marketing events

Dear Mom,
Just came back from a speaking tour of Europe. One of the highlights was Digital Elite Camp 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia. I met some of the smartest people in online marketing. We shared ideas, we danced, and we swam in the freezing Baltic Sea.
Here are some pictures from this adventure.
To new friends,

Brian is excited to announce that he will be speaking later this week at InfusionCon. He’s ironing the lab coat and polishing his glasses to get ready for a great session in Arizona.
InfusionCon 2013 logo tag F small
What is InfusionCon you ask? Well it is the annual conference for InfusionSoft. While it originally started as a software training conference, it has since evolved into an all-inclusive sales and marketing conference for small businesses.
Brian will be taking his live landing page critiques to the conference. He will be talking directly with small businesses about how to improve their landing pages to increase conversion and get the most out of their campaigns.
If you are attending, please be sure to stop by and tell Brian hello. Maybe he’ll even let you try on the lab coat…….
For more information on his session, check out the InfusionCon agenda. Brian is on Day 3. We hope you can make it to the session!

I am pleased to announce that (finally) my new book is being launched September 5 at Content Marketing World.
The book Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist is a “foundational” book on conversion written for those of you who will be responsible for the performance of a website.
That means business owners, corporate marketers and search engine optimizers. It tells you how to guide your online team to the glorious ecosystems that make your site work for your visitors and your business — your customer creation equation.
As a friend of The Conversion Scientist, I’d like to offer you a personally signed copy of the book. I’ll even pay for shipping.
Request your signed copy now, because I’m only signing a limited number of these.
PS: If you’re coming to Content Marketing World, don’t miss our book launch party on September 5, just after the Rick Springfield concert. This event will feature seven authors including yours truly all in one place.
PPS: If you want to get to know a couple of these authors, check out our Unsolicited Advice video series. You might find your site in there someday.

I was on the hot seat at the Austin Content Marketing Meetup.

This isn’t your “play nice and listen while the guy reads his slides” sort of presentation. In the hot seat, the room is actively trying to destroy you, lobbing lit questions from across the room and questioning your every word.

Yes, it even got a little ugly. I think I held up OK.

You’re invited to sit back and enjoy the occasionally heated conversation on how to make your content convert visitors into sales.


Online services are making things so easy for online marketers, but they’re also creating an enormous number of blind spots. These are the services that host our webinars, sell tickets to our events, let people buy our products, manage our appointments and almost everything else we do as online marketers.

Sometimes, these services behave as if they don’t want us to know the conversion rates of their services. They are unmeasurable, opaque to analytics.

I wrote an open letter to them at Search Engine Land.


Dear Service Provider:


I expect to be able to measure you. I expect to have transparency into what my visitors are experiencing inside your systems. I pay good money to bring prospects to my site and I don’t want to send them off to a black box when they buy my products or sign up for an event.


It’s time for you to prioritize measurement and to give me control of the signup, subscription, or purchase process.


Here’s what you need to do if you want me to use your service. These features are going to appeal to the largest users, those customers that you really want because they will pay for a lot of your services.

Read the rest of the letter.

I love to watch Social Media Ninja Giovanni Gallucci present. He imparted a great deal of info on the intersection of social media and search to the audience at the Innotech PDX 2010 eMarketing Summit last week.

If you weren’t there, you can enjoy it through the lense of my pen.

Here is the visual live blog from that presentation.

For more of Gio, visit for hours of good stuff from the Social Media Ninja.

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci Presentation on Social Media Part 1 of 2
Click to Enlarge Part 1

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci presentation on Social Media Part 2 of 2
Click to Enlarge Part 2

We’re going to make people love your business through your Web site at The Conversion Scientist. There is plenty you can do to increase online sales conversions, and we share it all. Learn what that you can do to convert more of your visitors into leads and sales.

I apparently have set off a new fashion trend

Tom Bennett sporting his new Lab Coat

Tom Bennett sporting his new Lab Coat

During my presentation at Innotech Portland on Social Conversion Twitter was alive with chatter about my attractive Lab Coat. In generous Conversion Scientist fashion, I provided @tom_bennett of The New Group with a coat of his own, as well as @bryanrhoads and @kellyrfeller of Intel.

Clearly, a I’m not the only one that looks good in a lab coat.

But, lest you believe that the coat is only a fashion statement, be assured that it is an important protective garment for any Conversion Scientist.

In my letter to Tom,  Bryan and Kelly, I tell them that the new addition to their wardrobe is functional as well as stylish.

Brian Massey, Kent Lewis and Dylan Boyd at Innotech Portland

Brian Massey, Kent Lewis and Dylan Boyd at Innotech Portland

These coats are woven from mono-filament engagium for strength and protection. The cloth is designed to protect the wearer from all forms of marketing chemicals no matter how acidic or overblown. The material will resist most toxic marketing, including email ribonucleic flaccid, copy hydro-inflate, and Flash fires.

However, there is a danger to the appearance of unbounded intelligence intimated by such an outfit.

Be forewarned that, when wearing the coat in public, you will be expected to have intelligence far beyond normal human capacity. Nonetheless, making up answers to questions about genetics or the proper operation of an electron microscope will harm the image that we try to convey with the lab coat. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.”

Needless to say, such a garment doesn’t come cheap. Safe marketing my friends.


You can still get a discount with the code TPH200 today

The last time we played What to Test! The Conversion Quiz Show, we were throwing balls and learning about content that converts.
I’m teaming up with Alissa Ruehl of Apogee Search at Interactive Austin 09 bring it back.

  • They tell you that you should test copy, but what will your visitors respond to?
  • They tell you to test different button text, but which ones?
  • They tell you to try different headlines, but how do you choose?
Brian Massey and Alissa Ruehl present What To Test! the Conversion Game Show

Brian Massey and Alissa Ruehl present What To Test! the Conversion Game Show

We’ll be covering the “Conversion Stack” which is the levels and kinds of conversion you can consider based on your resources and experience.
Join us at Interactive Austin ’09 where everyone that is anyone will be … interacting. Use code TPH200 to get $25 off of your registration fee TODAY ONLY.

Find out at the Door64 Tech Fair and Extraordinary Interviews Seminar

What Conversion Metrics Should a Job Seeker Examine? A/B Testing of Toilet Paper at Cupprimo

A/B Testing of Toilet Paper at Cupprimo

For a Conversion Scientist, life is full of A/B tests. You find them everywhere. We are naturally curious creatures, always wondering why people behave the way they do. The answers are rarely obvious.

For example, I have been monitoring a sort of A/B split test happening at a local cupcake and coffee shop called Cupprimo. For some unknown reason, the proprietors have consistently provided both quilted and unquilted toilet paper in their men’s room. As you might expect, the quilted TP roll is consistently smaller than it’s unquilted competitor.

But, as a Conversion Scientist, I have to ask: is it because the position of the quilted roll is more convenient to right-handed bomb-droppers? Is it because the luxurious quilted TP is thicker, and that the roll only appears to shrink faster? Perhaps it is a test error? Are the hapless managers not replacing the rolls at the same time? Here’s the real kicker: are these results consistent with the ladies’ results?

I know that, like me, you’re just dying to find out what the test really tells us. But right now, I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs trying to tie this example to my presentations at the Door64 Tech Fair and the Extraordinary Interviews Seminar for Technology Professionals. You want to go, you just don’t know why yet.

The Job Search and Conversion

While the toilet paper question is important, I’ve had to focus my attention on the problem of job search for the past few months. As in our toilet paper split test, I am dealing with incomplete information in the job search. Elusive are the conclusions we would draw from our job search data.

The ultimate conversion is a job offer. However, it turns out that the resume-to-job-offer conversion rate is fraught with trouble, the most significant being that once we get one or two conversions, we stop caring. We take a job and stop searching.

What we need for the job search is predictive metrics. For most job seekers, the most important predictive metric has been number of resumes sent. But this approach is no different from that taken by any number of companies who’ve spent like drunken sailors buying clicks for search terms that have little to do with their business, hoping that someone might actually become a lead or buy something–anything. This is not conversion.

A more important measure is number of interviews. For the sake of conversion, we measure it as the number of interviews booked divided by resumes sent. I call this the resume-to-book rate. The drunken sailor set will say, “So the more resumes we send, the more interviews we will get, right?” Well, since the resume-to-book rate is a percentage, throwing resumes against the proverbial wall will actually decrease your conversion rate (unless you send each with a substantial sum of money, which is also true in pay-per-click search).

The key is to send fewer more targeted resumes.

When you do this three things increase your resume-to-book rate:

  • You decrease the number of resumes sent, which will mathematically increase resume-to-book rates.
  • You increase the likelihood of getting more interviews by spending more time on each application and cover letter.
  • You target only those jobs for which you are somewhat qualified.

In other words, your doing the exact opposite of what most search marketers do.

Meaningful Job Search Conversion Rates

It turns out that, like our quilted toilet paper test, our resume-to-book rate has some built-in issues. Since 80% of all jobs offers are garnered from a personal contact, sending resumes is actually the least effective way to apply for a job. The number of postings available via job boards is too small and there’s too much competition. In short, it doesn’t scale. The Conversion Scientist ranks #1 on all search engines for “conversion scientists with lab coats.” However, the number of searches is small, so it really doesn’t help. Job postings have the same problem.

Since personal contact is the way to get interviews, then our predictive conversions must be tied to the number of people who are actively helping us look for work. For most of us, that is our parents (motivated to get us to move out of the house again) and that one new recruiter who hasn’t yet learned a tactful way to tell us they don’t really have anything for us.

As it turns out, it’s our old friend “opt-in rate” that is the most powerful predictor of our job search. Most of us have low opt-in rates. ‘We’ve Twittered, “Got laid off. Let me know if you hear of anything.” That doesn’t invite an opt-in. A few of us have sent emails to our professional contacts detailing our qualifications. Then we end by saying “Let me know if you hear of anything.” Not an opt-in either. In short, we don’t give our personal networks anything to opt into, and our opt-in rates would be zero if not for our parents and that one green recruiter.

Why is opt-in important? Because the higher your opt-in rates, the larger your personal job search network gets. The larger your personal job search network, the more unpublicized jobs you’ll be privy to. The people who know how to engage their personal network have the following advantages:

  • They uncover jobs that aren’t posted
  • They get inside information on the jobs they apply for
  • They find champions to walk their resumes into the hiring manager
  • They circumvent the trolls in HR whose main job is to protect the hiring manager from tidal waves of resumes

Learn How to Put Your Personal Network to Work for You

If you want to enjoy the benefits of an active network of friends, relatives and colleagues joyfully working day-in and day-out to help you find a cherry position, then you need to come out and see me. I’ve written the book, and we’re working on the software, but you can’t get either right now, so this is your only option. There are two opportunities in Austin:

[UPDATE: This has been cancelled] April 28 at the Extraordinary Interviews for Technology Professionals Seminar. This is a full day that covers the gamut–networking, resume writing, cover letters, and interviewing skills. Those who attend this event are going to be taking all of the good jobs for a while. The rest of you can relax.

April 30 at the Door64 Tech Fair and Austin Brain Party. If you don’t think you have a personal network, let Matt Genovese and Door64 get one started for you at the Tech Fair and Brain Party. I’ll be talking about the ten attitudes that you will need to succeed in the job market for the next 20 years. For a list of the participants you want to know visit

We were throwing balls at the audience during the Conversion Optimization and Testing Panel at PubCon South in March. Why balls? Because we were focused on reducing the amount of traffic that bounces off of the audience’s Web site, of course.

Along with panelists Taylor Pratt and Bill Leake, and our moderator Christine Churchill, we gave the audience the best practices for reducing bounce rates and increasing leads and sales.

I decided to have some fun with my segment of the Panel. Several brave members of the audience volunteered to answer the query “What to Test!” for the chance to earn a smiley ball compliments of Smiley Media.

Now you can play as well!