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Defining Website Conversion

Website Conversion Part 2

One of my favorite Olympic track & field events is the relay race. Not only is it a running competition but it’s one of coordination as well. At a specific point the first runner must hold the baton down and to his rear without slowing down. Simultaneously, the fresh runner matches speed and takes the baton as he passes and increases his pace. Without clearly defining that moment at which the transfer takes place, the baton will likely be dropped and the race lost. Website conversion needs to be defined in much the same way if marketing is going to hand things off to the sales team without dropping the prospective customer.

It might seem obvious but unless you have identified what conversion means for your company, you are likely to experience a lot of conflict and confusion. In other words, don’t define conversion as a click on a button for a free wallpaper. This would make your conversion numbers look good but it would not benefit sales. Likewise, don’t define conversion as a time-share purchase. Make the conversion number reflect a customer action that shows real interest but not a sale –your sales numbers will indicate actual purchases. Conversion should be some significant action that is clearly on the pathway to a purchase and it needs to be well-defined so that marketing and sales know where the transfer will take place.

Depending on the structure of your business, you will want to work with key people to make this distinction. In my case, my business only consists of me and my wife. For most, however, this will require more than dinner conversation. You will need to schedule meetings and get honest input from the sales team, upper management and marketing to start with. Sales is important because they will be receiving the raw products of website conversion, “leads”, whether they come in the form of a simple web-form with contact information or a pre-screened customer who expresses an interest and meets inclusion criteria. Sales will have a vested interest in the definition of conversion. Needless to say, management will want input and will provide backing for any execution and/or training needs. Marketing will offer perspective regarding implementation, particularly since they will carry out any new strategies.

You could define conversion on your own but that critical moment will be far more clear and meaningful if key departments have input, comprehension and buy-in. Besides, it’s the coordination of efforts that makes the race so exciting in the end!

Next week: Implementation and Evaluation

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