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Recently someone asked a question on Quora about whether there were any specific, granular examples of where a growth expert helped a startup increase revenue significantly after subtracting their costs.  Having just prepared a summary for DODOcase about our work over the past year, I gave an in-depth answer as it illustrates what Cro Metrics does has benefits far beyond the outcome of any one A/B test.

DODOcase is a premier maker of handcrafted sleeves and cases for all forms of digital durables. But they needed conversion rate optimization (CRO) to get off the ground. That’s where we were able to help their business soar.

The DODOcase story provides an excellent overview of how a longer engagement benefits businesses long-term. Cro Metrics has been working with for just over a year now, and we’ve made a significant impact:

  • 25% overall conversion rate increase across the entire year
  • 85% increase in conversion rate for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday weekend

Without getting into specific numbers, which would violate their confidentiality, the ROI on their investment falls into the “no brainer” category, and is many multiples of the upfront investment.

To generate these outstanding results, we partnered with a number of external experts and other SaaS vendors, specifically BounceExchange.

Internally, DODOcase’s VP of Marketing, Macy McGinness, and designer Theresa Lee were critical players in helping us reach our goals.

We recently did some analysis to determine the profile of a successful CRO client, and found the following qualities are key, regardless of company size:

  1. Small team, where the primary decision maker is on the team, buys into the process, and can cheerlead the rest of the organization in supporting and making the necessary improvements.
  2. Open-mindedness: a willingness to listen to all ideas without needing to claim ownership or credit. The most successful tests are often the result of a discussion about how to solve a problem.
  3. Freedom for the team to make a significant impact on the business — nothing is “off limits” for testing, and we’re testing the primary conversion paths.
  4. At least 6 months to be able to learn together.

Here are a handful of specific steps we took to increase the DODOcase conversion rate:


Pure and simple: helping people find what they want and make a purchase decision leads to the highest conversion rate. It’s not about red versus green buttons, or rounded corners with gradients. It’s about meeting site visitors’ needs.

Main Navigation

Across clients, navigation is one of the largest impact changes we can make. For DODOcase, most of their customers come looking for a case for their specific device, so orienting the main navigation by device rather than by product line had a substantial impact on conversion. Why? Ease of use.

One of DODOcase’s more successful product lines is their custom cases — something people can’t buy elsewhere. Even President Obama has one — if you look at the White House Photostream, it’s often the only thing on his desk other than a phone. When we began this process, the words “custom case” in the main nav were highlighted in red. On a whim, we changed the color to black like the rest of the nav, and this generated a significant increase in sales. We’ve since repeated this process with similar results on other client sites. The takeaway: sometimes UI treatments that you think are “highlighting” something are actually causing them to be ignored!

Home Page

We’ve written extensively about how carousels on your home page cost you money, which was an early successful change we made at DODOcase.

We did extensive testing on what works, and found that showing the product in its intended use by real people creates the strongest results. We also found that the primary hero should generally be promoting the most important product line, and positions further down the page should be used to promote secondary items, specials, and to surface more interesting products.

Use just one primary call to action (CTA), and place that CTA above the fold (where the fold is generally about 550px from the top of the page). Any tests we did where the CTA was not above the fold caused an immediate drop in sales.

Category Pages

Once a visitor reached a category page, we knew what device they had, and the best outcome became helping them choose the case which best meets their needs. Most e-commerce companies have a large list of products on their category page, possibly with some filters. Instead, offering product line options with the ability to compare the differences between products generally works much better, because people have a simpler time choosing which product is best for them. Again: ease of use boosts conversions.

Product Details Pages

Photos are the most critical part of any product details page. By the time a customer is viewing an individual product, you’re close to a sale, so you need to be sure you cover all potential objections. Being unable to clearly see the product is one. Every heatmap we ran on a product details page showed lots of clicks on the photos.


Other important factors are pricing display style (the Amazon style slash-out price works well); clear, bulleted features, and social proof. Little social sharing happens from product details pages, and can often lead users to leave the site. Social sharing is effective post-purchase. However, social proof such as testimonials, reviews, Facebook, Facepile, etc., has shown a positive impact on the PDP. Most users don’t scroll down the page, leaving the content below the fold unseen. That’s why it’s vital to understand what the most critical information is, so it can be included above the fold. For products that require a bit of explaining, videos work well. For DODOcase, animated gifs show various ways the case can be used.


Direct, specific copy has performed very well for DODOcase and for many other clients. Clear, crisp copy is important because people get confused by “cute” language. For instance: we found “submit” as a call to action beats all kinds of clever CTAs on most signup forms. DODOcase makes all of their cases in their factory in San Francisco (it’s fun to stop by in early December to see it cranking full speed ahead). Rather than tell customers that DODOcase is “Made in the USA,” which could mean just about anything, we say their products are “Handcrafted in San Francisco,” which is the truth — and much more compelling to the prospective buyer. We’ve found concise copy to consistently work better than bland generalities. Avoid the kind of meaningless jargon often found on business-to-business software sites, e.g.: “Transform Your Business Processes!”