Draft Method


What makes Draft different from other optimization agencies? Great question! Thank you so much for asking it.

First, we don’t view ourselves as an agency. We chose the word consultancy very carefully. Our work is consultative, meaning we work directly with executives to define strategy & put it into practice. Whatever helps the business achieve its goals while meeting customer needs is fair game. That could range from improved upsells to a more thoughtful discounting plan. The only common thread between our clients is their mindset, one that is willing to truly listen & respond to customers.

Second, we do lots of design research to come up with the ideas for our one-off fixes & experiments. All of our ideas are grounded in evidence, so that we can do the best thing for customers while also moving the needle in your business. In doing so, we’ve come to beat the overall industry win rate by over 4x, a figure we’re quite proud of.

So the short answer is that we’re not really an optimization agency! We’re a design consultancy. We do consultative design research work to make the numbers go up in a way that’s not gross. And we accomplish this through a process we’ve come to call the Draft Method, which we originally set forth in our third book, Value-Based Design.

Here’s what we’ll do if you decide to work with us:

1. Initial optimization

We’ve never encountered a business that came in the door looking flawless – after all, they hired a consultancy for a reason. Here are some things we typically do before we touch anything else:

  • Configuring funnels & goals in Google Analytics.
  • Cleaning up messy data reporting.
  • Running important quantitative research, such as heat & scroll maps and behavior recordings.
  • Coming to a consensus on key metrics.
  • Assessing browser & platform compatibility.
  • Fixing any grievously buggy issues in any parts of your website that facilitate the taking of money.

By the time we’re done with this phase, we’re already improving your business’s conversion rate. In many cases, just this phase pays for our work into perpetuity.

2. Research

Once we finish our initial optimization, we kick off the most essential part of our work: research.

Research can take many forms, from qualitative (customer interviews, free-text survey responses, usability tests) to quantitative (analytics, heat & scroll maps, click maps, survey scores). Both methods are essential for understanding customers’ motivations and existing behavior – so we can run tests that are more likely to win.

Research is a continuous process, and it’ll happen as we run experiments as well.

3. Synthesis

Research is what gives us ground to stand on – and synthesis is how we turn our research into revenue-generating design decisions. During synthesis, we look at what we’ve gathered and plan as many changes to your business’s funnel as possible. That involves both one-off changes (this is broken, fix it) and test ideas (changing this might be a tradeoff, and we need to measure its economic impact).

These are pretty rigid categories – you’re either testing an idea or launching it straight away – and no, you can’t just pile test ideas into the one-off bucket. You aren’t hiring Draft to be that careless: you’re hiring Draft to unlearn the “MOVE FAST & BREAK THINGS” poster that you saw in Facebook’s headquarters (and which they unlearned years ago).

Once we get our test ideas together, we prioritize them based on potential impact and feasibility – and then we move to the next step.

4. Experimentation

A/B testing is a tool that lets you gauge the economic impact of a single design decision. Draft uses it often. At this stage, we build a testable design decision, configure some goals, launch the experiment, and wait.

5. Action

Once our tests are ready to call, we write up a report that analyzes our findings, summarizes any new research that came out of the test, and provides next steps. If a variant won, we celebrate and launch it to all customers.

Repeating steps 2 through 5

While a test runs, we’re always researching what to do for the next one. Our goal is to maximize testing time, and always keep researching. We’re never done.

Throughout this process, we act as project managers & on-the-ground fixers for our clients, allowing us to understand what needs to be done, what blockers remain, and helping our development team get everything across the finish line.

In short

This is not a “growth hacking” strategy. This is a comprehensive, no-nonsense methodology for improving conversion rates, average order value, and customer lifetime value. Doing so takes time. It usually requires a culture and mindset shift. We’re different from other agencies because we know there are no shortcuts to profit, and we know how to get there.

If this all sounds appealing, we’d love to begin a conversation with you.

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