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Avoiding Spaghetti on the Wall in Conversion Path Optimization


Spaghetti on the wall. No, I am not referring to my kids and their dinnertime temper tantrums. Today, I want to talk about the idea of just throwing ideas for testing and optimization out into the world without any hypothesis.

The phrase “spaghetti on the wall” comes from the idea that only fully cooked spaghetti sticks to the wall. Well, let’s take this idea and talk about it in testing and optimization terms. A common trap to fall into with conversion path testing and optimization is to start testing without a systematic approach to capture your learnings and to iterate from them.

Let’s pretend that:
Thrower of spaghetti = You
Spaghetti = Test elements/Creative
Wall = Your customers

There is one key element to effective conversion path testing and optimization that is missing from this example: the hypothesis.

Without a hypothesis there is no idea to prove or disprove with your test. Without a hypothesis it is tough to be systematic in your testing approach. Without a hypothesis you can’t be confident in making decisions based on results.

You can run a test and confirm that, yes, cooked spaghetti sticks to walls. Or in marketing terms, yes, people can go through your conversion path and convert. The real key is to know why certain pieces of spaghetti stick and others don’t.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of saying, “Yay! This new creative beat the control!” and then rolling out with that winner. But what happens when, the following month, that winner no longer converts? Without a hypothesis proven or disproven you will not know where to start looking for answers.

So the next time you launch a new conversion path test, ask yourself one question: “When one of the spaghetti strands sticks, will I have a good idea why?”

[Photo above by gluemoon, used with permission.]