Making the best of unreliable visitor data
Lots of doom and gloom lately about how a single user can be counted as multiple visitors in your analytics platform, and how this can mess up your experiment results.
For what it’s worth, this phenomenon also means:
- Your New vs Returning visitor report is inaccurately skewed toward New
- … so your personalization campaign targeting New Visitors is being served to Returning Visitors 🤦♂️ - they’re just on a different device, or browser, or they cleared their cookies
- Your Conversion Paths report underreports how many sessions and channels are really involved in a conversion
Let’s take action already! There’s got to be something we can do about all this bogus data, these mistargeted campaigns, and the general feeling of uneasiness that comes with them.
There are two general approaches you can take - make the best of the imperfect data, or try to perfect it. We’ll look at the first approach today.
If you accept that you have a substantial percentage of visitors multi-devicing your site, what does it look like to embrace this fact?
You might reconsider the entire purpose of your mobile experience. Do you really want visitors to fill out your 10 step signup form on their phones?
I know, some people do, and that’s great. But is growth really a matter of convincing more people to thumb-type their address + zip? Will a different color CTA, or even a revised value proposition, be enough to overcome the laziness, hesitation, and fragmented attention that we all experience when using our phones?
Some of my past lead generation and SaaS clients have had success - with numbers to back it up - setting a less ambitious goal.
Rather than push for conversion on mobile, they just push for email signups.
Intuitively, this is a logical and empathetic strategy. “We know you’re reading this in a bathroom stall at work, so we won’t ask you to fill out a form right now. Let us send you some more info and if you’re interested, you can come back on your laptop.”
Here’s how to math out whether this approach is paying off:
# of extra email signups x Email list conversion rate = # of extra conversions
If that number is bigger than the number of extra conversions you’re able to get on mobile by begging, cajoling, or tricking people into interacting with your signup form, you win.
(This often works because the # of extra email signups is pretty huge once you redesign your mobile experience around it.)
Plus you’re growing your email list. Plus you’re not annoying mobile visitors by funneling them onto a page with ten form fields 👍
Note that this does not completely solve the issue of imperfect visitor data. But when someone signs up for your email list on mobile, then returns on desktop by clicking a link in an email, you’ll know they’re not a new visitor, and you can communicate with them appropriately.
This strategy doesn’t work for everyone. How about you? Could you let go of your ambitious conversion rate goals on mobile, and come up with an easier, but still valuable action for users to take? How does it math out?
Hit reply and let me know, especially if the answer is “No way, that won’t work for us.”