I’ve finally finished the Conversion optimization degree program!! This was a very challenging and very educating experience. I’ve learned a lot of material! From design to research, psychology, analytics, copywriting and statistics and more. I feel like I’m a jack of all trades marketer now, but I have to put what I’ve learned into practice. There’s already things I’ve forgot and got to back to my notes. As I start putting things into practice, I’ll learn more practical things. I’m glad to be taking this course. Definitely one of the best advanced marketing courses out there! The last section was the conversion optimization program was great. I’ve learned how and what to do to grow and run a CRO team/agency.

Merritt Aho talks about how to design, roll out, and scale an optimization program. There’s two models of a CRO team. There’s a centralized mode and distributed model. Centralized is more common, central CRO team that works with stakeholders, and supported by a pool of resources. Distributed is more for technical organizations. Usually used by bigger SAAS companies. When it comes to hiring a team, there’s an insourced model and outsourced model.

Insourced model- Good long long term, aims to develop CRO capabilities in house. Hire a generalist expert then designer, PM’s etc.

Outsourced model- Hiring an agency. They should have high technical aptitude and understand basic web and marketing mechanics.

For program goals, these are what I learned that we as CRO’s need to target.

  • Revenue targets
  • Lead targets
  • Advertising targets
  • Emphasize quality win rate over quantity

Merritt says for starting out, we need to focus on getting quick substantial wins. Focus on low hanging fruit. Don’t start with too much process. It’s all about speed and execution. We need to spend time educating with our coworkers. Resist temptation to start over. Merritt considers these performance these metrics to track: Win rate by idea source, usability research, user testing, analytics, iterations, and speed to execution. He says it’s better to be done than perfect. This is what Meritt says in how to expedite growth. Hire an agency: incorporate new frameworks, learn best practices in the industry. Offshoring- Q/A, development work. Automate work. But you want to do most things in house. Tendency to concentrate on output quantity than quality, loss of agility, communication and sharing of knowledge are some major challenges with scaling a CRO program.

I didn’t realize how much CRO covers. As explained by Merritt, it covers Design, UX, Inbound marketing, Product teams, and IT teams. Merritt gives some strategies for campaigning a CRO budget. He says you need to- Create a clear business plan. You need to figure out a budget and see what usability testing program you’d like to use or what analytics tools to use.

Merritt says these are to invest in first:

  • Tools and technologies that help solve customer experience problems.
  • Make the most of the technology you currently have.

Merritt explains that using enterprise tools isn’t always necessary. It can be expensive and time consuming to learn. Some of these are mistakes when it comes to investing in tools.

  • Failing to account for resources and time to adopt and learn new technologies.
  • Accompany executives to technology sales. (watch out for salesy people!)
  • Beware of overlapping products across the organization. (sometimes organizations can use similar tools that do similar functions)
  • Focus on the users who will make the most of the tool
  • Clearly define your needs to avoid falling for sales pitches

In the CRO process, there’s a crawl, walk and run stages.

Stage 1: Crawl

  • quantitative data collection tool/user testing
  • Install tag manager
  • Testing tool

Stage 2: Walk

  • Heatmaps, session recordings
  • Personalization tools
  • Data blending & visualization
  • Trigger based marketing
  • user research

Stage 3: Run

  • Advanced UX research methods
  • Data management platform for personalization and targeting
  • Advanced statistical concepts applies to research methods

Claire Vo goes over some interesting stuff about optimizing an optimization program. She gives some interesting discussion.

Claire says most CRO teams measure the outputs of their testing program but the success of a testing program is driven by the inputs. These are what she thinks that can make testings do better.

  • Increase tests run (quantity of tests)
  • Increase the quality of testing (wins)
  • Increase profit

We need to set CRO performance metrics to track and improve testing quantity and quality. This is what I feel lazy on. I need to set goals, measure performance regularly and iterate & improve. Overall, we need to increase testing velocity, capacity and coverage (% of testable days in a year that you have a test running) and increase win rate.

This is what Claire says for Tracking for quality. We need to ask ourselves… Are we running effective tests? Are we runnin it effectively? Are we getting any better? We need to measure Win rate, lift, ROI and trends over time to see if we are doing a great job or not.

One of the more practical and advice oriented courses is Peep’s last course, How to start a CRO agency masterclass. Loved all his videos in this section. Reiterated things that I already know but it made me more motivated and confident on selling CRO as a service.

Peep goes over a lot of things like what kind of client makes a good fit, how to charge your clients ( hourly or value based pricing), lead generations, closing leads, proposals & contracts, setting expectations, client relationship cycle, redesign projects, and working with low volume clients. CRO is in the margin business not volume business. Even though I already know some of these stuff as I run my own agency, but It was good hearing this again more thoroughly. I’d recommend Peep’s CRO agency masterclass for anyone who’s trying to start a marketing agency. He gives a lot of valuable feedback from his years of experience.

This agency masterclass has made me feel more confident in selling CRO Services. I mostly do SEO, PPC, web design, social media and app development. I have an opportunity to work with a Pharmaceutical company recently. I told them about CRO and how it can have an major affect their business. I’m excited and nervous with dealing with a bigger client. I spoke with confidence and everything that I’ve learned in this CRO program I described it to them. The hiring manager quickly liked me and found me to be knowledgeable. I still have a lot of learning and practicing to do. Will go back to my notes and put everything into play for my current clients. I hope to continue to grow in the field of Conversion Rate Optimization.

One of the founders of Powerphrase Applications. Graduate in Business Economics, now moving forward into application development. Born in Canada, living in Cali