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CRO: the art and science of guiding the drunk

Becky Davis

Speaking at @MicroConf Starter Edition. Consults on CRO, UX, & other acronyms. Likes Taoism, philosophy, Muay Thai, & bluegrass. Runs Spilled Tea Consulting.

Raleigh, NC
Becky Davis

Why think about your user as if they're drunk? Drunks are easily lost, easily distracted, and lazy. This also describes most users!

Guiding your drunk

To guide your drunk, plan their journey, keep each point short and engaging, make the process easy and appealing, and use specific and relevant language.

Drunk people need to be guided, or they end up in bad places

This landing page is awful - there are too many things to do. Drunk people would get confused and leave.

Drunk people need a guide or they'll end up in a bad place. Make sure your landing page makes it super clear what the user is supposed to do next. Have one clear call to action, and a single column of content for them to scroll down.

Try to understand where your drunk users is in the process of understanding your product. Are they completely unaware, aware of the problem, or aware of the problem and the solution.

Case study

Note from Christian: sign up at the bottom of this page for details on this case study

To guide your drunk, plan their journey and meet them where they're at. Drunk people are very easily distracted ("bartender could I get a drOH MY GOD IT'S MY SONG").

Drunk people hate this website. Too complicated, too many things to do, and too boring.

If you think your industry can't be entertaining, do you think it's less entertaining than apartment insurance?

To appeal to drunks, be clear before clever. Instead of "your family's future is uncertain: help protect it with affordable term life insurance," try "insurance for the price of a latte! Now we're talking!"

Sending a text message is way easier than filling out an insurance form. It's instant and low commitment.

Don't rely on scammy copy: your users are drunk, not stupid.

To have better copy that doesn't rely on scammy lines like "no strings, no obligations, no cost," ask open ended questions and get to know what's important to them. Try to understand what frustrations they experienced, what factor into their decisions to buy, how their experience with your product has been, and how you could've earned their business. You'll get back useful responses like "I thought he was going to call me back," "I had a quetion and couldn't get ahold of anyone," and "I needed someone unbiased who could compare options with me."

Use specific and relevant language

Your user wants to know that you understand their problem and that you can help solve it.


How drunk do you think B2B customers are?

Some of my case studies were of lawyers, and they were some of the drunkest consumers I've ever interacted with. The more someone has going on, the drunker they behave.

Should Ben pierce both ears, or just one?

Just one.

How can I get feedback from my users if I'm getting nothing right now?

Try exit popups asking why they're leaving.

Contact Becky Davis at spilledtea.consulting or @barelyremarkabl

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