Why Quitters Never 30x Conversion Rates

paul2It’s a tough spot to be in.  Something in your marketing mix is not working.  Do you spend money, push through and figure things out or is this just a dead end that will never get better.

I got a call from a potential client a year ago.  A frustrated real estate agent. He spent a bunch of money on a website re-design.  Directions to the designer were, make my site look like Zillow.

Like most designers, he did as told.  Sent over drafts, the client tweaked & approved to his liking.

The site looked an awful lot like Zillow.  If I showed you the new one, 100% certain you would say it looks better than the old…and it did ‘look’ better.

The problem the client told me was,  

My cost per lead has gone from $15 to $200 with this new ‘Zillow-esque” website.




I told him to turn off the new website, put the old one back on, problem solved.

But, he didn’t want to.  At first I was a puzzled. Do you want leads at a price that works out to profitability or do you want a site that looks nice?  Give me the leads all day long I said to him.

He had invested so much into the new site, even though it wasn’t performing he didn’t want to give up just yet.

So we asked the tough question, How do we have a modern, up-to-date website AND convert better than the old site.

The road ahead would be challenging.  

We’d  would split some traffic to the old version to generate leads NOW & keep the business a float. Then we’d run traffic to the $200 CPL version of the site and split that traffic into B variations that we thought would perform better.  

We needed the conversion rate to improve on the new from .5% to over 15%.

Now where most marketers will tell you they snapped a few fingers, and voila we 30x’d the conversion rate .

I’ll tell you it was a three month slog. We did have some voila moments…we also had tests that did nothing, or did worse.

The point in all this is that it’s a fine line between moving past something that doesn’t work, to push forward, get through it. In the short term this is often frustrating, time consuming and expensive…in the short term.

So do you quit when the going gets tough?  ‘Save money, move on or push through?  

Here’s the one thing I know for certain: quitting on a project has never 30x’d a conversion rate like we did for the real estate client. I’m convinced the egg comes first and in some cases you have to break a few to get the omelet you are after – profitability.