Micro Conversions: Smaller Goals for Larger Wins
When we talk about conversions, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
A visitor performing an action that’s beneficial for your business. Typically, the number of sales generated.
For any online business, generating more sales is the primary goal for growth. This primary goal for a business is also known as Macro Conversions in the conversion rate optimization dictionary.
And it’s always accompanied by smaller goals, which are referred to as Micro Conversions by Conversion rate optimization (CRO) experts.
Optimizing for micro-conversions has a two-fold benefit for any sort of online business:
- It helps in understanding user’s pain points on your website or app.
- Directly impacts the revenue generated by any online business.
In this blog, we are primarily going to discuss the importance of tracking micro conversions alongside macro conversion goals. Avinash Kaushik talks about it in detail stating “Focus on measuring your macro (overall) conversions, but for optimal awesomeness identify and measure your micro conversions as well”.
Macro vs Micro Conversion
On rare occasions, a first-time visitor converts. Generally, people are skeptical of buying from a brand that they are hearing about for the first time. It takes time and effort to develop trust in the minds of your prospects before they decide in your favor.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the key aspects of a customer journey in terms of types of conversion. In CRO linguistics, we call them Macro and Micro conversions:
Macro Conversions: The final conversion event performed by a customer that directly contributes to your revenue. For example, visitors purchasing products from an eCommerce store.
Micro Conversions: The smaller steps your prospects take that might not immediately affect your revenue but ultimately lead to macro conversions. For example, a visitor making an account on your eCommerce store.
For all purposes, consider micro conversions as your low hanging fruits — events that guide your users to the end goal, the macro conversions. These are quick wins that positively impact the marketing and sales effort of your team. Each micro-conversions acts as a milestone in the conversion funnel, and allows you to assess your customer journey in greater detail.
Yet, many marketers fail to acknowledge the importance of these smaller steps and lose valuable customers due to their putting all their focus on just one metric — the macro conversion rate.
We are going to discuss why micro conversions are extremely important to build an effective CRO program. So let’s get started.
Micro Conversions Help You Assess Site’s Usability
One of the key benefits of micro conversion tracking is its ability to detail out your site’s usability and functionality. There are key tangible actions that lead to conversions. It can be a visitor signing up on your store or subscribing to your newsletter.
When you start tracking these metrics, the first thing you’ll notice is — how easy was it for a visitor to sign up?
What are the things that might have slowed down the process or in worst-case, deter the visitor from signing up —
- Was your sign-up form too long?
- Did it ask for irrelevant information?
- Did your captcha not work?
By examining these low hanging fruits, you’ll be surprised to see how your prospects react to the smallest changes, and how it leads to better overall customer engagement.
Micro Conversions Help You Gauge Buyers’ Intent and Readiness
Tracking micro-conversions are great for understanding your user’s behavior and interests. Many visitors visit your eStore for things like quick product comparisons, price check, catalog discovery, and more.
Placing various checks in the way, and adding identifiers could help you gauge these prospects faster and take the guesswork out. It also helps you build various sales and marketing strategies to nudge the prospects towards the ultimate goal.
Here is an example:
Zivame, one of India’s leading intimate-wear retailers conducted a preliminary retargeting exercise to understand their buyers’ intent and check readiness. The objective of the exercise was to understand each users’ intent by classifying them into different buckets based on in-app and on-website activity.
The results from the exercise helped Zivame reduce their CPC on advertising by 3 times as well as improved their MoM revenue by 183%.
Micro Conversions Help You Negate Sales Friction
One of the most uttered jargon in the CRO ecosystem is friction, ie, friction in a customer journey, or friction in a sales funnel.
This friction that is casually tossed around by marketers and CRO experts, is nothing but deterrent that affects your macro conversion funnel. It can be a product sale, a subscription program, or something completely different.
Technically, friction is caused due to failure of a micro conversion event.
Let’s take a look at the generic eCommerce customer journey:
There are various steps in the customer journey, and each step has its own set of desired actions, which we call micro conversions,
Let’s say, a first-time visitor lands on your homepage and leaves after a few seconds without performing any of the desired actions, you lose a potential prospect. That’s the friction that we discussed above.
If you’re tracking these metrics diligently, you’d be able to devise a plan to reduce such instances in the future. For example, you can start using retargeted programmable advertising to your first-time visitor and bring them back to your website and nudge them towards registration, allowing push notifications or sign up for your newsletter.
Micro Conversions Help You Gauge the Effectiveness of Your Communication Channels
In today’s world shopping comprises multiple experiences through multiple interfaces, like offline stores, website visits, in-app interaction, push messaging, and more.
When you start analyzing each channel, you can measure the effectiveness in-form of micro-conversions. For example, while tracking email campaigns, the metrics that one measure could be:
- Open Rate
- Click Rates and,
- Conversion rates.
The first two metrics are the smaller goals that are imperative for the last goal to succeed. If these goals aren’t performing as per expectations, you can look towards other channels which are doing well, while working on improving the aforementioned metrics.
This allows you to optimize each communication channel based on data, rather than hunches and intuition.
Micro Conversions Help You Build Better Conversion Funnels
By focussing on smaller goals, you are removing barriers that stall the bottom-line of your business. By applying, the aformentioned guidelines, you are in process of building a better conversion pipeline.
In the end, micro conversions is all about taking actions to reap the low hanging fruits, and quick wins. By tracking these smaller steps, like – form completion rates, sign up rates, pages visited per session, and more – you can quickly assess what fixes are required.
If a potential customer abandons their cart due to missing inventory. You can trigger mobile or web push notifications to inform them about restocks and bring them back. Or, you can use email or push promotion like free shipping for orders of $50 or more to improve your AOV.
Analyzing each micro-conversion can yield different results. For instance, when you serve an in-app message add to wish-list and a secondary variation, that says save for later, you might see save for later increases AOV of your carts. So you can prioritize the latter micro conversion over the former.
This also allows you to focus on finding key areas in the conversion process that require your attention and helps you optimize your web page for things that reduces conversion clutter. For instance, one micro goal could be redirecting your visitors from the homepage to the product page, which would positively impact pages visited per session. But, what if the visitor never adds the product to their cart. In this scenario, your smaller goals will mean nothing, because your revenue is in a standstill.
Therefore, it is important to identify goals based on the impact it can have on the conversion funnel. Some of them can be:
- Adding product comparison view
- Adding free shipping threshold variation
- Adding exit-intent magnets
Not All Micro Conversions Bridge the Gap
As we discussed Micro conversions could mean a lot of actions on your website, mobile-app and other customer facing user interfaces. But does this mean that you need to optimize all of ‘em for maximum returns?
There are certain key micro conversions that if executed properly could massively benefit your revenue and final conversion rate.
So what are they, and how do you get started?
Time On Site
The first key metric any site owner should focus on — is the time spent on your website or app. If you’re running various ad campaigns, acquisition campaigns, new product launches, and more. It’s important to track the rewards from your effort.
Time spent on your website, landing pages, or app, is one of the key aspects to track, as it is the first indication of the fact that you have created resonating collateral for your campaigns.
A good way to begin is to analyze your median-time spent per visitor on your site and compare it to your new campaigns. If the times are lower than expected, try optimizing your campaign to improve the experience.
Pages Per Visit
The second metric to track, especially if you are running an eCommerce website, is pages per visit.
Generally in an eCommerce environment, a visitor should ideally visit 2-3 pages like — run product comparisons, read reviews, check shipping and order policies and more before placing an order. These are good indicators that your eCommerce venture has good user experience and engagement.
Sign Up Rate
The key to higher macro conversions and revenue improvement is to acquire first time visitors in the shortest window possible. This doesn’t mean that you are expected to make a sale the first time anyone visits your website.
Actually it is quite the opposite.
First time visitors are generally inquisitive and thirsty for knowledge. Your focus should be on providing free value to your visitors when they have recently discovered your business. This is what we call – sign ups.
Here are a few ways to boost your sign up rates –
- Offer first-time visitors discounts if they sign up
- Use exit-intent popups and banner
- Spend time building retargeting and programmable advertising campaigns
- Provide an option to sign up for push notifications
- Offer recommendations and personalized experience based on website activity
- Iterate customer journeys based on historical first-time visitor journeys
Optimize Checkout Funnel
One of the most common micro conversion tracking that gets ignored is the checkout process.
There are multiple steps towards a checkout. Checkout being your primary goal (macro conversion), it’s important to start optimizing your checkout process to ensure minimal funnel leakage.
You can start monitoring your checkout funnel with the help of Google analytics, for starters. Once you see which pages are leaking the most amount of users, you can leverage a platform like Vizury to lower your cart abandonment rate.
This ones a pro tip.
Every user who failed to convert, for one of your micro-goals, should consider retargeting them with programmable advertising.
The great thing about retargeted advertising is that you can create campaigns based on the factor of why the user abandoned your website or app.
For example, a user abandoned his or her cart, due to lack of free shipping which you tracked on the billing page. With retargeted advertising you can win the customer back by running free shipping on a threshold value with the targeted user.
Whatever you choose to call it? A user, visitor, customer or a subject, the average journey for anyone of these is far from a straight line.
It’s when you bifurcate the journey into various micro-goals, that’s when you stitch together the bigger picture and provide your end-users with a more enriching shopping experience. And as we discussed, your focus should be on those micro-goals (conversions) that bridge the gap between your smaller goals and your larger ones.
So, start tracking and optimizing your website or app for these smaller bits and fragments of user experience, and you’ll start seeing better results.