Week 12!

We’ve reached the end of our journey in CXL’s Conversion Optimization Minidegree.

I cut it close, but I made it.

You’re reading a post written by a CRO specialist certified by CXL, one of the best sources to learn all about conversion optimization.

Let’s recap what happened since you read my last post. If I try to explain everything in detail, I’m sure you’ll be reading a 10,000+ post.

And no one wants that.

So here’s a quick summary.

Here are the courses I completed over the past week:

  • Advanced experimentation analytics with Chad Sanderson
  • Optimizing for B2B with Bill Leake
  • Customer value optimization with Justin Rondeau
  • Digital psychology and behavioral design training with Brian Cugelman
  • Applied neuromarketing with Andre Morys

Now, thats all the remaining CRO-related know-how in CXL’s minidegree.

The last module takes care of the ‘business’ part of initiating a CRO program or agency.

Meritt Aho leads a series of courses to help you initiate a CRO program in your company.

  • How to design, roll out, and scale an optimization program
  • Evangelizing for optimization in enterprise
  • Building your optimization technology stack

While the course on creating a CRO agency comes from the founder of CXL himself, Peep Laja.

I know, right?

That’s a lot of new info.

So instead of the usual course breakdown, I’m going to do this one cumulatively.

Let’s start with the “testing” part. Continuing where we left off with the statistical courses last week, this week we’re taking a more practical approach.

Testing

Chad Sanderson breaks down how to use R to analyze your testing data and create simulations.

Even if you have no experience with programming, I think you’d be able to follow his lessons fairly easily. The course explains basic R functions that’d be useful to know to analyze your data, such as creating simulation data, performing tests on your data, and creating graphs.

This course puts all the previous courses we’ve learned about statistics into practice. It ends the “testing” module nicely, since we finally get to see some practical example after hours and hours of cramming in theoretical knowledge.

The next section is the last one on the topic of conversion optimization: optimization strategies.

Strategies

Personally, this seems like one of the most scattered module in the minidegree.

But, that’s to be expected from a module called “strategies.”

This module includes a quick lesson on how to handle optimizing for B2B clients. Since they have a longer sales cycle, the main goal in CRO is leads instead of revenue.

The next one is psychology and behavioral design by Brian Cugelman. This is a familiar name, as he also led the course on influence and interactive design on the first module: foundation.

In this module, he explained the CugelGaard model he developed with Michael Aagaard. This model combines theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of psychology and neuroscience when it comes to improving digital campaigns.

The course itself is divided into four sections: behavioral UI, emotional motivators, behavioral media, outcomes.

We start off with emotional motivators, which explains that there are four types of motivators your visitors might have: insecure, optimistic, secure, and pessimistic.

Pessimistic is a bad spot to be in, where they‘ve given up on a solution, it’s a bad place to trap your customers in. While secure is good, in this state your audience isn’t looking for anything new since they’re comfortable with their current solution. (Hint: this is where you want current customers to be!) On the other hand, insecure and optimistic are states where your ideal targets are at. They’re most likely more open to alternatives, which makes opening a conversation easier for you.

The outcomes are the states you want your customers to be in while they undergo your buyer’s journey. While behavioral UI and media are things you need to pay attention to if you want to move your audience through the stages of your buyer’s journey.

The last module is André Morys’s Applied Neuromarketing course.

Another familiar face, as he leads the course on heuristic analysis back on module 2, conversion research.

In this one, he explained how exactly the brain makes decisions. This course is all about implicit signals in your pages that can nudge people with emotional resonance.

He explains that implicit codes are how your audience’s brain translates things into relevance signals so they decide whether to stay or leave. He discusses that there is actually a very wide gap between what you meant and what your customer’s brain translates.

To bridge this gap, he suggests using a clear persona and goals to show which emotion to use to make a connection with your audience. By using emotionally related personas, you’ll be able to position your entire campaign to use consistent corners of the limbic map to make it resonate better.

He also suggests decreasing cognitive load to make your page easier to consume, and hence improving emotional engagement to generate more trust.

To test for emotional perception, you can do a quick association test to make sure you hit the right emotions.

Some parting thoughts

Now, the big question:

Do I recommend this course?

The answer is yes. Wholeheartedly.

The curriculum of the conversion optimization minidegree is comprehensive. It covers everything you need to know to become a CRO specialist. We start with the foundational knowledge across various fields, like

The lecturers are just plain awesome. Every one of them is an expert in their respective subjects, and they managed to pack years of knowledge into manageable pieces.

Will I pay the ~$900 needed to pay for this course? (Or the annual ~$1300 subscription access)

I mean, I’m biased since I’m now a hardcore fan of CXL. But yes, I will.

It’s a small price to pay compared to what you learnt. And if you‘re an agency owner (or plans to create one), you’ll make your money back in no time. CRO is such a high-value skill to have, and it’s definitely one with not enough experts.

Lastly, I wanted to thank the CXL team and all the mentors involved in this minidegree. It’s been eye-opening. There are definitely times when I want to cry since I can’t grasp the concept that well(looking at you, testing modules), but it’s worth it.

Not ready for the commitment? I urge you to check out CXL’s blog, there are plenty of information there that will help you with conversion optimization.

You can also check the curriculum, find the mentors involved and check out if THEY have a blog. Most of them have shared their knowledge generously plenty of times, so it’ll be a great way to prove the quality of their teaching method.

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