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Marketing Secrets

I Never Planned To Become a Marketer

I’m an engineer.

Not only did I not understand the world of marketing I actively hated marketers. I’d be the last person on the planet who would ever sit back and listen to someone teach me marketing secrets.

Are there secrets in the world of marketing? You bet there are. This is what makes marketing secrets so valuable, it’s also why there are so many snake-oil salesmen who promise to have the cure.

So how did I get here?

As an engineer, I’ve been fascinated with removing inefficiency. During the course of my career, I discovered eCommerce. At first, my fascination was only with how much more efficient eCommerce was than physical retail.

And that’s how I discovered marketing and changed my view about it. That journey eventually compelled me to write this marketing secrets post.

13 Years in the Wilderness

I wish I was lucky enough to have learned these marketing secrets when I started. But now I realize I had to go through 13 of heartbreak and frustration otherwise I wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate what we know now.

Marketing Secrets – Quick Summary

When we started on this journey we knew eCommerce brands had a problem. Their problem was that just 2.5 to 3% of site visitors were buying. We instinctively felt this could be solved– but we didn’t know how. So like any young and naive company, we started throwing stuff against the wall.

To unlock secrets in marketing we experimented with page design hoping that a more visually arresting design would slow users and grab their attention. Slowing users down was key because we saw in Google Analytics that 90% of new landing traffic was leaving in under 30 seconds. The design does help, but it’s not the source of the biggest sales impact.

We then shifted our focus to layout– maybe reorganizing the page content was the marketing secret? This made logical sense since heatmaps revealed people were not scrolling deep enough on the page. Unfortunately, this didn’t give us the kind of sales lift we expected either.

That’s when we realized something interesting. Across 100s of A/B tests, the ones that involved updating the written copy were producing the biggest sustained sales impact. Read on and it’ll all make sense, I promise.

Multiple Marketing Secrets

We expected to find one singular marketing secret. There turned out to be three. These three unexpected finds were distinct but also closely related.

The purpose of this post is to present the marketing secrets maps and let you decide where you’d like to start your journey. We’ve expanded the topic into 4 key chapters.

Chapter 1: is all about conversation rate optimization (CRO). It talks about the history of CRO, statistics of CRO, and describes how most agencies do it. We need to explain how most are doing CRO before revealing our process (that’s the topic of Chapter 4.)

Chapter 2: For every 1,000 product pitches encountered the shopper buys 1️⃣ item (and we’re being generous). If the goal is to have the consumer choose your product we need to understand their selection criteria– we need to understand their buyer psychology. Marketers who nail this will always outrun their peers.

Chapter 3: Conversion optimization work typically focuses on design and layout changes. Through extensive experimentation, we realized that the things that move the conversion needle 🧭 are the words and ideas expressed on the page. Conversion copywriting is the real secret to marketing success.

Chapter 4: Marketers make a fatal mistake. They focus on optimizing the whole site. We focus on the tip of the spear. The most important page on your entire site is your product page. To understand why this is, read this post: Product Page Optimization.

Comments 4


As an engineer, I’ve been told I’m not the target audience many times when I’ve expressed my opinion about a landing page, or an a/b experiment, or anything in the realm of marketing. The discoveries here lend credence to my hypothesis all along. Know your product, know your buyer. Empathy is required.

I do like a hearty comment section and I don’t want people to lose their job. The bold blurb conversion attempt has foiled my stoicism. I shant avoid a bit of witty diatribe dedicated to testing out my non-pre-conceived notions of intuitive product page design.

If you’re reading this, you’re the author, bored, or both. March’s Gut, and g’day

avatar post author

Hello, engineer Kyle. By posting a comment you just saved my job. You are now my best friend. So that just happened. – Rishi



Not commenting for the sake of saving your job. I was expecting you to cover the bit about distractions and non-essential clicks. Just like in a supermarket or a retail outlet most shoppers don’t like a salesperson tailing them, I believe even in E-Commerce the unnecessary pop-ups and non-essential clicks slow down or even cancel conversions. Who like to drive on a speed bump, freeways are always more fun.

avatar post author

Hey, Shravan. You are absolutely right. Even the slightest distraction can derail the sale. It’s absolutely true that some shoppers simply don’t like the salesperson hovering around. But that’s usually because they feel salespeople are just trying to get a sales commission– and not there to genuinely help the shopper. I blame a few bad retailers for this. But your site doesn’t have hover for the sake of hovering. You can genuinely help the shopper.

As I said, some will not need help. But maybe 20% would. So help that 20%. After all, people who need help are also most likely to buy.



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