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You Can Still Add Smart to Awesome


DATA-DRIVEN CMO is an ongoing series on the Brooks Bell Blog that focuses on topics for the modern day data-driven CMO.

If you’ve spent any time lately on the Internet, you’ve surely watched, and probably re-shared, a video from the website Upworthy. In case you haven’t heard of Upworthy, here’s how they describe themselves:

“At best, things online are usually either awesome or meaningful, but everything on Upworthy.com has a little of both. Sensational and substantial. Entertaining and enlightening. Shocking and significant.

That’s what you can expect here: no empty calories. No pageview-juking slideshows. No right-column sleaze. Just a steady stream of the most irresistibly shareable stuff you can click on without feeling bad about yourself afterwards. ”

The quick and short of it all is Upworthy shares awesome, highly-shareable, quickly-viral content. This content sells itself! They are videos that you can’t help but relate to, so sharing to your network on social platforms is a no-brainer. They are, in my humblest of opinions, truly awesome.

But here’s what makes Upworthy even more awesomer. (yes, I realize I made up a word, but in this case, I’m ok with it). After taking a look at their source code, I noticed they use Optimizely, a popular A/B testing tool that we use to get great results for our clients.

Upworthy optimizely code

After clearing my cache and checking out Upworthy on a few devices and browsers, I found some variations. Check out this one where they vary the subscription method call to action on the homepage.

 Upworthy test 1

Upworthy variation 2

Or this one, where they added an additional call-to-action, just above the footer.

Upworthy test 3

Upworthy variation 4

Upworthy is awesome and would no doubt be successful in every major metric from the quality of their content alone. But they add smarts to their awesome by testing and optimizing their pages. A true recipe for success!

What this means to you

You may have a great product or service with a loyal customer base. You may have the greatest invention ever invented at the most ideal price. But there is always room to add smart to awesome.