The Conversion Equation

Oli Gardner Presentation Notes

Automated mega-variate testing of marketing interaction models

  1. CTAs will be moved to the most fruitful places for conversion
  2. Videos will appear where there is most interaction
  3. Will answer the question: What should we A/B test?

The Conversion Equation

What is the Conversion Equation?

  1. Combines heuristic analysis, rapid experiments, conversion research, conversion data, video conversion and engagement data, academic studies and frameworks from industry leaders (online tools, calculators, etc.)
  2. Made up of 50 sub equations, including clarity, social proof and video

Clarity Equation

Clarity is the most important part of conversion.

Clarity = distraction + expectation + readability + visual identification + immediacy + specificity + hyperbole.

  1. Distraction: What do you want me to do? Pick one thing.
  2. Immediacy: Can you figure out what the page is about in fewer than 5 second?

Use the 5-second test. Ask yourself, “What do you think this page is about?”

  1. Hyperbole: Ask yourself, “Are you explaining what you actually do, or are you just saying you’re really good at doing it?”
    1. ○ Use: The Dejargonator , a Chrome extension to identify hyperbole/jargon
  2. Visual identification: When viewed in isolation, can people tell what the image means? Or what the purpose of your product/service is?
  3. ○ Design matters — it creates joy and reduces confusion. When you can identify a design problem, you can use Attention Driven Design principles to solve it.
  4. ○ Data-informed design; accelerates delight. Use data and design together!

javascript:document.body.contentEditable=’true’; document.designMode=’on’; void 0

Add the script above to your address bar on whatever page you want to edit. Then edit the page (don’t need permission) and run a 5 second test by showing your boss!


  • First rule of CTAs = Have a f#cking CTA. Every website and landing page has conversion opportunities, and every conversion opportunity needs a CTA.
  • CTAs should be: targeted, timely, relevant, unique, delightful, appropriate, show-me-once, value added


The Video Equation

Which words influence the click through rate of video annotations?

  1. Click < Click here
  2. Your > My
  3. Now > No “Now”
  4. !!! > !

Which words influence the click through rate of full-screen CTAs?

  1. My > Your
  2. 0 – ! > 1 – ! > more than 1 – !


Social Proof Equation

Social proof equation; transformation + authentic images + linking + cravens * Example of social proof equation in action.


Anything can be delightful: popups can be delightful, emails can be delightful, and banners can be delightful [refer to Digital Agency Day popup example].


Effective because it was relevant, valuable, and well timed and designed to delight. Technology isn’t the problem, we are.


I am a technologist with a strong background in software engineering. I have many interests. My current distractions are 70s-80s-90s music [it's a very eclectic collection], ontology, information architecture, mobile device technology, medical bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, and nanorobotics.

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