Confessions of a Conversion Rate Optimiser by Bryan Eisenberg at Conversion Conference 2011

Posted by Mark Slocock on 01 December 2011

Bryan Eisenburg is a professional speaker, best selling author and consultant. His Marketing Blog is also worth reading.

Bryan started optimising a bulliten board on Atari 800, started Future Now in 1998, which took a long time to get going as nobody was interested in conversion then.

Currently the average conversion rate is 2-3% and $56.8 Billion will be spent on generating web traffic. Most websites don't have a traffic problem... but every site has a conversion problem!

If this was a real world store and 98% people left without buying you'd be out of business. The problem is that most companies don't take the time to work out how to optimise the flow. Companies typically spend $92 driving traffic and $1 working on conversion.

“I know that half my ad dollars are wasted, I just don't know which half” John Wannamaker

Bryan showed a shortened clip of Sell or Else by David Ogilvy. This is a video from 1950 and this is still a problem today, testing Direct Marketing takes a long time, but we now have a way to run quick and easy tests online and the learning can be used across all marketing activities.

The current state of optimisation is that we want a Ferrari but we have a Mazda, it's the next big thing because as advertising gets more expensive, companies will have to optimise their wesbites to survive.

Some interesting points:

  • Magmall and he increased conversion from 1.11% to 4.43%, magmall's major competitor at the time was enews but they didn't optimise and went bust whilst magmall went from strength to strength.
  • Total Gym - one simple change, removal of the splash page increased conversion by 39%.
  • - they created what Brian said was checkout ever with a completion rate of over 80%.
  • If nobody wants to buy your product no one will buy it - conversion is pointless.
  • Tweaked landing page resulted in 4.5% conversion rate – 1800% increase in revenue.
  • Dell – learned from them you have to prioritise the recommendations, one change - link text from 'Learn More' to 'Help me choose' was biggest win out of hundreds of recommendations
  • One client had over 500,000 landing pages and did well – but major time and maintence was a big problem - Conversion is a journey NOT a landing page
  • Persuasion Architecture (Bryans orginial approach) is time consuming so for an approach that was fast they asked how much time clients had to implement changes and made recommendations that could be done in that time
  • Presented some interesting highlights from the Econsultancy Conversion Rate Optimization Report
  • Recommended not to do Slice & Dice optimization – too much resource required, instead focus on achieable improvements
  • The tag line is a really import on a page
  • Have a clear hypothesis for every test
  • Have a team responsible for CRO, test fast test often
  • Have a look at
  • Use – read the launch story of bolt
  • Look at btbuckets – use advanced segmentation with google website optimiser
  • Look – instant personal deals
  • Look at Monetate – see the demos

Bryan then listed most impactful things to look at:

  • Badging (eg. on products)
  • Message consistency (across all channels)
  • Email acquisition
  • The Conversion Trinity
  • Relevance
  • Value proposition
  • Call to action 

His last and biggest confession:

  • Take one bite at a time

Next Talk: Ecommerce Best Practice by Paul Rouke & Stephen Pavlovich


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