What if NASA had landed on the Moon, but then had no idea why the mission succeeded? They did a whole bunch of tests and some of those tests had good results and others had bad results and we just went with the good results. After all, getting there is what they wanted right?
Sounds crazy and yet where conversion optimization is concerned, many businesses have the same point of view. We are so busy trying to reach goals that we spend too much time thinking about what is wrong and not enough time thinking about why whatever went wrong. The "why" of it is where the real learning about optimization resides. Once you know why something doesn't work, you can build a new mousetrap rather than just sticking a new spring in the old one which isn't working very well to begin with.
Looking at what doesn't work and why in online conversion
Testing and optimizing your marketing and conversion strategy isn't just a matter of smacking something with a hammer until it spits out what you want it to. It's about learning what works or doesn't and why and then building something better, such as improved targeting and segmentation strategies or better converting cross-channel interaction scenarios based on that foundation of knowledge.
Perhaps the word "why" is just too closely associated with the more fuzzy logic of philosophy and such and not as closely connected with engineering solutions which produce results. Or maybe it's just because we've become too impatient and too focused on quick fixes as a society in general.
Why aren't people on your site converting? We've got lots of data on those who do convert, but what about those who don't? What do you know about them? What effort have you put into figuring out who they are and why they didn't convert. The data is there, are you looking at it?
We don't know how much of how our technology works simply because we never take it apart and ask why it does or doesn't function. It's easier and faster to simply remove and replace an entire module then it is to give any thought to why it failed to live up to expectations.
Conversion marketing: the human aspect
And yet, no matter what the process or machine may be, it's human behaviour which lies at the heart of the matter and understanding a process means understanding the people you are subjecting to said process. That means you have to ask "why" and you have to ask it a lot to avoid investing time in the wrong tactics. Listening to your visitors and customers is key in conversion and in avoiding marketing fatigue via a cross-channel optimization effort (note: more about this in this white paper).
There are countless little things you can test and optimize to enhance conversions on your site, it's an ongoing process to keep testing each component and optimize your conversion rates.
Do you know who your website visitors are? How much do you know about them, where they come from and what they do once they are on your site? How often do you walk through the process as a consumer? Do you enjoy the process? Do you have information and tools available on your landing pages which help the customer make their decision to convert?
OK, so nobody wants to hear their mechanic philosophize about why their car isn't running well - they just want it fixed. But we aren't mechanics are we? We're supposed to be people who ask "why" as many times as we have to in order to optimize processes and ensure that our customers never have to spend much time asking "why" when deciding on converting…right?
Download our white paper "Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue?" and learn how to optimize communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.
Download the paper, including essential tips, here.