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Converting Click-Throughs to Customers

Every web marketing campaign needs to do two things: generate targeted traffic, and make sure the visitor is "hooked" on arrival at the destination website. Most websites have a third objective: getting the order. The more visitors are "hooked" and the more orders are placed, the better the return on the website and advertising investment. What's the "Hook" to generate incremental sales? Relevance.

Let's look at a familiar example
TraveldotMy pet peeve is online travel offers. I see a banner ad for an online travel site named "Traveldot" (fictitious), which advertises a $340 round-trip airfare to Rome. The Visitor Expectation is, "What you see is what you get". That is, I'm promised round-trip travel to Rome for $340. I expect that if I click on Traveldot's banner ad, I will actually be able to book a trip to Rome for $340 round-trip. Wouldn't you?

Instead, what usually happens? I click through and get something else. Usually, the link leads to the home page of a travel site where I have to enter all the information in a blank form: departure city, arrival city, number of travelers, date of departure, etc.


It drives me crazy. This is completely different from the expectation that was established. To make things worse, even if I go to the trouble of entering all the information and clicking "Search", it's like playing a slot machine. I get a message that says "Please Wait...", then I get a bunch of flights and fares, none of which is $340 round-trip (usually, they're not even close). Frustrated, I leave.

Traveldot's effort and investment are fruitless. I'm usually so irritated by this that I won't try Traveldot again. So, lack of relevance can actually damage your marketing efforts in the longer term:


What should happen?
I should click through and get a page that says "$340 round-trip airfare to Rome", with a list of specific dates which I can select to proceed to book a flight.


No mystery and no surprises, and content which is highly relevant to the offer.


You can't afford to be "somewhat relevant". On the web, the delay between the Promise and the Delivery is only one click away. If your site fails to deliver what you promise, your site visitors leave, and you lose not only the opportunity to close the sale and deepen your customer relationship-- you may lose the chance for any relationship at all.

Delivering on your promise means meeting expectations by:

  • Making content on the web relevant to the promise or offer
  • Designing a straightforward user experience

Our mantra at Blue Iceberg has always been, "An effective website furthers business objectives." It does so by providing information that's relevant and easy to find.

What's it worth?
Let's look at an example: an e-commerce site which receives 500 orders per day, with an average order value of $50.00. In one year, the site generates:

500 orders/day x $50.00/order x 365 days = $9,125,000

Each 1% increase in the conversion rate is worth an incremental $91,250 annually.

1% increase in the conversion rate = $91,250
3% increase in the conversion rate = $273,750
5% increase in the conversion rate = $456,250

Whether your site is an e-commerce site, or an informational or marketing site, better online relevance yields big dividends.

What does it take to do it right?
Creating the right offer and making information relevant and easy to find on your site takes a disciplined approach. Here are the key questions you should be asking:

  • Are you missing opportunities in your e-mail and other marketing campaigns?
  • How relevant is your website to the offers in your banner or print advertising?
  • Is your website making friends and converting prospects to customers-- or driving them away?

If you're not sure about the answers to these questions or have comments, let's talk.

- Richard Cacciato