We digital marketers already know that conversion rate optimization (CRO) is key to business success. We’ve seen how it can increase engagement, drive revenue, and boost overall profits. We know that our website optimization activities deserve prioritization and adequate investment.
But how do we convince the C-suite and our boss to do the same?
Show, don’t tell
Asking for more money for CRO can be challenging when top executives don’t really understand how it can help achieve business goals. Here, it’s important that you understand how CRO ties in with business key performance indicators (KPIs). Get ready with your baseline data so you can show the executive team what you want to achieve with optimization efforts and how this will lead to measurable improvements.
As a first step, learn what matters to your business. Figure out which aspect of your digital marketing is crucial to growth and success and focus your efforts on improving it. If you have an ecommerce site, for instance, you’d want to increase not only checkout conversion rates but also revenue and profit per visitor. If you have a lead generation website, you’d be interested in calculating the percentage of visitors who complete your form or call your company for information.
Set clear, meaningful goals
Conversion rate optimization requires serious investment. It’s important to have a clear set of goals at the outset so you don’t waste even a penny of your budget. CRO, after all, is about improving returns from your marketing spend.
To ensure clarity when formulating your conversion goals, it’s helpful to go back to goal-setting basics. First off, your goals should be as simple and specific as possible. You should be able to point out what exactly it is you hope to improve on which aspects of your marketing through your optimization projects. Do you want to increase average cart value for first-time visitors or loyal customers? Gain more newsletter subscriptions from a certain audience segment? And so on.
Second, make sure your goals are measurable. Put simply, you should be able to determine how your optimization initiatives are directly contributing to business KPIs. You should, for instance, put the percentage of new leads/customers or profit increase that would be generated by your optimization activities. Putting measures in place also provides you an important basis during the evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of your CRO.
Next, your goals should be achievable and relevant. It’s tempting to impress the C-suite with visions of grandeur – Don’t do it! Remember that projecting a 300 percent conversion increase not only sounds ambitious, it could also appear implausible to skeptics. If you want to convince your C-suite that CRO is worth the investment, it’s better to give them level-headed estimates. So unless you really have data to back up your targets, draw only goals that are as realistic as possible considering time and cost limitations.
Speak the money language
Once you know how CRO can contribute to your organization’s growth targets, get ready with an implementation plan. Make sure you present it in a way that your executive team understands. That is, in the language of dollars and cents.
Your executive team mainly cares about the financial case for conversion rate optimization. Back up your implementation plan with data, especially financial information, that shows the lifetime value of conversion actions. Strengthen your business case by showing how resources (ie. your budget) will be spent vis-à-vis your estimate of the expected financial impact of your planned tests and other activities.
As much as possible, include the ways you plan to maximize the resources already at your disposal so your leadership knows just how earnest you are at protecting organizational assets.
Learn to Compromise
In a digital marketer’s ideal world, conversion rate optimization proposals would get the nod without much hassle.
In reality, marketers often face several complexities arising from silos and competing priorities within their organizations. Even when they do get buy-in, digital marketers must keep the executive team happy not only by giving results but also accommodating their ideas and interests in conversion optimization.
Compromise is key to strike a balance between following your program objectives and sustaining executive support. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to oblige each and every request thrown your way. As your organization’s top dog in conversion rate optimization, you have to lead the way in educating your bosses and colleagues on the importance of data-driven decisions in achieving long-term growth for your company.
Conversion rate optimization is one of the best investments your organization can make. It might be initially difficult to get your executives to support your initiative, but if you use your optimization skills to show them the potential rewards and flex your persuasive skills, they’ll be converted in no time.
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