Anytime we share research about overall conversion rate benchmarks, I give the same caveat – while it’s helpful to understand conversion rates for your peers, the bigger question you must ask yourself is how to improve conversion rates on your own landing pages and in your own funnels.
Is there a methodical way to increase conversion?
While marketing has tended to be dominated by the marketer with the “golden gut” or the star direct response copywriter, other disciplines in the enterprise – from manufacturing to IT – have developed methodological processes to improve quality and consistency.
The MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic is an attempt to bring the same discipline, rigor and sustainable success to the marketing department. It is part of a patented repeatable methodology (patent number 8,155,995) developed by Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingExperiments), based on years of testing and research of real product and service offers presented to real customers.
For long-time MarketingExperiments readers, you might be very familiar with the Conversion Sequence Heuristic and have, hopefully, been using it to improve conversion in your own tests. (If so, let me know. We’d love to share those results to inspire other marketers.)
But since the Conversion Sequence Heuristic helps more new marketers discovering it for the first time every year, it helps to occasionally revisit this fundamental approach to marketing every now and again.
Read on for a cursory look at the factors that affect conversion, and if you’d like a more in-depth understanding of how you can apply this heuristic to your own landing pages and marketing efforts, you can take the Landing Page Optimization Online Course.
Probability of conversion
The Conversion Sequence Heuristic is not an equation to solve. Rather, it is a heuristic, or thought tool (i.e., really cool checklist) to use as you work on landing pages and other marketing offers.
You can never guarantee conversion, but by making (sometimes subtle) changes to the right areas, you can increase the probability of conversion. This heuristic helps you identify those key areas.
Motivation of user
The numbers in front of the different elements of the heuristic indicate how much they impact the probability of conversion. All of the elements are not equal.
The motivation of the user is the single most important factor affecting conversion.
To see why, let me give you a simple example using myself as the customer. I am a huge Pearl Jam fan. If Pearl Jam came to Jacksonville, Fla., I would find a way to be at the concert, even if their ticket selling process, sales funnel and landing page were not optimized. I am highly motivated.
The motivation of the user is also the only element of the Conversion Sequence Heuristic that you cannot change. It is intrinsic in your potential customers.
You can, however, gain an understanding of your potential customers’ motivations to better tap into those natural motivations and better serve your ideal customers while improving conversion.