Inside Track: The Conversion Rate Optimisation Consultant

David Mannheim Website CRO Conversion rate Optimisation Consultant job role blog post

The CRO specialist / Consultant. In this case David Mannheim, who I’ve met a couple of times and have always been impressed with his enthusiasm and obvious knowledge. This is a role that may be not that well known to some of you, including some agency folk. But if your website (or client’s website) is instrumental in the success of the business/brand (so that’s pretty much everyone, no?) then read on.

Your Granny is on an elevator : can you explain your role in a sentence?

I’m a conversion rate optimisation consultant; I make websites more profitable by persuading more users to buy.

We’re chatting over coffee : what’s the expanded explanation of your role in the brand development or campaign creation mix?

Conversion rate optimisation is what it says on the tin; optimising the conversion rate by improving it. If the average ecommerce website has a conversion rate of 2.6%, my job is to increase that figure. So instead of 2.6 of every 100 users converting, through research, insight and data I create solutions that increase that figure to, say, 4 of every 100 converting.

How did you get here? … And what keeps you doing it?

I got here through some tough training with HFI – having achieved both my CUA and CXA qualifications. That lead on to a 3 or 4 year career path of UX of which conversion rate optimisation is a facet of and a specialisation of. It’s exciting. The results and successes keep me going. To improve an existing business – sometimes revolutionise it – and with data prove that it was you and your solutions that did that? There’s no better feeling.

How do businesses typically engage with you – e.g directly or mediated through an agency / account handler?

Directly. I work with small business owners, CEOs, marketing managers, marketing directors but either way it’s preferably that it’s directly with the business. In order to do my job well, I require a deep understanding of the client’s business and their users – so I often find this to be the best approach.

I’m a tight marketer – why should I pay for you (and not just skip your input)?

If you create something and don’t give it the love or attention it needs, why should your users? If you throw expensive traffic at something that doesn’t convert do you really expect big gains?

Conversion Rate Optimisation solves these problems. Through this approach, we continually improve your conversion rate and therefore your online profit, giving you more money to invest in user acquisition. Because your users convert better, you’ve just entered a virtuous circle of conversion of which your competition cannot compete within.

Seen any cool new techniques or approaches coming on board (maybe due to ‘new’ collaborative tech etc)?

Approach in way of working with clients in the digital space or approach in terms of working?
(me: good point!)

In terms of working with clients online I truly believe in continuous improvement. Why plough loads of money into a big, huge redesign that takes months of development using, sometimes well-educated, assumptions and best practice? Instead, why not improve your existing site using experiments backed by data through small iterations over a period of time.

In terms of working in general, my top three would be:

  • Virtual hot-desking like 37 Signals.
  • Removing the need for email like Slack.
  • The automation of automation like Zapier.

 

Grab your crystal ball – how do you see digital / marketing evolving in the next 12 – 24 months?

I think the concept of UX is maturing – or at least, in what we believe the foundations of UX to be. We’ll see more of a focus on the true definition and practices behind UX; personalisation, gamification, advanced PET design and the extension of user experience to cross-channel user experience and customer experience.

How do you keep current and up to date?

I read. A lot! More now than what I ever used to – my feed.ly account is my bible. I also blog a fair amount for others and on my own site (http://davidmannheim.co.uk).

Have you got any advice for non tech people planning a new website?

Start small and iterate. Improve your website over time with data, not with assumptions.

Make like a magpie : what website / app / service has caught your eye recently. Any genre: work related or not.

Sites that truly focus on conversion rate optimisation are those that grab my attention; those are are doing AB testing, MVT, personalisation. Sites like AO.com work well because they invest the time in making my user experience both personal and efficient. Moo.com make my user experience fun. Etsy.com continually iterate and take experiments to a new level – see an example here.

 

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