What I Learned From My 12 Week CXL Scholarship On Conversion Rate Optimisation

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I got accepted to the CXL Institute’s conversion optimisation mini-degree scholarship program. It claims to be the most thorough conversion rate optimisation training program in the world. The program runs online and covers 78 hours and 59 minutes of content over 12 weeks. As part of the scholarship, I had to write an essay about what I learn each week.

Here is everything I put out #

  1. Conversion Optimisation Is About Much More Than Design
  2. Improving Conversion For Small Businesses That Don’t Have Enough Traffic For AB Testing
  3. Use Google Analytics To See Where Your Best Traffic Is Coming From
  4. Conversion Rate Optimisation Only Makes Sense If You Have 1000 Transactions A Month
  5. Building A Micro Funnel: Leads From Your Website In 2 Steps
  6. How Long Do I Need To Run An A/B Test For?
  7. Improving Your Conversion Rate (Part 1)
  8. A Repeatable Metric for Usability
  9. Listening To What People Say
  10. Improving Your Conversion Rate (Part 2)
  11. Everything I Know About Conversion Rate Optimisation
  12. Optimizing Retention

The CXL program was an excellent buffet of stand-alone content. It was broadly organised into themes each week and the whole program was easy to follow. I don’t know if it was the most thorough conversion rate optimisation training program in the world but I enjoyed the experience.

If you’re thinking of applying, I must emphasise that the program is a curated collection of posts and courses by different authors and teachers. It is not a single coherent course.

What I Disliked #

You won’t get any practical real-world experience on this program. For example, not a single module runs through the actual steps you need to take to set up and run an A/B test. I would recommend applying what you learn to a real-world project immediately. That way you complement the program with practical experience. There were also some pretty big gaps in the theoretical content. For example, not a single module covered the privacy implications of running A/B tests. Something that I trusted would be addressed in the most thorough conversion rate optimisation training programs in the world.

What I Liked #

The most valuable part of the program was having to write and share an essay every week. Hands down, no question about it. I wish I could have continued this aspect of the program with a new topic/course.

The biggest take away for me was that conversion rate optimisation is about marketing and sales. It became clear that my interest is in making things useful, not selling them. There are lots of overlapping principles here, and I learned a whole bunch of useful stuff, but learning about conversion at depth allowed me to let go of it and focus on what I really care about, which is user retention.

It could have taken me years to figure that out on my own. I am grateful that CXL helped me fast track the insight and now I can invest all of my energy towards helping digital products improve their user retention rates instead.

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If you want to learn about conversion I recommend the program. It’ll be hard to find such a well-curated collection of excellent resources on the topic anywhere else.

You can learn more about the program here

I now help software products with low retention rates keep more users for longer by analysing their product data, listening to their users and designing experiments. If you know any teams that want help improving their retention rates, please refer them to joshpitzalis.com

2021 Update 🎉
Since writing this I am super proud to say that I finally put together a free workshop where I walk through everything I know about how SaaS products can improve their user retention rate and keep more users for longer workshop.joshpitzalis.com

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