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The Single Most Important Metric: An Introduction to Conversion-Driven Marketing

What’s the difference between a conversion and a conversation? One can entertain you for a few minutes, the other significantly influences your business success.

Too many marketers still care about basic marketing analytics such as Facebook likes, newspaper distribution or Twitter impressions. But how do you know whether any of the people who view (or, even more vague, potentially view) actually turn into your customers?

Unfortunately, you can’t. On the other hand, tracking conversions means always keeping your end goal – increasing your customer base and ultimately profit – in mind, making it the most accurate marketing success metric out there. It’s no surprise to us that marketing based on advanced data like conversions increases your customer base four times as much as other strategies. That’s why we believe in conversion-driven marketing as the single best strategy to promote your business.

What are Conversions?

Of course, especially for local businesses who may be marketing novices, the above introduction sounds a bit like a foreign language. To understand conversion-driven marketing, you first have to understand just what we mean by conversions. Allow us to explain.

The best way to understand digital marketing analytics is to look at the types of numbers you can analyse in four tiers: reach, web visits, conversions and customers.
Reach simply stands for how many members of your intended audience actually saw or came across your ad. A portion of that audience will actually click on your ad to learn more, at which point they count as an “interaction” or web visit. Even today, too many digital marketers stop here. But in reality, even web visits count little if the users simply read your page, leave, and never come back. Enter conversions.

In digital marketing, a conversion can best be defined as a user who visits your website and is interested enough to give you his information in exchange for additional information or content, thus “converting” into a lead in your database. You can now target very specific messages to that lead, based on the information they provided. Conversion rate, therefore, is the portion of your web visits that turned into active leads by giving you their information on a sign up or subscription form.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, that leaves the final tier of digital marketing analytics: customers gained. Unfortunately, unless you engage in e-commerce directly on your website, tracking customers who have come as a direct result of ad campaigns can be difficult. That’s why conversion rate is generally regarded as the most reliable indicator of a digital campaign’s success.

How to Track Conversions

By now, you’re on board. You not only understand what conversions are, you see their value in telling you exactly which of your campaigns worked and which didn’t. But how do you track conversions, attaching each web visit who becomes a lead to a specific marketing campaign?

As it turns out, that depends entirely on your medium of choice. Search engines like Google and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, for example, allow you to add “conversion pixels” to your website that do the tracking for you, telling you exactly how many new leads you received thanks to your search or social campaigns. As we explained in a previous blog post, you can even optimize your Facebook campaigns for conversions, which lets the network distribute your message to users who are most likely to become leads.

Outside of social media networks and search engines, tracking conversions becomes more difficult. But it’s far from impossible: for example, you can add a field on your form that asks your leads-to-be exactly they heard about you. You can also attach different landing pages and forms to your various campaigns, allowing you to track which leads came into your database as a result of which landing page.

So there you have it. Tracking conversions, which is possible for all of your digital marketing campaign, allows you to truly gauge the success of your individual promotions, make more informed prioritizing decisions and maximize your budget. For more information on conversion-driven marketing and how it can help your business, contact us!