What’s Your Hit / Conversion Rate?

A hit rate, also known as a conversion rate, is an important marketing analysis tool for businesses of all sizes. It’s a measure of how marketing tactics translate into actual sales, usually expressed as a percentage. In other words, it’s the number of potential customers who ultimately end up buying your products or services. The higher your conversion rate, the more effective your marketing strategies.

There’s a lot more to conversion rates than simple numbers. Unfortunately, most people don’t fully understand how these rates work, let alone how to improve them.

How conversion rates work

Let’s say you’re running an email campaign, and your call to action is having people fill out a web form in order to receive a quote. In this scenario, you can actually measure two conversion rates:

  1. The percentage of people who fill out the form from the email prompt
  2. The percentage of people who receive a quote and make a purchase

The first conversion rate gauges the effectiveness of your email campaign—is it engaging enough for the majority of targets to take the next step and request a quote? If your conversion rate here is low, there could be any number of reasons, from demographics to poor wording or insufficient value.
The second, and perhaps more important, conversion rate is a reflection of your business. Are your quotes competitive? Do you offer enough value to make customers jump at the chance to do business with you?

Other examples of measurable conversion rates include:

  • Number of purchases made from a landing page
  • Percentage of website traffic increase in response to a newsletter
  • Sales as the result of a promotion campaign or introductory offer
  • Overall percentage of website visitors versus online sales
  • Percentage of sales calls that result in purchases

Analyzing your hit rate

Understanding how your conversions happen—and how they don’t—is the first and most important step in increasing your conversion rates. In some cases, analysis can be fairly straightforward. For example, it’s easy to count how many sales calls end in purchases and then derive a percentage from the numbers. Landing pages are also pretty simple to calculate, especially if they’re set up so that all incoming traffic is a direct result of a marketing campaign.

Other conversions, however, are often difficult or complicated to analyze. One way to wrestle useful data from piles of statistics is to use free tools like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Yahoo! Site Explorer, which track how and where visitors are finding your website, which pages they visit, and other vital information.

Capturing more conversions

While increasing your hit rates will depend in part on your website or marketing analysis, there are a number of general steps you can take to improve online conversions.informatix_target_marketing

  • Make it easy to buy. Have visible “buy now” or “add to cart” buttons on every page of your site, preferably above the fold (at or near the top of the page, so the visitor doesn’t have to scroll down to find and click them).
  • Offer convenient extras. Give people an incentive to respond to email campaigns and other special offers, such as a free report, product sample, or discount—but don’t make these perks difficult to obtain. If customers have to jump through a lot of hoops and provide additional information just to get a freebie, they probably won’t bother.
  • Ensure that no visitor is prevented from buying. Provide accessibility for users with limitations. Make sure your website is optimized for viewing in every browser, not just Internet Explorer. Mobile accessibility is also important—if your site isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, provide a separate mobile site for cell phone users.
  • Build consumer trust. Many people are still wary about purchasing online, so make sure your visitors know that it’s safe to buy from your site. Users should be able to easily access your business address (don’t use a P.O. box here), phone number, and email address. Display your privacy policy prominently, as well as the VeriSign logo if you have an SSL certificate.
  • Be honest and transparent. Clearly state when products are out of stock or unavailable—there’s nothing more frustrating than ordering an item that will never arrive. Don’t hide your shipping costs. Make sure customers know the shipping costs before they check out. Post a clear returns policy that’s easy to find.

Get comprehensive conversion rate analysis

If you’re struggling to make sense of your conversions, we’re here to help. We can provide detailed analysis of your website traffic, online marketing campaigns, and performance, and help you pinpoint which areas are working and which need improvement.

We’ll also work with you to enhance your website design, with tips and advice that will help you refresh or revamp your site. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 

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