It’s Tuesday evening when I’m writing this. After a hard but very satisfying basketball practice, I think it’s best to send something that is fundamental, simple, yet often misunderstood.

Research.

No link to an article today. Just a screenshot of a tweet that inspired me to write this:

Research is a step 1 in everything I do, professionally.

When trying to improve a website, a funnel, or an email sequence, you cannot just have a look at it and start fixing it. Unless something is very wrong, on the fundamental level.

You need to do your research first.

Note point 1 above in what research really is. Validating assumptions. While true, it could be a little misleading. You need to have no assumptions, to begin with. You come up with questions or ideas, even if you don’t agree with them, or don’t like them. And then test them during research or in the later stages.

Unearthing motivations, pain points, unmet needs – this is extremely important. This will help you improve everything. The main message, the funnel, the copy on the site, the emotions of the people coming to your site.

I would add another one to the list: spotting trends or anomalies. Good or bad. Asking yourself why this is happening and then trying to prove or disprove your hypothesis with research or A/B testing.

There’s a good point about what research is not. It’s not about asking aspirational questions. It’s a dangerous game to play if you do. Ask a question, get answers that are far from the truth, act on the information and end up with a worse messaging than what you had previously.

One thing I want to make clear:

Even though I’ll be sending you many case studies, best practices, or A/B test results that worked in real life, on real businesses, remember that you have to do your own research, and test on your own audience.

Never skip the research process. It’s step 0.

Now let me research my fridge and see how can I meet my needs while doing it 🙂

PS. If you are not sure how a good research process should look like, here’s a great book for you: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall. Short, informative, to the point.