Increasing Customer Conversion Rates
Written by: Sue LeClaire
If it’s not about how much buzz you create but how much you spend, then it’s imperative that you measure the impact of your campaigns and conversions to justify marketing spend.
The most cost effective way to determine campaign success is through attribution. Attribution is the process of associating a call-to-action with a single or many consumer behavior(s). A comprehensive attribution implementation will track the first time a consumer responds to a call-to-action through all subsequent actions for the lifetime of the customer. The goal is to optimize media spend by quantifying each actionable step in the consumer’s path to purchase resulting in an increased customer conversion rate. A secondary benefit is to increase conversion rates through personalization. According to MarketingSherpa, personalization can increase conversation rates by up to 50%.
Historically, measuring customer conversion rates was straight forward – you placed an ad and watched customers come into your store to purchase an item. If you placed more than one ad, it was easy enough to ask the customer what prompted them to buy. Today, it’s significantly more difficult to calculate conversion because of all the available channels consumers use to interact with retailers, both online and offline. However, with the right tool, capturing consumer interaction is easy. The key to measuring conversion is twofold: identifying the instance a consumer takes action and assigning a value to the action. Examples of commonly captured actions include a consumer clicks on a URL, texts in a keyword, or fills out a form. These actions, or conversion points, are opportunities to measure consumer behavior. Many organizations use Google’s Adwords for measuring website conversions. For retailers however, marketing involves many more channels than just a website. Therefore, the tool you select should:
- Capture conversions from all channels (paid or otherwise),
- Be able to capture high volumes of conversions, and
- Provide meaningful data that you can apply to future campaigns.
Assigning a value to a conversion point is strictly a business decision. Commonly used attribution methods include:
- Single-source – all the credit is assigned to a single event, typically either the first or last call-to-action.
- Fractional – credit is allocated to more than one event.
- Algorithmic – credit is assigned across all events based on a derived formula.
Employing attribution will help you understand the true value of your online and offline marketing efforts to discover which channels have the most influence on consumer purchase behavior.
In addition, you can use attribution to impact conversion through personalization. It can be as simple as applying basic demographic information to a conversion instance to create a more meaningful customer experience. For example, a consumer clicks on an online ad for cars from the Wall Street Journal website. Wall Street Journal readers tend to be college graduates with an average household income of $234,909 and have the disposable income to spend on big-ticket items. As a car manufacturer, you may decide to direct the consumer to the luxury vehicles landing page as opposed to mid-size models. And, why not offer the consumer a mobile coupon for a free three-month subscription to SiriusXM radio for test driving a car. Because you know the consumer clicked through from WSJ online, you can not only direct them to luxury cars but present an online form to schedule a test drive. If the consumer is responding to an advertisement in the WSJ print edition, they can text-in a keyword to your shortcode to receive a coupon on their mobile device with a phone number to call-in to schedule an appointment. The consumer presents the coupon at the conclusion of the test drive to receive the three month subscription. In either case, knowing the source of the conversion point provides critical information that can be used to improve the customer experience and drive customer conversion rates, or test drives, higher.
Creating a comprehensive picture of your efforts allows you to allocate marketing dollars towards programs and campaigns that you know are delivering results. In addition, you can use the same information to improve the customer experience. Every time a consumer clicks on a link, texts-in a keyword to a shortcode, bumps a beacon, scans a QR code, or fills out a form, capturing data about the conversion instance can help you better understand the impact of your marketing programs as well as drive revenue.