Everybody makes mistakes, but no one likes to talk about them. Optimization and ecommerce expert Amy Africa is one of the few exceptional people who isn’t afraid to admit and talk about failures. At Conversion Conference Las Vegas, Amy frankly talked about the things she’s done that were complete flops so others can learn from them.
Below are the lessons Amy has distilled from her years as a greedy, pig-headed optimizer:
1. Establish success rates
2. Know your numbers – How much can you spend per customer?
3. Formulate a plan
– Determine what’s broken
– Create a hypothesis
– Develop a strategy
– Run the experiment/test
– Measure the results
4. Stop conducting garbage “tests”
– Direct/nr/branded vs non-brand
– Returning vs. new
– Email vs. no email
– Desktop vs. mobile
– Sale/overstock/clearance vs. “regular” buyer
6. It ain’t over till it’s over
7. Timing is critical
8. Sample size is key
9. Consider your traffic make-up
10. Use the right tools
11. Backtest the control
12. Stop measuring the immeasurable
13. Don’t chase fireflies
14. The obvious answer is often wrong – Make sure you are testing for relevance not curiosity.
15. Confirmation bias exists
16. You’ll see what you believe
17. Your competition is everything and nothing
18. Ask for what you want
19. Creative can make or break you
20. You are not pizza
— Karolina Kurcwald (@karolstefan) May 14, 2015
21. Prioritize – Regardless of scrolling, 84% of visitor attention is spent on first view of page (above fold) and 12% on the last view.
22. There is an order to success
23. Speed kills
24. Minimize vomit
25. Heuristics influence everything
26. Lead generation and ecommerce are not the same
27. Never underestimate good follow-up
28. Coordinate online and offline efforts.
29. Measure for adoption, not just conversion
30. People get stuck in different places.
31. Navigation determines outcome.
32. Success can be boring…but changing for the sake of change will often kill you.
33. Account for fatigue
34. Take big swings – Death by 1,000,000 papercuts is far more painful than one good knock to the head.
There are no silver bullets in conversion rate optimization. Digital marketers often have to learn what works through trial and error. But with these 34 nuggets of conversion wisdom from Amy, at least they no longer have to suffer the painful lessons of devastating mistakes.