May 25, 2017

How to Avoid Conversion Optimization Mistakes: A Conversation with Talia Wolf

Jordan Wellin


For Talia Wolf, conversion optimization is a way of life. As the founder and CEO of GetUplift, Talia has made it her mission to help businesses plan and execute conversion optimization programs by creating better customer journeys. So it’s not all that surprising to hear that this professional storyteller is a huge Harry Potter fanatic, something she’ll happily talk about at length if you ever meet her.

Ahead of her keynote talk at WistiaFest, we sat down with Talia to chat all things conversion optimization, video, and Harry Potter (her favorite character is Luna Lovegood — “I love how quirky and authentic she is”).


What are some of the biggest mistakes that businesses today are making with video?


So many companies are missing opportunities by assuming that the buyer’s journey ends as soon as someone converts. When people buy something, they immediately need to feel good about that purchase they just made, and one of the ways to make that happen is to ask them to take another step.

Some companies use landing pages to prompt someone to enter their information, and they may send a thank-you email after that. But that’s missing out on such a huge chance to actually convert your customers when they’re most prone to take the next step. So instead of simply sending them an email, get them to take another action directly on the page.

Another big mistake I’m seeing is that people are disregarding the retention funnel. At the end of the day, retention is the best way to get the most out of your customers. So many people convert and then never hear from a company again, save for the odd newsletter that has nothing to do with the action they just took or where they are in the buyer’s journey.

“At the end of the day, retention is the best way to get the most out of your customers.”

The final mistake I keep seeing is random video testimonials. Testimonials are an amazing way to address your customers’ concerns without you having to explicitly state them. It’s always better to have someone talk about you versus you doing it yourself. But that doesn’t mean you should reach out to someone to have them say whatever they want. Be strategic with your testimonials, and make sure you’re doing enough research to get to know your prospective customers and understand what they need to hear.


What about the quality of the testimonial? Does the production of the video matter, or can it still be authentic without being super professional?


It’s all about credibility and authenticity. You can have an amazing video setup, but there’s something to be said for someone who takes the time to shoot a video on their phone just to say, “This company rocks, and you should use them.”

If your target audience is looking for something high-end, then by all means, do a whole production and spend more money. But most of us don’t have have the resources or time to create those kinds of videos. The good news is you can still create amazing videos without a budget!


When you talk about your favorite conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics, you have a lot of data and information to back them up. How do you determine whether to go with your gut versus what the data is telling you?


The data tells you where the story is, not what the story is — it alerts you to an issue that you should be solving. In your customer research, look for answers that get repeated. That’ll clue you into what your customers’ main concerns and needs are. Then, go to your competitors’ sites and collect what you’re seeing from them, including the reviews they’re getting. Gather all of that info and compare it, highlighting the main issues that come up and over again.

“The data tells youwhere the story is, not whatthe story is — it alerts you to an issue that you should be solving.”

Many people may know how to launch an A/B test, but most of them don’t know what to actually test. By talking to your customers, you’re essentially taking away the speculations and gut feelings and basing your decisions on what people are telling you. With that information in hand, you can start to test and fix any issues. Ultimately, if you haven’t done the research, don’t trust your gut feeling.


What about best practices? Are they useful?


I’m so over best practices. I’ve seen things like, “The One Hack That Will Help You Get 300% Conversion Rates Right Now!” and I think, “Um no, that’s not going to work.” Most of us wear many hats within our job. We’re doing the SEO, PPC, copywriting, and design, so it’s easy for us to look at a blog post and say, “Someone did that and it worked, so I’m just going to copy it!”

The key to all of this is understanding that once you know your customers, you’ll know how to grow your business. Why are you sitting and reading blog posts and not doing something to find out what makes them purchase your product?

“The key to all of this is understanding that once you know your customers, you’ll know how to grow your business.”


If you had to guess, what do you think will be some of the biggest future trends in video marketing and CRO?


I’m hoping that people are going to stop using video in a purely technical way. For example, I think we’ve all had enough of autoplay videos that take over your screen and ultimately reduce conversions.

Also, most explainer videos I see detail how to use a product, and I’m hoping we’ll see a move toward more storytelling, as well as a broader focus on what’s in it for the customer.

We’re also in an era where people use their phones for everything, so I’m hopeful that more and more companies will finally start making video. They might not have had the budget at one point, but there’s no excuse anymore.

Want to learn more about the tactics behind high-converting videos? WistiaFest is just the place. Talia is just the teacher.

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