When marketers think of using data to come up with test hypotheses, they often turn to their digital analytics.
Yet often times, qualitative research can offer more insight than anything else working to come up with winning test hypotheses.
Where quantitative stuff tells you what, where, and how much, qualitative tells you ‘why.’ The goal of qualitative research is to gather an in-depth understanding of user behavior and why they took those specific actions.
There are few things in marketing we know for certain.
Show a landing page to a panel of experts and ask what’s wrong—and everyone having an answer is one of them.
While there is often no shortage of opinions on how to improve a landing page, the question remains how valuable is most of the feedback?
“Surveys are the most dangerous research tool,” says Erika Hall, author of Just Enough Research. “If you write bad survey questions, you get bad data at scale with no chance of recovery.”
As attention spans get shorter, there’s growing pressure to make surveys lean. More and more people take surveys on their phones, and if the survey is too long, they drop out.
How can we make the survey short and still get the information we need? By writing better questions. This post separates the good questions from the bad—and shows you exactly how to write them for seven scenarios:
- Current customers;
- Engaged prospects;
- Recent converters;
- User testers;
- Churned customers;
- Site visitors;
- Content strategy.
Even if you collect customer feedback, it won’t have much value if your survey analysis falls short.
From not preparing data correctly to jumping to conclusions based on statistically insignificant data, a lot can go wrong. Thankfully, there are some easy wins.
Good user research asks the right questions to the right people. If you fail on either account, you may make million-dollar decisions on bad data.
Session replays are a common conversion research technique. And they can provide a lot of value.
Still, the process is amorphous. I haven’t seen a structured way to approach session recordings other than just sitting down to watch a bunch of them and inferring your qualitative findings, somehow lopping them into the rest of your research stack.
But what if there were a better way?
Fact: offering customers more choices kills conversion rates.
A scientific study proved it.
Fact: you can prime customers to behave in certain ways with certain phrases, images or ideas.
Researchers have shown it’s true.
Fact: if you give potential customers a small gift, you’ll create a debt that customers will eagerly repay.
Robert Cialdini wrote about that years ago in his popular book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
These ideas (and dozens of others) are so widely accepted that almost no one questions them.
But maybe we should.
According to Google Trends, the term “conversion rate optimization” is an official “breakout”, meaning “searches for that phrase have jumped by +5,000 percent” over the last few years.
Bias as a problem in qualitative research and analysis is as old as, well, qualitative research.
You spend most days analyzing and interpreting numbers, right? You’re constantly sifting through Google Analytics dashboards, Formisimo reports, Mixpanel data – the list is endless.
When you spend so much time focusing on the numbers, it’s easy to forget about the people generating those numbers. [Tweet It!]
That’s where qualitative conversion research comes into play. At least, that’s where it should come into play.