Optimizely was founded in 2010 by two former Google product managers, Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen. Siroker worked for the Obama 2008 campaign as the Head of Analytics to maximize email signups and donations and saw the challenges of implementing testing for the end user. They started Optimizely to make A/B testing easy for marketers. According to Builtwith.com, the tool is used on more than 6,000 of the top one million websites, up from 1,500 two years ago. The company has raised $88 million since inception, including $57 million in a Series B round in May 2014.
|Pricing||Self-serve plans start at $19 to $399****; Pricing of enterprise plans is based on site traffic|
|Rating Attribute||Optimizely||# of Reviewers Contributing to Rating Average||A/B Testing Category Average|
|Likelihood to recommend||8.7||39||8.4|
|Likelihood to renew||8.8||39||8|
|Optimizely Strengths||Optimizely Areas for Improvement|
|Ease of use
Nearly all reviewers say Optimizely is easy to implement, use and understand results. Marketers can set up tests without much dependence on IT. Some users say basic html/css knowledge is useful, however, and a developer is needed for more advanced setups and customizations.
|Possibly not ideal for advanced tasks
Some users ran into issues with more sophisticated tasks and say Optimizely is an ideal beginning or mid-level solution. However, other users say that despite its reputation as a mid-level solution, the tool offers depth and allows power users to do advanced segmentation and targeting with custom coding.
|Customer support and documentation
Optimizely's support team is responsive and knowledgeable. Many users say it exceeds expectations. Most users say Optimizely offers helpful documentation and online resources, although the more advanced tips often come directly from support requests.
The tool can cause website page load times to increase. Also, two users say that using the tool may negatively affect Google AdWords scores.
Many users say Optimizely offers a lot of value at an affordable price. However, a few say it can get expensive for websites with high traffic volumes.
Users cannot modify the % confidence required for a test to reach statistical significance (95%). Also, establishing KPIs or goals besides clicks and conversions can be difficult (e.g., for a media website).
Most users like Optimizely's drag and drop editor. However, a few mention that it can be finicky or create convoluted code in the background, and may not be suitable for creating entirely new pages.
A few users would like to see customizable reports that summarize results from all tests, versus just one.
Users like the integrations with tools like Mixpanel, Crazy Egg, Adobe Analytics, ClickTale, Google Analytics and in-house systems. However, a few users had issues integrating Optimizely with Google Analytics. Others would like to see easier integrations with CRMs and third-party data sources.
The company has also expanded from its original mission, he says. “We recently launched a beta version of a native mobile app testing product and pushed further into personalization as well. We enable our customers to use all of their data to deliver the best possible experience to each one of their customers.”
In addition to ease of use, the company focuses on integrations with other tools and data sources, such as Google Anaytics, Adobe Analytics (Site Catalyst), Mixpanel. CrazyEgg, Blue Kai, and Qualaroo, and allowing users to take advantage of all the customer data available to them.
The company now has more than 9,000 customers, Koomen says. Self-serve customers make up the majority in terms of count, but enterprise customers involve much larger deals and make up the majority of revenue. “In addition to delivering on the needs of smaller enterprises, we've also built the internal infrastructure to support the higher end, in terms of product needs as well as support needs,” he says. “Currently we have some of the world's largest websites as our customers across many verticals such as Disney, The Guardian, Starbucks, Legalzoom, Yelp, NBC, American Apparel and Microsoft.”
“In five years, the Internet is going to be a very different place,” Koomen says, referencing the explosive growth of multi-device Internet use. “We want to build out a suite of products that make it possible for our customers to deliver the best experience for their customers across any touch point,” he says. “Mobile apps are new strengths for many of our customers. Some have outsourced them. Sometimes they have entirely different marketing teams for them. And our product will enable them to provide the best experience whether their customers are on the web or mobile.”
Koomen also sees the growing need for companies to have a unified view of customer data as a challenge vendors will have to solve. “There is a need to integrate customer data,” he says. “Companies have data in Salesforce, Marketo, back-end systems. The burden from that insufficiency falls on marketers' shoulders. With all of this data siloed in different places, it becomes harder to deliver great customer experiences.” The company launched a set of APIs that allow users to programmatically integrate Optimizely with third-party tools and in-house solutions, he says.
Response to Feedback from Optimizely Reviews
“One of the challenges of creating experiments on webpages is that it's hard to use a WYSIWYG editor to do complex things,” Koomen says. “We wanted to make sure the WYSIWYG editor allows you to do complex, powerful things while still being simple and easy to use and our customers”
“Optimizely also enables our customers to personalize their websites and deliver targeted content to their visitors,” he says. “We have the in-product tools and flexible APIs that give both marketers and developers an easy way to do more advanced segmentation and targeting. You can do advanced targeting and segmentation without any custom coding. For instance you can target your traffic based on geolocation, time of day, language, traffic source, new vs. returning, to name a few.”
In terms of speed, “because we are using the same CDN as many of our customers, it's rare for most customers to have this issue. Customers that are especially sensitive can use an asynchronous version that eliminates this,” he says. In addition, “Optimizely is the fastest in the industry when it comes to client-side JS. We use a balanced CDN architecture with two CDNs (Akamai and Edgecast). We found that using this new, balanced CDN architecture improved average response times by 64%.”
Regarding Google Adwords scores, “Using Optimizely will indeed improve AdWords quality scores by reducing bounce rate on site. We have written a great case study on this recently.”
In terms of confidence level, “95% statistical confidence level is an industry standard. While the user can't set the significance level, they can see what significance calculation is at any time. So if they want to act on 90% they have the ability to do so,” Koomen says.
On establishing goals: “Using Optimizely, we have built-in goals for tracking. For instance, most media sites use the built in engagement goal. We also have custom events that can be setup easily without the need to implement new code on your site.”
On integrations: “We have wide variety of out of the box integrations with various products, including Avanser, Lotame, BlueKai, LiveRamp, ifbyphone, Qualaroo, Bizible. Additionally, we have a set of APIs that make it easy for any technology to integrate with Optimizely.”