Create a data-driven CRO plan

1. Define specific and measurable end objectives.

This decision will be dependent on organizational strategy. For example, are you interested in grabbing market share or customer retention? Or if you run an ecommerce site, are you primarily concerned with lifetime value, average order value, or the number of orders? Avoid tracking too many metrics, otherwise you can quickly become overwhelmed, and the data gathering process can become onerous.

2. Map the sales funnel that moves the user towards the final objective.

Consider the methods and channels you use to create awareness, gain interest, and encourage action. If you don’t have a sales funnel, start by mapping the customer journey, as this will help you understand the stages your customers pass through and the points at which they interact with your organization.

3. For each stage of the funnel, identify metrics that you can measure to judge the performance of that stage.

For example, surveys could be used to measure brand awareness, or you could use a combination of dwell time and page views to monitor interest. You might need a bit of lateral thinking here. It is better to measure something, even if that metric is not 100% accurate.

4. Identify tools that you will need to support the monitoring of metrics you have identified.

These tools might range from A/B testing tools like Google Optimize to marketing suites like HubSpot.

5. Based on internal resources and the complexity of measuring, decide how often you intend to monitor your various metrics.

For example, you could check sales daily, while running surveys would be less frequent as more work is involved.

6. Establish a consistent method, like a URL parameter, for tracking users coming to the sales funnel through different channels, so you can monitor how those channels perform.

7. Schedule periodic reviews to look at the performance of each stage in the sales funnel. In these reviews, identify weaker stages and explore ways of improving performance.

Also, compare the top of the funnel channels to see if any are underperforming. For example, is a particular ad campaign lowering your overall conversion rate.

8. Have a process for exploring improvements that combine quantitative methods such as AB testing or surveys with qualitative approaches such as customer interviews or testing with users.

Quantitative testing is excellent for identifying whether a solution is out-performing what you have. Qualitative testing will teach you why that solution is succeeding or not, which will help develop even better solutions.