The Lucky Titan

Perfecting the one man agency as a Conversion Optimization consultant With Chris Dayley

February 05, 2021
The Lucky Titan
Perfecting the one man agency as a Conversion Optimization consultant With Chris Dayley
The Lucky Titan
Perfecting the one man agency as a Conversion Optimization consultant With Chris Dayley
Feb 05, 2021

Chris is a digital marketing entrepreneur, speaker, and neuromarketer who gets excited about helping businesses learn what users want on their website using psychology based testing and analytics. His agency, Smart CRO, is a full service agency that helps companies run strategies to improve website profitability.

Show Notes Transcript

Chris is a digital marketing entrepreneur, speaker, and neuromarketer who gets excited about helping businesses learn what users want on their website using psychology based testing and analytics. His agency, Smart CRO, is a full service agency that helps companies run strategies to improve website profitability.

Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. Today we are here with Chris Deyley, I'm really excited for this interview because Chris is a digital marketer that is really, I would just call him unique and what he does, because he's not your typical, like, I run Facebook ads, I build websites, he really is a guy that helps people to take a specific, very specific niche of people in the e commerce sector who've passed a million dollars in sales who are saying, Okay, I'm driving traffic, I you know, I'm closing deals, but what Nick does is comes in and helps them to maximize on that through a B split testing. And the beautiful thing about that is it's a scaling strategy. He's very used to helping people to scale and grow. I actually initially heard him on entrepreneurs on fire podcast, and I loved the interview. So I'm like, man, we got to get Chris on here. So, with that really long-winded intro, Chris, say what's up to everybody that will hop in. 

Chris: Hey, how's it going? Thanks so much for having me on the show. 

Josh: Yeah, man, it's gonna be a blast. So, you know, I've already kind of preface this with the intro. But I'm you let's talk scaling strategies. I mean, there's so many ways you can take a company from 1 million to a billion, right. And some people like yourself, I, you know, this conversation we had before I thought was really interesting. You're like, there's, there's kind of a point for you where you're like, man, I don't want to keep growing anymore. I'm gonna start something new. And I love that because you're very similar to John Lee Dumas in that sense, right? He's like, I'm just kind of found my comfortable point I don't need, I don't need to be a billionaire. Though. Love that Chris, let's, let's delve into kind of your scaling strategy. 

Chris: You're talking about for my business specifically, or how I help other companies, 

Josh: help other companies do it. 

Chris: So once you've once you've kind of started to show some success through your website, whether it's lead generation or e commerce, once you are actually converting people, one of the most dangerous things that typically happens for businesses is people will start to make a lot of assumptions about what why their website is working, why their landing page is working, why their e commerce website is working so well and so what I do is I come in, and I basically tear down all of the assumptions that businesses have make, for example, I'll give you a perfect example that just happened the other day, one of my clients, we were testing their collections page so collections page for your e-commerce site is the one that shows all the products in a certain category, right? So, we're taking a look at the collections page, and I said, let's figure out what we need to show on the collections page. So, we created a bunch of different versions of their collections page, and one of the versions, we actually removed the price from the collections page. So instead of having price, you just see the pictures of the products and the names of the products, right? Well, the client saw that and goes, we can't remove the price from the collections page. And I said, why not. And they said, because every website has price on the collections page, our customers are going to expect that. And I love when I hear stuff like that because I go, Oh, great, this isn't you have no data supporting this, you just think that because other people are doing this that you should be doing, let's get some data on the subject. I said to the client, I said, I get it in, you know, maybe we'll run this test and find out that people do need a price. But at least at that point, we'll have data proving that they need it so we ran the test and lo and behold, so again, I do a B testing for my clients so we split traffic, we had a percentage of traffic going from the other site with the price, and then a percent of the traffic going to the version without the price. And lo and behold, customers, customers actually purchased about 15% more without the price displaying on the collections page. And so then, of course, the client goes no freakin’ way. Why would that possibly work? You know, and so for this, I'm not saying that anybody who's listening should remove the price in their collection space. But for this particular audience, on their website, the price was a distraction. What the customer needed to be focusing on was the product. And when the price was on there, they were getting distracted. And they were instead focusing on the price, which doesn't sell people price does it sell people, it's your product that sells them finding the right product. And then the secondary thing is price and so when we remove the price, it helps people so my scaling strategy is really about, okay, you've got something that's working, that that means that your site probably isn't broken. Now let's figure out how to make it better. Let's figure out what is working well let's get some data that proves what's working well on your website and what's not working that we could make work better, right or what's working super well that we could refine so that's, that's kind of where I come into play and how I help companies.

Josh: See and what I want to mention for audience here The reason I love your strategy is you know if you've listened to the show long enough, every guests we bring on says you need to know your customer, you need to know your customer and the Number one question, I will go through your head right after people say that because it happens to me all the time. It's like, Okay, well, how, how do I get to know my customer? Because a lot of people say, Oh, it's just talking to them. And I would agree to some extent it is. But in some businesses like e commerce, it's really hard to actually talk to your customers. So what Chris is talking about is saying, hey, let them vote with their wallets, right? Let them say, Hey, I like this page better. I like this color better. I like that verbiage better. I like that, you know, not having a price better. It just it’s kind of takes all the guesswork out of running a business and saying, let them just say what they want and give it to them? 

Chris: Well, and I'll add on to that a lot of my clients have talked to their customers so here's, here's another example of a test that I run for clients all the time, I'll ask all my clients, how did you decide what products to put on your homepage? Right? So they'll say, well, we put our best sellers on, how did you decide what to put on there, and they'll give me one of two answers. It's our best seller, so I wouldn't put them on there. That's like, that's most likely what people are going to purchase. Or they'll say, we've asked our customers, and these are the products they've said they want to see right, And I can't tell you how many times it's at least 50% of the time people say that, we will run a test where we either remove the bestsellers from the homepage, or we change it. And instead of showing bestsellers, which show new arrivals, instead of showing new arrivals, we show bestsellers. Instead of showing bestsellers, we show them their cheapest products or the most expensive products, or whatever. And it works better than what they have. Which means that yes, maybe your customers have said this in a conversation but maybe you didn't get a great sample, maybe you only sampled 10 people out of a million customers and those 10 people were not really representative of all your customers, or maybe, which is more likely maybe your customers don't actually know what they want to see on your website. Until they see it, they don't know what's gonna generate a purchase behavior from them and so asking your customers, sometimes it's a pointless exercise. 

Josh: And I love that you brought that up, because I was going to hammer that point for you. It's like 90% of the time, the customer doesn't even know what they want. They don't realize that the customer doesn't know why they're buying something. Sometimes they're just going to buy it right. And if you ask them, they're going to say what they're currently interested in. So maybe that person wants to buy that product then but their problems change daily. So yeah, love, love that you hit that hit that home. I love that. So, you know, when you're building out a site doing a B testing for people this this is something that's not just done on websites? Have you even mentioned that to me, right? It has to do with your content and your testimonials and you know, your website, your sales process and everything. So how have you leveraged a b split testing across other things than just the site? 

Chris: So really, anything you can split test, you should so I mean, you can do split testing in ads, you can do split testing on your emails, you can do split testing on your website. What's most important here is not necessarily like that you do, because I've talked to a lot of usually when I when I am doing an exploration call with a client, I'll say, have you ever done A B testing before? And most of the time, people will say yes. And then I'll ask how like, what was your split? What, what kind of tests have you run? And this is where things just fall apart? Because the vast majority of the time people said, Oh, well, I launched a new version of my site, and I compared my metrics to the previous week or month, and it was better. And it's like, Okay, well, first of all, that's not a split test and second of all, how do you know that your conversion rates weren't just going to go up anyways? Right or down anyways, or whatever. And so that applies to ads as well. You know, a lot of times I'll talk to people and see what did you split test? What have you split tested recently, in your ads? I'm gonna say, Oh, well, we split tested an image of a person versus an image or a product and our product worked better. Okay, what did you split tests next? Well, nothing like what else did we split tests, right? And so, and so what what's really important when it comes to split testing, is that you have a strategy that you have a process most of the time I work with businesses that have done split testing, it's usually I had one random idea and I tested it, and it either worked or it didn't and then I never tested again, or I test one random idea every month aAnd I don't really know what I'm doing and I don't and in asked, where did you come up with your idea for your test? I looked at my competitors’ site and thought I needed to do that. If that's the only way that you're getting ideas for what you should do and your strategy. You are you are missing the boat big time I mean; you're leaving so much money on the table because half the time your competitors don't even know what they're doing they're just guessing, I mean, most, most businesses do not test and so Even if your competitor is super successful and is making a crap ton of money, just copying what they're doing, if that's where you're getting all of your ideas, you are not personalizing your business for your audience. Even if you are theoretically targeting the same people, your website experience is different. Your ads are different. You're creative is different, your color palettes different, everything's different about your business. And so, your customers are going to respond differently to your brand than they do to other brands. And so, this is where you know, to go back to your question was a long-winded answer to your question, but how do you split test all these things? You start by asking really great questions. The question might be, what kind of headline do people need? What information should I put my headline, what value propositions should I use in a headline, and you can test the headline on an app, on an email and on a landing page, and you can say, let's have one version of my email where I where I put the word free in my headline, at my free giveaway, let's have another version of my headline where I use a pain point where I say, you know, stop wasting time doing X, Y and Z, I might have another version, that's my benefit. That is, you know, save 20% of time with our product and then maybe another version that's like, get a free x y & z you know, get, get your get a proposal within the next 12 hours, and test all those things. So, it starts in my mind with a really great question there's something I need to learn about my audience that I'm going to go and start digging into and testing. 

Josh: Yeah, and that's what's so fun about that is that it's, it's something that should be an ever an ongoing process, right. And most people, like you said, we'll do like one, we're guilty of that. I'll be completely honest. I will, I will split test our funnels, I will split test, our email lists pretty consistently, our emails going out. But that's really kind of the only test that we do. And we're not probably not nearly doing as many times as you're talking about, right. And you built the whole company around doing that for people like helping people remain consistent with, with tweaking and iterating because I think as entrepreneurs are always thinking top of line, right, we're saying, Okay, how do I just get a ton of more and more sales coming through the top line? And what you're doing is saying, how do we make a 1%? tweak every day? Right? Like that's, that's a really cool methodology, in my opinion.

Chris: Well, and one question I usually ask when anytime somebody runs a split test, I'll usually ask, what did you learn from that test? And what's your next test? A good test should always lend itself to a follow up test. So, for example, if I were to test on a headline and my test is what value proposition Should I put my headline? Okay, well, hey, we run these tests. And we found that by talking about our price point, that we generated the highest return. Okay, so then my next test is going to be okay, now you know that you should talk about your price point. Now test five different versions of how you talk about your price. Should we say only 59 95? Should we say 20%? cheaper than our competitors? Should we say limited time discount? Should we say limited supplies or order while supplies last or whatever? You know, like, what exactly should we say about our price? And, and then you dig deeper and deeper? And should we, you know, if it's on the website, and it's like, Hey, we tested adding this little paragraph right here. Okay, now, let's test having a paragraph versus bullet points versus one sentence, two sentences. You know, how long should this paragraph be? Those are things that it's like, once you find something that works, I talked to my clients about it, like you just uncovered a bit of gold. And if you generated a huge impact by testing one thing, you should dig in that goldmine as long as you can, and get as much gold out of that as you possibly can dig deeper and deeper and refine more and more, until you no longer can find anything else that you can possibly improve and then move on to something else. 

Josh: Do you ever find the bottom that's what I feel like? It could just keep being iterated on to them on the micro level? So, I want to ask you this, though, because there's, from what I've seen, right, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, I kind of like when we get into a dispute here. It's fun. So, what are the than the metrics that you like to measure to basically say this is actually working? Is it just you made more money? Or what are kind of the metrics that you like to measure?

Chris: So, there's two things obviously, on every test, you want to you want to measure bottom of the funnel conversions. And so that's either revenue or lead generated or whatever it is, whatever your bottom of the funnel metric is. But the primary metric for a test should be whatever the next step is. So, if you're testing on an email, obviously, you're gonna you're gonna optimize for clicks, right? If you're testing on a landing page that has a form, right, then you might test how many people initiated the form or you might test you know, if it's the home page, you probably want to test how many people got to a product page. If On a product page, you want to test how many people added to the cart. Because on the cart, you want to test how many people got to checkout, etc, right until you finally get to the bottom of the funnel when your only metric is bottom of the funnel metrics. But if you're testing at the top of your funnel, you want to use whatever the next step in the funnel is, as your primary success metric. That's what you're optimizing for. That's the thing you have the most control over. You know, if you're testing different button colors on the homepage, and you're testing and you're measuring how many bottoms of the funnel, signups it generated, it's highly unlikely that that green button had such a profound impact on your audience, that it led them all the way through the funnel, more than likely that green button or orange button or that paragraph, you know, instead of sentence generated the immediate response to move forward. And so that's what you want to you want to measure whatever the next step is?

Josh: Well, and when you're measuring that next step. I mean, there's a lot of ways you can kind of micro that down into the little pieces that you're solving. Right? But what, what's a good amount of traffic to be pushing through these? Because, like you mentioned at the very beginning, right? It's, it's if you tested a group of 10 people, but you have a million customers, is that really like an accurate depiction of what's going to happen? So, what do you typically shoot for when you're running tests? 

Chris: Well, so there's, there's a few different things on this number one, you want to get some measurement of statistical significance, most A B testing tools that are worth their weight, have some statistical significance calculation. Same thing with ad A B test, you know, split testing tools, I use Google optimized for most of my clients for testing on the site, and they will give you a, you know, a probability to win, you know, to beat the existing site. So that's one thing that you want to look at is how statistically significant is your result? And then the second thing that you want to look at is, how many conversions do I have? Because usually, I will recommend that my clients get at least 100 conversions on every variation that you're testing because otherwise, what you get is you have, well, this version of my site had three leads, but this other version had nine leads. It's so that's like a, that's a 300% lift. And it's like, Yeah, but I mean, that's only six more conversions. How do you know it's not a fluke? So, you want to get at least 100, you know, 100 conversions on each variation, if you can, if you don't get that many conversions on your website in a month, that doesn't mean you can't test, it just means that you're gonna want to let test run for a little bit longer, or look for bigger gains. So, you know, the less traffic you have, the bigger the gain is that you're going to need to see. So, if I have 50 conversions on one and 100 conversions on another, that's definitely statistically significant enough to go. That's a massive impact. And it's definitely, you know, that's a statistically significant result there so it's less about traffic, it's more about number of conversions and getting some statistical significance in there. 

Josh: Yeah, and I love that, because it's, it's all about the numbers, right? There's no guessing with this and saying, what's actually going to work. And I know, for us, when we've done tests, it's, you know, if it's at least 1000 people going through there, it's not even close to a good enough test. And that's us, where we have a lot, probably a lot lower traffic than a lot of these, you know, e commerce type companies so I love that you guys are leveraging the metrics that way. So, I want to ask you this, if, if you give our audience like three steps that they could do for any company, to actually start split testing, where should they start? And what, what are the steps they should take.

Chris: So the first thing you need to do is get a testing tool installed so I mean, again, I'm a website testing guy. And so I would suggest using Google Optimize, if you have Google Analytics on your website, Google Optimize is super easy to install, it's free, you can run up to five A/B tests at a time on your website, which is more than enough for almost any website out there. And so what you want to do is get signed up, get it installed on your website, you install it, just like you install Google Analytics, it's just a snippet of JavaScript on the site. And then you're gonna want to just pick your first test and run, here's the easiest test to get started with that almost always sees some kind of a result that's really easy to build. I call it an existence test. So what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to look at your homepage, or your landing page, whatever, wherever it is that you're sending traffic. Usually, it's a home page or a landing page. And what you're going to want to do is create two to three different versions of this page. And on each version, remove one thing that you think is critical to the page. So if this is your homepage, remove your hero banner on one variation. So you have your first version and literally in Google optimized It's as simple as you click on the hero banner, and you click Remove, and it takes two seconds to remove your hero banner. So you're gonna have version one of your website with no hero banner, and you're gonna hate the way that it looks. But it's but that's okay, you're doing this to gain data, because what you want to learn is, does this hero banner actually generate conversions for me, I can't tell you how many times I have tested removing hero banners, that performs better than having the hero banner on there. Or in other words, the hero banner in more cases than not, is actually harming conversion rates. I won't say more than that it's about a 50 50 split about half the time I remove hero banners, that works better than having it. So one version, you're going to remove in here abandon the second version, you're going to remove some content on your page that you think is important. Third variation, maybe you remove a section, you know, your reviews, your, your Instagram feed your whatever it is that you have a social proof on your homepage, you can build this whole test in less than 30 minutes. As long as you've got it set up. As long as you have Google up optimized, set up properly, you will pick your metric. So again, product pageviews revenue leads generated and you can launch this test within an hour and, and this is a there is no there's no losing in this scenario. If you remove your hero banner and conversion rates drop, well guess what you can shut the test off. And now you have some data telling you how important your hero banner is. So next time you work with a designer that says should we have a hero banner? Or should we not have a hero banner, you can go yes, we definitely want a hero banner because guess what we tested it and will without a hero banner from our site converts 20% works or you may end up finding that some of the stuff you have on there shouldn't be there. In my experience, in fact, I've worked with all kinds of companies from multi-100-million-dollar year a year companies down to small boutique, mom and pop shops. And every site that I have worked with without fail as at least one thing on every page of their site that is hurting conversion rates. So the purpose of this is to find out what do I have on my page that's hurting my conversion rates, because I can almost guarantee there's something. And again, you want to learn from this. So if I find out that my social proof section on my homepage is hurting conversion rates? Well, number one, I'm going to immediately remove that from my site. Number two, I'm going to look at why would that not work? Why would that be hurting conversion rates. It's, it's either that my social proof sucks, or my audience doesn't care about social proof or more more than likely, they don't care about social proof at this step in the funnel. So if they don't want social proof on my homepage, where else might they want it? Let's test it on our product page. Let's test it on the cart, let's test the inner checkout. And let's find out you know, so again, this is a no-lose scenario, because we're either going to find something that shouldn't be there that we can remove, or we're gonna find something that should be there. And now we've got some data that gives us some sanity, every time I look at my site and wonder, sometimes your manners for conversion rates should, should really be there now, you know?

Josh: Well, and I feel like a lot of people are going to listen to those three steps and say, Man, if I could do that, I mean, you're probably doing the math in your head, right? Like, even if it's a 1% conversion over the course of a year, how much is that going to impact you, you know, and that's, that's what gets really fun when you get into the nitty gritty of these things is that if nothing else changed, and all you do is remove that one piece, you can guarantee yourself a raise of X percent, you know, like, that's, that's cool in business, and you can't really do that in a lot of places, right? 

Chris: And the more traffic you get, and the more conversions you get, the more like exponential that that result becomes right, you know, 1% gain when you're doing a million dollars a year, you know, you're talking about whatever that is $100,000 or $10,000 a year, you know, and at at $100 million a year that 1% gain just becomes more and more impactful. So yeah, I mean, absolutely, these marginal gains add up over time. And typically, what I'm seeing with clients is more like 10 to 20% revenue gains, as you're testing and so more than likely, you're gonna have a much larger impact than you think. And most of the time, it's from the stuff that you don't think is gonna impact your conversion rates. I have clients all the time that say, Hey, we need to improve average order values, let's do this, this and this, we run the test, it doesn't improve average order values. And then we run some other random tests, testing content, and average order values go through the roof and it's like, well, what the heck like obviously, we don't know what, what is influencing our customers to buy more. So we need to find that stuff out. So you're gonna you're gonna learn a ton, you're gonna make marginal gains, and you're gonna have some peace of mind by knowing with data, what shouldn't, shouldn't be on your site. 

Josh: Well, I hope everybody has they've been listening to this, they've been able to say, Okay, this is one thing, if I'm already wanting to scale my business, this is one thing I can implement today because if you'll leverage this, and get into the habit of doing this or hire a company to do this for you, you're going to see your numbers are going to exponentially increase. So, make sure you're thinking about how you're doing your split testing with your company. And odds are, you know, as Chris was saying, very few of you actually have even done a real split test yet. So, you know, Chris, let's, I just want to have one final question for you. So we've covered a lot of different topics about the split testing area. So I want to say what's the one piece of guidance you would give our audience, if you could leave them one final parting piece of guidance? What would that be? 

Chris: I usually leave this as my final bit of wisdom, which is be willing to challenge any assumption that you have. If you think something should be on your website, that should be the first thing you test, the thing that you are most hesitant to remove, that should be the first thing you remove. Because testing is about is about letting go of our assumptions and letting our audience tell us what they really want. If you have assumed, I know what people really want, then you're the person that needs testing the most. Because you either need to let go of your assumptions or, or you can add some foundation to your assumptions, instead of just assuming that you know, or assuming that you know, because you talk to 10 people, you can say, yeah, I've talked to 10 people, and I tested it, and everything points me in the same direction, all the data points be the same direction. But be willing to challenge your assumptions, be willing to test the thing that you most that you most despise, or that you most love on your website, you would most despise removing and, and be willing to let go of it if it if it works better. I'm just gonna say this last thing here on this, I had a client once that built their company around their personal reputation. So they had their picture, the CEOs picture on the homepage, we tested removing the picture of the of the CEO’s image conversion rates went up by 30%. And they didn't want to implement it. They said I don't care that it converts 30% better I am the brand. I need. My picture needs to be on there because people need to know what our brand is. And so I think that that is probably the dumbest thing you can possibly do as a business is putting what you perceive is your brand above what your customers say they want. So again, be willing to challenge your assumptions, be willing to remove stuff you don't want to remove. If it's content, you're worried about SEO rankings, don't worry about that during a test, just run the test, see what the result is. And if your customers like it better, chances are Google probably will too.