Speaker interview

CRO: An Interview With Susan Weinschenk, The Brain Lady

As an extra goody, we have gathered just a few of the many influential speakers in the run up to our online conference: Conversion World 2016, to bring you deeper insights into their minds and outlook on the industry of Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Sam Hurley; Digital Marketing influencer and Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ, asked some searching questions to our panel of experts.

In this interview, Susan Weinschenk a.k.a. The Brain Lady and co-owner of The Team W discusses the future of CRO and how we should use nouns instead of (commonly recommended) verbs in CTAs.

#1. Susan, do you think CRO has become relegated to junior managers as a side project? Has it always been this way?

What I see is that there are two levels of CRO work… one is the strategy level and the other is the boots on the ground level. Both are important.

#2. How can those with knowledge of CRO get board members on side to invest in the practice?

The same way you get anyone on board with anything! In my book How To Get People To Do Stuff I talk about the 7 drivers of motivation. So you have to figure out which of the 7 drivers are the most powerful with the person or people and specific situation you have.

You have to frame your message and your request in a way that matches what’s important to them. What is it that they really care about and are wanting to accomplish?

#3. Can you give us 3 tactics you’ve found to be effective which actually go against the grain of ‘standard’ CRO?

Research shows that if you use nouns instead of verbs you can invoke a group identity which makes it more likely that people will take action. For example, “Be a member” rather than “Donate now”.

Images and wording in peripheral vision conveys important information unconsciously. Don’t leave white space around all of your edges. (And remember, eye tracking measures central vision only).

Although research shows that if you have faces on the screen looking at a certain location then the visitors will look at the same place on the screen, the research also shows that people won’t necessarily click there (they will just look). So opt for a face showing high emotion rather than a face looking at a particular area.

#4. Is there a benchmark conversion rate, or is it all a myth?

In my opinion it’s more useful to have your own benchmark than to use some kind of “industry” benchmark.

#5. What are your thoughts on dark patterns and have you ever used such techniques in the past?

There’s a line between designing for conversion and persuasion and designing to trick people into doing something they don’t want to do and they may not realizing they are agreeing to.

I don’t use or condone tricking people. In fact, I am sometimes an expert witness for legal cases being brought against websites that are misleading.

#6. What are your favourite tools of the trade?

Process tools: Audience/user research before you change or design anything.

Software: I’d probably say a Canon camera, Country microphone and Adobe Premiere for making videos.

#7. If there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be?

I’d like people to understand the behavioral science behind the CRO principles.

#8. How do you envisage the future of CRO?

I believe everything will change because ultimately I believe screen and keyboard based design has a limited shelf life. We are moving to wearables, socialable robots, virtual reality and audio interfaces.

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