This topic describes how to:
- Communicate the results of your tests and campaigns with others in your organization
- Focus on what to share: what your team has learned and how you’ve made an impact
- Plan when to share: the cadence that’s best for different stakeholders
- Use different formats and templates to communicate results
Sharing the results of your testing and personalization may not sound like work. Unlike interpreting results, it doesn’t require deep analysis. Nor does it draw deeply on creative resources like experiment design. Most of the heavy lifting is behind you at the results sharing stage. But sharing results—what the team has learned and how it has made an impact—is crucial to the success of every optimization program.
Here is why. Optimization programs are about gathering data, drawing insights from that data, and taking action. Imagine that your team creates a test to learn that a specific value proposition increases conversions, so you implement that type of offer on your site. Great! Your program has used its insights about customers to move the needle on your company’s business goals. But if you don’t also share your data-driven insights widely, you limit the impact of your testing efforts. You’ve taken action on behalf of customers, but you haven’t enabled other teams to do the same by taking this knowledge into account.
Share what you have learned to widen the impact of your testing. Share how you have made an impact to demonstrate the value of your optimization program. Based on test results, communicate the metrics you have helped move the needle on. If you do this well, you will evangelize data-driven decision-making within your organization.
Read on to learn more about how to share results effectively with:
your testing team
your broader organization
Or, take our Optimizely Academy course on sharing your results with others.
Companies that consistently share their test results—test more effectively and move the metrics that matter most to their businesses.
- Prioritization criteria and roadmap
- Experiment plan
- Results report (an Excel download, a link to the Results page, or an internal analytics report)
- Program manager
- Decision maker
- Executive sponsor (where applicable)
- Finalize documentation
- Store documentation in an accessible place
- Share results broadly at a cadence that aligns with company practices
- Shareable, accessible versions of all regularly used documentation, for example, the experiment plan and the roadmap
- Special newsletter (that details changes in goals, staffing, new quarterly roadmap, test results) at a regular cadence
- Results sharing documents (find templates below)
- Quarterly Business Review (QBR)
- Not sharing at each juncture
- Potentially oversharing with the wrong stakeholders (instead, share results that are relevant to each stakeholder)
- Not being clear about how individual experiments affect top-line goals in program-level reporting, such as in a QBR
- This article is a part of the Optimization Methodology series.
Click here to read more articles for our series on running an optimization program. For more downloadable resources, check out the Optimizely Testing Toolkit.
The basics: what to share
When you share results, include the following sections:
Purpose – Provide a brief description of “why” you’re running this test, including your experiment hypothesis.
Details – Include the number of variations, a brief description of the differences, the dates when the test was run, the total visitor count, and the visitor count by variation.
Results – Be concrete. Provide the percentage lift or loss, compared to the original, conversion rates by variation, and the statistical significance or Confidence intervals and improvement intervals
Lessons Learned – This is your chance to share your interpretation of what the numbers mean and critical insights generated from the data. The most important part of results sharing is telling a story that influences your company's decisions and generating new questions for future testing.
Revenue Impact – Whenever possible, quantify the value of a given percentage lift with year-over-year projected revenue impact.
The sections above don’t apply only to winning tests. Tests that don’t produce a winning variation generate valuable lessons; learning what not to do can be as helpful as knowing what to do. You are more likely to get a nuanced understanding of your visitor's behaviors through tests that don’t win than those that do.
Share with your testing team.
When to share
Update your optimization team on all active tests in a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly team meeting, depending on how often your team is testing. Don’t forget to include:
team members involved in execution, such as designers and developers
executive decision-makers not typically involved in day-to-day testing
peers who may not be focused on testing but can make valuable contributions to the program’s mission
How to share
Emails and shareable spreadsheets (for example, Google Spreadsheets or Smartsheet) are effective ways to share updates with your team. Your team’s wiki page in Atlassian Confluence is another place to store updated results. Email results to your testing team as experiments conclude.
Do not forget
Save your results to a roadmap or spreadsheet where you track the results of all tests in a project. Doing so will make it easier to consult these metrics in the future when you return to results to brainstorm new tests and campaigns.
Download the CSV file of your experiment results from your Results page. On the Results Page, click the Export CSV button in the toolbar. Check out this article for an explanation of columns in the exported CSV.
Add the metrics in your CSV download to a spreadsheet where you track the results of all experiments.
If you have set up any custom goals, such as in Google Analytics or SiteCatalyst, these will be included in your CSV download.
Share with your broader organization.
When to share
Share results with the rest of your organization at the end of each test to raise the visibility of your program and champion data-driven decision-making at your company.
How to share
For example, emails and shareable spreadsheets (Google Spreadsheets or SmartsheetGoogle Spreadsheets or Smartsheet) are effective ways to share updates with the broader organization.
Update results to an internal team wiki page (in Atlassian Confluence, for example) to keep your organization involved. Create a centralized, public source for all test results. Link to and share the wiki in internal emails so stakeholders beyond your testing team know where to find it.
Try sending out a “which test won” poll by email to generate interest and engagement with data-driven testing in the rest of your organization.
Share with executive stakeholders.
When to share
Executive stakeholders help allocate time and resources for your optimization program. Share your progress with executive stakeholders once per quarter, using your company’s internal presentation format.
What to share
Review the company goals that guide your testing program and past experiment results. Use these signposts to frame your report. It is also a good idea to include the following information for executive stakeholders:
Top experiments with significant business results
Total number of active experiments
Significant takeaways from the project
Number of monthly unique visitors to the site (and projection of future MUV)
Major tests are applied to your funnel and what you’ve learned.
Top-level summary of insights gained from experiments and campaigns overall
Audiences, integrations, and mobile experiments:
Important tests in mobile
Audiences that you’ve used in tests and plans for future audiences you’ll target
Integrations currently used and the case to be made for future integrations.
People and culture – what human resources or skillsets are needed for future testing and personalization? How do you plan to build a culture of testing at your company?
Improved processes – what processes need improvement? For example, how would you collaborate more efficiently with the Marketing team next quarter?
Strategy – where do you plan to test and personalize next -- and why?
Execution and resources – what non-human resources do you need for future testing and personalization?
Sharing the results of your tests with different stakeholders will help you spread the insights you've gained and communicate the ROI of your program. Doing this well will help you build visibility at your company and evangelize a data-driven culture.