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Finding opportunities

Finding opportunities for growth with product data

If you’re wondering how to grow your business in a short time, it may be challenging to find which of your ideas for growth needs to take priority. This lesson talks about how to organize your thoughts when it comes to choosing which products or improvements need to take center stage.

Start by understanding your conversion funnel

Before a customer buys your product, you take them on a journey that begins from your sign up page, next they find the product they want, put it in their cart, proceed to checkout and process their payment. This journey we have outlined is your funnel. A lot of your customers begin their journey from the top of this funnel but only some of them will make it to the end of the funnel when they checkout. The first thing to do when optimizing your funnel is to be up to date with all that is happening. Tracking the key events of your customer’s journey from discovery to when they eventually pay you can help you do this effectively. It may seem like a long process but it usually only takes about four or five events for most companies. Using tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel helps you see, slice and dice your funnels according to attributes like company size.

Focus on one part of the funnel 

Now that you have a clear picture of your funnel and what leaks need to be plugged first, you may still be lacking context at this stage and a common question that gets asked is, “what’s a good conversion rate?” you have to always remember that there will always be room for improvement regardless of how strong your conversion rates are. These areas can help you decide what part of your funnel should be prioritized if you are to keep growing. 

Reach: you can affect more users with your optimizations if you choose to focus your efforts at the top of your funnel, and if you get more users, the results of your optimizations will be tremendous.

Company goals: when you make your company decisions, it important to also focus on the metrics that matter to your business. For a team focused on driving up revenue over total user growth and paid accounts, carrying out bottom of the funnel experiments would be a great idea. Activation and acquisition are also a strategic goal for a firm looking to grow at all costs instead of ensuring that people are paying. 

Common sense: looking at your numbers are a great way to get a feel of what moves will make the most impact but it gets harder when you begin to pick off the low hanging fruits. However, at the start at the start, you can tell which ones will bring big opportunities. 

Investigate the problem

After picking the part of your funnel step you want to focus on, the next step is dig deep and discover the root of the problem. Fortunately, there are strategies that you can use to answer the questions you have about getting more customers. 

User session recordings: this can show you areas where users click and get stuck, tools like HotJar allow you see customers’ full sessions where you can see quirks and bugs in flows. 

Live chat: on screens and pages where customers have issues you can open a chat window and wait for customers to ask questions or you can reach out to them and ask questions. These days many customers are used to getting support from companies and are at ease with conversing using live chat tools.

Surveys: just like with a live chat, surveys can be put at the bottom of your site’s pages with tailored questions asking your users about their experience. Another way of using surveys is to send them out with emails.

Customer interviews: you can also pull a list of customers who have been stuck in one step of the funnel or the other and contact them for a quick call to chat, get to the root of the problem and talk about their experience.

Cross company knowledge swap: ask your sales team for feedback on what they have heard about customers’ experiences concerning an issue. You can also go through your helpdesk and find tickets addressing the problem.

Measure your bench marks and set goals 

It can be tempting to dive in and start creating tests but before doing that, you need to measure your baseline and plan ahead. To be able to know if your efforts are working and what steps you need to take next, you have to be aware of the baselines movements. Set a goal of what your picture of success would be like and then wait. During the time you are waiting, you can think about what needs to be done next. Setting goals will also motivate your team to do better.

Brainstorm and test solutions 

Having identified your problems and set goals, the next thing to do us brainstorm on what experiments to conduct and increase your conversion rates. You can rank your ideas based on their potential impact and the time they will take to execute as a means of identifying which ones to give priority to. The ideas that have low time investment and high potential for impact should be tackled first before experimenting with the others.  You can run A/B tests to test the impact of your ideas and also experiment with a small group of your users by launching new features for just that group while other users continue with the same experience. A/B tests often take time to complete especially if you do not have a large volume of users for running tests so they aren’t strictly necessary. 

See if your ideas worked

After experimenting for some time, you can use tools to check if they actually worked and you achieved your goal of boosting your conversion rate. If you’re close enough then you can go ahead and implement the new growth ideas and move on to test the next one. 

Rinse and repeat 

You can repeat the steps you used in successful optimization strategies and stick to the same process when you replicate them to achieve the same results. 

To measure your performance and see if your ideas are performing, you need to talk to your customers and get a clear idea of what’s wrong and how to make their user experience better.

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Using data for growth

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