Digital Elite Camp 2016


DreamGrow is one of the proud organisers of Digital Elite Camp – an annual traffic and conversion event that takes place near Tallinn, Estonia. People from all around the world get together to learn how the best industry experts are boosting their online profits. This year’s camp brought to Estonia 17 world leading CRO gurus along with some of the most brilliant copywriters. The event had all together 169 participants from 18 different countries.

Elite Camp has always had one main goal: to give attendees practical knowledge on how to get results in internet marketing, something that they could apply right now. The format also emphasises the importance of networking with other participants. So, the possibility to meet the industry leaders, learn from each others’ experience, have fun and enjoy the beautiful beach resort by the Baltic sea makes this conference a truly one-of-a-kind event.

So, we’re happy to present you the most important highlights from this year’s speakers. Buckle up for some latest insights from the optimisation and content marketing world!

Paul Rouke – Tackling the Global Pandemic that is Bullshit Optimisation

“He was absolutely inspiring, perfect talk to open Elite Camp.”

paul-rouke-elite-campPaul Rouke | PRWD@paulrouke

  • Businesses jump ‘onto’ conversion, but don’t get ’into’ it. They lack the skills to carry it out.
  • Many people ’talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk’. Companies say they are customer-centric, when in reality they are not. These companies don’t grow, don’t change.
  • Career advice:
    1. Work hard – Don’t expect immediate success and plan on the challenges ahead.
    2. Hold onto your own ambition – Don’t let other people hold you back.
    3. Be humble- Share your ideas and learn from other people, especially your end-users. Don’t let the imposter-syndrome prevent you from speaking, sharing and learning from both.
    4. Have guts – And become a reinvented HIPPO that stands for humility, integrity, passion, positivity and openness.
    5. Find someone to support you.‘Be the change!’


Karl Gilis – How to Make Sure Your New Website Won’t Be a Failure?

“Good, funny and very practical, pleasure to listen to this guy.”

karl-gilis-elite-campKarl Gilis | AGConsult | @AGConsult

  • Redesign without enough user research is just gambling and will probably fail.
  • Most of those redesigns are just cosmetic changes whereas they should be based on business needs.
  • Pay attention to what users do, not what they say. That’s what user research is about.
  • Stop selling the way you want to sell, sell the way people want to buy.
  • Recommended approach for a new website:
    1. User research – Use analytics, user behaviour tools and moderated user testing with real questions (no fake or artificial tasks).
    2. Strategy & Roadmap – Use open and closed card sorting techniques. Card sorting tool for website structuring – OptimalCards (Optimal Workshop).
    3. Structure- Identify what should be on the website and what not.
    4. Mock-up with real texts – ‘If you don’t care about words you’re a decorator. Not a designer.


Karsten Lund – Master the Moment of Decision Using Applied Neuroscience Methods for Measuring Attention, Emotion & Memory

“Great to get a more in-depth view on how we operate.”

karsten-lund-elite-campKarsten Lund | Jellyfish Online Marketing@karstenlund

  • The quality of decision making is determined by three factors: attention, emotions and memory.
  • Emotions are unconscious whereas feelings are conscious. Unconscious factors influence the way users pay attention on visual information provided (colors, schemes and details).
  • Compared to earlier tv-branding campaigns today memory allocation is scattered across multiple devices and activities at a time.
  • Success is determined by the combination of emotional impact and connection with brand (example:  The Force commercial worked a lot better than Baby and Me).


Amy Harrisson – The Science of Screenwriting for Online Marketers and Copywriters

“So simple but so overlooked – getting the benefits of what you sell to a customer. Entertaining and really useful.”

amy-harrisson-elite-campAmy Harrisson | HarrisonAmy Copywriting | @Harrisonamy

  • Copywriting is similar to scriptwriting – there are few basic stories being told, but the context is different every time. (7 Basic Plots on Wikipedia)
  • Dont use generic (empty) umbrella terms that try to sum up the entire value of your product/service. Instead get to really know your customer and tell them something specific they care about in order to get them interested.
  • Make sure your copy has the ‘Movie Trailer Effect’ – Dont bury the highlights!
  • How to tell a story your customers love:
    1. Find out the biggest challenges and burning questions of your customers.
    2. Identify which symptoms does your product solve. (7 prompts: location, people, emotions, performance, time, money, physical).
    3. Spy on your customers by putting yourself in their shoes and imagining their internal monologues.


André Morys – The Growth Canvas: What You Should Really Copy from Amazon

“Great content and delivery.”

andre-morys-elite-campAndré Morys | Web Arts | @morys

  • ‘Profit is a result of user motivation.’ The impact of rising the user motivation is higher than reducing friction.
  • Most of the time companies invest in traffic, sites, analytics, but not user research to find out about the the true/implicit motivation of their customers (reasonable would be at least 85/15%).
  • So, analyse what motivates your customers, build A/B-Tests that can really change behavior, measure the impact and finally – learn and scale!
  • Check out the Growth Canvas and the list of cognitive biases.


Annemarie Klaassen & Tom van de Berg – Moving Beyond Testing for Absolute Truths

“Great work for the first time on stage, really cool tips.”

klaassen-berg-elite-campAnnemarie Klaassen & Tom Van De Berg | Online Dialogue | @AM_Klaassen & @tomvdberg1

  • Use free test software to minimize the cost of A/B-testing (A/B Testing with Google Tag Manager)
  • Switch to using Bayesian statistics: then you don’t have any difficult statistical terminology anymore and you can do a proper risk assessment of implementing the variation (read more on:
  • Change of test method: limit the regret of showing the least performing variation to 50% of your visitors with using bandits instead of normal A/B-tests. Then you immediately earn more money within the test duration.
  • Use bandits when you:
    1. Have very limited test period (sales / promotion).
    2. Face very high seasonality: run a bandit continuously and remove / add variations all the time.
    3. You don’t care about the learnings, but are focused on earning.
  • Find out more about Bayesian A/B-Test calculation and Bandit Testing.


Marie Polli – Taking Your Customers on a Journey that Matches Their Expectations

“Clear points, nice presentation.”

marie-polli-elite-campMarie Polli | ConversionXL | @MariePolli

  • Best Practices often do not work for your specific website or business.
  • Users are even more disappointed when their expectations are not met online, as they are used to a generally good quality of customer journey.
  • Analyse your website along 5 major funnel elements:
    1. Homepage / Landing page (value proposition & accessibility of content)
    2. Category page (categories & filters)
    3. Product page (Option to buy, product information, product image, cross-selling, support)
    4. Shopping cart (clear or modify the order & see payment options)
    5. Checkout (clear UX and limited, specific information.
  • Every customer has a different journey. Make sure that you offer a specific journey to new and returning customers, and meet their needs & expectations.


Peep Laja – Fresh out of the Oven

“The most useful talk at the conference, gave me a lot of motivation.”

peep-laja-elite-campPeep Laja | ConversionXL | @peeplaja

  • The most important question in conversion research is: How can we know which changes will be effective?
  • ‘Conversion magic’ does not work anymore, you need a structured process to optimization:
    1. Where are the problems?
    2. What about it is the problem?
    3. Why is it a problem
    4. How big is the problem?
    5. Prioritizing tests and instant fixes.
  • Discover what matters the most on your website? Which are the products that make money on your website? Do you need to draw attention to specific features on the website?
  • Some tips for a better website:
    1. Present your value proposition appropriately.
    2. Use relevant and familiar trust symbols – people want assurance that your website is secure and trustworthy.
    3. Display pricing plans in the right manner – e.g., first two plans get the most attention; most expensive plans get more attention on the left; more people chose expensive when listed first.
    4. Use female voice-over for your videos.
    5. Add images to testimonials to increase memorability.


Nilan Peiris – Product == People

“Really inspiring.”

nilan-peiris-elite-campNilan Peiris | Transferwise | @nilanp

  • A mission driven startup is a vehicle for changing the world – TransferWise was started to solve a problem (a personal painpoint for the founders)
  • Evangelism is their biggest driver of growth (60% of last month’s customers came in through friends and recommendations).
  • People in TransferWise work in autonomous independent teams that focus on KPIs that make a difference to their customers and drive their growth (any team can change any part of the product)
  • The most important metrics at TransferWise is the net promoter score.
  • 3 growth hacks for early stage startups:
    1. Find your growth levers. (Supply at HouseTrip)
    2. Build acquisition into your product. (LinkedIn, TransferWise)
    3. Add marketing to amplify your product.


Stacey MacNaught – Nobody Pays the Bills in “Social Shares” – Content Marketing that Delivers Tangible Value

“Very honest, talked about overcoming challenges. Engaging, funny but informative.”

stacey-macnaught-elite-campStacey Macnaught | Tecmark | @staceycav

  • Investment in content marketing has gone through the roof in recent years and so have the expectations. But surprisingly few people really “get” content marketing.
  • Content should help overcome problems at each stage through to journey of purchase. It becomes a direct revenue driver in the consideration phase.
  • It’s not just about understanding who the customer is and what they want. We have to understand the scenarios that put your customer potentially in the market for your product.
  • Use PPC to promote content cost effectively (choose keywords nobody’s bidding on)
  • Don’t expect people to just remember you when they are ready to convert. Retarget effectively, attribute, learn and adjust.


Phil Nottingham – CRO with Video: Tips, Tricks and Tactics

“New insights on old topic, great!”

phil-nottingham-elite-campPhil Nottingham | Phil Nottingham Ltd | @philnottingham

  • Videos can massively help to increase conversion, but you need to know how to video effectively to get results.
  • Teaching videos, live action explainer videos and personalised sales message videos assist conversion. Culture videos, animated explainers and customer testimonial videos (if too ‘staged’) not so much.
  • Play rate drops the further it is down the page. 35% increase in play rate when using a custom thumbnail (it’s like a movie poster).
  • Content parts:
    1. Nose 2% – Don’t disrupt expectation and impress quickly.
    2. Body 96% – Chunk it into sections and use music for momentum.
    3. Tail 2% – Be aware of the ‘Peak end’ rule and don’t wrap it up!
  • Use Turnstiles to collect information (best >300 sec video length and positioned in the middle 5-20%) and add annotations with ‘Click Here’.
  • Use Wistia, Vidyard or Brightcove for on-page video marketing (more contextually specific compared to YouTube).


Johnathan Dane – The PPC Thermometer – Why You Should Care About Ice Cubes & Lava

“Very actionable, informative and fun.”

johnathan-dane-elite-campJohnathan Dane | KlientBoost | @Johnathan Dane

  • All PPC channels will work for you if you stop using brute force.
  • Different types of PPC visitors need different types of offers:
    1. Cold Visitors – they don’t know you and they’re not looking for what you offer.
    2. Warm Visitors – they’re interested in what you offer but not sure if you’re their solution.
    3. Hot Visitors – they’re searching for your brand name and want to do business with you.
  • When new PPC channels aren’t working, it’s because you are not matching your call-to-action with their temperature. Lower “the ask” of what you want the visitor to do in order to reduce the threat.
  • Match the cycle stage of your visitor by using multi intent keywords.
  • Do ‘Backend Plumbing’ in order to increase your channel awareness and consider different linear micro conversion paths (time on site, scroll depth, form field completion, button click, conversion).


Mogens Møller – How to Compete Against the Big Ones in the World of E-commerce

“LOL this guy… good energy, good examples.”

mogens-moller-elite-campMogens Møller | Sleeknote | @MogensMoeller

  • Be aware of your USPs and transfer them to your online business to differentiate from the ‘big’ competitors.
  • Don’t be a stupid order receiver, help motivate and inspire your visitors to make the right buying decision.
  • Create personas based on REAL people (don’t fall into the stock photo trap).
  • Try to create no-brainers, assume your visitors are always in a hurry (visualize your products, etc).
  • Think about your process. Three easy ways to improve it are:
    1. Auto emails after new order with relevant questions.
    2. Telephone interviews with customers every quarter.
    3. User-tests every half year.


Martijn Scheijbeler – Optimization for Content Sites


martijn-scheijbeler-elite-campMartijn Scheijbeler | The Next Web | @MartijnSch

  • ‘Data is dumb! How to make it Smart?’
  • As a publisher you only make a few cents with your content, so think about additional revenue streams and cost <> efficiency tradeoffs.
  • Work on the Data Layer to get all relevant data out of it. Create also Custom Dimensions (Ads (Not) Loaded, Words, Comments) and Calculated Metrics (CLV, CPS, Non Bounce, CAC).
  • All gathered data is worth nothing without providing and optimizing context!
  • 5 Principles for A/B Testing at TNW:
    1. Know what you’re testing.
    2. Focus on your user segments.
    3. Iterate on what you are already testing.
    4. Focus on high significance.
    5. Test big, bigger, biggest.


Chris Mercer – How Top Marketers Are Using Google Tag Manager to Improve Their Sales & Leads

“Actionable and helpful.”

chris-mercer-elite-campChris Mercer | Seriously Simple Marketing | @mercertweets

  • Successful marketers gather marketing insights and use them to adapt quickly.
  • Google Tag Manager gives you control so you can get useful insights faster.
  • 6 ways to use your GTM like a top marketer:
    1. Use built-in tags as often as possible.
    2. Don’t hard-coding tracking into their pages.
    3. Use “Cross Domain” Tracking (it’s built into GTM with Auto-Link).
    4. Automatically track every click to see what works.
    5. Use Timers to adjust the bounce rate or increase remarketing quality.
    6. Customize the Data Layer and let it tell your story.


Yehoshua Coren – Strategic and Tactical Implementation and Analysis Techniques

“Concrete, informative.”

yehoshua-coren-elite-campYehoshua Coren | Analytics Ninja LLC | @analyticsninja

  • It’s not enough to just gather data in Google Analytics. You have to ask meaningful questions.
  • Create custom reports in Google Analytics using metrics & dimensions to create (horizontal) funnels and micro conversions.
  • Formulate your hypotheses and define resulting actions:
    1. I believe (X).
    2. If I am right, then I will take a specific action (Y).
  • Make sure you understand your content segmentation and observe it over time.
  • Don’t get caught in the ‘session only’ oriented default settings of Google Analytics. Connect it to goals and create session scoring.
  • Use Two-Tiered segmentation 


Andrus Purde – From Hand to Hand Combat to a Bond Villain – How You Evolve as a Marketer

“Great speaker with a lot of insight.”

andrus-purde-elite-campAndrus Purde | Pipedrive | @andruspurde

  • Homepage CRO is useful, but not a magical solution.
  • Geo-target elements such as targeted testimonials worked well on the Pipedrive website.
  • The Pipedrive marketing templ(at)e:
    1. Foundation: analytics, user insights, product marketing, brand and website.
    2. Pillars: Content/SEO, Paid, Growth engineering, Referrals.
    3. Top: life-cycle management.
  • Mobilize your whole organization to be successful at all areas of marketing: Gowth = People + Processes.
  • Pipedrive created the Pipeline Academy courses to make users talk about them and engage with their company.



David Arnoux – From Street Musician to Rockstar: How We Train the Next-gen of Growth Rockstars

“Fantastic talk, already want to join a Growth Tribe course.”

david-arnoux-elite-campDavid Arnoux | GrowthTribe | @darnocks

  • 6 low hanging fruits to achieve growth:
    1. Be quick to explain your product/service – answer in 5 seconds what your websites does and why it is better than the competition.
    2. You need traffic for A/B tests – Go big or go home!
    3. Landing page optimisation is for babies, retention optimisation is for grown-ups.
    4. Optimize for the ‘wow-moment’ at the beginning of your retention curve. If you don’t know it guess it, look at your data or ask a data scientist.
    5. Flip the funnel – move the wow-moment in front of the actual conversion.
    6. Engineered marketing – Engage the user and let him know what he needs!
  • Growthhacking e-course by Growthtribe


Thomas Barker – From Zero to In-House Optimisation Superstars

“Very good examples on how to build a testing culture in a big company. Loved the idea of Superstar DJs!”

thomas-barker-elite-campThomas Barker | Royal Bank of Scotland | @tomabarker

  • Culture is one of the deciding factors when making a team or company successful.
  • RBS worked their digital products and services without a clear plan: 80% of things done didn’t work as expected.
  • Four steps allowed them to get back on track with their analytics and optimization:
    1. Gain control and insights – Hiring journey managers and CMS.
    2. Implement tag management – Single view of journey.
    3. Democratise the data – 110 live data dashboards.
    4. Help answer the why – Begin optimisation.
  • Think and speak the same language as the business – not like an analyst/optimiser/guru.
  • Really understand your customer’s journey and don’t separate it by channels/products. It’s a customer of the whole company.
  • Understand the goals and probloms of your executives and involve them in running the tests.
  • Show the value quickly and keep telling people. Superstar DJ newsletter sent out weekly, including trophies and awards.
  • Gather ideas and involve all areas and lines of business, but be ruthless when prioritizing and selecting tests.


Craig Sullivan – Summary session

“Very honest, brilliant, especially talking about all the bullsh*t you can stumble in.”

craig-sullivan-elite-campCraig Sullivan | Optimal Visit | @OptimiseOrDie



This year’s Elite Camp was really successful and received lots of positive feedback from the participants. Hope to see you in Tallinn next year!

Liis Hainla

Liis Hainla is a copywriter and content editor in DreamGrow Digital. Her goal is to help brands fulfill their social media and content marketing aspirations through killer content strategies. She loves animals and traveling, but strongly dislikes pan flute music. Make sure to follow her on twitter @liishainlaDG.

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