CXL — CRO Minidegree Review — Week 1 | by Gaetano Cuomo | Oct, 2021

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Gaetano Cuomo

In this article I will tell you about my first week as a CXL CRO Minidegree student.

For now I have completed the first two introductory courses: “Intro to CRO” and “Best Practices”.

Let’s see them together, one at a time.

Teacher: Brian Massey

Brian Massey’s course is a brief introduction to the world of CRO and the scientific approach to marketing.

Honestly, I have not found anything particularly new in the course, especially because every day I work with an approach based on data and experiments, so I absolutely agree with Brian’s thinking.

I found two aspects of this course very interesting.

The first is a phrase from Brian that will remain in my head forever: “you can’t test everything, so choose well which experiments you want to carry out”.

Brian, you are absolutely right! We often get caught up in the thought of testing anything, any variable. But obviously time, traffic and money are limited resources, so we must always focus on what can bring us the most benefits.

The second aspect that I found interesting relates directly to Brian’s sentence I just quoted.

How do you choose which experiments to carry out and which not?

In the course we are shown how Brian categorizes ideas for experiments. Use a spreadsheet in which he enters all the ideas, then use the ICE framework to classify them.

That is to say:
I: Impact of the idea
C: Confidence in the result
E: Effort to test

Having studied a scientific subject and having personally carried out scientific research, I absolutely agree with Brian’s approach.

Indeed, its framework simplifies the process a lot and saves us a lot of time.

Ok, now let’s move on to the next course.

Teacher: Peep Laja

This Peep Laja course is also an introductory course, but things are starting to get more serious. In the course he shows us a series of best practices to significantly improve website conversions.

I come from marketing psychology studies and am a huge fan of Nick Kolenda, Cialdini, Thaler and Kahneman, so I already knew most of these principles.

The thing is not bad, on the contrary this course has allowed me to create a small compendium that I can consult whenever I need it (I know, I should have done it before).

So the time / effectiveness ratio is absolutely excellent.

Ok, now I’d like to tell you about the most useful information I found within the course.

Let’s begin!

Nobody likes to fill out forms and provide their data, so the fundamental goal we must have in mind when we create one is this: to reduce friction.

How can we do?

Here I have collected a series of interesting ideas that emerged from the course.

  1. Set clear and truthful expectations about what the user will find in the form and after
  2. Reduce the number of fields and delete the optional ones (the best number is usually between 5 and 10)
  3. Intentionally increase the friction by entering very specific questions, in this way we will have fewer leads but of better quality
  4. Use the multi step forms
  5. First start with the easy fields (like name and surname) and then move on to the more difficult ones
  6. Preselect as many fields as we can (using the information we have)
  7. Provide clear feedback immediately in the event of an error and allow users to enter data with the formatting they prefer
  8. Avoid captchas
  9. Identify all possible fears that users may have in front of the form
  10. Apply analytics to forms, so you can always analyze the data and correct

In these two modules Peep talks about CTAs, buttons and page length.

The key principle on which all his thinking is based is “don’t make me think”. I couldn’t agree more with him.

Ok that we don’t have to make users think, but let’s click on what we see, right?

So the main rule becomes: “don’t make me think, but let me see the CTA”.

Some useful tips for applying this rule:

  • Only 1 goal per page, we think of our website as a small funnel
  • Buttons are better than links
  • The bigger the button the better it converts
  • Add negative space to make the CTA stand out
  • Uses a different color from the rest of the site

It may seem trivial advice for those who have been working for a while, but we often forget to follow these elementary rules.

Now let’s focus on the length of the page.

Not everyone will scroll the page, so it is very important that the main action we want users to perform is present and visible as soon as they open the page.

Ok, now let’s think about who will scroll the page. Will they go all the way?

No, of course not, only a very few will make it to the end.

So what should we do?

Easy, we need to prioritize information.

First the most important, then the others. So even those who do not read the whole page will have the opportunity to understand what we do and can therefore convert.

Our home page must try to achieve two objectives, one main and one secondary.

Main objective: communicate the value proposition.

Secondary objective: to get users to leave the home page and enter the funnel.

Yes, the home page is not a showcase, but the starting point of our funnel.

As a science enthusiast, I dwelt a lot on the data that emerged from a research by CXL, I leave you here the most important:

  • The larger the font of the value proposition, the more time users will spend reading it. And this is a great thing.
  • Bullet lists convert much better than paragraphs and lists with descriptions. People don’t have time and only read the most important sentences, keep that in mind.
  • Users remember more benefits when more are listed. So don’t be afraid to keep it short but list all the benefits of your product / service.

I love everything about price perception, so this module was really nice for me to follow.

The 3 main lessons I learned from this module are:

  1. The higher the price, the more there is a need to explain and justify
  2. 2 or 3 pricing options are better than just one. With more options, users no longer think about buying or not, but think about which package to buy
  3. We must use names that are easy to understand, we avoid “Gold”, “Silver” and “Platinum”. Instead, we use names that allow the user to understand if that package is the one that meets their needs.

For now the course seems to me to be really excellent, the information is excellent and everything is stuffed with many examples and case studies.

If this is just the introduction, I can’t wait to see what will happen when it starts to get serious.

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