Website Optimization Guru Interview: Bryan Eisenberg

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When you think of testing and conversion rate optimization, one of the first and greatest names that will probably spring to your mind is Bryan Eisenberg. His ‘Call to Action’ book that he wrote with his brother Jeffrey, was also one of the books that first got me into this field – so I was even more honored that he wrote the foreword of my new book, ‘Website Optimization: An Hour a Day’!

I recently managed to get some time out of Bryan’s crazy busy conference attending and consulting calendar to ask him a few questions. Let’s hear what he had to say:

Q: What’s keeping you at night at the moment (apart from your kids) – anymore books or exciting projects coming soon?

Magical big data applications for sales and marketing is what is occupying my time right now. I am working with Jeffrey, on a book on the topic, several keynote presentations and reviewing emerging solutions from vendors. And yes, my 3 kids keep me really busy right now too, even though it feels great having all three finally in school.

Q: Tell us about Runa, the new optimization tool you’re are an advisor for, and how can online marketers get most use out of it?

Runa is a new web tool that analyzes traffic to serve up real-time, big data-driven automated offers that are most likely to be accepted by the customer, while giving up the least, or no margin at all – in other words, increasing sales and revenue while focused in on margin optimization. Our research shows that when online retailers give away 10% of margin on site-wide offers they only receive an 8% lift in sales. With personalized offers using a tool like Runa you can give up less than 3% margin to see a 19% lift in sales.

Q: What is the biggest testing and optimization mistake you see your clients make, and how should they avoid it?

Not having a well developed test hypothesis is one of the biggest. Too many people do ad hoc testing and then wonder why there are no organizational learnings from their testing efforts. Every test costs real money and tool vendors aren’t likely to remind clients of that either.

Q: Testing is much more than using a good tool – to help succeed, what advice can you give for creating an organization that lives and breathes testing?

Develop the processes to involve and educate your whole organization on your testing efforts. Testing, optimization and experimentation are all qualities of a learning and adaptable organization. We all know that with the way the world of social, mobile and local have evolved the last few years, we need more adaptability.

Q: Who do enjoy following most on Twitter, and any up and coming website optimizers or online marketers you recommend to follow?

I have very diverse interests so I have created various private and public lists that contain the people I follow closely. There are several up and coming great people you should follow, many of them are my MarketMotive students like Noran El-Shinnawy, Naomi Niles and Theresa Baiocco.

Q: Website testing and conversion optimization is the new SEO if you ask me – do you have advice for anyone wanting to move into this exciting field?

I can recommend a quite few books to help you – see this list I put together a few years back for some great ones (plus ‘Website Optimization: An Hour a Day’ of course). To help you succeed, you also need to understand how website and conversion optimization interact with the multitude of marketing channels, and start experimenting by using some of the proven formulas like the Conversion Trinity that I developed.

Q: Give us a little glimpse into the future of testing and optimization – what do you think will be the most important things to test in 5 years?

Certainly mobile and social testing needs have been growing to really help improve those efforts. I think we’ll also continue to see screen technology evolve and testing needs change with it. Think how would you test layouts and content with augmented reality, etc. Google glasses any one?

So there we have it. Hope you enjoyed Bryan’s insights – if you have any follow up questions for him, please comment below. And a big thanks to Bryan for taking the time to answer these questions!