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How many maybes?

Yesterday we looked at how the quantity of visitors who might convert (or might not) can impact the value of your CRO efforts.

Specifically, if your audience is dominated by visitors who definitely will, or definitely won’t convert, you can’t accomplish much with optimization.

It looks like this:

Stacked bar chart of visitor percentages, not many winnable

… where the yellow slice represents the visitors you can entice with your enhanced layout, improved messaging, and tasteful design updates.

The most disciplined and aggressive CRO program on the planet will only net you a few percentage points with this audience. Maybe worth it, maybe not.

So how do you know if this is you?

Minimum conversion rate

How many conversions would you get even if you made the site decidedly worse? Probably not zero.

The minimum conversion rate for your site is the lowest observed conversion rate you’ve seen for an experience that wasn’t broken.

So, your lowest-converting A/B test variation of all time 🏆. Or the baseline you started with when you began optimizing. Or the site’s performance when a mis-named CSS file broke the navigation and caused all the images to be 3x their normal size.

Maximum conversion rate

This one’s easy - it’s just the conversion rate of the best possible experience your site can have.

So just go implement the optimal experience, and measure the conversion rate.


J/K that is beyond useless.

And while there’s no magical script you can run or tea leaves you can read to find your maximum CVR, you can measure whether you’re near it or not.

Whether you’re winning most of the maybes, or only a few.

Whether you’re here:

Stacked bar chart with arrow pointing to top of middle range

or here:

Stacked bar chart with arrow pointing to bottom of middle range

You’ll know you’re approaching an upper bound when

This could happen once in a while as a fluke. But if you consistently see your current site experience beat or tie all challengers - and your A/B testing platform isn’t broken - you’ve hit a point of diminishing returns.

Technically, you’re losing the company money at this point. You’re expending resources to ship lower-converting experiences to your visitors.

If this is you, congratulations! Take your trophy and go reallocate some budgets.

    © 2024 Brian David Hall