Nov 21, 2008

Conversion rate expectations: Helping the brand recognize success when they get it

When we work with a client as they get ready to launch their interactive marketing campaign, we always try to make sure that their conversion rate expectations are aren't out of sync with the likely response their efforts will receive from their target consumers.  To help determine this ideal rate, there are a few steps we take to help make sure we identify the factors that influence how many conversions the campaign will actually receive.

First, we need to determine who makes up the brand's target demographic and then dissect them to fully understand who they are, what interests them, and what their behavioral habits are.  For example, we try to determine when these users go online the most.  Do they go online while at work or are they predominantly online in the evening or on weekends?  How long do they stay online?  What are their interests or hobbies?  To gather and process all of this varied data, we use a range of analytical tools.  We also check out the social media space to find out what the target demographic is talking about.  All this research helps us get a good sense of the nature and makeup of the brand's target consumer base and what might motivate them the most to perform the desired conversion, be it making a purchase to providing their e-mail information.

Once the target audience and its tendencies are determined, the next step we take is to figure out the best incentive to entice these users to perform the desired conversion.  Would they respond best to a coupon or another form of discount?  Do they consider receiving some form of information like a white paper valuable enough to make them decide to convert?  Would they respond to the chance to take advantage of the brand's services or products?  The specifics we've determined about the brand's targeted demographic helps us determine the right incentive to get them to the conversion point and have them cross the finish line.

With the target demographic and the incentive that provides the best opportunity for conversions determined, the next step in the process is to determine what the successful rate of conversion should be for this campaign.  This final calculation takes into account the marketing medium that is to be used for the brand's campaign.  There are standard rates of conversion for each medium, from an e-mail send to a banner ad to a PPC spot.  With the standard rate of conversion for the medium taken into account, we then take the target demographic and the incentive being offered to it and modify the standard rate to one that reflects the potential likelihood for conversion that this specific incentive adds when offered to this specific demographic.

The result of all this research, analysis, and application is to provide the brand with a conversion rate that helps bring its expectations in line with what actual success for its campaign should be.  By doing so, a brand will be able to enjoy a happy result and not have mistaken expectations that lead it to believe that its successful campaign has provided it with an unhappy ending.