CXL Growth Marketing Review (Week 3)

Shwetha Ashokumar
5 min readJun 6, 2021


Welcome back to the CXL Growth Marketing course review.

To give you a brief, I am taking this course on Growth Marketing by CXL. Every week, I publish my review on what I have learned from this course. If you are new here, please go through the first two parts.

In this blog, I am going to review the first two courses of the second module — Running growth experiments.

Course 5- Research and testing by Peep Laja

Peep Laja is the founder of CXL. This course is by far the most interesting of all the courses that I have studied in this mini degree. It answers a lot of questions that you might have. In this lesson Peep Laja talks about what to test first and how quickly. Additionally, he covers what qualifies as optimization and what doesn’t, how to know what matters to your customers, and how to watch for confirmation bias.

When I first started my career in marketing, I would go through tons and tons of blogs to understand what other companies have been doing, to learn the hacks, and to go up the ladder easy peasy. I am sure you have done that too. These are the common mistakes every marketeer does at the early stage of their career. But, two to three experiments down the line you would have come to a conclusion that this does not work for you? Why do you think that is? That is because you don’t know what is that you are optimizing for. Your experiments will only work if you know what goal you are trying to achieve. Otherwise, it is like building steps to nowhere.

So for you to be successful at an experiment, you need to:

  • Know what to test
  • See how fast it can be tested
  • Improve the speed of optimization

In the second lesson, Peep discusses the 6 types of data to help you make great optimization decisions. What should you be testing and how should you test those ideas for the most impact?

The 6 types of analysis that you need to test are — Technical, Heuristic, Digital, Mouse tracking, Qualitative, and User testing.

This brings us to the next question, how do you know what to test?

For that, he suggests that you start with a simple heuristic analysis. A heuristic analysis is used to identify common usability issues so that the problems can be resolved, consequently improving the user’s satisfaction and experience and raising the chances of a digital product’s success overall.

Focusing on usability, a heuristic analysis is an evaluation method in which one or more experts compare the website (in this case) to a list of predefined design principles (commonly referred to as heuristics) and identify where they are falling short.

How to conduct an experiment using this analysis:

  • Find out where are the problems on your website
  • What are the problems
  • Why are you facing these problems
  • Turn the problems into hypothesis
  • Turn these ideas into solutions

But, before you start with the Heuristic analysis, it is important that you do a technical analysis of your site. This will give you an idea of what is broken in the site, where is it broken, and which pages are slow. Once you have identified and fixed this, you can perform a heuristic analysis.

It is also essential that you do a digital analysis to identify:

  • What are the leaks
  • Which segment of customers are falling out
  • What are these users doing
  • Which actions co-relate with higher conversions

Next, let us look at mouse tracking. I am not going to go over the concept of mouse tracking, if the term is new to you, I’d suggest that you Google it. One great takeaway from this course was when your website has multiple folds, maintain a single background color, using different colors for different blocks, the churn is higher.

The next type of analysis is qualitative analysis. I am going to give a gist of the things that you need to know when it comes to qualitative analysis. Conduct open ended surveys to understand:

  • Your buyer personas
  • What problem are they facing
  • How are they deciding
  • What is holding them back from deciding

The last of the 6 types is User testing, I have spoken a lot about this in the previous blog post, please head over to that to understand more about user testing. But, the one golden take away from Peep is that — What people say and do are totally different. Always test what people do.

Course 6: Conversion Research by Peep Laja

Imagine this: A man comes to a hospital. “I’m sick,” he says. “We’ll fix you right up”, says the doctor — and leads him to an operating room where he performs immediate surgery. The man is cured!

Now that never happens. You need to diagnose the patient before you know how to treat him. Sounds plain obvious, doesn’t it? Not so in the conversion world!

There are plenty of people who claim to know immediately what’s wrong with a website, and how to improve it.

Sure, some problems might be plainly obvious. But you might be wrong — your personal preferences and bias get in the way. And — the better the website, the less obvious the problems are. So you’re left with opinions. But the problem is.

In this lesson, Peep tells you something that we all need to hear. Your opinions don’t matter.

It’s true, they don’t. Would you rather have a doctor operate on you based on opinion or careful examination and tests?

So every optimization project has to start with conversion research. It’s where you diagnose a website, and figure out where and how it’s leaking money.

Once you know that, you can go ahead and start plugging the holes.

Conversion research consists of three parts:

Experience-based assessment

  • Site walkthroughs
  • Heuristic analysis
  • Usability analysis

Qualitative research

  • Online surveys with recent customers
  • On-site polls
  • Phone interviews
  • Live chat transcripts
  • Customer support insight
  • User testing

Quantitative research

  • Web analytics analysis (e.g. Google Analytics and other quantified data tools like Adobe Analytics, KISSMetrics, MixPanel, Heap Analytics)
  • Mouse tracking analysis

In this lesson, Peep explains the research XL framework mentioned above and how to use it.

Hope you found this useful. Watch out this space for more.



Shwetha Ashokumar

T shaped marketer and Author of Insider’s guide to Technical Documentation