Most people who run a business have a variety of tools at our disposal to analyze sales. These tools include analytics measuring the number of sales on a website versus a physical storefront, the number of customers who’ve been convinced to buy based on an advertisement, or the success of a referral program.
These things, however, all measure final transactions—sales, lead generation, donations—or what are referred to as “macro conversions.”
Macro conversions are just that: the ‘big’ wins.
However, final sales data aren’t the only valuable analytics you can monitor to improve your conversion rate. In fact, they all rely on the smaller building blocks.
The devil is in the details. And these details are called “micro-conversions.”
Micro-conversions are those steps taken on the way to the purchase itself. These are important to helping you understand where previously missed opportunities can be turned into successful transactions in the future. Let’s take a look at some examples of micro-conversions.
1. Newsletter subscription
The “subscribe” button, once clicked, is the equivalent of a prospect ringing your doorbell and introducing themselves. They’re saying hi, and now you can engage with them. This is a valuable micro-conversion.
If someone is more than a little interested in the product or service you’re providing but they aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on the purchase, they may want to stay in touch with you to find out more.
They’ve given you permission to keep in touch with them, to build a relationship and gain their trust about what services you provide and your products can do for them. Take the opportunity to ensure the content of your newsletter is the best it can be and offer more than just an update. Give a link to a demonstrative video on your YouTube channel or offer a download with more detailed product information. Provide a personal way to keep in contact beyond the newsletter, such as a customer service phone number with a promise to answer questions personally.
2. Website account creation
With the creation of an account on your website, you’re gaining more trust with the customer. This is the equivalent of the prospect coming into your house, sitting on your couch, and making small talk while you pour them a glass of wine.
You learn more details about them, such as email, phone number, address (if they provide it for shipping purposes). While using these accounts, customers might add items to a cart or wish list, and you can see specifically what products they’re interested in. Say, for example, a product you offer has a high wish list click rate but a low sales rate.
If the product is complex, adding a chat function to the wish list page where customers can speak to your customer service agents would allow those interested to find out more directly from an experienced professional. This is another opportunity to up the trust factor in the relationship. Or maybe it’s something as simple as moving product images to more prominent positions on the page, which can help increase the rate of conversion. But without the account feature, you would have no way of knowing which customers are interested in which items.
3. RSS Feed
These days, most companies have a blog page, a place their contributors can, you know, be human and let the reader get to know the people behind the brand. If someone subscribes to your RSS feed on your blog, that’s considered a micro conversion. It’s the equivalent of them calling you up to ask, “What’s new?” and listening to you talk. That’s a HUGE win in our attention economy, where prospects don’t have a lot of time or attention to spare.
So if you can get RSS subscribers or even people spending a few minutes on a blog post, you can find out ways to get them to take the next step: buy, register, or something else you define.
Original content on a blog does several things for your business—it helps you control the message your customers see, it allows you to set the mood and tone of your brand, and you can offer interesting content on the things your products can help customers accomplish, i.e. your outdoor clothing enables them to enjoy their environment through any number of activities. You can detail how your company serves a cause, such as when your employees volunteer for local organizations or you’re serving a segment of the population in a unique way. Allowing interested parties to stay apprised of your company’s business and industry via RSS feed means they’re coming to you for more information, opening the possibility for two-way communication.
There’s also an opportunity to increase your search engine rankings with more regular readers sharing the content you provide, or if things go really well, by going viral. It puts your business and your brand in people’s minds more frequently, so when a customer has a choice between you and a competitor, if they’re more familiar with you, you’re more likely to convert that final sale.
4. Reviews and forums
By analyzing the browsing data and products or services your webpage visitors are most interested in, you can infer a multitude of things about their habits that help in the conversion process.
Shopping carts and wish lists provide insight into a customer’s browsing habits, but the addition of reviews to your products allows them to see what previous customers have had success with in their purchases.
Gathering reviews is a micro-conversion that can actually spur MORE micro-conversions by other prospects, without you having to get involved! It’s a win-win. You get feedback from the first prospect/customer, and other prospects are influenced by that feedback to make their next micro or macro conversion.
By giving your products the opportunity to be peer-reviewed, you can accomplish word-of-mouth referrals through your website as well as troubleshoot for any dissatisfaction. Handling customer service through reviews can help smooth ruffled feathers so you don’t lose customers, and it provides potential visitors the opportunity to see that you stand by what you’re selling and they can trust you. Forums allow a similar situation, but in a more detailed, conversational way. Visitors can ask questions to determine if their purchase will fulfill their needs, and your customer service specialists have an additional opportunity to assure them your products and services deliver what’s expected. The feedback as well can help with your referrals when people visit your site and leave satisfied they’re as informed as they can be.
These examples by no means cover all the possible micro-conversions that can be analyzed. With tools such as Google Analytics, where you can specify what to track by setting events and goals, you can be assured that you’re doing everything you can to help customers on the path from interest to purchase and beyond.