Interview with Talia Wolf: “Emotional targeting puts the customer at the heart of all strategies.”

Talia Wolf, Conversion Optimization Advisor, CMO, Banana Splash

Talia Wolf
Conversion Optimization Advisor, CMO,
Banana Splash

Talia was recently listed as one of the most influential experts in conversion optimization. She has run more than thousand of AB tests and will be the keynote speaker of the Conversion Conference 2016 in Berlin.

Talia, have you ever been to Berlin? What are the things or places you are looking forward to the most regarding your trip to Germany?

Berlin is one of my favorite places in the world. I have many friends there and truly enjoy each time I come. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting friends, colleagues and having great food.

Can you please explain to us what the „CRO Playbook“ is and why you think it needs to be rewritten?

When is comes to mobile, many optimizers either neglect their mobile traffic and/or tend to treat them like mini-desktop visitors. There is a huge lack of knowledge to do with mobile web visitors and as a result a HUGE loss in online revenues. Rather than addressing mobile visitors as mini-desktop ones, optimizers must get to know their mobile customers better, understand they have different needs, behaviors, require a different experience and a different optimization plan. This is what I will be talking about during my session (and give you many tips on how to do exactly that).

Which is your favorite best practice example for mobile optimization?

I’m not the biggest fan of best practices. In fact, I believe best practices are making optimizers lazy and stop them from running in-depth research, getting to know their customers better and result in only insignificant uplifts in conversion. While many marketers say a certain best practice works for them, it’s important to remember this is their best practice – something that works for their product and their target audience, it won’t necessarily work for you. As optimizers our goal isn’t to test for the sake of testing – but to test for knowledge and scalable results. Simply following best practices and testing without a well devised plan or strategy will only generate minor uplifts in conversions.

You will be holding a workshop in Berlin as well. Together with Angie Schottmuller you’re teaching the attendees about “landing pages”. So can you reveal some tips for good mobile landing pages in advance?

During our workshop, Angie and I will be taking a deeper look at how to plan, design and execute a high performing landing page. We’ll focus a lot on the research you need to perform in order to create a dedicated landing page for your target audience and generate higher conversion rates including emotional targeting, social proof, color psychology and much more.

You recommend to use emotional targeting for AB tests as well. What is “emotional targeting” and why should it be used?

Rather than focusing on just gender, age and behavioral aspects, emotional targeting focuses on understanding your target audience on the emotional level. Emotional targeting puts the customer at the heart of all strategies. Instead of focusing on your product, features and pricing with emotional targeting we focus on the value a customer gets. For example, it’s the difference between saying “We’re the number 1 insurance company” and saying “Finally you get to sleep quietly at night” → The second focuses on answering the customer’s biggest issues and addressing their emotional needs. Over the past 7 years I’ve ran thousands of AB tests utilizing the emotional targeting methodology – using color psychology, cognitive biases, strategic images and content to optimize landing pages and entire funnels and the results have been amazing. Other than increasing conversion rates by hundreds of percent we’ve also gained invaluable knowledge that has given us a better understanding of our clients’ customers and has helped us improve many different processes within companies such as sales, retention departments and even customer success.

What does your typical day in the office look like?

For productivity reasons I spend the first half of my day doing more heavy and profound projects such as research, strategy and reporting. The rest of my day is spent on speaking with clients, technical work, optimizing AB tests and most importantly – managing the office playlist.

What are the most important things on your office desk?

  • A note that says “Focus”.
  • My Harry Potter books and memorabilia.
  • Pictures of friends, family and conferences I’ve spoken at
  • And my phone charger!

What is your favorite app you couldn’t live without?

  • Spotify
  • Google Analytics
  • Snapchat
  • Headspace

Thanks for the Interview, Talia! We are really looking forward to your session.

2017