“You Should Test That”
A Book Review by Empirical360 of Chris Goward’s Famous Guide to CRO
The E360 team just finished up with our first team read, “You Should Test That”, by Chris Goward (Wider Funnel’s CEO).
A month ago, we decided that we needed to take our team learning to a new level. We want to constantly be educating ourselves on the digital marketing industry, and we want to create a company culture where this kind of intellectual, industry curiosity is encouraged and satisfied.
So we decided to read together – readers are leaders, as the saying goes, and we know that there is incredible value to be found in reading books written by people much smarter and much more experienced than we are! We can and do learn online, as well; the vast wealth of knowledge that can be found on the internet is a primary source of information, especially in our industry. But there is something about reading a physical book that can’t be replaced.
Maybe you want to learn, too, but don’t have time to read many books, or you want to make sure that the book you commit to reading is going to be worth your time to read (we get it!). That’s why we’re reviewing it for you. Think of it kind of like our version of SparkNotes with some commentary sprinkled in. We’ll share a summary, the main points, our takeaways, and what we think is most important for you to know!
Why we decided to read it
Chris Goward is one of our inspirations, and we look up to Wider Funnel as an industry thought leader. Because conversion rate optimization is something that we offer to our clients, and something that we are constantly doing in the accounts that we manage, we wanted to read what another expert had to say, and take a focused deep dive into the subject of A/B/n testing. It’s a famous book in the digital marketing world – one of the classics, that still holds relevance even several years later.
The intended audience
Anyone who is responsible for getting results at their company through marketing or web development (also applies to agency pros that manage accounts and landing pages).
The author’s goal
The author has two main goals:
1) To convince you that you need conversion rate optimization in your business! The intro drives home the necessity of CRO by making a strong case that every single website can be improved, and the only foolproof way to improve your site is through controlled A/B/n testing.
2) To show you how to practically implement CRO in your business – how to decide what to test, how to develop a hypotheses, how to optimize for a variety of factors, and how to analyze your results.
The main idea
Conversion rate optimization is the only sure way to achieve revenue growth, and it works if you do it correctly.
- When any change is being considered, you should say “you should test that” (to yourself or whomever is presenting the idea). The highest paid person’s opinion, or best practices, or even intuition based on experience isn’t necessarily indicative of what’s going to actually work.
- You need to define your goals so that you can work towards them effectively.
- Goward presents the LIFT model – the Landing page Influence Function for Tests – which is the conversion rate optimization framework that the entire book is based off of. The LIFT model shows you the six factors that affect your conversion rates. The most important component is your value proposition – this is the vehicle that carries the possibility for your conversion. Urgency, relevance, and clarity can all help drive/lift your conversion rate, but distraction and anxiety will suppress it, and keep it from its full potential. Chapter by chapter, Goward talks you through how to test hypotheses that would improve each of these factors, and boost revenue. When you optimize for any of these factors, it has a direct impact on your conversion rate. There are some really great test ideas in those chapters!
- People make purchases emotionally and defend them rationally.
- Testing, done right, takes time and requires patience.
- Beyond just increasing leads and sales, testing gives you powerful insights – “statistically significant learning” – about what really works.
Most important chapter?
A case could be made for any of them…but we’d say chapters 11 and 12, “Test Your Hypotheses” and “Analyze Your Results”. These chapters take everything you’ve learned so far in the book and give you practical ways to implement testing.
In Chapter 11, Goward lists out “Thirty Reasons to Use A/B’n Testing”. One of them is “You can’t imagine how bad your web pages and site templates really are until you start A/B/n testing them.” We know from experience that that statement is true! Around the office, “you should test that!” has become part of our vocabulary, and reading this book gave us a renewed conviction that testing is critical to the success of an account/website. We have new ideas for tests to run, and new evidence for explaining to future or hesitant clients that running and listening to the results of A/B/n tests is the right play.
Have you read this book? What questions do you have for us about A/B/n testing? Ask us in the comments or send us a message! Empirical360 has managed over 100 PPC accounts and created over 500 landing pages. Conversion rate optimization is one of the things we do best, and our clients will tell you that our expertise is backed by the millions of dollars in revenue we’ve produced for them. Get in touch with us to find out about how we can take your business’s online presence to the next level.
Special thanks to Chris Goward at WiderFunnel for the terrific read!
Shea Antonucci - Author
Director of Content Marketing
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!