Why You Must Focus on Conversion

One of the partners at my firm always says, “I can sell $10 million worth of product right now if I can lose money on every deal.”

And this is how most businesses are running their social media, online marketing, and mobile marketing -- because they are not properly focusing on conversions.

Conversion is the number of people that take action versus the number of people that show up. My firm focuses in the legal industry and a conversion for us is equated by knowing the number of people that land on a website versus the number of people that call, e-mail, or provide their e-mail address.

I can calculate a conversion number by dividing the number of people that make contact by the total volume of hits. For example, if in one month 56 people contact one of our clients out of 490 hits to their website, that's a conversion rate of 11.4 percent.

For our clients, an 11 percent conversion rate is great. The legal industry is also not exactly an impulse purchase. Before you do any of this, you should first do some research and find out what your industry average conversion rate is.

You can get some of your social media conversion from your Facebook fan page or the number of people that click a link you post on your wall.

You need to have a strategic plan to really capture conversion rates. Know where people are coming from, what you are asking them to do, and what your actual goal is (sales, number of leads, number of shares etc).

Recently in an interview with Stephen Gaither, CEO of JBChicago, integrated marketing agency, he laid out his keys to success for any campaign.

“Branding without conversion is dead.” Stephen starts out with.

And I believe he's right. If you are just branding for the sake of branding, but are not tracking the results of your efforts, you are wasting your time. There are three simple steps and a couple of tools you can use to avoid this sad demise.

Stephen explains the key elements of your campaign should be:

  1. Seeding
  2. Converting
  3. Sneezing

Seeding is spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, or social media in general, including both paid and organic advertising.

Converting is accomplished by creating a compelling call to action. Great techniques for creating a call to action include; enter our contest, help out a charity, or asking people to talk about themselves.

Sneezing means integrating a natural sharing function into your marketing process. This is best done with a share button or comment box. Make it simple and always ask for the share. You should have copy that says “tell your friends” every time you want someone to take action.

The only tools you need to run a successful conversion campaign are:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Excel

If you're running a campaign on Facebook only, then you can use Facebook insights to understand your conversion. If you are integrating your campaign with your website, or this is an online marketing campaign, Google Analytics can track hits, conversions, and total sales. Tip: Track total sales by putting tracking code on your thank you page online.

This is the only way to really know if you are spending money the right way with your online marketing efforts. As Stephen said… "Everyone should become a conversion freak." Are you feeling freaky yet?

Jabez LeBret has authored three books and is a managing partner for Get Noticed Get Found. Over the last nine years he has delivered over 700 keynote addresses in five countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing. He recently relocated to Chicago.

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