What’s LCRO?

CRO = Conversion rate optimization

LCRO = Layered conversion rate optimization

Here is how my process used to be: when working on a conversion project I’d block a chunk of time and apply brute force to come up with the best idea I could.

I didn’t know any better and my intention was good.

But, it turns out, this isn’t the best way to develop a killer test concept.

Now I do things differently.

First, we deconstruct a page. Deconstruction is a process where we systematically evaluate every word, pixel, and emotion conveyed on the page. Each deconstructed element should nudge the shopper along the conversion path. Anything that doesn’t should be considered for elimination. Once deconstruction is complete we assemble the first iteration of our test concept. The concept doesn’t have to be perfect at this point.

We then take this concept and deconstruct it.

The process is repeated several times (each iteration is called a layer). These are the layers that give LCRO its name.


No doubt this process is more time consuming but the idea that ultimately emerges at the other end is objectively better.

Not going to lie. It’s hard to move to layered approach because, as experts, we believe our first big idea is amazing. Confirmation bias makes it really hard to dispel ideas that have already emerged. Poured concrete hardens.

This is why deconstruction is so important. Deconstruction is a wrecking ball, it isn’t emotionally tied to the idea, it just smashes it to bits.

If you want to develop a truly great idea; take it, smash it to bits, and rework it.


Is Loss Aversion a Real Thing?

Sure it is.

Do I (the reader) suffer from it? Yes, you do.

Let me prove it. Which option would you pick between 1 and 2 below?

Option 1: Get $900

Option 2: Take a 90% chance of winning $1,000 (and a 10% chance of winning 0)?

If you picked option 1 you have a full blown case of loss aversion because the outcome of option 1 and 2 are identical. Don’t feel too bad, I picked option 1 too. It isn’t our fault, these are deep-rooted cognitive biases.

Can I, as a marketer, use loss aversion to convert more shoppers? Yes, and I’m glad you asked.

Instead of phrasing your marketing message as “buy xxx and save $100” phrase it as “don’t lose $100. Buy xxx.”

Are you still struggling with option 2? I know I struggled with it. Because in my head I didn’t understand how 90% chance of winning $1,000 equals $900. If I have one chance then I either get $1,000 or $0. $900 option doesn’t make it into the equation. Economist Daniel Kahneman has a suggestion: thinking in terms of probability only works if you realize we are going to be making multiple probability bets in the course of a lifetime. Don’t think about this one gamble, think of it as 100 such similar gambles with a 90% chance of winning $1,000. Obviously, people don’t look at things that way, which is precisely why nearly everyone picks option 1.

Asymmetric Dominance Effect

Is a tactic where an option that is inferior is added to the comparison set. The lesser alternative makes the option that is dominated look more appealing.

Experiment 1: Students are presented with 2 annual subscription plans:

Option 1: $59 for online access.
Option 2: $125 for print and online access.

In this experiment, 68% chose print option, while only 32% chose online only.

Experiment 2:

Option 1: $59 for online access.
Option 2: $125 for print only.
Option 3: $125 for print and online access.

Now 84% chose the print and online option, while only 16% chose online only. No one chose the print-only selection.

Source: Dan Ariely experiment.

Marketing in Adjacent Markets

Look for related markets adjacent to your core market.

Here’s a good example: Warby Parker sells eyewear online but they also have an app that allows any consumer with a phone to test eyesight.

The app doesn’t scream “buy our product” but is perfectly aligned with the problem Warby Parker solves.

Their eye test app is ranked #9 on Apple app store under the medical category. To get similar visibility on Google Warby Parker would have to spend millions. So it’s a genius move.

My only question is why didn’t a monopoly like Luxottica think of this first??


Driving Conversions in a World Where User Attention Is Really Low

Don’t know about you but for me, 2017 has been the year when I’ve had to admit I have a problem. A problem with fragmented attention.

Whether it’s email, instant messaging, or even reading research articles on conversion optimization I find it hard to focus for too long.

And this doesn’t only apply to my work and personal life. This also applies to potential buyers on your site.

Looking at Google Analytics data it’s hard to miss the general trend that session durations are down, Exit rates are high, abandons are high, and percentage of shoppers who scroll to the bottom of a page is low. And those who scroll, scroll fast.

We already know 83% of what’s on a page is invisible to shoppers. And the reason it’s invisible is because shoppers are distracted.

To overcome this marketers have applied a novel trick, amp up the marketing message. If people can only see 17% of what’s on a page let’s make each marketing message scream out to get the user’s attention.

This works in the short term (novelty effect) but it’s a bad idea in the long run because if EVERYTHING on your page is marked important then we’re kinda back to square one.

2018 will be the year when marketers will start thinking deeply about conversion optimization in a world where shoppers have fragmented attention. Our product pages have been designed for shoppers that are willing to spend 90 seconds, what do we do in a world where shoppers are willing to invest only 70 seconds? How do we pitch our story?

Things to things to think about in 2018 …

Don’t Be Lazy This Holiday Season

During the holiday selling season websites typically add a sitewide design theme and/or message:


But they keep the rest of the site the same. For many sites, holiday selling is THE make/break part of their year.

Now, we know product page descriptions are THE single biggest conversion catalysts.

So, here is my question, why not rewrite your product page description around the holiday selling season? Tweak copy emphasis around themes like “treat yourself”, “amazing gift”, “celebrate”, etc.

I know what you’re thinking, “I have 561 SKUs, I can’t possibly rewrite every product page”.

Bad thought.

If you look at sales you’ll see 5 out of these 561 items drive a bulk of sales (also called Zipf’s Law). Surely, you’re not THAT busy that you can’t take out 4 hours to rewrite the description of a product page that drives 40% of annual sales.