This episode features Carl Weische, CRO-Expert and co-founder of ACCELERATED where they specialize in accelerating the growth for D2C-Brands by unlocking the power of CRO and A/B-Testing. His agency works with fast scaling 7-10 figured D2C brands.
Carl discusses how conversion happens and the tool that he finds useful when converting. He also shares what are some of the KPIs that a store owner should be reviewing after the holiday season and the multitude of programs they are using for tracking.
Carl emphasizes the importance of the lifetime value of customer acquisition through optimization and retention.
Listen to what services ACCELERATED are offering to their clients in helping them improve conversion and Carl’s favorite success story of one of his clients and the challenges they struggle with in getting results for their clients. Find out how they are standing apart from the other conversion optimization companies.
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To find more information about Carl, go to https://www.acceleratedagency.com/
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:00
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic which is turning your visitors into customers. Today's guest is a CRO expert and co founder of Accelerated where they specialize in accelerating the growth for D to C brands by unlocking the power of conversion rate optimization and A/B testing. His agency works with some fast scaling seven to 10 Figured dt to see brands a big welcome to Carl Weische. Hi, Carl.
Carl Weische 0:34
Hey, Andy, thanks so much for having me on. Thank you for the introduction. I'm really excited to be here.
Andy Splichal 0:39
Yeah, we're excited. We're excited to talk about conversion. So conversion, it's the Golden Grail, the holy grail of ecommerce marketing. Where do you start? Is it your targeting your offer your system? Where where is it?
Carl Weische 0:53
It's a great question. So when I think about conversion and conversion optimization, I like to have a holistic approach to because some of the times, brands and marketers thinks that it's all about like tactics, or hacks or strategies to like fine tune something on your landing page. But for me, a conversion happens with the first touchpoint that a brand has with the prospects of the title audience. So it starts with the our ad that they see. And from the ads over the call to action to the landing page, and then throughout the funnel, until they buy right until the conversion happens. But it really starts with the first initial touch point between the brand and the potential customer.
Andy Splichal 1:35
Now one of my projects here in the new year coming up is to really focus on conversion, which is why I'm I'm very excited to have you on the show today. One of the core concepts I find useful is looking at what's called the results trying prospect proposition and process. Do you have a tool that you find useful and kind of simplifying how you want to look at converting?
Carl Weische 2:01
Yeah, so it's, it's really based on what they tell you like to look at, right, whether you want to look more at the quantitative data for that, for example, I like to use Google Analytics because it gives you a great overview over the customer journey over the essential touchpoints. And then also about the KPIs right for each of the pages in terms of how they convert, or what the click through rate is, in terms of more qualitative data are really like to jump into customer surveys. And also until Hajah user recordings. So sometimes I just sit down for a day and look at these screen recordings of the traffic just like clicking through the store, right, at least like five to 10 minute videos, which records are each of the sessions. So they give you a really, really great insight of how people are interacting with the store or of the funnel and how they navigate through it. Right? Obviously, it doesn't tell the whole story of what they're going through mentally and emotionally. But it gives you the first great insights of how they interact with the store. And this in combination with the customer surveys. And for example, Google Analytics gives you really great picture of where to optimize for conversion,
Andy Splichal 3:11
Right? Yeah. And for listeners who don't know he's referring to hot jar where you can have a subscription and it actually screen videos, each visitors journey on your website so you can see, you know, what they're doing and what path they're taking, and where there might be a bottleneck. I mean, that's it's a great tool. Now, here we are in the midst of the holiday shopping season, when you're looking back at numbers in January is an ecommerce merchant. What are some of the KPIs that a store owner should be reviewing?
Carl Weische 3:47
Our great question. So I think the most important KPI that we always like to go fast profit, right? It really depends on the individual's brand strategy. But one of the main KPIs for us is always going to be profit and cash flow, because that's ultimately going to be the main KPI for you, whether you're able to grow and scale or not, right, it's great to make a lot of revenue, but then also you need to have a great careful and a great profit behind it, so that you can feel more growth with your brand, right? And profit is really based on how much are you paying for your traffic? And then how much are you earning off your traffic? Right. So basically, the CPC the cost per click, and then also the EPC. So the earnings per click Buy and so ultimately, it's going to be your Ross right. So how like what is the return for every single dollar that you put into your advertising spend? And for that as a brand you have like two different levels, right. The first level is obviously optimizing your paid acquisition efforts. So everything in terms of the creative or the media buying strategy or performance marketing strategy. And the second big lever is conversion optimization. So making sure that your funnel site and the landing pages and the offer that you have. So that's where we like to look at in terms of KPIs.
Andy Splichal 5:15
How important how much emphasis are you putting on lifetime value of customer acquisition? I mean, you're talking about a profitability of that click for for that purchase, but what about lifetime value?
Carl Weische 5:30
I'm really grateful that you asked that question and funnel into that direction. Because I think, for the brands, especially in this year, with everything that's going on in your world, with the economic downturn with the recession, with our with click prices rising, it's becoming more difficult for brands, right, and you can only optimize the traffic, or the cost of the traffic so much that you have to make sure that you have a great back end and a great retention strategy. So the customer lifetime value is really, really, really important for brands. And I would go as far as saying this is becoming like one of the most important KPIs for brands. So first of all, obviously, the we like to optimize for the high average order value right on the front end, so that you can scale your paid acquisition efforts. But then also, you need to have a good retention strategy, whether it be with email, as some as a community, on application or something of that sort. So that you make sure that for the, for the price that you're paying for acquisition, that you have a good revenue coming in, in the long run, right?
Andy Splichal 6:47
Yeah, no, that really goes into my next question of how important do you believe that becoming customer centric is, versus being a purely transactional company on the conversion process? Yeah.
Carl Weische 7:04
So my personal opinion, as they're being customer centric is going to be the make or break of your business, right? So being customer centric, as well as the make of your business, and then being transaction driven as well, that will break off your business, especially in these times that we live in right now. And you see this with the huge corporates like Amazon, right, they've been able to grow to being like one of the main leading companies like one of the big four, because they've always been customer centric, they always, they always focused on analyzing what they can optimize, how they can improve customer experience, how they can retain customers longer. And I mean, if every single one of us has a look at their Amazon Audit History, we probably have a lifetime value of a couple of $1,000, right? I mean, like, once you're in the Amazon sphere, you're just spending like money, like crazy on there. That's why I think that being customer centric is really, really, really important. And it's also that we see this trend, a lot of the dropshippers, for example, right? A lot of dropshippers are turning their stores into brands, because they see that drop shipping is only a short term business model. And that nowadays, if you really want to scale a brand, and if you really want to have a business that's staying in the game for long, then you need to be customer centric, and you need to be building a great brand with a great relationship to your customer bases.
Andy Splichal 8:41
Now, one of my favorite sayings is what gets measured gets improved. And we all know that it's super important to have tracking really buttoned up on your eCommerce store to figure out what's coming in, where's it coming from? What's converting, but what analytics program are you using? Is a CRO company. Are you using analytics or is it something else?
Carl Weische 9:07
Yes. So we use a multitude of programs. But most foundational is going to be Google Analytics, right? Because with Google Analytics, you have a great overview of all of the main KPIs. What we like to use to support that is Google Tag Manager, because of Google Tag Manager, you're able to, as you said, create a lot of these custom events, right. So what I mean by that is, with Google Analytics with the basic setup, you have the ecommerce tracking, so you have an overview over for example, session duration, or bounce rate or average order value or conversion rate or revenue, right? And then we can optimize for those metrics. But if we jump into Google Tag Manager and create more events that are being tracked, we can track more specific and more complex KPIs. So for example, how fob that the user scroll down on the page, or which button did the user click? Or what did the user hover over? Right? Or what is the click through rate between the different pages in the funnel, for example. And with that, you get more and more events and more KPIs that you can track. And that you can also optimize them for this is always our tech stack is Google Tag Manager, and then Google Analytics to analyze the data. And then, as I said earlier, Hajia is great software that I highly recommend that we also actually look at for more qualitative data, right? Because you have these really visual representations of the data, for example, these user recordings that we've been talking about, or also the heat maps, and click maps, and Scrum maps. So what I've just been talking about what we can track with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics Hotjar is the pond on to that for visual analysis. Sahaja also tracks where most of the users click, for example, or how far the user scroll. And then you have a visual representation and part of the heat map, where most of the traffic is being like navigating towards. So this is like the tech stack that we like to use to analyze ecommerce brands and finance.
Have you started migrating to GA for Google Analytics for?
Yes, so we started selling the data, I believe, from June and July or this year.
Okay, yeah, no, for listeners that don't know that is going to be mandatory, I think what June of 2023? So you set up the stacks, you do this? I think what what services are you offering to clients, helping them improve conversion.
So our one and only offer is the complete done for you service where we come in. And we work together with eight figure brands. And we fine tune the existing finance and the existing nine, nine pages. And then we will also build out new financing new landing pages to split test them against the current setup. So we can improve conversion rates and average order value was the ultimate goal of making the traffic more profitable.
And do you have a favorite success story of one of your clients that you could share?
Yes. That's interesting question. My favorite success story is really one of our first clients that we work with, because this is really close to my heart, because it's like really emotional story. Because this was back in September 2020. So I spoke to this guy from Austria called robot. And back then he was trying a general dropshipping store, right? We, we all have seen this sometime the stores that are not brand new, that are just testing products, right? So you go on the homepage, and you see kitchen accessories next to a dog bed next to Jim leggins. Right? Yeah, yes, they are just testing products. And he came to us and he just lost his job due to COVID. Saw this store was this like only chance to kind of make the money and to be able to pay rent and eat and everything. So this was like, as we put all of his effort, time and energy into, and he came to us because he ran Facebook ads for a thing back then like one or $2,000 spend per month. And it was really profitable, because the conversion rate was bad. Because he was doing a lot of different ads, he was testing a lot of different products. And then imagine you click on an ad and you see a store and like it's not a brand, it doesn't stand for anything. And it has like a bandwidth of 1020 products that don't have anything to do with each other. Right. So we started working together, and we jumped into the analytics of the store. And what we first wanted to figure out is does he have a hero product? Right? Is there one of the products that like a best seller out of all of these different ones. And what we found was that all of his revenue, like 90 to 95% of his revenue was coming from the dark bet, right? Not from the leggins not from the kitchen accessories or any of the other parts that he was testing, but from the dark but so what we did with our conversion optimization approach was completely rebrand the whole page. So we made it look like a dark brand. Right we created a new logo, we created new colors, we created a new page. We have specific copywriting for dog owners for pet owners. We added a lot of pictures of dogs and dog owners to the page. And then we also take out all of the products that didn't have anything to do with the pet niche. And we added a lot of complementary products around it. So for example, like a dog leash or dog harness or more accessories, and we made it look like a real well established pattern, right. And then we also added, like a lot of trust, a lot of nice copywriting value proposition product benefits throughout the different pages. And then we pushed it live. And it was really crazy because this was one of my first projects. And it turns a conversion rate from point three, five to 2.7%. overnight. And it makes his Facebook ads effort really profitable. And then he was able to scale that up and live from that. And yeah, that's my craziest case study until now. And it was also really emotional. Because just by doing that, he was able to live from that project.
Yeah, that's a great story. And I can I think it kind of shows that you really have to have the theme all the way through, right, that people aren't if they see it, and it's like, it's like a garage sale, they're a lot less likely to buy than if you have a theme for dog beds. And they're, you know, you're the expert on dog beds. And so that's that's what happened to conversion, I'm sure. Now, let's talk about are there any challenges that you've struggled with in getting some results for your clients? Have you tried something that hasn't worked?
Yes, so here's the thing with A/B testing, we have all of the time that we think we have a great idea, right? Whether it be testing a different value proposition or testing a new landing page. And for example, if credited ideas lined it up, put a lot of effort into it. And then we push the A B test life, and then we see that it performs worse than the current landing page. And that was most of the times in the past when I created it. So it would work well for me, for example, as the target audience, and it would serve me and I personally really liked it. And I kind of forgot to tailor it to the real target audience, right. And let's say for example, I'm sending passion to a female audience, but I'm designing and writing the landing page. So I like it, that doesn't really work, right? Because the female audience that may also be a bit older than me is completely thinking differently, right for them. Different benefits of the product are appealing for them a different design is appealing. And they're taking a completely different approach to their customer journey than I think they are. Right. So this in the past was like the biggest thing that we ran tests, or we ran different landing pages, where we didn't focus on really tailoring to the audience. And that's also what I really liked. What you just mentioned, is that you have to really make sure that you have a great product market fit in a sense that you really create an experience that's tailored to the audience's needs and wants and beliefs and desires notice, right, that really speaks to them. And that really grabs their attention and then sets them
Now when you are optimizing, are you optimizing only on the customers websites like Shopify sites, big commerce sites, or are you touching Amazon stores.
So we are not touching Amazon stores, the same ideas and principles apply. And I also did this in the past when I run my own Amazon FBA business that I was testing different hero images and different keywords and different bullet points and different A plus content for example. And also friends that run Amazon agency right now where they specialize in a B testing exactly this. Right now we don't do this because we just wanted to focus on the E commerce and building funnels, right so ecommerce in the sense that they have their own pages. And we can kind of control the customer journey, because the customer behavior when they see an ad and then click on your landing page and on the funnel is different to the customer journey that happens when they have a search when they have a buying intent, right? And they search a specific product on Amazon. And then they just compare products. It's like a completely different way of buying something.
So let me ask when did you start the agency Accelerated?
I started the agency are mid 2020.
And have were there any business books out there that you could attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?
A lot, a lot of business books. The one of the first books that I read was How to Awaken the Giant Within from Tony Robbins that wasn't necessarily directly tailored to business, but it was one of the books that kind of laid the foundation are the books that are really really like the web's highlights of business was the one from Patrick Beck David thing it's called Thinking Ahead. Um, I really liked Relentless from Tim Grover. I really liked four hour week from Tim Ferriss. And I'm just kind of looking at my book stack over here at my shelf. And I really, really like the almanac of Nairobi count. And then they're like a lot of really specific books like $100 million offers from Alexa mozzie the way of the world from Jordan pay for Scientific Advertising, advertising and all of those, so
You named a lot of good ones that are on my shelf as well. Now 2020 that's not too long ago. What how have you been able to grow? What problems? are you solving for your clients? And how are you standing apart from from the other conversion optimization companies?
are great question too. So in the beginning, we kind of did everything right. So as I said, we started building complete stores, we started, like tearing apart landing pages, we did copywriting we did workshops, consiting, everything. And then mid last year, we shifted towards only doing one service, which is the A B testing that we do right now I have the complete like done for you zero. And then we just focused and doubled down on this one, our service. And this enabled us to put all of our energy and resources into creating the processes for that service. And that's how we were able to bid the team in the back and more efficiently. Because we find that it was kind of all over the place. It didn't have like a real project management, it was just like working from project to project to project and every project was different. But focusing and doubling down on only one service was really what was enabling us to scale. So mid last year, we switched to this one service only. And then end of the beginning of this year, we started really scaling and the thing that helped us the most was going to mastermind events, traveling around making connections with other marketers and experts and agencies. And business was really, really helped us. And this is also like the main differentiator now, so we always want to keep iterating and keep evolving and keep learning not only directly tailored to for example, CRO or consumer psychology, but also in general, like what's working in marketing, what's working in direct response for other marketers and agencies are going through these times right now navigating through like a recession period, or whatever may be. That was like the biggest thing if I was going out then connecting with them.
And for your A/B testing, do you use Google optimizer or using something else?
Yeah, so we use Google Optimize. Last month, we switched to comedian, our comedian dislike and up price testing tool interesting.
And who is the perfect who have you focused? You're laser focused? Who are you focusing on that if they are out there listening they need to contact you?
Great question. So we are laser focused on eight figure brands, because that's where we see that the level of zero and I'd be testing as the biggest saw any brand that's doing between one to 5 million a month. That's like the perfect service for them to get more out of the paid acquisition efforts that they have.
Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you would like to wrap it up? Add before we wrap it up today? Oh,
not really. I really enjoyed this episode with you, Andy, thanks so much for having me, you're a great host and I really enjoyed your questions. Yeah, so it was really excited.
Great. And how can somebody interested find you? How can they get more information?
So I'm most active on Twitter on just the call by show with my first and last name, or my agency website is acceleratedagency.com So that's why I have like a lot of information and for Twitter, I'm also doing like a lot of content so you can just shoot me a DM asking questions, and I will reply.
Well, it's been great for listeners. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding accelerated work connecting with Carl, you will find those links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our podcasts resources that are available at podcast dot make each click count.com we have compiled all of our different past guests by show topic it includes each of their contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services I have discussed during previous episodes. Well that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.