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Top 5 CRO Tools Vetted By Pro Marketers


By Victor Ijidola

They’re everywhere, aren’t they?

Best CRO tools, top conversion optimization tools, 10 CRO tools for high ROIs and so on. These lists are all over the Internet.

With so many options to pick from, how do you know which tool to trust and invest in?

And mind you, they don’t come cheap most times. CRO tools cost as much as $2000 — according to a study from VentureBeat.

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Why should you trust the tools listed in this post?

Well, I reached out to pro marketers and they shared their experience with CRO tools.

In no particular order, here are five top CRO tools as recommended by some of the best marketers:

1. Andy Crestodina (@Crestodina): “Two Hotjar reports answered [a critical question for me]”

If you’ve been around the online marketing space for a while, you would have probably seen Andy’s face a couple of times. He’s the founder of Orbit Media Studios and author of Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook For Content Marketing.

Andy says he considers Hotjar as his most effective CRO tool, sharing how it helped him figure out the best way to place testimonials on his homepage:

“For years, I had a little testimonials block at the bottom of my homepage. (testimonials are a great way to increase conversion rates!) Rather than just have one testimonial, it was a tiny carousel that let visitors click to see a second and third testimonial. But were visitors clicking? And would a greater percentage of visitors see the second and third testimonial if I stacked them, rather than use a carousel?

“Two reports in Hotjar answered the question. The first was the click heat map that showed the clicks on the carousel (which are, of course, non-pageview interactions). It showed that 5.7% of visitors were clicking. Not horrible.

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“The second report is the scroll heat map. It shows what percentage of visitors scroll past this part of the page, which was 28%. Quite a few.

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“So now I have the answer to my question. If I remove the carousel and stack them instead, 4.5x as many visitors will see the second testimonial.

1B. Rich Page (@richpage): “Hotjar is one of the most useful tools for CRO”

Rich Page does web analytics, A/B testing and conversion rate optimization for hundreds of websites — including Disney.com and Vodafone.com. Of all conversion optimization tools, Rich says Hotjar is his favorite too.

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In his own words, Rich says: “Hotjar has several great features, with the visitor recordings being particularly useful as you can watch and discover exactly what your visitors are doing on your website, including where they get stuck. The polls are also important for getting feedback on specific pages. They even offer a limited version free plan which is ideal for checking out the power of this great tool.”

2. Joel Klettke (@JoelKlette) — favorite CRO Tool: User Insights

Joel Klettke is a SaaS copywriter and the founder of Case Study Buddy. He works with clients like Hubspot, Deputy and Wp Engine, writing and testing copy that boosts their revenues. Joel says he finds User Insights more effective and cheaper than most other CRO tools.

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“User Insights offers absurdly fair pricing for user testing, with rapid turnaround. Unlike larger competitors, you can use User Insights to conduct testing on more focused areas of the site or very specific action paths.”

3. Karl Banks (of Conversion Rate Experts): “Retrospective moderated user-tests”

Having done conversion optimization for clients like Google, Dropbox, and Facebook with his team, Karl Banks is a force to reckon with for in the CRO space. He is the founder of the renonwed Conversion Rates Experts.

I asked Karl the same question I asked every other expert in this post: “Could you please share one conversion optimization tool that you have found very or most effective and why it is your favorite?”

And I gave him an exception: “Please don’t say Hotjar. Two other experts already picked it”

Banks says: “Our favorite tool is what we call retrospective moderated user-tests, in which you contact someone who has just completed your website’s goal (e.g., made a purchase), and ask them if they’d be willing to retrace their steps.

“Such people are, by definition, qualified, and they have recently gone through all of the thought processes required to make a sale. Such tests give an incredibly high rate of insights-per-minute.”

Karl goes on to share that his team’s other favorite CRO tools: “Our other favorite tools are in this infographic.”

4. Ian Rhodes (@iRhodes): “The one CRO tool that you already have access to is Google Analytics”

Ian Rhodes does conversion optimization for some of the best e-commerce brands around. Crazy Egg says he’s one of 14 Conversion Experts you should be following, Usability Tools says he’s among 32 CRO Influencers That Rule Optimization and PPC HERO describes him as One of the “Top 25 Most Influential conversion rate optimization experts.

In simple English, rest assured Ian knows what he’s talking about when it comes to conversion optimization tools.

He says, The one CRO tool that you already have access to is Google Analytics… and it’s free and underused for CRO purposes. GA is the instigator for the majority of data-driven e-commerce optimization.

“Take a look at the Product Performance Report nestled under the Conversions tab. If you’re using Enhanced Ecommerce (which you should be) it gives you access to product-specific insight inc. the % of times products are added to basket.

“Using this data you can isolate conversion roadblocks at product level. Which products are you seeing the poorest conversion rates for? Review the product pages and begin to pinpoint issues such as outdated product copy, generic imagery. The list goes on. Make this part of your daily routine and you’ll begin to grasp the elements of your site that you need to optimize to grow your sales.”

5. Sam Hurley (@Sam___Hurley): “For ultimate CRO, I would use a combo of two tools”

Popularly known as the guy who went from nobody to #1 Marketing Influencer in 15 months, Sam Hurley is a digital marketer who is a blessing to many brands and the founder of OPTIM EYEZ.

Sam says, “For ultimate CRO, I would use a combo of two tools — One you may not immediately think of as being a conversion tool!

#1: Visual Website Optimizer: While pricier than many (currently sitting at $3.5K+ per year for the ‘basic’ package), you get a whole lot for your money; and the conversions that will result should far outweigh any service costs.

The main reason I like VWO is it does exactly what it says on the tin; allowing you to literally change your website for experimentation in real-time (with ease), minus any coding annoyance.

#2: Wishpond: A marketing automation platform, right? Yep … However, my site uses the Wishpond API to completely tailor the customer journey via cookies. It’s an extremely powerful piece of kit for maximizing conversions, and 100% relevant in 2018 (the year of personalization).

Don’t just take their words for it. Test your CRO tools yourself.

Most — or even all — of these CRO tools have free trials or versions of their products you can try. Coupled with the information you get here, you can make informed decisions on which of the many tools to pick and invest your money into.

Author avatar

Victor Ijidola

Victor helps B2B and SaaS brands generate leads and revenue via content marketing and copywriting. He's the founder of Premium Content Shop and has been featured on sites like The Next Web, MarketingProfs, Forbes, Inc.com and so on.

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