I was reading a case study last evening regarding Dell.com’s take on how it improved and continues to improve conversions on its site. Written by Sam Decker and found in the book “Call to Action”, there was a resounding pattern in the text that jumped out at me. It was the letter “D”. So I call the following synopsis, “Sam Decker’s 11 Ds for Improving Conversions“.
Definitions. Make sure you have clearly defined metrics and goals that your organization understands…and understands how to measure and meet them.
Data. Obviously we need consistent and accurate data and data gathering procedures. It’s imperative that the organization is able to collect and organize the data it needs and that its accuracy is verifiable.
Daily monitoring. Put your goals and metrics in place and watch them daily. Gather, preferably, first thing in the morning, to review the previous day’s performance, compare historical results and match against your goals. Take away action steps when necessary to make sure you are on pace to meet or exceed your goals.
Diagnostic metrics. Have metrics in place that will clearly alert you to problems and improvements. These metrics, when viewed, should be self-explanatory and quickly reveal what needs to be changed (or what change was worthwhile).
Dashboards. Having a singular document for your team to review showing metrics, goals and historical data is key to rapid analysis. One simply doesn’t have time to view and analyze everything, so put the essential data on the dashboard, review it and take action. I’ve seen this in place at a previous employer and it was incredibly successful. The executive team and other key players would convene each day at 8:30am without fail to review a one-page “Daily Operations Report” measuring top key performance indicators(KPIs).
Democracy. By having your team review and be asked for feedback on performance and how to continue to improve conversions, you empower and motivate the team to be accountable and creative towards conversion problem solving.
Dedicated party. It is important that someone owns the responsibility for improving conversions. This is most effectively done by delegating ownership to different dedicated parties and have them responsible for the metrics and goals within their area of business. Accountants, designers, marketing managers, customer support (and more) can all be dedicated parties to help improve conversions for the organization. It goes back to establishing a democracy around your analysis procedures – empowered team members will provide the best suggestions.
Decisions. The top item on the agenda for all of this analysis is to make decisions that will positively impact your conversions. Always keep this at the forefront of your analysis. What decision can we make from this information that will improve performance?
Demonstrable impact. When analyzing and making decisions, be sure that whatever modifications you intend to implement will be easily measured to show the change on your conversions. Without a definite way to view the changes, you are wasting time and resources…and could be hurting your conversions without knowing.
Design. In everything you do, consider the design. This can be applied to how you layout your dashboard, your information architecture, graphic appeal, the analysis program itself and everything in between. Design needs to be functional for the consumer – and the consumer, in this case, is both your customer and your staff so make good design a high priority.
Determination. Stay consistent and focused. A good analysis program takes time to build. And improving conversions can take time, too.