Effectiveness Study

UptimeSafe Effectiveness Study

General Certification

In an effort to help new service providers evaluate the benefits of UptimeSafe APSsm Certification, we have conducted an effectiveness study aimed at researching and quantifying the benefits of UptimeSafe certification for new service providers. This study has been run in collaboration with a group of service providers who have elected to participate in the study. Participants include industry leading hosting companies like Superb Internet, CrystalTech, Exabytes, and many more.

Unlike many studies where results are only posted at the end of the entire research project, we elected to structure this study into monthly research control groups that allowed us to analyze and report results on a regular basis. For detailed research results, please see the "Research Results" section at the bottom of this document.

Executive Summary

In the past, service providers have had to rely on word-of-mouth and self-justified claims to get their message across about their service's reliability and trustworthiness. Unfortunately, these methods are unreliable at best, and often viewed with a level of skepticism by the consumers they are designed to reach. At the root of the problem is the fact that consumers are not inclined to trust a self claim when it is coming from the company who is trying to sell them service. This uncertainty becomes an obstacle in turning reluctant consumers into buying customers, particularly when you consider the effects that service downtime can have on the customer's business.

UptimeSafe's solution is to independently certify a service provider's reliability using their APSsm rating standard. UptimeSafe then provides these service providers with an APSsm Certification and Seal they can display on their websites and marketing materials. This solution solves the word-of-mouth issues by providing service providers with a branded certification they can market directly to consumers. It also solves the issue of self-justified claims by having the certification come from a trusted third-party source.

Through the ongoing research conducted as part of this study, we have found that UptimeSafe is remarkably effective at increasing buyer confidence in a service provider's reliability and increasing signup rates. The results show that service providers who display their UptimeSafe APSsm Certification on both their homepage and product pages using an UptimeSafe Seal see a stunning increase in signup conversion rates ranging between 10% to 34%, with the average service provider seeing an increase of 19.7%.

Based on our current findings, we believe that UptimeSafe presents a unique opportunity for service providers of all kinds to effectively market their service reliability, boost buyer confidence, and increase signup conversion rates.

Background

UptimeSafe provides an APSsm certification service that certifies service provider uptime and reliability. UptimeSafe works by monitoring a cross section of a service provider's network around the clock and certifying their reliability based on a comprehensive set of UptimeSafe standards. Providers who meet these certification standards are awarded an APSsm rating and are allowed to display the UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on their websites and marketing materials. For IT buyers, the UptimeSafe Seal helps them easily identify reliable service providers. For service providers, the UptimeSafe Seal helps them differentiate themselves, increase buyer confidence, and boost signup conversions.

Research Objective

This study seeks to quantify UptimeSafe's effectiveness at increasing buyer confidence in a service provider's reliability and turning more of a service provider's website visitors into buyers.

Research Methodology

To participate in this study, interested service providers are required to meet all of UptimeSafe's APSsm certification standards and be awarded UptimeSafe's certification based on their own merit. Once accepted into the study, service providers are provided with specialized code to display the UptimeSafe APSsm Seal and track signup conversions for the study.

To determine the effectiveness of UptimeSafe's APSsm certification, we are conducting A/B testing where a percentage of a service provider's website visitors are displayed the UptimeSafe Seal while the others are not. Visitors who are displayed the Seal are chosen at random each calendar day and become members of the research group known as "Seal Viewers" (Test Group A). Visitors who are not display the Seal become members of the control group known as "Seal Non-viewers" (Test Group B).

Persistent browser cookies are used to record each visitor's test group membership. Using these cookies, visitors who are displayed the UptimeSafe Seal on their first visit continue to be displayed the Seal on all subsequent visits. Likewise, visitors who are not displayed the UptimeSafe Seal on their first visit are never displayed the UptimeSafe Seal on subsequent visits.

If the website visitor chooses to sign up for the service provider's service during their first visit or any subsequent visit, the visitor's cookie is read to determine their test group membership and recorded for statistical analysis.

The methodology used in this research exceeds a statistical confidence level of 95%, making it statistically reliable.

Research Results

June 2010

We are excited to announce the results from our first month's research group. We have analyzed the conversion patterns of over 25,000 unique visitors this month. For service providers who placed the UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on their homepage and product pages, the results revealed a stunning increase in signup conversion rates of 10% to 34% (with an average of 19.6%) among visitors displayed the Seal as opposed to those not displayed the Seal. For service providers who did not place the UptimeSafe Seal on their homepage, the results revealed a conversion rate increase of 2% to 9%. We have also noticed correlations between the positioning of the Seal on the service provider's pages and the performance of the signup conversion rate; however, we feel it is prudent to gather more data before announcing these positive findings.

July 2010

During this month's test group, we've analyzed the conversion patterns of over 36,000 unique users who visited the websites of the service providers participating in the study. For service providers who displayed our UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on both their homepage and product pages, the results showed an average increase in signup conversions of 19.7% among visitors who were displayed the Seal as compared to those not displayed the Seal. The individual results within this average ranged from an increase of 10.8% to an increase of 26%. This range was slightly tighter than last month's but still within normal expectations. Another interesting finding this month came after analyzing how a visitor's click on the Seal impacted their likelihood of signing up with the service provider. The results show that visitors who clicked the Seal to view additional information were over 5 times more likely to sign up with the service provider as compared to the average visitor. This remarkable finding strongly confirms our thesis that buyer's care a great deal about service provider reliability and value UptimeSafe's certification.

August 2010

In August's test group, we analyzed the conversion patterns of over 31,900 unique users who visited the websites of participating service providers during the month. For service providers who displayed our UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on both their homepage and product pages, the results showed an average increase in signup conversions of 17.2% this month. The service provider with the best results achieved a 23.7% increase in signups from displaying our UptimeSafe seal while the service provider with the lowest results achieved a 11.9% increase in signups. We also found that visitors who clicked the UptimeSafe Seal this month to view additional information were over 7 times more likely to sign up with the service provider as compared to the average visitor.

September 2010

We analyzed the conversion patterns of over 32,400 unique users who visited the websites of participating service providers this month. For service providers who displayed our UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on both their homepage and product pages, the results showed an average increase in signup conversions of 18.25%. The service provider with the best results achieved a 25.98% increase in signups while displaying the UptimeSafe Seal. The service provider with the lowest results achieved a 12.65% increase in signups. We also found that visitors who clicked the UptimeSafe Seal to view additional information were over 8 times more likely to sign up with the service provider as compared to the average visitor.

October 2010

During this month's test group, we analyzed the conversion patterns of over 27,700 unique users who visited the websites of service providers participating in this study. For service providers who displayed our UptimeSafe APSsm Seal on both their homepage and product pages, the results showed an average increase in signup conversions of 17.7%. The service provider with the best results achieved a 27.2% increase in signups by displaying the UptimeSafe Seal while the service provider with the lowest results achieved an 8.3% increase. We also found that visitors who clicked the UptimeSafe Seal to view additional information were over 4 times more likely to sign up with the service provider as compared to the average visitor.

Related Pages:

Hosting Certification
SaaS Certification
Service Provider Benefits

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