3 Common Pitfalls with Experimentation Rigor and How to Fix Them

Haley Carpenter
April 17, 2024 ·
3 Common Pitfalls with Experimentation Rigor and How to Fix Them

Most marketing and product teams are aware that conversion rate optimization is how brands level up from average results to extraordinary ones. What they may not realize is that without implementing experimentation rigor across all phases of your testing program, you may be leaving money on the table.

Implementing experimentation rigor is how you maximize your results and ROI. It can also solve intricate challenges, optimize efficiencies across your team, and foster stakeholder buy-in. If I’ve got your attention, keep reading.

What Is Experimentation Rigor?

At a high level, experimentation rigor refers to the steps taken to ensure that changes made to improve conversion rates are based on reliable evidence and will lead to meaningful improvements in business outcomes.

If you’re new to the concept of experimentation rigor, watch my webinar with Convert where we cover rigor fundamentals, integrity in experimentation, and practical steps to incorporate rigor into your programs. (No time to watch a webinar? No sweat. Check out this Convert LinkedIn post that summarizes that webinar beautifully in a 2-minute read.)

Rigor is most easily implemented and maintained if done properly from day 1; however, that’s not the case most of the time. Usually, we’re increasing rigor after a program has been in place for months or years.

With that said, scaling rigor is usually a longer game with short-term, mid-term, and long-term efforts. It involves introducing new concepts, systems, and processes all of which require buy-in, persuasion, and repeated action by a few people at a minimum — usually a lot. It’s more difficult than it seems.

This post will focus on the repercussions of a lack of rigor with practical examples and what to do instead.

Spaghetti Testing

One common consequence of a lack of experimentation rigor is what some refer to as “spaghetti testing” – a haphazard approach where ideas are generated without clear direction or objective. This leads to a significant waste of time and resources as experiments lack focus and fail to drive meaningful results.

An example we’ve come across in our work is product managers who don’t have any UX research so they just start testing a bunch of things they “think or feel” would be best. While this occasionally works, it more often leads to wasted money and resources.


To avoid the pitfalls of spaghetti testing, it’s crucial to start by setting clear objectives and KPIs for your CRO efforts. Before brainstorming ideas, define the overall objectives of your program and identify the specific metrics that will measure success. Utilize SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to set objectives and align KPIs accordingly. By establishing clarity from the outset, you can ensure that each experiment contributes meaningfully to your overarching goals.

A good starting point is to understand the difference between money metrics and vanity metrics fully. To learn more, check out our article The Primary Metric Debate: Money Metrics vs. B.S. Metrics.

Lack of Stakeholder Alignment

Without proper stakeholder alignment, CRO efforts can face significant roadblocks. Miscommunication and differing priorities among stakeholders can lead to delays in decision-making, inefficient resource allocation, and ultimately, suboptimal outcomes.

One example of this would be when a marketing team’s primary test metric is form submissions when leadership actually wants it to be MQLs. Just because a marketing team is getting dozens of form submissions, it may not be impacting the company’s bottom line.


To address this issue, prioritize stakeholder buy-in from the outset. Clearly communicate the goals, methodology, and expected outcomes of your experimentation program to all relevant stakeholders. Encourage open dialogue and collaboration to ensure that everyone is aligned on the objectives and understands their role in the process. Regular check-ins and updates can help maintain alignment throughout the duration of the program.

We recently published an article that explains our favorite methods to cultivating stakeholder alignment:7 Tips to Successfully Build a Culture of Experimentation.

Inadequate Testing Infrastructure

Inadequate testing infrastructure can severely hinder the effectiveness of CRO efforts. Without the necessary tools, resources, and processes in place, teams may struggle to execute experiments efficiently, analyze results accurately, and iterate effectively.

Royal Caribbean’s CRO program lacked the infrastructure needed to support higher testing velocity and testing at scale. You can read more about the solution we specifically implemented for them in this case study: Royal Caribbean’s CRO Journey with Chirpy.


  • Invest in building a robust testing infrastructure that supports the entire experimentation lifecycle. This includes implementing tools for hypothesis generation, experiment design, A/B testing, and data analysis.
  • Ensure that team members are adequately trained to use these tools effectively and establish standardized processes for conducting experiments.
  • Regularly evaluate and optimize your testing infrastructure to keep pace with evolving needs and technologies.

If you’re just starting to build your infrastructure or are re-working it and need guidance, this article will help you do just that: Experimentation Program Management: Ideas You Can Execute Immediately.


In conclusion, experimentation rigor is essential for driving data-driven improvements in conversion rates and maximizing ROI. By avoiding common pitfalls such as spaghetti testing, lack of stakeholder alignment, and inadequate testing infrastructure, organizations can unlock the full potential of their CRO efforts. Embrace a disciplined approach to experimentation, prioritize stakeholder buy-in, and invest in building a robust testing infrastructure to achieve lasting success in optimization endeavors.

CRO Master
CRO Master
Mobile reading? Scan this QR code and take this blog with you, wherever you go.
Haley Carpenter
Haley Carpenter Haley Carpenter is a CRO thought leader from Austin. Having honed her skills for several years at top companies, she’s putting her expertise into running her own company, Chirpy.
Carmen Apostu
Carmen Apostu In her role as Head of Content at Convert, Carmen is dedicated to delivering top-notch content that people can’t help but read through. Connect with Carmen on LinkedIn for any inquiries or requests.

Start Your 15-Day Free Trial Right Now.
No Credit Card Required

You can always change your preferences later.
You're Almost Done.
I manage a marketing team
I manage a tech team
I research and/or hypothesize experiments
I code & QA experiments
Convert is committed to protecting your privacy.

Important. Please Read.

  • Check your inbox for the password to Convert’s trial account.
  • Log in using the link provided in that email.

This sign up flow is built for maximum security. You’re worth it!