Conversion Optimization is Like Retirement Planning, Just More Exciting

Conversion Optimization is Compounding Interest for Your Business

A shocking graph; The power of compound interest; What 7% a month growth gets you.

I had to study the graphic two or three times before my brain registered what it was saying. We recently enacted a new retirement plan here at Conversion Sciences — a Safe Harbor 401(k) for you odd ducks that find this sort of thing interesting.

I thought I understood the value of saving at an early age, especially since I have acquired the wisdom that is lacking among early-agers. Yet, a little graphic buried in the heavy pages of our retirement plan manual made me wish I could jump on George Orwell’s time machine.

Look closely at this graph, and celebrate if you're under 30.
Look closely at this graph, and celebrate if you’re under 30.

Any young whippersnapper who can scrounge up $2,400 a year for ten years will have more party money at retirement than I will if I put away $2,400 every year until I am 80.

It’s just not fair.

I hope this next sentence will help my retirement problems, because it will make everyone want to call Conversion Sciences.

Any business who can scrounge up $10,000 or $15,000 a month for website optimization will have far more revenue in thirty months than a business who waits ten months before they start.

Conversion optimization is like compounding interest. New increases in revenue per visit or conversion rate are built on top of last month’s wins. An increase in conversion rate of just 7% each month will double your revenue in one year.

Time is your Friend

Time is not the enemy. It is your friend. Every business is a whippersnapper in the optimization game. The tools we use have been around for less than ten years.

If this makes you feel better about waiting, then I have bad news for you. Ten months will pass faster than you think.

Like proto-retirees, there are a number of rationalizations working against you when considering conversion optimization.

Juicy Rationalizations

The rationalizations that keep us from investing for retirement are the same as those that keep us from investing in website optimization.

I have time.

If you don’t have competitors, you have time. A higher conversion rate means a lower cost of acquisition. A competitor who has optimized, will spend less in advertising and still generate more leads and sales than you. As more time passes the odds of you catching up to them are, well, look at the graph.

I don’t have the money this month.

If your son or daughter was telling you this, you’d have a long list of “discretionary” expenditures that they could cut out to find $200 a month for retirement. The same is probably true for your business.

Budget for conversion optimization. Borrow from your advertising spend (gasp). Ask your rich Grandmother for a business loan. The money is there.

I’m investing. We have tools.

This is like signing up for your company’s 401(k) but not putting any money in. It makes you feel better, but not for long.

I was recently asked what my favorite Conversion Rate Optimization tools were. I listed “The human brain” as my number one tool. “Train it. Feed it. Let it run wild,” were my substantiating thoughts. Cheeky, yes, but oh so appropos.

Get the right people in place and they’ll grab the right tools for the job. It doesn’t work the other way around.

I don’t have the traffic.

This actually increases the imperative of starting early. Low traffic sites require longer to optimize. You may have to think in terms of quarters instead of months. The rules are the same: start now. Collect the right data and get someone to help you evaluate what you’re learning.

The Fine Print

Like the stock market, conversion optimization doesn’t give you a steady increase month after month. Your efforts will see agonizing plateaus as well as some jaw-dropping wins.

But, if you invest in reputable resources with a track record of success you can expect to see unfair gains over the long term.

Now, you should ask us for a free conversion strategy session. We’ll go over your current situation and help you decide how to get started, whether we’re involved or not.

Someone once said, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is now.”

It’s now.

Post Signature

Brian Massey is the Founder and Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences. He is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses were developed over almost 20 years as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker and writer.

Retirement image provided by ADP.