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Friday, Feb. 16, 2007 at 9:22 am

We Tried That Already

By Bryan Eisenberg
February 16th, 2007

We often spot a conversion leak on clients’ sites and suggest clients test a new page element or two. Time after time, we get the same confident reply, “We tried that already, it didn’t work.”

I’m a big fan of those who try. Every consultant wants to work with clients who aren’t afraid to actually do something. But if trying things were nickels, you’d likely be worrying about where to spend your fortune instead of how to increase conversion.

This column is for all those who tried it already.

Trying conversion rate optimization and online testing is much different than succeeding at it. With over 1,500 factors contributing to the successful completion of a single linear conversion funnel, it’s easy to “try” to optimize the conversion leak and still miss the mark. Here are a few of the most common mistakes. Be sure you haven’t made these before you throw up your hands and say, “I already tried that.”

Continue reading my column at ClickZ…

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Comments (4)

  1. I agree that trying some fix that you read about is not the same as figuring out what’s wrong. Many of the things I “tried” early in my career were weak and ill-informed attempts to duplicate what some book told me to do. I look back on a lot of those attempts as laughable now. I simply didn’t have the depth of experience to understand the way to carry out what was suggested, much less test it effectively.

    Improving conversion rates is a skill that grows based on lots of trial and error (and lots of mistakes along the way). It’s not one-time test and quit situation.

  2. Clients either know what a ‘professional’ brings to the table, or they don’t.

    If they’ve tried what you’re suggesting, then why are you there? It obviously didn’t work, but *maybe* not because it isn’t the right thing to do for results.

    Any number of parameters could have been forgotten, omitted, bent or otherwise implemented in a different fashion from what you’re suggesting…

    You should be consulted because of what you bring to the table. Clients that second guess with “I already tried that” should second guess themselves as to why they’re talking to you in the first place!

    People call consultants for best, or better advice. If they don’t listen to it, shame on them.

  3. Didn’t mean to sound so harsh.. apologies to clients everywhere… had exactly the conversation you’re suggesting with a prospective client… I had recommendations from colleagues, proven results, yet they insisted that everything I suggested had been done, and didn’t work. After 20 minutes of probing into their process and analytics of success, I gave up trying to ‘suggest’ their method *could have been* flawed, results skewed and thanked them for their time, and walked away.

    You’ll never get a satisfied client out of those types of prospects, unfortunately, even if you deliver above and beyond, they already know it’s not going to work.

    Started to sound harsh again… need a cuppa tea :-)

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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