Before starting conversion rate optimization we spend the first few weeks doing initial research. This includes an analytics dive but we view analytics as one piece of a larger puzzle.

Understanding a client’s goals beyond just increasing their conversion rate is a productive starting point.

For example, if the goal is a PDF download, why is the download so important to them? The answer might be that the company is launching a series of TV ad campaigns and the PDF download is going to be one metric of success for them. The marketing team’s budget for the following quarter is going to be based on the success of the campaign and so driving inquiries from customers is especially important.

This kind of conversation early in a relationship allows us for making recommendations that might not take a lot of additional resources, but could enhance the impact of the our CRO campaign.

In this case, we recommended a GEO targeted paid search campaign around the terms of the product to run in tandem with the TV ads. This way a user is sitting on the couch with an ipad and Googles the product they can quickly be directed to the information that the company would like them to read.

Had we not spent this time researching a deeper understanding the clients goal we might not have known this.

Once we have a clear idea of goals and the reasoning behind them, we research any form of direct communication between prospects who are in the information gathering stage and the company.

Chat transcripts are great resource because you can go through them quickly and identify common questions, and objections, that a person might have before they can become a customer.

If we’re fortunate, the company will have a meaningful survey data set that we can also look at. This can be anything from a survey that was emailed to customers, to the results of a pop up survey that companies such as Qualaroo have made so popular.

Usually our most meaningful discoveries are made in speaking with customer service reps and sales people. This is because they have interacted with customers in the pre sales stage these employees often best understand the hurdles a person must clear before becoming a customer. In some cases, they have good closing lines that will speak to the hurdle and why it would benefit them to take additional action. These types of reassurances are fertile ground for conversion rate testing.

On one engagement, when I asked a Lexus sales person if he had a strong closing line that he found to be effective, he told me this.

“People develop a relationship with a car once they drive it. At the end of every test drive he would ask for the sale. In many cases people would say that they needed a day to think about it, which is understandable for a purchase that might cost 50k or more. At this point I would tell them that someone was here yesterday and drove this car and they’re coming back today to buy it. “

While it didn’t work every time it was effective enough that he used it several times per month and he felt it might help him close sales that he might not have gotten. I wouldn’t have thought that the scarcity principle could be employed in this manner. After all, an identical car could be ordered in a few weeks from the factory.

Doing this kind of extensive up front research ultimately make the CRO process easier and helps build a long lasting relationship with the client. If you’d like to read further about this process I recommend this link from Conversion Rate Expert.

Also, if you’re looking for a great conversion rate testing platform, I can’t recommend Optimizely enough.

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