Future Now’s Bryan Eisenberg Discusses New Book, Testing
In his new book, "Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer," Brooklyn, N.Y.-based author Bryan Eisenberg says e-marketers should operationalize a process for conducting tests.
The co-founder and executive vice president of marketing optimization firm FutureNow, Eisenberg wrote the book with John Quarto-vonTivadar and Lisa T. Davis. Here are highlights of our interview with him.
eM+C: Per the theme of your book, why is testing so important, in your opinion? What value does it bring to online companies?
Eisenberg: We all have opinions. The most important opinions belong to our customers because they end the discussion by giving us their money or not. The only way to eliminate guessing, egos and simply poor results is to present our opinions to the court of last resort: customers. We've asked a client to change one graphic on a page, and that one change was worth over $25 million annualized. Our recommendation was controversial, and people argued. But money talks, and the customer's voice was loud and clear.
eM+C: Your book essentially is a guide to Google Website Optimizer, Google's free Web site testing and optimization tool. Besides the fact that it's free, can you discuss some additional reasons why you endorse it and essentially look at it as the de facto testing tool?
Eisenberg: I always advise clients to "get good at free, then pay." The ROI of a tool is in what you do with it and the results it helps you produce. The cost of the tool is no reflection on quality. GWO lets you do tons of great tests. Of course, there are tools that let you do lots more. So I recommend that you launch a bunch of successful tests using GWO. Then you'll justify the cost of your next tool because it will already be paid for from past successes.
eM+C: Can you offer our readers any best practices or tips around how they can use GWO to help them convert online visitors into online buyers? Are there any magic formulas?
Eisenberg: Don't test hundreds of things at once. Operationalize a process for doing testing in your organization. We offer our customers a process based on three simple questions:
- Who do we want to persuade?
- What action do we want them to take?
- What content/messaging do they need in order to take that action?
For more information about "Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer," visit www.testingtoolbox.com. The book also is available at major booksellers online and in stores.