If you’re like most business owners, you know the value of conversions. More conversions equal more revenue. However, many people get stuck aiming for a specific number and slow down once they reach that target. For example, the average email marketing click through rate (CTR) is about 2.3%, and many people consider 3% to be good.
While it might seem like average is “good enough,” if that’s what you settle for and then relax your efforts, you’re missing out on potential increases.
Average conversion rates don’t reflect your full potential
Just because 3% is good enough for most people doesn’t mean that’s your maximum potential. Although it’s not easy, some business owners have achieved exceptionally high CTRs, in the 10-12% range.
Conversion rates vary per industry, so if you slow down once you reach your target, you could be selling yourself short. In your industry, 3% might actually be low. For instance, companies in the educational sector see an average email CTR of 4.4%, and for real estate, it’s 3.6%.
You also need to consider that there are a variety of different types of conversions that all have varied averages:
· Email signups
· Email open rates
· Email click through rates
· Social media follows
· Webinar signups
· Webinar attendance
· And more
Averages are usually calculated across industries and may not be accurate unless you’re looking at the numbers for your specific niche.
Can you achieve exceptional conversion rates?
You might be wondering what it takes to get high conversion rates. There is no standard formula since every industry and business is different, but there are some general principles you can use to get there.
Three strategies to increase conversions
1. Employ programmatic marketing
Achieving a high conversion rate depends on your ability to target the right people at the right time with ads that appeal to their specific needs. This is exactly what programmatic marketing accomplishes by using data-driven insights to deliver highly targeted ads that resonate with an audience.
In addition to targeted advertising, working with a programmatic marketing agency can increase your engagement rates, which helps to generate even more conversions over time.
2. Segment your email audience
When you’re after email conversions, whether it’s opens, clicks, or sales, segmenting your audience is essential. The broader your audience, the lower your conversion rates will be. Segmenting your audience to reach narrow markets allows you to be even more specific with your ads so they speak directly to that market’s unique needs, pain points, and desires.
Segmentation can increase customer lifetime value significantly, which makes sense because your emails become more tailored to a specific audience. However, it won’t work to arbitrarily divide your list into random segments and see what sticks. You need to be strategic.
For example, if you run a website development company and want to get new clients, you’ll get more clients by appealing to people based on factors like:
· People who want a website fast on any platform
· People who don’t want to spend much money
· People with a large budget who want perfection and customization
· People who want SEO included in their package
· People who need a specific type of site, like for real estate, legal services, or hospitality
Until you segment your audience, you can’t send out emails advertising that you specialize in building real estate sites. Sending that type of email to an entire list will make non-real estate people unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam.
Creating small, strategic segments gives you the ability to be more specific with your marketing messages, which is how you’ll generate more sales. However, sometimes it takes a while to get there. You may not have all the information you need about your subscribers to create detailed segments. To get that data, start asking your email subscribers to click links that will identify them more.
For example, say you run a pet food store. Send your list an email with a different link for people to get a discount on cat food or dog food. Set up your system to automatically tag people based on which link they click. People who click on the cat food link will be segmented as ‘cat owners’ and those who click on the dog food link will be segmented as ‘dog owners.’ From there, create new and specific emails designed just for each segment. Now, instead of speaking to ‘pet owners’ and being general, you can speak to ‘cat owners’ and address the specific behavior and needs of cats (and dogs, too).
3. Run multiple, independent PPC ad campaigns
If you aren’t using pay-per-click (PPC) ads yet, it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible. Generally speaking, PPC ads will be your strongest marketing channel since you have far more control over who you reach.
For example, you can target specific demographics like age, gender, location, education level, relationship status, parental status, plus people who have interacted with your ads or visited your website before.
Do you sell different products or services? Although you can run one campaign with multiple ads for all of your offerings, you’ll find it easier to increase conversions by running separate campaigns because of how the data is tracked. It’s also easier to split-test this way.
Prioritize, but don’t obsess over your conversion rates
While conversion rates are undoubtedly important, there are some pitfalls to focusing on your conversion rates too much.
1. Not all website traffic has the potential to convert
Avoid focusing on your overall conversion rate that calculates conversions based on total visitors because some of your website traffic will never convert. For instance, many visits will be from people looking up your contact information, checking their order status, getting your URL to send to a friend, looking at your company’s blog, etc. These visits might be from existing customers or people who have yet to buy from you. Either way, many of these visits aren’t potential conversions.
On the other hand, traffic from PPC ads that go directly to your landing pages have a much higher conversion potential. This is why it’s essential to track all of your marketing efforts independently and focus on improving the conversion rates you have some control over.
Each marketing campaign has its own conversion rate that needs to be optimized independently. This is how you increase your overall conversion rate. However, your overall conversion rate will always be watered down by traffic that never stood a chance at converting in the first place.
2. Mail Privacy Protection will inflate your numbers
Where email marketing is concerned, Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) automatically downloads a user’s emails, including tracking pixels through a proxy, which marks them as read and hides the user’s IP address.
All of your subscribers who use MPP will automatically be counted as having opened your emails, even if they never click to read them. As this privacy feature catches on and gets rolled out in other applications, your open rate will no longer be reliable.
Open rates are important because you can’t sell products or services to people who don’t read your emails, but this metric will soon be meaningless. On top of that, since this feature is executed through a proxy, you won’t be able to review location data, which will impact geographic targeting.
3. Conversion rates can drop while conversions rise
Just because your conversion rates are low or dropping doesn’t mean your actual conversions are as well. Conversion rates don’t always reflect the success of your conversions.
For example, if you’ve never had a blog on your site and you add one, your traffic will increase, causing your conversion rate to drop. This isn’t a negative thing if your traffic is targeted and you aren’t losing conversions. In fact, your total number of conversions might actually be increasing while your conversion rate drops simply because the additional traffic makes your percentage go down.
Reframe the way you look at conversions
As you can now see, there are many factors that can drop your conversion rates that aren’t inherently bad. Rather than obsessing over increasing your conversion rates, focus on increasing your conversions. If the total number of conversions you get increases over time, that’s a sign that you’re doing something right.
When you settle for average conversion rates, you’re leaving money on the table. However, you’ll never get a 100% conversion rate for any metric, and that’s okay. The point isn’t to reach perfection.
As long as your conversions are increasing according to your specific KPIs, you’re getting results.