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AMAs

We’ve partnered with our friends at GetUplift to host an AMA with some of the top worldwide experts in conversion optimization and growth.

On July 25th, they meet here starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours to answer your questions and short-track your path to 10x-ing conversions on your landing pages, your website, and your email sequences.

The people behind the answers:

Joanna Wiebe - Founder of Copy Hackers and AirStory, the original conversion copywriter who shows you how to make copy your online salesperson 

Andy Crestodina - Strategic Director at Orbit Media, provides web strategy and advice to more than a thousand businesses, ask him anything about high-converting content

Talia Wolf - as founder of GetUplift Talia uses emotion, customer-centric research and persuasive design to generate more leads, sales and revenues for her clients and students. 

Michael Aagaard - The Senior Conversion Optimizer at Unbounce. Michael has been helping businesses optimize their sites and landing pages since 2008 and one of the most passionate and enthusiastic people in the industry.

Dana DiTomaso - As President & Partner at KickPoint, Dana applies marketing into strategies to grow clients' businesses, in particular, to ensure that digital and traditional play well together. With her deep experience in digital, Dana separates real solutions from wastes of time (and budget). 

Claire Suellentrop - Founder of ‘Love Your Customers’ loves getting into customers’ heads, uncovering what they really care about, and using those juicy details to create stickier marketing, sales and onboarding funnels for SaaS companies.

Valentin Radu - Founder of Omniconvert has hands-on experience in conversion optimization, building technology, running an agency and working with the most advanced tools out there. 

Aleyda Solis - International consultant, author and the founder of Orainti is the QUEEN of SEO. Listed as 'Top 10 Digital Marketing specialists to follow' on Forbes, she has more than 8 years experience disrupting SEO for worldwide companies

Guillaume Cabane VP Growth at Segment is one of the most advanced people in the world executing personalization, segmentation, and automation. He is also the former head of growth at Mention and business development at Apple.

And one last thing, you can catch all of these experts at the #GetUplift Online Conference on July 26th!

Hit them with your very best!

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    2 months ago #

    If you had the chance to tell every person getting started in growth 3 things, what would they be and why?

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      1. Don't do it for the win. Do it to learn.
      2. When you find someone who's good at something you need done - like analytics or list growth - do what it takes to retain them. Don't try to do what they do. Don't try to hire the cheaper version of them.
      3. There's still an art to the science of growth. Your brain can't be automated, and no robot can tell you "why." So take the quantitative data as far as it can go, but remember that your job is to put your brain on the task of making the connections between the data points.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        "Don't do it for the win. Do it to learn" - Wish I could upvote that 100 times.

      • CS

        Claire Suellentrop

        2 months ago #

        +1 on this. And related: if you're JUST starting a career in growth, the challenge may not be retaining talent...it may be that you feel pressured to be an expert at every channel.

        Don't do this. You'll get overwhelmed and go nowhere.

        Instead, aim to, as Brian Balfour says, "shape yourself like a T" (a wide base layer of knowledge, then 1-2 channels you're naturally drawn to and can go really deep on): http://www.coelevate.com/essays/customer-acquisition

      • IL

        Ige Lewis

        2 months ago #

        "Don't do it for the win. Do it to learn."

        Great quote.

        In reality, we all know that we can't always win over "all of the competitors all of the time". But we feel very sad when strategies fail.

      • MT

        Muhammed Tüfekyapan

        about 2 months ago #

        Great question and great answer. Essentials of successful growth process in just one paragraph.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      1. There are no silver bullets or one weird trick. You need to put in the work.
      2. Accept when something isn't working and change or move on.
      3. You can't ever take your foot off the gas — your competitors won't!

    • GC

      Guillaume Cabane

      2 months ago #

      1. Be crazy. Creative.
      2. Pace of experimentation beats quality of experimentation.
      3. Ensure your company supports the Growth team. Celebrate failure - but document everything.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        "Pace of experimentation beats quality of experimentation" - shockingly this took a while to percolate for me but is so so critical to learning.

      • IL

        Ige Lewis

        2 months ago #

        I think not too many guys love to be crazy.

        And that is where the problem comes in!

        I read a post online about 50 greatest marketers in history. But all of them were some weird folks with crazy imaginations.

        Yes! They were not afraid to put them to test.

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      1. Spend time on perfecting the basics.
      2. Never forget, there's people behind the screen, not just data.
      3. Don't be afraid to fail. Learn from every thing you do and enjoy the mistakes.

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      1. There is ALWAYS a way. You just need to be consistent and keep trying.

      2. Be curious

      3. Build authentic connections with everyone that matters in your industry. You'll be amazed how much you still don't know and, therefore, don't use.

      • IL

        Ige Lewis

        2 months ago #

        I can't but agree massively with your number three point Valentin.

        Connection!

        I think that is one of the key pieces of advice anybody can get in content marketing.

    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      1. Don't get obsessed with tactics.
      2. Never forget about the actual goal.
      3. Remember there are thousands ways to achieve the desired results.
      BONUS: It doesn't matter who said what. Always test everything for yourself.

    • YH

      yuree hong

      about 2 months ago #

      1. Define the focus metric that is aligned with the goal
      2. Get a buy-in from the senior (decision makers) & junior (operations) team members
      3. Be creative, curious, and do it!

  • SM

    Shanelle Mullin

    2 months ago #

    Hey guys! Thanks for doing this. What's the biggest mistake you've made in your career and what did you learn from it?

    • CS

      Claire Suellentrop

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Shanelle! Biggest mistakes I've made so far: waiting too long. Specifically, for these things:

      1) Waiting too long to ask for help. This applies especially to in-house projects where I believed I was supposed to know everything (not true), so I felt insecure about asking marketers in similar scenarios at other companies how they'd handled the same problems. I really regret how long I feared looking stupid for not being an expert on every topic.

      2) Waiting too long to make connections between smart people. Many good folks in my network have generously connected me with good folks in THEIR networks -- and this has led to amazing opportunities (speaking, client work, content projects, etc). I now try to be a lot more proactive about doing the same for others, because it creates a snowball of positive results for everyone involved.

      3) Waiting too long to put my own thoughts/opinions on marketing down into words, creating resources for others from those thoughts/opinions, and sharing those things with the world. << I used to be lazy about this because I was so focused on in-house work, but sharing my own perspectives has led to some thought-provoking conversations about the industry (as well as new connections).

    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      Very easy for me: Waited for too long to become independent and establish my own business - now I can work from wherever I want with the companies and projects I want (which are pretty cool) :) Best learning: Don't overthink stuff. Always ask yourself: What's the worst that could happen? It's never that bad.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      Ah, a nice easy question! There are certainly some big mistakes and some little ones, but they all have the same theme — I've made assumptions, those assumptions were wrong, things went badly as a result.

      The "things going badly" have ranged from losing a client, having to fire a client, closing a business (that one really sucked), making the wrong hiring decision, and missing out on opportunities that I shouldn't have, professionally and otherwise.

      I now ask myself if I'm making assumptions and if I am, remind myself not to be ashamed to ask for clarification. If the other person is annoyed at me asking for clarity, they're not the kind of person I want to work with anyway.

    • GC

      Guillaume Cabane

      2 months ago #

      I thought I could move fast and break things. I thought I'd get the buy-in after people saw the positive impact.

      I was wrong.

      The positive impact was for me. The broken things were on other's plate. That sucks for them and creates resentment.

      So what can you do? Well you can
      - fix your own mess
      - Own specific parts of the business and touch only those
      - Experiment on greenfield projects, or parts of the business no one cares about.

      Darius Contractor told me: "Work on a metric that everyone cares about but a project that no one wants to touch"

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Shanelle!
      As an entrepreneur, my biggest mistake was to team-up with the wrong kind of people to build a company. But, hey, that wasn't a mistake, as I've learned one of the most helpful lessons in life, right? Values are always first. Impact, fun, interest, after.

      As a manager, my biggest mistake was to forget about harmony and hunt for performance.

      As a CRO expert, my biggest mistake was to waste too much time in analytics. You know those moments when you wander around, build segments, analyze small stuff? And another one here was to prioritize the tests I liked over the ones that looked far more impactful.

      Thanks for asking, I hope that helps!

      4 Share
  • AV

    Alin Vlad

    2 months ago #

    What was your biggest growth win? Describe the process that got you there. If you can be as specific as possible, that would be great.

    • CS

      Claire Suellentrop

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Alin! I'll share the win I can get most specific about:

      My friend Georgiana Laudi (previously VP Marketing, Unbounce) and I just launched a free workshop series called Forget The Funnel, designed to help marketers at young SaaS companies think more strategically and act as true *leaders*.

      ***Our launch goal: 100 signups.***
      ***Our results in week 1: Over 700 signups.***

      Of course, there was no single silver bullet involved. So:

      WHAT GOT US THERE
      - We deeply understood our target audience. We'd been in their shoes, we know what their workday looks like, and we know the ecosystem they're in (plus, we still work with many founders + first marketers as consultants). << This deep understanding can't be overestimated. If you're marketing a product and you're NOT the target audience, you need to be immersed in your audience's world. Stalk them online. Go to their offices. Get "out of the building."

      - We'd done the work to prove ourselves trustworthy. For Gia and myself, this trust comes from our career tracks. For your company/product, lack of long-term visibility in your space can be made up for by a smart content strategy.

      THE PROCESS
      - We made a massive list of every action item required to bring the basics to life: 1) landing page, 2) killer messaging hierarchy and copy, 3) lightweight branding assets, 4) social proof, 5) email automation platform, 6) welcome email asking people why they signed up, etc. etc.

      - Then we made a launch promo plan, detailing every action we'd talk ON launch day to spread the word. This doc is messy, but it's pretty extensive. I'm happy to clean it up, remove any personal stuff we have in there, and share a copy-able version. **If you'd appreciate this, leave a comment. I'll make a copy and share it with you.**

      - We didn't just launch the landing page -- we also wrote a Medium blog post outlining the problem we aim to solve, and WHY we care about it. This brought a lot of humanity to the project, and since humanity naturally resonates with people, the post ended up getting picked up + organically promoted by Mattermark Daily, ChartMogul, and a few other industry newsletters.

      - We tracked everything we could using UTM parameters, bitly links, etc.

      • CS

        Claire Suellentrop

        2 months ago #

        Again, I'd say that ultimately, the fast takeoff of this project didn't start with the tactics and channels we chose (Medium post! Unbounce landing page! etc).

        What set it up for success was knowing exactly who we were talking to, and focusing everything we did on speaking to that person. We got dozens of emails from people saying "Hey, I read your Medium post / landing page and it felt like you were speaking RIGHT TO ME. Of course I had to sign up."

      • RM

        Rebecca McAra

        2 months ago #

        This is super useful. Thank you. I would like a copy please.

      • AC

        Andra Coros

        2 months ago #

        Yes, I'd love the doc :)

      • JQ

        Jason Quach

        about 2 months ago #

        Would love a copy, Claire!

      • HM

        Hugh Macken

        about 2 months ago #

        Claire , Thanks for sharing. Id appreciate a copy too.

      • JM

        Joel Musambi

        about 2 months ago #

        I would like a copy as well.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      One of our biggest growth wins was working with a website that looked pretty but Google hated, and fixed up the technical issues so that Google didn't hate it anymore. It was a very clear day to day improvement as technical fixes were implemented, which was exciting and also frankly, a big ROI for the client.

      • DD

        Dana DiTomaso

        2 months ago #

        Not the most exciting answer, but again, put in the basic (perhaps boring) work and you will see the results.

    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      Hi Alin,

      I'd say the project I'm more proud of is the one that has had this result here:

      https://twitter.com/aleyda/status/881867010501750784

      Which is completely on organic search (as I'm an SEO consultant). As you can see is not only that they achieved a massive consistent growth but also, they became the leaders in their industry.

      Although this hasn't been my biggest growth in absolute numbers (I have other far more impressive here for example: https://twitter.com/aleyda/status/819098687074922499) however, in that previous case is a complete newcomer, starting from scratch in a very competitive sector (fintech), with very diverse and authoritative competitors: from banks to financial institutions or already well established platforms competing against them.

      The way I've been able to help them is:

      1. I started helping/advising them since they were just beginning, so I help them to establish their Web Architecture to make the most out of the UGC they would have and support their money-making landing pages through them, being far more and better targeted than their huge competitors
      2. I established a content creation & promotion strategy targeted to answer and fulfill the most important informational queries that will help them to attract more conversions indirectly, by establishing presence & authority when their audience would be in "research" stage still: From glossaries, to tools, resources, Webinars, interviews, guides etc. that would not only to become already useful to their audience but also targeting and ranking for some of the most important queries in their sector (what is crowdlending? what is crowdfunding?, etc.) and attracting links with them. An outreach campaign was done also using the most important and successful resources, offering them to educational or highly authoritative and specialised media that showcased them... since they were actually very useful and completely free to use :)
      3. Establishing the different personas and type of outcomes they expected and different strategies around them was also key: Since they are a marketplace, they were looking to attract to different types of audiences, that had a different type of behavior and goal. It was critical to segment them well and allocate resources and efforts to prioritize those that were more meaningful to them
      4. Using the different resources that were also created to develop an actual community, mainly by newsletters subscriptions as well as Q&As that would allow also to increase referrals, engagement and diversify the traffic & conversion sources.

      By doing all this they were not only able to grow but also their competitors stagnated as the most important queries started to be owned by this site, also through their UGC targeting long-tail.

      I hope this gives a good glimpse :) and serves as a reference.

  • TH

    Tim Hughes

    2 months ago #

    Has growth hacking become a "methodology" that can be written down and people can follow or is there an element of "magic beans" to it? Is it static or ever changing?

    6 Share
    • CS

      Claire Suellentrop

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Tim! Excellent question. I welcome input from the many smart folks on this panel, but for an actionable starting answer:

      I see "growth hacking" as just one piece of a very repeatable marketing methodology. That methodology begins with:

      - Defining your audience and what they struggle with (many companies erroneously skip this step -- not out of laziness, but because they don't know how)
      - Developing sharp messaging and positioning to resonate with that audience
      - Identifying where that audience already hangs out
      - THEN mapping out which "growth hacks" are most relevant to your audience and product

      The WAYS in which you choose to "growth hack" will surely change over time -- this will be based on your product, your market, what content they like to consume, where they like to hang out, etc.

      But "growth hacks" really only produces long term successes (as opposed to quick, short-lived wins) when they're incorporated into the direction of the overall marketing strategy.

      April Dunford goes into greater detail on this topic and shares some useful frameworks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKdgCMnG5bM

      • CS

        Claire Suellentrop

        2 months ago #

        PS: if you're short on time, she demonstrates what many companies try (non-strategic, random tactics) starting at 04:30, and shares a better model around 08:00.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      There are certain aspects that are the same regardless of industry or challenge. For example, doing your research is always important. Making sure that you're able to evaluate results correctly before you start implementation is key.

      However, there is no single formula for everyone. Focus on breaking down your goal into strategic elements that will take you to that goal, then break down those elements into tactics. Then into metrics & KPIs. The idea is to be able to roll down to the smallest level of measurement that indicates success, and then roll that up into the big picture.

      You can see more of this in my MozCon talk from 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN6K371Mc8E

      The tactics themselves are what you can get from sites like this one. The daily ideas are fantastic and can really help, but need to be evaluated against your strategy so you're sure that it fits your goals, that your market will respond to it, and that you can measure it against your full strategy.

    • GC

      Guillaume Cabane

      2 months ago #

      To be honest the tools have improved so much these past years that they enable us to:
      - understand what's happening with your users
      - Act on the learnings and test something new

      That's the methodology :) So it's not so much magic than good understanding & testing framework.

      5 or more years ago we didn't have access to good analytics tools, didn't understand where our users came from, what they were doing. We couldn't easily build dozens of experiments targeted to sub-groups of users. We couldn't use Zapier to connect 3 or more tools together to create a magical experience.

      I think we live in the golden age of Growth Hacking.

  • LP

    Lianna Patch

    2 months ago #

    Yoooooo! OK. So. * clears throat *

    3-part question:

    Can ONE person at a startup be relied upon to grow the business? Or does it always take a team effort? And if it does...what roles should be involved?

    6 Share
    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      Hi Lianna!

      Ideally it would be a team effort -that there's a leader/head for it who can rely in specialists for each channel who at the same time coordinate with product/design/development-, however, this is not common when a startup is just starting and there's a growth person in charge of *everything* who then also needs to align internally to make sure things get approved, done, tested, tracked, etc. In this case, what I've seen works well is that this person hires/looks for external help in the different channels where they had identified the biggest opportunities; otherwise it might be too much and very tricky to get things done.

      For example, I've had a few clients in the past that had been startups that still didn't have a proper internal growth/digital marketing team and only had one person running everything and in order to do so they looked for external help, in my case for SEO. So is feasible, as long as you can delegate and get support in other ways in order to make things happen. At some point they are able to hire their own full in-house team and they don't need my day-to-day on-going support but only advise for specific challenges, goals or projects. This is a very natural evolution I've seen a few times.

      I hope this answer your question :)

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      The prevailing wisdom in the startup world - or at least what every CEO and VC says on conference stages, in convos and in content - is that every single role in a startup is a growth role. The founder of Pocket was interviewed on a blog recently, and he made it very clear that he kept his team small for as long as possible (including keeping it a one-man-show for years, if I recall right) and focused every action, feature, release and tactic on growth, setting 1 three-month growth-related goal and committing every person on the team to realizing that goal in that quarter.

      Marketers know (or should know) that they're responsible for growth. Everyone looks to marketing when it's time to grow.

      But marketing is best at acquisition -- not necessarily activation, retention, revenue-gen or referrals (for SaaS startups). The success / support team needs to activate and retain. And the whole product needs to be built to facilitate activation... to be so sticky that retention is a no-brainer... to make it easy to say yes to paying... and to invite others or share, driving referrals. All that stuff is within the control of the engineering / product team (including UX, devs, PMs).

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      Growth is at least 1% of everyone's job, regardless of the role. And regardless of the company — this just doesn't apply to startups. Everything needs to be considered and every organization needs to be customer-centric.

      Every interaction that a customer (existing or potential) has with a company has the potential to shape the relationship for good or bad. Off brand or just plain crappy interactions (even something like terrible hold music) can disrupt the touchpoint and cause the customer to lose confidence in you. If someone on the team doesn't get that, I guess they don't like continuing to get paid. Because really, where do they think the money comes from?

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    2 months ago #

    Hey all - this is insanely cool to have all of you on here.

    I'm curious as to what (brand/company/service/group/person etc) has become influential to you within the last 6 months (or 12 months if that's too short)?
    Why is that? What value are they providing to you that they've been able to take over your attention to this extent?

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      Personally I've been getting into data science and business intelligence quite a bit lately. I'm currently teaching myself R, and doing a lot of data work in Google Data Studio.

      I've always been interested in data but now it feels more accessible and there are some great visualization possibilities that didn't exist even a year or two ago.

      If you want to learn R, I'm going through the courses over at flowingdata.com and they're very good.

    • CS

      Claire Suellentrop

      2 months ago #

      Hey Anuj, a resource that's become influential to me w/in the past 12 months: whencoffeeandkalecompete.com.

      A few years ago, I came across "Jobs to be done," a framework for understanding who your customers are, what they struggle with, and *why* they buy -- and suddenly, everything clicked.

      If you're new to the concept (or not new, but want to explore it more in-depth), Alan Klement's book "When Coffee and Kale Compete" provides an excellent overview, with many case studies of companies using JTBD to improve their positioning and marketing.

      It's a pretty dense read, so I'd suggest blocking out ~20 minutes/day to digest it over time.

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, there!
      Because Omniconvert is (the best:) alternative to Optimizely, which have more awareness & traction in the US than we have, in the last months I've been focusing on applying Blue Ocean Strategy. It's an oldie but goldie I've never used for real. The framework is pure gold if you use it correctly.
      Some insights I've had at that workshop:
      - the established products can always be challenged, but not on the same competitive factors.
      - the perception of value is more valuable than price
      - non-clients are more attractive than the established clients.
      - Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid is very simple and very effective if you want to brainstorm
      One important insight I've found: a valuable non-client for Omniconvert is the marketing manager who's not necessarily interested in more conversions, but in more development power to implement their plans. So, our A/B Testing tool will allow them to be more agile, without waiting so much in the backlog of their dev teams

  • LM

    Louise Mangan

    2 months ago #

    Thank you all so much for your time! With regards to customer surveys, are there any effective ways to get customers to respond to surveys without using incentives?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      With surveys Louise, it’s mostly about timing.

      The best time to send out a survey is within 24 hours of a purchase or conversion. That’s when the customer is most likely to fill in the survey as they are more engaged with the brand. You may also know this as the foot in the door technique, once we’ve taken one action, we’re more likely to take another.

      This leads me to the “where” component. Yes, you can use email to send out your survey however, I consistently see amazing response rate when I conduct the survey right from within the thank you page. Instead of sending people to their email, get them to act right from within the journey, while they’re in it.

  • JC

    Johannes Ceh

    2 months ago #

    What is the biggest mistake one can make on cro and how can you avoid such?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      2 Mistakes I see constantly:

      1. Following best practices written in blog posts. "How to increase conversions by 700% with one change"

      2. Testing meaningless stuff like the color of a call to action button or a single headline.

      Both of these mistakes happen because you don't have a process in place. Once you've found the leak in the funnel, you then need to make changes that will have an actual impact on your bottom line. To do that you need to do your research and do profound work that's more than just sticking a bandage or applying a "hack" to the page.

      Your goal should be to understand the pain behind this leak and then research to figure out what will solve this pain and optimize the customer journey. This kind of process will ensure you not only increase conversions one time, but are able to learn from your tests and scale them to other parts of your journey.

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hi, Johannes, thanks for asking the questions.
      At Omniconvert, I have the privilege to be able to get an overview of more than 30k A/B Testing experiments & surveys.
      All I can say is that the biggest mistake one can make on CRO is to stop. The best results I've seen come after 6-12 months of constant testing.
      The more you do it, the more you learn how to do it better.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      Don't get complacent. There is always something you can test or try.

  • JK

    Jes Kirkwood

    2 months ago #

    Marketers have finite resources to work with. To drive growth, we must prioritize the things that are going to make a big impact. In your opinion(s), what are 3 things marketers should prioritize this year and why? And, just as importantly, what are 3 things marketers should de-prioritize this year and why? Please be as specific as possible.

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      List growth and sales emails continue to be the top priorities for me at Copy Hackers and at Airstory - always have been, [maybe] always will be. Samezies for businesses I work with / know.

      That leaves room for just 1 other thing for marketers to prioritize... and that thing might be different for everyone. I don't know what it should be for you. But I do know this: once you figure it out (using data, vision, etc), work at it until you perfect it. Don't stop working at it until you've mastered it. Then double down on it. If it's FB ads, really commit yourself to figuring out what to do with FB ads, how to make them work for your biz -- perfect FB ads before you move on to list segmentation or personalization or whatever shiny thing other marketers are starting to swear by.

      Three things marketers should deprioritize: 1) trying to recreate the highlight reel of other businesses, 2) trying to measure everything, 3) shiny objects.

    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      I really like what @copyhackers has to say. I would add to that to accept the things you can't change. There is no sense wasting your limited time and resources fighting against a brick wall. Sometimes you need to work around the problem instead of fighting it head on.

      I see a lot of marketers clinging to one thing they MUST do because they saw this talk one time and the speaker said that there is this one thing they have to do in 2017 and by god, that marketer is going to do that! (Except they can't.)

      For example, maybe your website isn't mobile-friendly and you can't get resources to change that but the theme of 2017 is mobile-first and OH NO WE WILL NEVER SUCCEED. Well, calm down because there is a whole world of marketing ideas out there that don't involve your website. Start there.

  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    2 months ago #

    Bonjour all- If there were only one thing you could do to impact CRO most, what would it be?
    Merci beaucoup!

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      IF and only IF that company really needs CRO...
      (if you don't have enough traffic, you don't need CRO yet - see in this calculator when and eCommerce needs CRO: http://pages.omniconvert.com/cro-calculator/)
      I would ask the right questions to understand the real pain of the customers I am targeting and the reasons that make them buy.
      e.g:
      What emotions do they associate with the purchase of that product/ service?
      What words are they using to describe their need?
      Which are the consequences of not purchasing my product? How urgent is it?
      Which are my points of difference?

  • MA

    Mélanie Almeida

    2 months ago #

    Good morning, thank you for your AMA.
    You notice your website has a CRO issue. Where do you start your experiments ? When different things can impact your CRO how do you choose which one you start to work on ? And how do you know it's time to switch to the next experiment ?

    4 Share
    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      Great question Melanie!
      There are a few different formulas you can use to prioritize your tests.

      The simplest way is to grade AB testing ideas according to 4 factors:
      - Time - how long will it take you to execute the test, from start to finish
      - Resources - How much resources will you need to execute this test? This includes cost, people, tools you’ll need.
      - Impact - Revenue potential: If this test kills it, how much impact will you see in the bottom line?
      - Scale - What will you learn from this test? Will the results help you optimize other parts of the funnel too? Will you be able to apply your learnings from this tests to other parts of your customer journey?

      Another more common formula is PIE:
      Potential
      Importance
      Ease

      There’s a great article about it here: https://www.widerfunnel.com/how-to-prioritize-conversion-rate-optimization-tests-using-pie/

      For me, the most important factor in testing is knowledge. Your goal should be to test not only for increase in a KPI or two, but to test and learn. Learn more about your customers, what motivates them, what distresses them, why they buy from you, what concerns them. Meaningful tests deliver scalable results for the entire business.

      5 Share
    • MA

      Michael Aagaard

      2 months ago #

      Hi Mélanie - if by "experiment" you mean A/B test my advice is to first figure out if you have the bandwidth to conduct proper tests. "Everyone should A/B Test" is really, really bad advice. If you don't have traffic and conversions to do meaningful testing it is not going to help you, it is going to hurt you (remember that A/B Testing is not mandatory - it is simply one out of many tools you can use).

      So before you consider running an A/B Test, you need to figure out if it is going to help you. And to do so you need to calculate your required sample size and test duration. You'll need some stats to get started. Identify your baseline conversion rate (the current conversion rate you want to improve) and the monthly traffic that the page or section of the website gets pr. day. Then use a calculator (e.g this one http://unbounce.com/ab-test-duration-calculator/) to plug in your baseline/traffic data along with the desired relative lift and the number of variants in the test. The calculator will tell you how long you need to run your test to get reliable data. As a rule of thumb, I'd recommend only doing tests you can pull off within a month. Many marketers simply assume that they have the bandwidth and end up making bad decisions based on limited data.

      In relation to identifying high impact areas and putting together a CRO strategy, conversion research is the way to go. I start new projects with a pervasive analytics-driven review of the entire website to identify opportunities. This helps me answer "what" and "where" questions. From there I move on to qualitative research where I am trying to answer "why" questions. When you have all that laid out, you can start to figure out what the best plan of attack is.

  • RT

    Rinat Tal

    2 months ago #

    Question for Aleyda and other SEO/CRO peeps: How do SEO and CRO work together? (If you think they do)

    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      @rinatal Thanks for your question Rinat :) They do work together as they share a common goal: To grow the Website profit and ROI - which in the case of SEO is usually pretty good as the traffic that comes to the site is of those people actually searching for its content/product/information/service offering. So, since Conversion specialists will work on optimize the traffic coming from any channel, including organic, and as a consequence:

      1. Conversion specialists can get insights from SEO about the audience search behaviour not only in but also outside the site -as any good SEO process would have likely started with an in-depth keyword and competition research-, which could be an amazing input to identify optimization opportunities & start establishing hypothesis.

      2. It's important that both work together so any CRO experiments follow certain configuration best practices to avoid having a negative effect in the SEO process for example, by generating content duplication issues, non-indexing or canonicalizing the relevant page to rank with, etc. which can be easily solvable if they both coordinate well and configure the experiments accordingly :)

      I hope this helps! Thanks,

      Aleyda

      4 Share
    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      They sure do! SEO and CRO should work very closely together.

      SEO, done well, brings people to the right result for their search, and CRO closes the sale. SEO should also focus on targeted traffic, not just volume for the sake of volume. You'll never be able to convert someone who isn't interested in what you have to sell.

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Rinat!
      I've recently held a webinar together with Rand Fishkin from Moz about this topic. See the webinar here:
      https://www.omniconvert.com/webinar-moz-why-you-cant-do-seo-without-cro-anymore

  • TB

    Taru Bhargava

    2 months ago #

    What's the biggest tip for someone who is looking at a career in CRO? What's are the top tips and skills to have?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      Hey Taru!

      As opposed to other fields in marketing like SEO or PPC (for example), CRO requires a person to be profound and experienced in almost every aspect of marketing: data analysis, UX, psychology, copywriting, PPC, SEO, design and many others (which is what makes it very hard to either become a successful optimizer or hire one for your team).

      I believe it’s NOT the skills or experience that make an outstanding optimizer, it’s about the type of person you are. Hard skills can be taught. But people who care, who have a burning passion in them to optimize, learn and change are hard to find. Those are the kind of people I look for when hiring.

    • MA

      Michael Aagaard

      2 months ago #

      I agree with Talia's answer here. I like to think of CRO as the golf of online marketing. You see professional athletes achieve incredible things in sports. But when they retire, they start playing golf and never stop - because it is so difficult that you can never, ever get good enough. I've been doing it now for almost 10 years and I'm learning new things every week. I love that about CRO, I love that I'm going to be a student for the rest of my life. That passion to learn and grow and become better is, in my opinion, a very important personality trait for CROs. An appreciation of the scientific approach is a big plus, understanding stats is a big plus, understanding analytics is a big plus, so is understanding psychology, business, UX, research, etc. :)

  • AC

    Andra Coros

    2 months ago #

    When should you start growth hacking? 6 months after the startup was founded or when you have x financial resources or x team members or something else?

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      So growth hacks tends to be built into the product or the experience -- like Dropbox's famous credits for inviting others to Dropbox or building "powered by Drip" into the Drip lead-gen box. Growth hacks were / are the things single-founders with tech backgrounds could do to market their product using the product (i.e., because they were single founders without anyone to drive marketing). With that in mind, there doesn't seem to be any reason to wait, does there? If you have the good growth idea and the people to build that idea out, then you're ready to growth hack.

      2 Share
  • AO

    Aaron Orendorff

    2 months ago #

    How do you optimize content, not just for traffic … but especially for attribution?

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Aaron!
      What do you mean for attribution? Making people quote and link back to your content?

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    2 months ago #

    What is your biggest growth challenge currently? How are you (thinking of) addressing it?

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      Really understanding the AHA moment for Airstory's users. It's easy enough to tell businesses to find their aha moment and optimize around it - but actually finding it is an incredibly complex undertaking. If we identify it wrong and then put resources into optimizing around it, we could be wasting some serious time, money and energy.

      To address that challenge, we're looking to a combo of our marketing stack and good ol' interviews. There's a lot of data triangulating because no single tool tells you that X person at Y company hit these 7 points in-app and is now a happy paying customer. There's no clear way to plot the path of a happy paying customer, no way to cleanly zero in on the aha moment they experience that flips the switch for them. So we're running reports in Heap and connecting those dots to what we're seeing in Intercom and what we're hearing throughout our success convos. We've been running ad hoc interviews with our users, but now we're putting a process into place where we'll "manually" reach out to every new trial user to begin better understanding why they chose us, what they wanted, what they're switching from, the real job they're trying to do and WHY that job is so important to them. .....This is the job of one full-time member of our team. This is not a small undertaking.

      Because hacking the pieces together is not as useful as we need it to be, we're looking to add a more robust platform like Totango or Gainsight to our stack. But there's no certainty there, either -- we may still not arrive at better understanding our aha moment with those tools... and that will mean the work of setting that tech up will have been for nothing.

      Unfortunately, until we have a strong understanding of the aha moment for those happy customers, our hands are pretty close to tied re: growth. We can keep attracting people to our content and putting them into the funnel... but we'll run up against a wall again and again until we figure out the truly sticky part of our software. No mobile strategy, no acquisition strategy, no content marketing, none of the usual suspects will be very useful to us until we conquer this.

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    2 months ago #

    What growth opportunities (and I include CRO/SEO etc in here) are you most excited to experiment with over the next 3-6 months? Why?

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Tri!
      First of all, it depends on where your company needs to grow at this moment.
      In my case, we still need to focus on the acquisition, as the CRO market continues to grow and our activation & retention are less critical at this phase.
      In the last months, I've became more aware of that universal principle that you always get what you give. So, instead of focusing on how to grab our audience's attention, in the next months, we are focusing on providing them valuable tools & know-how they need to solve their problems.
      The best and most stable way to grow is to provide undisputable value to your audience.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        "The best and most stable way to grow is to provide undisputable value to your audience". Agreed 100%.
        A couple of folks that really embody this imo are @noahkagan & @dcancel.

    • JW

      Joanna Wiebe

      2 months ago #

      Personalization of web content is very interesting right now, with better tech coming out. Bucket.io (Ryan Levesque) and Right Message (Brennan Dunn) are getting great reactions from early users. The more we can speak to individuals as individuals, the better we can form relationships that actually feel real for both sides -- and that's important for the best marketers on the planet. Previously, one-to-one communication wouldn't scale well or was frankly impossible, so marketers who hit hard and fast tended to outperform those with real empathy and patience. The promise of personalization and segmentation tech is that marketers who care will finally have the chance to deliver the right message in the right way at the right time - not just a generic message delivered scattershot constantly.

      4 Share
    • AS

      Aleyda Solis

      2 months ago #

      In SEO at the moment:

      1. Move your SEO process to *really* become mobile first (due to the upcoming Google's mobile first index). Here's a post I wrote at Moz with the stack that can help you answer the main questions: https://moz.com/blog/mobile-seo-stack-tools and presentation I did about this: https://www.slideshare.net/aleydasolis/mobilefirst-seo-at-inorbit2017

      2. Speaking of mobile: AMP. So many opportunities not only for media sites for much time. Check: https://www.slideshare.net/aleydasolis/setting-amp-for-success-at-digitalolympus

      3. If you're still serving your site through HTTP, then it might likely be the time to start moving towards HTTPS (especially if you're a transactional site), not only due to SEO but for actual security implications. Please check out: https://www.slideshare.net/aleydasolis/moving-to-https-tips-for-success-fos17

      These are the most critical ones, there are others too though, please see: https://www.slideshare.net/aleydasolis/seo-in-2017-how-to-win-maximize-results

      I hope this helps!

      2 Share
  • DH

    Dani Hart

    2 months ago #

    If I was a small business in the financial industry, who or what company would you recommend for help with CRO?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      Hey Dani, it would be hard for me to give you exact names since each business has different needs. However, there are a few great ways to evaluate a conversion optimization agency:
      1. Make sure this is what they do. Many “general” marketing agencies are adding CRO to their services because they need to. I’d stick to companies that make optimization and growth their main agenda.

      2. Work with an agency that has a process in place. You’re not looking for quick wins or low hanging fruit. You want someone who knows what they’re doing, has a set plan and can guide you according to their experience. The first few months of an optimization process are actually the simplest, it’s when it’s harder to optimize that matters.

      3. Don’t work with agencies that promise big wins, estimate huge increases or generally make promises without learning YOUR specific business profoundly. Not the industry, your business.

      4. Work with someone you and your team get on with and believe in. Sounds obvious, but it isn’t. This person or company will need to present various changes to your customer journey, you may not like. The hardest part of being the optimizer is “selling” that change to you, you need to be able to communicate well and let them do their job.

  • JB

    Jake Beck

    2 months ago #

    Nowadays it seems like everyone has read the same "Ultimate XYZ Guide to CRO" and are using the same tactics, mechanics and design. As such users like myself become immune to and even worse opposed to things like exit intent pop ups, overlays etc which serve only to annoy. What new genuinely cool new stuff can you talk about?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      Best practices suck Jake. Real badly.
      People love to follow best practices because they’re “easy” and “simple”, however more often than not, these best practices don’t work and send marketers back to their drawing board.
      Cool stuff I’ve seen? Companies that find the leak in the funnel and ask themselves the hard questions - Not, what bandage can I add that everyone else is doing, but how can I make this better for my CLIENT? Companies that actually speak to their customers, interview them, get to know them, run in-depth research and translate that knowledge into higher-converting journeys.
      As I say to my students and clients: Sorry it’s not a “cool” hack, it just is what it is - hard work that delivers amazing wins.

      • DD

        Dana DiTomaso

        2 months ago #

        To expand on what Talia says, not only does the company need to find that leak in the funnel, they need to actually FIX IT.

        Admit your mistakes and being willing to fix the problems. We see so many companies who just toss new clients into a meat grinder of terrible customer experience without considering why they need so many new customers all the time.

      • TW

        Talia Wolf

        2 months ago #

        To answer your question @renaissance17, there are a few simple ways for speaking to your customers:

        - Chat (a tool like Zopim would do the work)
        - Surveys (Using Typeform, survey monkey or even on your website itself uding the customer jounrey)
        - Interviews (the ultimate best!) - grab people for a call, and talk to them face to face.
        - Polls (Facebook, twitter)

      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        2 months ago #

        @taliagw Thank you for all these. A couple more I have used for CRO purposes are Qualaroo and Hotjar. Any other ones used by the community? Looking for continuous learning here, too. Merci!

      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        2 months ago #

        Hi Talia- Thank you for your inspiring answer. You mentioned "Companies that actually speak to their customers, interview them,". Could you share with us some of the tools you use to achieve this in your approach to CRO? Merci!

      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        2 months ago #

        For mobile, another way to be very granular for CRO is to target users via behavioral in-app messages using Pyze for example and include a webhook to a surveying tool such as Survey Monkey. Not sure if Qualaroo has launched its mobile product yet? Would anyone know?

    • GC

      Guillaume Cabane

      2 months ago #

      Andrew Chen described this diminishing return as "the law of shitty clickthroughs".

      Yes, as users get exposed to the same tactic over and over they are less surprised/impress and conversion rates tend to drop.

      But that's good news! Why?

      Because it means that Growth Hackers who are innovative, create their own hacks, will always get the best results.

      Build something that no one else does. Something really relevant to your audience, your industry, your product.
      This will be 10x better than applying someone else's tactic.

      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        2 months ago #

        Bonjour Guillaume- Have you ever been surprised of how you were able to surprise your users with something new? If so, could you give us some color on this aha moment?

    • MA

      Michael Aagaard

      2 months ago #

      Hi Jake, I love this question! I my experience, regurgitating the same cookie-cutter advice is a sign of an immature marketer or CRO - a person who does not have enough experience to contribute with something actually insightful. I also believe that many marketers focus too much on the "next big thing" or the "newest hack", when they should actually be focusing on learning the fundamentals (e.g. statistics). It is scary how few marketers have even a basic understanding of statistics. CRO is a vast and extremely complex discipline that demands tons of hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, it is often reduced to a practice of running a bunch of tests and using a set of best practice hacks. I prefer to focus on the basics: stats, psychology, user research, usability testing, web analytics, good design, good UX, etc.

      2 Share
  • AV

    Asim Virani

    2 months ago #

    1. How would you grow your social followers/network organically at a 5x or 10x pace?
    2. What are some ideas for leveraging influencers in social campaigns? Examples of such social campaigns?
    3. Is there an ideal frequency to release blog posts? Specially for a B2B Software services startup?
    4. How would you grow blog subscribers(from <50 monthly to 500 monthly)?
    5. Whats the best way to repurpose old blogs into other forms if the blogs are meant for Enterprise CIOs?

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    2 months ago #

    What advice would you give founders of a brand new startup with no connections or unfair advantage of any sort to start building their initial audience/user base?
    What are the top things they absolutely should do first?

    • TW

      Talia Wolf

      2 months ago #

      I'd speak to potential clients. Interview them. Don't pitch them, just listen.

      Try to understand their pain, their concerns, their motivations, desires and purchasing drivers. Then start creating content around that, reach out to the exact people who can quickly benefit from your solution and watch them use the product - observe.

      Starting a blog, vlog, soical media and other tactics are great but in order to gain traction you're going to have to know what to write about and who to talk to. Once you know that, it will be easier to pin-point the right customer and know what to say and how to help them.

      Other than that, you need to get to know people, make connections and surround yourself with a good community. Join Slack groups that have large communities with people like you, launch on ProductHunt (when ready), converse on platfroms like GH, Inbound and others. Make connections.

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      I would do outreach to the main influencers via Linkedin, asking them to answer a short survey with the promise to give them the results. IN this manner, you understand the market better & also start a conversation with them. After that, you nurture it.
      In a few years, you'll make it big! :)
      I am joking because I feel you're skipping an important phase - to validate your idea before building your user base.

  • NV

    Nikhil Virmani

    2 months ago #

    What would you recommend a hospitality training software company to do to improve engagement with its end users in the retention stage of the funnel? (For Context- the training content is designed for hotel staff and managed on an analytics platform for intelligence purposes)

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    2 months ago #

    What is one test you've done that was easy to execute and resulted in a bigger win than you anticipated?

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      By only introducing the social login with Google & Facebook on OmniConvert's homepage we've got 10% more sign ups :)

  • PW

    Patrick Whatman

    2 months ago #

    Do you still see social media as a viable growth method (assuming you once did)? Are the returns diminishing, or is there still a straightforward way to build traffic/leads from social?

    2 Share
    • DD

      Dana DiTomaso

      2 months ago #

      It is still a viable growth method, but it certainly isn't the "boost a post and watch the dollars roll in" place that it used to be.

      Focus where you're spending your time and dump the networks that aren't performing. Engagement is important — do you talk to your customers on social or are you broadcasting at them instead? People want to feel that you care, and social media is an excellent place to do that. How can your social provide value to your audience? These are good places to start.

      • TW

        Talia Wolf

        2 months ago #

        Love Dana's answer.

        I'll add that: The classic funnel is dead.

        We used to see customers start the buyer journey in one place and continue down a linear path that ends at: "Conversion!" This is no longer the case.

        People come and go to different parts of the journey (and may visit the same post/page/email a few times). For example, someone who's in the "unaware" stage of awareness may visit your Facebook page, along with someone who's completely "product aware", this is why social media (now more than ever) is so important for communicating 1:1 with your prospects and customers. Helping them, answering their questions and sending them to the right place in their customer journey.

  • JS

    Jonathan Svärdh

    2 months ago #

    When starting a new project, how do you go about? what do you start with? Any specific tools or methods you use?

    best,
    Jonathan

    • CS

      Claire Suellentrop

      2 months ago #

      Hey Jonathan! Can you provide a bit more context re: the type of project?

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      I tend to have too many ideas :)
      That's why my new habit is not to do anything when the enthusiasm kicks in.
      We first prioritize the project against the other ones. Mainly, we see how this project is in-line with our strategic objectives, how impactful is, how many resources and time will it need, etc.
      Then, we have procedures depending on what project of growth is - campaign, book, tool, etc.
      This year we started to work as a growth marketing team in an agile methodology, of 2 weeks sprints. We're not there yet, but how you work is more important than what you work at :)

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    2 months ago #

    This is for everyone because you'll have different perspectives based on your fields of expertise.
    What are the first 3 things everyone should know/read/do before taking a bigger leap down the path that would lead them to where you are now?

    • VR

      Valentin Radu

      2 months ago #

      Hey, Javier!
      From my experience:
      The first thing is always to be slightly unhappy with the current results.
      The second is to be persistent. Persistence pays off.
      The third is to mix your intuition with data.

      Of course, there's another one if you want to end up where I am now: move to Romania :)

  • NC

    Nick Coutu

    2 months ago #

    What light can you shed on website loading times? Is this something that you all pay close attention to? My website loads in about 6-8 seconds (not ideal) and I've been trying to get it down as much as possible as google says that anything more than 5 seconds is catastrophic. What are you all seeing with your loading times?

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