Danny Wajcman, co-founder & Chief Operations Officer of Lucky Orange, explains what sets their product apart from Google Analytics, illustrates how this helps the product onboarding process, and shares his tips for scaling your business.

Danny Wajcman is the co-founder & COO (Chief Operations Officer) of Lucky Orange — a complete package of conversion optimization, which includes a real-time digital dashboard, daily email insights, dynamic heatmaps, live visitor recordings, and more.

Founded in 2013 in Overland Park Kansas, Lucky Orange was a result of the basic need to better understand what visitors were doing on a website. Danny, and his partner and CTO, Brian Gruber, were two small business owners fed up with the lack of tools on the market. As they were developing websites for clients, they wanted a way to better see what people were doing on the websites they were creating, and how useres interacted with those websites.


Who Needs Lucky Orange

Lucky Orange is not just a heat map tool, but also a very visual way of displaying your website’s analytics. But in a world dominated by Google Analytics, what are they offering in comparison with Google Analytics?

“That’s such a really great question to focus on. And I often, because I’m a father and I’m up spending half my nights telling stories to my children as I put them to bed. I’d like to think about visitors to your site as telling a story. And to help aid in understanding that story, we utilize tools. And one of those tools might be Google Analytics, and another one of those tools to help tell this story might be Lucky Orange. And I think Google Analytics really focuses on the beginning of that user story and the end of that user story. The beginning of that story is how many people came to my site today? Where did they come from? And maybe how much time do they spend and how many of them bounce right away? And then the very end of that story is okay, for the 100 people that came to my site, one and a half of them converted or two people converted and that’s my conversion rate.

But there’s not a lot you can really do or actionable from that part of the story. The real meat is everything in between. So where did I lose them on my site? Can I draw a conversion funnel or a pathway using Lucky Orange to figure out where they dropped off? When they viewed a product, did they have friction as they added it to cart or was it on the billing page? So we really see us as complementary for really aiding in that discovery for the middle part of that user journey, which is oftentimes where you have the most opportunity to improve your conversions, by again, understanding in that user flow where you’re having the most frustration. Yeah. When we look at websites, they become very personal to us, and we have this certain sense of how people will naturally navigate and flow on our site. And those are assumptions that we make. But allowing tools like Lucky Orange to come in to visually show you and remove that lack of understanding of how people flow, we can again make these meaningful changes to the site.”


The Lowest-hanging Fruits

One of the things that any software developer needs to know is the first steps of the tool. For someone starting with Lucky Orange, what are the lowest hanging fruits that they can start with that will show them the most gains?

“Yeah, and I think this often goes back to is the assumptions that we make. Again, because I always translate things back to the things that are very personal to me. When my kid brings home a piece of art that they made in school, in class, they’re so excited, and they can’t wait to hang it up on the fridge and show everybody what it is. And I think it’s the best-looking thing. And then someone else comes and looks at it, and they have no idea what my kid was trying to draw. And I think websites often almost act in that same way, that we’re very proud of our websites and we can’t wait to show them off and use them. But the reality is not everybody understands what they’re supposed to do and how they’re supposed to use it.

So when you first start interacting with Lucky Orange, the first thing you want to do is step back away from any assumptions that you have as far as saying, this is how people should use my website because how they should use your website is very different than how they’re going to be using your website. That very first time you watch a recording of a visitor on your website using Lucky Orange, you almost want to reach through this screen and tell them that they’re moving the mouse wrong because you think they’re navigating the site the wrong way, but the reality is everybody, especially new visitors has to orientate themselves to your site and so by understanding and seeing how people orientate themselves to the site and then the natural flow that they use on the website is very insightful.

Another way people often see this is even just with a very simple thing called a scroll map. And what a scroll map will do is on any page of your site, tell you how far down most people scroll, until they get to what we call a cutoff or an effective fold. This is oftentimes used by marketers when they’re writing long page content or when we first launched maybe a sign up page, and we put a bunch of things like testimonials and client logos, and by the time we fill the page with all these things that we think are important for people to see before they sign up, majority of visitors don’t even scroll that far down to see your call to action button or your signup button. So these visual insights really reinforce the message that we need to remove our assumptions and then operate only off of what people are actually doing on our site.”


Simplifying Your Ability to Find Insights

One of the biggest problems that marketers face, especially when we’re talking about the growth of a business, is information and analytics bloat; you have so many heat maps and user journeys that it’s hard to manage that data to optimize your actual business. Does Danny have guidelines he has learned along the way, that he would advise his customers?

“Yes, and I think that is something that comes a lot up, and we proactively try to address that as we either advise or continue to improve what we offer. And that’s really simplifying the ability to find insights from your data. We don’t want you to get stuck in data, but we want you to live in the insights. So sometimes it’s just about a matter of how quickly we can help you find that needle in the haystack. So we don’t want you to be overwhelmed by all this data, but we want you to get to those answers quickly. One of the ways we do that is by allowing you to create custom segments. So maybe today we’re not going to focus on all of our traffic. We want to focus on just our visitors that came from a certain media buy.

So today we want to only look at how our users from Google PPC and compare those that converted versus those that didn’t convert and begin to say, what can we do today, this week, this short period of time to better understand just our Google PPC traffic. And should we be sending them to dedicated landing pages? Should we opt out of a certain set of keywords? So I think to try to tackle conversion improvement as a whole is a nice goal, but really I think you’d want to ground it in what are those low hanging fruits that again, that we can do and just continue to make meaningful improvement.

A website’s almost like a living creation whereas you learn from the set of users, you make a change, but that’s going to introduce a whole new set of behaviors. So conversion optimization and using these insights, it should really be like a steady beat of a drum and every, whether it’s weekly, monthly, daily, whatever is the right cadence for your organization, that’s how you should implement it. So again, I wouldn’t tackle, let’s improve conversions, that’s going to happen naturally by biting off just a little bit at a time and pairing it down to more meaningful and obtainable data.”


Cross-Team Training

Who needs a heat map tool in 2019? And who are Lucky Orange’s typical users? 

“So one of the things that we’ve really noticed as people have adopted our software is that both in terms of the industry they operate in and even their title within an organization is very far-reaching. So we’ll have people as you know, starting up their first website on a platform like Shopify or a big commerce, all the way to large Fortune 500 organizations, big brands, people that focus on sales versus lead gen, and it’s a wide range. But to me, more importantly, and more interesting than that, are the titles of the people that come in. It can be, I’m the sole owner of the business too, I am a marketer too, I’m a designer too, I’m the technology security. So when we talked about, okay, who wants to use a heat map and who’s not using heat map, I often look at understanding user journey and experience as a puzzle that needs to be put together. And heat mapping certainly is one piece of that puzzle and if you only use heat mapping, you’re going to get really good feedback and guidance.

But when you start to add in more pieces of that puzzle, maybe it’s adding it with visitor recordings. Maybe it’s adding it with form analytics. Maybe it’s through getting user feedback through surveys or polls or even chat on your site. These are all more pieces of the puzzle that will give you a clear picture as far as what’s going on. And it’s not uncommon at all that somebody within their organization will say, ‘Hey, our marketing team is interested in using Lucky Orange because we want to look at heat maps for this reason.’ And then we’ll talk to them about, ‘Okay, have you ever thought about using surveys or polls to get these sorts of insights?’ And they’d say, ‘Oh we didn’t think about that, but you know what, somebody on our web development team doesn’t want to implement that.’

So it’s something that we take a lot of pride in, which is when we onboard users that we are very dedicated to cross-team training because it’s very important that you have many eyes looking at this sort of insight. Because when I look at a heat map or a visitor recording, the direction I might get and want to run with, it could be a little bit different than what somebody from a different team wants to learn and gain from it. And by having this cross-team dialogue, allows us to get in alignment with the goals and the directions and how we can all really become stakeholders in the decision-making process.”


What Was the Number One Factor for the Growth of Lucky Orange?​

“I think that’s a fantastic question and my perspective on that will certainly change. So at least for today, I would say one of our number one factors for growth has always been and will always be identifying and reducing friction for adoption. And so that is, we want to make it as easily and a no brainer to adopt Lucky Orange within your organization. Now we have to realize that that organization could be a single person who’s just trying to start out on the weekends, to we have to go through seven different decision makers within a large company. But the first is we want to identify and reduce friction for adoption. So that could have to do with the education. So how do we quickly relay the values of Lucky Orange? It could have to do with our price. Is our price obtainable? How do we compare versus our competitors? Are we ignoring a huge market because we’re trying to be very enterprise focused only, or can we have a product that can be scalable for both and provide value? How difficult is it to implement?

Even if the price is good, is it very challenging to get installed or can you get up and running in five minutes? And for this we look at things like, can we help you with the installation? Can we adopt third party partnerships that allow the code to be installed for you? And then the most important thing, and I think this is something often people then forget, is how quickly can you see value. So you’ve taken the time to get educated and you’ve signed up and you got the code. But if it’s going to take a long time for the end user to understand, well why did I go through this? Why am I putting this? Why am I continuing to spend time when I could be on my floor selling bikes or working with other departments, utilizing these data and insights? We need to help you see value quickly. And that’s our continue to charge, is to simplify this discovery process so you understand the ultimate value of what you’re doing.”


What Challenges Did You Face and What Did You Learn From Overcoming Them?

“I would say looking at that, one challenge we always have is, and this is almost like a blessing in the form of a challenge, is that because we’ve been fortunate enough to be a bootstrapped organization, we haven’t taken funding. We very much covered every dollar we spend. Oftentimes means we might move a little slowly when we’re looking at things like marketing channels and how much money we might spend in certain areas, because we’re not going to just go throw money around, because we have accountability to our customers, we have accountability to our team members to make sure we have a viable growing business. So we look at things like that. So what we’ve done is we’ve learned on third parties to help out. We work with great companies like you guys and Elementor, to help continue to grow our business and work closely with people. So we look at ways, how can we reduce our customer acquisition costs? And that’s been really good for us.

But I’d say the challenge side of that is, because we spend often a little time looking at different opportunities and then even think, well, can we do it ourselves? This can take us away from our North star. And so that that can be a delay, which we ultimately decide, you know what, let’s bring in an expert to help us out, or let’s work with a third party company, because it’s not in our core competency. So let’s either, again, hire somebody who is an expert in this field and they can help guide us in this practice or work with somebody. So I think that’s that delicate balance of wanting to be a nimble organization that can take on a lot. At the same time realize sometimes it’s okay to let go and allow other people to come in and help.”


What Are Your Top Three Tips for Someone That Is Looking to Grow Their Business but With a Limited Budget?

“think the easiest thing, which fortunately is the freest thing to do. So people always say, well what are the three great tips to do? Take out a Superbowl ad? Not everybody’s going to do that. So the very first thing I would say is the freest thing, which is just listen, listen to your customers, listen to your people that are just signed up. Listen to the people that have just canceled. They’re all going to give you tips and feedback as far as how to continue to improve. It might be how do we improve our dialogue with our users? Do we need to communicate with them in a more effective way? Do we need then, provide more training? They’re going to also give you really good guidance as far as how should the product continue to develop. Some of our best features are because our customers said something like, “We really like it but, but we wish it did this or but if only it did this, we could use it wider in our organization.” And that’s the type of free information that can help keep you on point.

Another thing that is what we always say is make friends. You’re going to go a lot farther in this organization when you’re finding other organizations to work with. I think today is a perfect, great example of here’s two companies that work together that have very complimentary products and services and clearly an overlap and user base. So it makes sense when you can share tips and wisdom. And it’s not just that you provide a great product and service and so do we. But by introducing each other to each other’s market, what you do is you become, you add an element of trust and thought leadership that, I’m not just working with somebody because of the technology they provide. On top of that, they’re also introducing me to new technology that I may not be aware of.

And finally the third thing, which is been very key to us, which is again goes back to hiring the right people. And that’s knowing that a huge chunk of your day is with the people that you surround yourselves in. So you have to make sure that you really take the time to that. Are these people interested in writing? Can we provide what they are looking for? So we will always look at hiring as mutual interviewing. We want to make sure that the candidate is the right person for our organization, but we also need to be the right organization for that candidate.

So that way when we bring someone in, we know that there’s the work they can do, that they can be successful and that we can guide them to find value in the work they do. At the same time, we’ve got to have some fun too. So providing some breaks in the day and throughout the week, because I’m like I said, while we are at work, we should value and enjoy what we do and around the people we do it with. So I think it’s our duty to create a nice environment for people to feel good about all those factors.”

* As a result of technical difficulties, this episode could not be recorded in our studio. We apologize in advance for the slight echo you may hear.