Melissa Burdon from Extra Space Storage Wins the 40 Under 40 Award

burdonDirect Marketing News recently announced the winners of its 40 Under 40 Awards. Melissa Burdon, Marketing Optimization Director with Extra Space Storage, Inc., is one of the winners.

The 40 Under 40 Awards recognize the best young minds and celebrates these rising stars — the best, the brightest, the most creative marketers in digital, data, and direct marketing.

The awardees have already left an impact on their organization and their industry. They have launched and led initiatives. They have developed and carried out marketing strategies.

In fact, this year’s nominees were so accomplished that it took several rounds of tie-breaking judging before the judges could finally decide on a winner. These winners are crème de la crème.

James Overturf, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Extra Space, said, “Melissa exemplifies the type of employees we strive to hire at Extra Space Storage. She’s a very capable and talented individual with an incredible understanding of online marketing. Her and her team’s efforts in marketing optimization have had a monumental impact on the online success of our company.”

Burdon has worked for over 14 years in the conversion rate optimization arena. Burdon’s current work with Extra Space Storage has brought the company remarkable results.

For example, in 2012, Extra Space Storage decided to add a live chat feature to its digital strategy. Burdon, along with co-worker Emily Emmer, were in charge of the project.

They methodically evaluated different options and then started out by adding a click-to-chat button on the company’s website. They carefully evaluated the results and, with data in hand, added proactive chat invitations on a few select pages.

They did extensive A/B testing on placements of the click-to-chat button, the hours of live chat availability, and the different ways to extend a live chat invitation. The results were impressive. Conversion rates for live chat versus other engagement methods were 40 percent higher.

Using that data, Burdon identified the most effective chat agents. Then, using just those agents, conversion rates increased again. Ultimately, the company experienced a 153 percent increase in total sales for customers making inquiries on the Extra Space Storage website.

Direct Marketing News will host an awards ceremony to honor Burdon, along with the other winners, in September. It will be held in New York City at the Dream Downtown Hotel.

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