We’ve had some good conversations going on in the Agile Attorneys Worldwide Slack group lately, and I thought I’d publish a taste of what’s going on in there. If you haven’t joined yet, the signup form is here (and I’ll embed it again at the bottom of this post.
This particular back-and-forth was between me and immigration attorney Greg McLawsen.
mclawsen: More a Lean than Agile question, but figured I’d toss it out here. We’re experimenting with a new web-only storefront for our immigration firm (soundimmigration.com) and are testing this core presumption: clients are willing to work with us in the web-only (no office) environment. We’re driving a reasonable amount of organic traffic (~140 unique/day), but folks aren’t setting up many consults and those who are haven’t converted to clients. I’m not sure if the “problem” is who is finding the site (a lot of the popular content is probably being read by people who have already filed their paperwork) or if folks are rejecting our concept. Any creative thoughts about how to tease out which it is?
jegrant3: Call the customers / users and ask them.
jegrant3: Also, check out:
How do you develop products that people will actually use and buy? This practical guide shows you how to validate product and company ideas through customer development research—before you wa…
mclawsen: Well, we of course don’t have contact info for site visitors (who aren’t customers, that’s the problem). Some of our content requires a sign-up to download, but that hasn’t been popular.
jegrant3: Ah, so maybe you aren’t offering content that is compelling enough to get people to give you their email/phone, or possibly your call to action is off. I’d start with running some A/B tests on your CTA and see if you can increase your basic conversion rate (experimenting with your call to action is probably cheaper than experimenting with your content). Once you move the needle on your conversion (or if after several attempts with your CTA you haven’t moved it) then maybe turn to tweaking the content itself.
jegrant3: Also, find people who are your target customer but who haven’t found your site yet, go to where they are (if at all possible) or set them up with a screen-share of some sort, and ask them to talk you through their experience of your website. They’ll tell you thinks out loud that you will never learn in a lifetime of site analytics gathering.
jegrant3: Finally, don’t think of low conversion as a “problem,” it is simply a present fact. If you are converting one of every 1000 unique visitors today, that’s a great data point to run experiments against. One set of experiments may be about driving more traffic, which means more conversions even if the rate doesn’t improve. Another may be about improving the conversion rate (as I suggest above).
Remember, nobody knows anything about anyone when starting a new business: Everything you think you know is probably just an assumption. So your job is to establish a baseline, validate your assumptions, and then try little things to see if they resonate with your customers. At first, you’ll fail more than you succeed, but what’s important is that you keep up your rate of learning. After a few cycles, you’ll find something that hits home, and then you can build on that success going forward.
mclawsen: Yeah, I wouldn’t view it as a problem if I knew for sure that nobody liked my idea… it’s just that I can’t yet tease that out.
jegrant3: And that is literally Eric Reis’s definition of a Startup: “A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”
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