What is Conversion Marketing? - Definition & Strategies

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Conversion marketing is about moving a prospect down the path to completing an offer. In this lesson, we will look at conversion marketing, what it means for businesses, and how you can strengthen it.

Abandoning a Cart

During her lunch break at work, Kelli spends some time looking around her favorite online store, Simple Bee, a fashion retailer. After putting a few things in her shopping cart, she realizes her break is over, closes her browser window, and gets on with the rest of her tasks.

Later that evening, when she's sitting on her couch at home, she gets an email from Simple Bee, with the subject line: ''Psst! You've left something behind!' Curious, Kelli clicks the email, which reminds her of her earlier shopping experience, and offers free shipping if she completes her checkout. She revisits the website and completes her purchase.

Voila! Kelli's purchase is a successful conversion for Simple Bee. A conversion occurs when a website visitor takes some desired action - in this case, making a purchase - converting them from a lead or prospective into a paying customer.

For online businesses, conversions are a key piece of the e-commerce puzzle because the whole point of getting people onto your website is to get them to do something. It's not always making a purchase, however. It could also be:

  • Downloading an eBook
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Clicking on ads
  • Visiting a specific webpage
  • Submitting a form
  • Attending a webinar

The beauty of conversions is that the goal is ultimately up to you! Your conversion is whatever you want your web visitor to do, even if it's not purchase-related. Business owners who want to optimize their conversions engage in a type of marketing known as conversion marketing.

What is Conversion Marketing?

Conversion marketing is a concept all marketers must tackle in an attempt to figure out why customers are or aren't converting on a website. Conversion marketing, specifically, focuses on optimizing content with just the right mix of strategies to transform a lead into a 'convert'. We'll call them 'converts' rather than 'customers' since we've already established that not every conversion is designed to be a purchase.

How do you know if conversions are happening? By measuring the conversion rate, or the percentage of overall visitors who perform your action. For example, if you have 10 website visitors per day and 5 of them click on your free download, your conversion rate is 50 percent. You want higher conversion rates for a few simple reasons: you gain more customers, you increase your brand awareness, and eventually, you earn more revenue.

The idea of conversion marketing takes into account many things, including how the offer is being made, the timing of special offers, and even the design of the website -- right down to the fonts and colors used! With so many things to consider, how do you pick strategies that will boost conversions? Let's take a look at a few examples of possible conversion-boosters.

Conversion Marketing Strategies

Converting website visitors to your desired action requires a careful look at a few things. Here are some to consider:

1. Write good content. Whether it's the main heading on your page or the text explaining the offer, compelling writing is a quick way to convert site visitors. Keep it direct, clear and concise to move a prospect to a conversion.

2. Use social media to your advantage. Have you ever been on a website that gave you an option to log in via your Facebook account? This can speed along sign-ups and conversions. You can also use your social media channels to raise awareness of your brand, and to remind your customers to convert.

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