there is a direct connection between how much you’re paying and what you’re optimizing. You may be throwing money away if you only optimize for the initial click on the ad, rather than optimizing for prospects that ultimately become a customer. It can get very expensive if most prospects click on your ad and few convert on your website. Shifting from paying per impression (CPM) to paying per click (CPC) to paying per acquisition (CPA) moves more of the risk from you, the marketer, to the publisher or intermediaries. Optimizing for the end goal often saves you money when done well.

The second difference is that ads can only optimize to get a prospect to a website landing page. Ads cannot also optimize subsequent steps through to conversion (trial signup in our example above) because ads aren’t running on the marketer’s own website. So if there is a bubble of poorly qualified traffic, ad optimization can’t do anything about it once the prospect has reached your website.

These differences are why we agree that optimizing for the end goal can often save you money with ads.

 

How to have your cake and eat it too

If you have a system that can simultaneously optimize for multiple goals (Intellimize is one such system), you can have your cake and eat it too.

When our customer’s organization is deeply focused on downstream goals, we help them by optimizing for both at once. We encourage our customers to put more importance on the local goal and less importance on the downstream goal.

The further away the downstream goal, the lower the importance we suggest on optimizing for it. Why? You guessed it. When the downstream goal is further away, there is less actual correlation between what happens in this step of the funnel and the ultimate downstream conversion.

You need a system that can optimize for multiple goals with different values in order to make this work well because different goals are worth different amounts to us as marketers.

 

Next steps

As you are working to optimize your website and landing pages, take a close look at the optimization goals that you’ve selected. If the goals are further down the funnel and away from the page being optimized, we recommend testing new, local optimization goals at each step of the funnel to try to improve the performance toward your overall optimization objective. This approach has worked quite well for us, and we’re confident that it will for you also. Please let us know how it goes!

 

To find out more about driving revenue through web conversion optimization, contact us by clicking on the “Request Demo” button on our website. We’ll share specific examples of which optimization ideas are working right now in your industry.