By Tom Lambert
I had a great time at Conversion Conference Chicago last month and walked away with a lot more than I originally bargained for. I knew almost everyone I would come into contact with at the conference would be an intelligent, hard working person and likely expert level in something related to digital marketing. What I didn’t realize is that the conference is about so much more than conversion and testing solely in the interest of making more money.
Going into the conference, I was hoping to pickup some new ideas for things like developing testing orders, building a culture around optimization in the organizations I work with, and learning what the pros are doing that I’m not. While I did of course learn a ton about those things after the event it really struck me what this conference is really about at its core: building better businesses and as Tony Hsieh puts it “delivering happiness.”
I don’t mean “better” just as in more ROI or bottom line revenue. I mean things like making your customers so happy you don’t even have to ask for testimonials, you just get them. Things like making your customers less frustrated or confused by giving them less work and automating the process wherever you can. Better as in discovering that customers would rather jump on a no-fluff webinar than read a boring 300-page manual about how to use your software. Those are the kinds of things I mean by better.
In the past I approached CRO in a much more primitive way than I do now. Many CRO professionals will evaluate a page and decide what to test based on their own intuition, and maybe some analytics analysis. This isn’t a terrible way to do things but it’s certainly not the most effective, especially if your intuition sucks.
What Conversion Conference really taught me is that when you decide what to test, find things that will make your customers happier, less frustrated, or both. Find something that will make the customer journey a breathe of fresh air for every prospect that visits your website. Don’t just test a buttons call-to-action because you think different words might work better, test a different call-to-action because the current one doesn’t tell the prospect what to do or what they can expect next. Make the process less confusing and you’ll eliminate the likelihood of frustration.
If you haven’t read Tim Ash’s book on CRO “Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions” I highly recommend making that a priority. If this idea doesn’t quite make sense you’ll have a much better idea of how to start thinking this way. Tim doesn’t just talk about basics like design and copy but delves deep into the psychological factors that make people do certain things on the web.
I have a feeling this is where CRO has been heading for quite some time but the technology is just now starting to give the average marketer more sophisticated capabilities as far as testing and building customer personas.
New advertising tech like behavioral retargeting, real-time analytics, and intuitive testing tools like Optimizely allow even the most shoestring marketer to run complex split tests on their website to make the customer experience as enjoyable as possible.
There’s a famous quote by Zig Ziglar that goes hand-in-hand with this concept: “You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.” Focus on improving the customer journey, give people what they want, and ultimately deliver happiness.
About the Author
Tom Lambert is a full-time Internet marketer on a mission for more efficient online marketing and less wasted conversion opportunities. When he’s not busy reading and doing he writes an Internet marketing blog focused on the topics of conversion, optimization, and usability called Conversion Juggernaut.
Want to upgrade your skills in conversion rate optimization? Join us at Conversion Conference Boston 2013, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Register on or before Aug. 9 for Early Bird rates!