December 11, 2023

i’m lucky Has worked for everything from corporate giants like Uber and Coinbase to tiny startups running out of private homes in Silicon Valley. One of the biggest differences between these companies is their respective emphasis on conversion rate optimization (CRO).

The initial focus of small startups is often on growth pillars, such as paid acquisitions or launching a lifecycle email program. In contrast, larger companies have dedicated teams to manage and implement their CRO efforts and all other activities.

Lowering the cost of paid-to-acquisition makes a lot of sense when money is tight. Likewise, starting an email marketing campaign to drive performance through the funnel is just as important. What many startups don’t realize, however, is that CRO can help reduce paid acquisition costs and drive users through the funnel, if not more than the other pillars.

As a founder, how should you spend more time on CRO, and what strategies will best help you establish a CRO function? After I review the most effective experiences, you will understand how to better manage your time.

Think of CRO as a great addition to all the other projects you launch in the early days of your startup in terms of growth.

Examples of CROs

CRO has historically been limited to running tests on landing pages, but there are many other areas to test, including app store pages, email campaigns, and redirect campaigns.

Basically, if you’re testing ways to drive more users through your funnel and subsequently increase their conversion rate, you’re running a CRO experiment.

For our purposes, I’ll cover specific CRO tests you can start running for your startup’s landing pages. Here are some of the largest testing areas:

  • message
  • picture/video
  • module added
  • module placement

Most startups are already testing messaging in paid acquisition campaigns, but testing on landing pages is another area to experiment. When I consulted about products that appeared on Shark Tank, we ran dozens of CRO tests per week on the onboarding questions on the site to figure out which answers brought in the highest propensity users, i.e. very high test rates.

I was quite amazed at how much I was able to influence the conversion rate due to repeated testing of different modules (such as testimonials or FAQs) and where they ended up on the site. For example, I’ve found that putting a testimonial or news badge above the fold, without requiring users to scroll down to locate it, always improves conversions.