CXL Institute Week 1 | Personal Thoughts and Public notes

What is CXL? and why choose CXL?

I have received some questions about the CXL institute from friends and professors, so first I’ll explain what CXL institute is from my perspective and then why I chose to dedicate time to it. CXL institute put simply is a school to learn skills to become an advanced marketer, from the world’s top practitioners. I have already had the chance to check out a few courses that I found through youtube and their website, so I already knew in advance that this wasn’t just another one of millions of poorly made courses made for money.

Why choose CXL? (and some context / dramatic origin story)

I currently have a lot on my plate (as I imagine a lot of people do would be interested), so I vet for courses or resources diligently. I am a huge believer in Pareto’s principle (20% of the effort will give 80% of the results) and believe looking for well structured and high-value content will get you to your desired position in 20% of the time. Starting out in marketing is a very daunting task and knowing what resources are high quality is a huge effort. In the beginning, you don’t know what, where, or who to ask about the subject. I started off by looking at marketing forums, chat boards, and websites dedicated to the subject. I joined all these websites and asking what are the best instructors, books, and media for marketing. I had come across a podcast called “Everyone Hates Marketers” with an interview with Seth Godin because many people had raved about the episode on the forum. At the gym and on my commute I ended up listening to every episode of everyone hates marketers, as well as every episode of several other podcast interviews from top marketers. CXL is not only a top blog that is recommended, but their institute came up for many of the conversations as well. Before choosing CXL I had done many courses on Skillshare, Udemy and anywhere else I could, as well as researched/called up many other boot camps that have programs for digital marketing there is nothing else that even compares to CXL.

What are these blog posts for?

When doing research for courses and boot camps I would always look at the reviews and I couldn’t find one for CXL. General Assembly and Thinkful (two other boot camps I had looked at) had some students make videos or blog posts on the course itself giving a review on the courses themselves, which was a huge reason I decided not to go with them. So I plan on making this a video series on youtube with these blog posts working as a transcript. The blog posts (and videos) will cover my personal thoughts, as well as detail into my understanding of the content (so I misunderstand something someone can hopefully notify of my wrong assumptions). These posts are also auto uploaded to medium and LinkedIn from my blog for more context (in case there are any formatting issues.)

What did I learn from Week 1?

I want to start off by saying this is not in order or in the pace of the curriculum for CXL, and following these blog posts is only a minuscule fraction from what you would get from the course. My week 1 covered mostly “Analytic Fundamentals”. I wanted to spend as much time on this subject because I have no prior knowledge to do any type of data analysis and still find anything to do with analytics as rocket science.

What are the key performance Indicators?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measures that help you understand how you are doing against your objectives (e.g. getting people to buy from your online store).

What are dumb goals?
A term coined by Avinash Kaushik stands for Doable, Understandable, manageable, beneficial.

Whats are some typical KPIs for websites?

  • Conversion rate (CR) – How successful in the desired action of website
  • Revenue Per Visitor – (Long Term View on how much money you make per visitor)  Use this metric to examine the value of each visitor, and segment to identify what type is performing
  • Revenue Per Visit (RPV) – (Shor Term) How much revenue from each incoming visit?  Similar to Revenue Per visitor this metric shows how good you are doing right now in your marketing and conversion.
  • Average Order Size – (Sum Of Revenue / Numbers of orders) Critical for e-commerce business this metric optimizes for the amount of revenue per transaction and helps you optimize for high order sums. You can also use this metric to identify high-value customers.
  • Checkout abandonment rate – (The percentage of people who “checkout” to those who complete order) This metric is crucial because it measures people who have considered or decided to purchase from you.

Does every business use the same KPIs?

No, different businesses need different KPIs. The person in charge of this task must think critically about the business model and the type of KPI’s that need to be tracked

What are some more metrics to pay attention to besides KPIs?

  • Bounce Rate – (Important metric for search engines)  This shows the percentage of people who leave the page without a single click.  Ignore Site-wide bounce rate, focus on single pages
  • Exits/Exit rate – This metric identifies the pages where most people left.
  • Time to purchase – This metric helps you understand how quickly or slowly your visitors convert. Less expensive products have a faster conversion, but more expensive items need more time to let the customer think about the product or service. (If time to purchase is longer consider drip content email campaigns in your conversion strategy).
  • Assisted conversions – How many of your conversions had more than one medium prior to conversion? Just because the organic search was the last one before conversion, doesn’t mean you’re getting a full story.

How can you identify bad metrics?

If a metric doesn’t provide actionable insight it is a bad metric. 

Why averages lie? and why you should dig deeper?

  1. Look at traffic by source – Average revenue per visit is important for most e-commerce, but it’s more insightful to look at traffic sources because it gives you more context.
  2. Look at distributions – Distributions show what makes up the average and give a look at the number in a more manageable way.  Instead of looking at just totals of the desired metric, it is far better to have a distribution between precursor to the desired metric (i.e visits/checkouts)

How do I rule out outliers and other unwanted stuff?

Let say I want to identify the pages with the highest bounce rate. If you sort by “bounce rate” this will give you insignificant data, what you want to do instead is click on advance settings to a high number of unique visitors so you can actually see why this data is causing a high number of bounce rates. (*Tip: Use total numbers next to ratios, like transaction numbers next to conversion rate to give more context)



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