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Innovation + innovation = +264% lift in conversion rate for Marian University

Recently, I've been noticing acommon trend amongst marketers and conversion specialists. I like to call it the "iterative state of mind." Taking something that is performing well and testing incremental changes (headlines, content, adding/removing single elements within a page, etc.). While this testing methodology provides incredibly useful learning and insight, continuous iteration will only yield incremental lift in performance.

And still, there is fear. Fear of the unknown: not knowing why a new experience won. This is the exact reason innovation in testing is often rare — it’s scary and feels very risky. However, I can tell you from driving customer conversion optimization programs for nearly 8 years, repeated cycles of innovation is an absolute necessity. A single innovation cycle is of huge value. But multiple innovation cycles are of even higher value. And Marian University’s Accelerated Nursing Program agrees!

Marian University recently shared with us some amazing results that I felt obligated to share with you all as well.


By testing radically different experiences, they didn't know exactly why the page worked, except that it did. And it did...again! Starting with a 3.7% conversion rate they were able increase their conversion rate to 13.5% — more than a 264% lift — in just two waves of innovation. Now, I ask you: how many waves of iteration does it take to increase your leads over 200%?

The innovation/iteration cycle

When you come out of the gate and look at your marketing objectives, it's important to think creatively and develop innovative approaches. Test those big ideas. Get to a quick champion (or two). Then, start your first iteration cycle where you polish your winner by testing minor differences. Once you see diminishing returns from your iterated challenger landing pages, it's time to start thinking out of the box again.

Interested in learning more about cycles of innovation and iteration? Download our free Guide to Online Testing.