Beampulse is the Swiss knife of conversion rate optimization.

It addresses 2 essential aspects of your marketing activities :
Getting the right data to make informed decisions, and putting it into action to get results.

After reading this review, you may think their User Interface looks like Excel 95 - which is not entirely untrue.

But since Beampulse is up to 68% cheaper than the competition ... It's still worth considering its top-level features.

5 Features for Analytics and Action

Simplicity is one word to describe BeamPulse.

You don't have any visual dashboard, nor great reports with fancy designs.

What you have is a blue bar right above your site. That's where everything happens.

Beampulse header bar

So the 5 features are:

  • Heatmaps
  • Session recording 
  • Web personalization
  • A/B testing
  • Exit pop-ups

The first 2 features are more related to analytics, to extract data from your website, and the last 3 features are clearly action-oriented.

1) Heatmaps

Just like any heatmaps tool, there are different views : 

  • heatmaps,
  • % of clicks heatmaps,
  • confetti maps,
  • and scroll maps.

What's nicer is the ability to use a template heatmaps. What is a template heatmap ? It is an aggregation of clicks throughout different pages with identical elements.

Take your navigation menu for instance. If it is the same on every pages of your site, it makes sense to look at clicks on the menu on a single view, rather than on each page. By doing so, you will have a broader view of how people interact with your menu. Plus, if you don't have tons of traffic, template heatmaps are a good option.

Template heatmaps are used on product pages, on category pages, or pages where these sidebar modules appear... You just need to identify pages who share the same blocks.

Looking at clicks from all visitors may be interesting, but narrowing down within segments is where the gold data is. Many, many segmenting options are available for Beampulse's heatmaps (see below).

The heatmaps are responsive. So if you segment your heatmaps by mobile devices, and you resize your browser window, you will see where mobile users click on your mobile website.

And the one feature I like the most:

BeamPulse heatmaps work great with dynamic elements, like drop-down menus, slideshows or carrousel.

You just have to click on the refresh button to see the corresponding heatmaps. Very handy, the "refresh in 5 seconds" button allows you to see clicks on your drop-down menus, and on any other element requiring a mouseover.

Heatmaps for dynamic elements

2) Session recording

While this is not yet a feature in production, I had the occasion to run this upcoming feature in Beta. 

IMG alt="Video recordings of visitors sessions"

With the mouse pointer moving here and there, highlighted, it is as if you were above your visitor's shoulder.

As it takes time to watch these movies, you have to pick them well. What is really cool, is the ability to segment, just as with heatmaps.

So, you may want to watch a few videos sessions from your non-converting visitors, and compare it with your converting visitors.

In short, this is another great source of data in your analytics'arsenal.

3) Web personalisation

For most businesses, marketers would rather have a  targeted traffic than a massive untargeted traffic, beacause it offers better conversion rates.

If you agree with that, you've likely done your research to target your segments of audience.

Shouldn't you offer them a customized experience ? After all, why should web pages be the same for every visitors ? 

It looks like a loss of efficiency... or an area of conversion opportunities.

With web personalisation, you will get the ability to show modified pages depending on if your visitors are in a specific segment:

Segmentation in A/B testing software

  • Geolocation. Visitors in city X, or in state Y
  • Type of visitors. New visitors are returning visitors
  • Landing pages. Which service/product page did people land on? For businesses doing B2B and B2C, you can distinguish between these 2 types of visitors.
  • Source of traffic. Customize how people are welcomed, depending on the source they come like :
    • Twitter, 
    • Facebook, 
    • a guest post from a given webzine, 
    • a specific ad on Adwords, 
    • a banner on a partner's website etc...
  • Basket's value. Send incentives based on the value of the basket.
  • Type of device. Desktop computers, tablets or mobiles.
  • Weather data. Useful if you sell stuff for very hot/cold weather.
  • Advanced segments : Cookie value, or CRM data, and more

Once you have identified the different relevant segments, you can then modify one or more pages accordingly.

We will see more about the modifications in the next section, A/B testing. Actually, these 2 features are very close: web personalisation is kind of A/B testing without a conversion goal.

4) A/B testing

The process to create an AB test is quite straightforward, in 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Give your test a title and a description
  • Step 2: "Who": Segment to identify the right people you want to present the test to
  • Step 3: "What": what changes you want for version B
  • Step 4: "What for": what is the conversion goal for this AB test
  • Step 5: "When": when should the experiment be run.

In the previous section, we already talked about the segmenting abilities of BeamPulse. So let's focus more on steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Creating your version B with the visual editor

Step 3 is all about creating your treatment, or version B.

How to create your A/B testing variation

BeamPulse list the possible actions as follow:

  • Change a content: modify any text, or any block, add or remove thanks to the visual editor. You may change as many texts/blocks as you want.
  • Attract focus: if you want to emphasize a specific element, add some dynamic effects like blinking or shaking.
  • "Show a message" and "anti-abandon" : these actions allow you to add a layer form marketing messages above your website. We will cover these actions in details, in the following section.
  • Forms: this allows you to embed a form on your version B, wherever you want. So far, BeamPulse offers an integration with Wufoo, a handy form tool (free for 3 forms).
  • Click to chat: this action allows you to set up a live chat using Tawk.To live chat integration. It is a free tool, and works great.
    (For these last 2 actions, forms and live chat, you will need to create a free account on Wufoo or Tawk.To beforehand)
  • Finally, expert actions allow you to use JavaScript and jQuery to code any change you like.

Step 4: Defining what is your conversion goal 

This is where you choose the type of marketing campaign: if you don't define a goal, this will be a web personalisation campaign. If you do define a goal, this will be an A/B test.

 

web personalization

Here are the available goals in BeamPulse:

  • "Browsing behavior" is the most used goal : triggered if a specific page is viewed during the visit, or during any visit.
  • "Current page" category :
    • Event on an element: this can be a click on a call to action button. You may want to track the impressions of a specific banner, in this case, you may want to use the "visible on-screen" type of event.
    • Current Page URL : if a URL parameter is present in the URL
    • Text value in a page
    • Numeric value in a page

All these types of goals are useful to trigger a conversion, for example when the cart reaches a certain amount (online store), or if a specific text is displayed in a specific area ("your form has been sent") .

Just like in step 3, if you click on "go to select mode", this will bring the visual editor to select the right element, 

  • Timing: triggers a conversion if a visitor is active more than X seconds on a page, or if he viewed more than Y pages.
  • Advanced conversion goals :

The last 2 sections are more for advanced users, but are really useful. It allows you to use cookie values and JavaScript/jQuery to define a conversion goal. For any intermediate/advanced A/B test, I tend to use JavaScript for the conversion goal.

Example of usage :

On an e-commerce product page, you can track clicks on the call to action with the visual editor.

But,

If you are on a products listing page, there are many call to actions.

If you want to track any click on one of the many "add to cart" button, you must use JavaScript. As far as I know, this is the same in any AB testing software.

Step 5: defining the "When"

Quite straightforward. Define the weekdays and the times for your experiment to run, and save it.

Reviewing the test before launch

Now that the test is saved, you probably want to review it in different browsers. Just edit the test, go to step 3 and click on the preview button.

Now that you checked everything is OK, just click on "Start".

5) Exit pop-ups and other marketing messages

While this is just one of the possible actions at step 3, exit pop-ups are a powerful feature. Some marketing tools run a business only with this stand-alone feature.

testing exit pop ups

You may like it or not, and I am not a great fan of it, when overused.

But the ability to segment narrowly allow you to push pop-ups only when it is relevant for your visitors. For instance, returning visitors who browsed more than 4 pages on your blog, may be interested in subscribing. Offering a subscribing pop-up for these users is OK in my opinion.

By the way, this is the motto of their company : the right message at the right time for the right people. 

Beside exit pop-ups, there are also less intrusive ways to push marketing messages:

  • Corner pop-ins
  • speech bubble
  • header bar
  • footer bar
  • bottom title

This is a header bar (just like the most famous one, Hello Bar) : 

header bar

and here's a bottom tile : 

Real time marketing messages

 

and a corner pop-in :

corner popin

These messages can use CSS to be visually coherent with your design.

All are useful and have the advantage of not interacting with your actual web design. It actually takes less time to use than modifying your existing elements. Think of it as a handy new layer above your website.

The Cons

Asynchronous script

The script is loaded after your webpage is fully loaded. So, it doesn't impact the loading speed. But it may happen that there is a small delay. Sometimes, the original version A is loaded, and 1 second after, version B is loaded. It mostly depends on visitors' connection speed. 

As a solution, a synchronous script will soon be offered.

Images handling

If you want to replace an existing image with a new one, you will have to host it on your server. BeamPulse does not allow you to upload a picture from their interface. So for images, you'll need to make a request to IT guys...

Integrations

At this time, there are less integrations than the competition.

Note : Google Analytics integration comes with the Gold plan, which makes this feature a bit expensive.

Not the prettiest reports

It's not really a problem for me, but if you compare with the competition, the design is not BeamPulse's strongest asset... 

No beautiful pie charts here. But the data is here, and despite the raw design, graphs are exactly the same.

The Pros

Precision of Heatmaps: they are accurate, and work great on dynamic websites (drop-down menus, flash elements, slides carousel…) and on mobile devices.

The visual editor: it works well and is very handy for either quick test or non-programmers. It is equivalent to what you can find at the competition.

Segmentation abilities: everything a conversion optimizer needs.

Integrations: Wufoo and Tawk.to are well-chosen integrations, but hopefully more services are to come.

Asynchronous script : it doesn't slow your website loading.

Easy setup: whether you're using a tag manager or not, setting up the small snippet of the script code shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.

Fast support: I am using extensively the support teams of the tools I use, so I consider myself as a demanding client. BeamPulse's support is just fast and great.

Price : Great value for money

Let's try to assess the value of Beampulse with simplified assumptions :

  • On a site which gets 100 000 visitors a month
  • On average, a visitor browses 4 pages per visit = 400 000 pageviews / month
  • All visitors are subject to an A/B test
  • 50% of visitors are subjects to exit pop-ups

For 400 000 pageviews per month, Beampulse would cost $183 per month.

ab testing pricing

 

1) Comparing with a heatmap tools

For most A/B testing tools on the market, the pricing is based on the number of tested visitors.

BeamPulse's pricing is quite different. It is based on the number of pageviews, which is generally the pricing structure used by heatmap tools. 

With a leader like Crazy Egg, 250 000 pageviews would cost $99 per month. (You may roughly assess the price for 400K pageviews)

2) Comparing with A/B testing tools

As mentioned before, the pricing for testing tools is based on different metrics. We may still compare it roughly with the assumptions above.

Testing would cost $183 with Beampulse, and $249 with VWO (Visual Website Optimizer).

Please note that if you only use AB testing, and not site-wide, then VWO may be cheaper.

3) Comparing with 'exit-intent' tools

Some tools like Rooster offer exit pop-ups to transform abandoning visitors into returning ones. In addition to exit pop-ups, it has segmentation abilities, just like Beampulse.

Referring to our assumptions above, if we want an exit pop-up for 50% of our 100K visitors, it would then cost $239 with Rooster.

4) Sum it up  

The $183 fees for Beampulse is equivalent to $587 in value (99 + 249 + 239). 

Understand why I partnered with this 5-in-1 tool ? It has an amazing price/value ratio.

Conclusion

Beampulse is a CRO tool of choice. Since 2012, the software is getting more and more mature. Some features are missing, but in most cases, it's easy to get around.

In short, its versatility make it a great choice for conversion optimization teams.

Heatmaps are one of the most reliable, working on any dynamic element, and any device. It's one more great source of analytics.

For A/B testing and web personalization, the user interface is kind of raw, but it is efficient, no distractions, straight to the point. I appreciate to never waste time looking for something.

And finally, the value for money gives Beampulse a serious edge over the competition.

If you want to give it a try, they offer a 2 months trial, with 10 000 free pageviews. Note : I'm a partnered consultant, but I'm not an affiliate...

And if you need help to optimize your conversions, whatever the tool you choose...

 

Did you find out a new cutting-edge CRO tool ? Let me know what tools you love in the comments !

 

 

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