How to Create Better Conversion Goals for Marketing Automation - dummies

How to Create Better Conversion Goals for Marketing Automation

By Mathew Sweezey

Many companies still base their marketing automation goals on the number of people who fill out a form. This is a good way to gauge whether your changes made it easier for a person to engage, but it is not the best way to see whether you are converting the correct prospects.

Quality vs. quantity

Creating more quality rather than quantity is the basis of why you got marketing automation in the first place. You want better leads, not just more of them. This idea goes hand in hand with forms and landing pages. If you judge yourself on the number of conversions you have, you’re seeing only half the picture.

Your conversion rate is a leading indicator of possible future outcomes. It shows you what is possible in the future. If 100 people convert on your form, this indicates that you may have more quality leads in the future; however, it does not measure the quality of those leads — just the possibility of them.

You should also measure the number of those 100 who closed as opportunities. This is a lagging indicator, which means that you can see it only after the fact. Consider looking at your form in two ways: initial conversions and percentage of total opportunities created. For each form, go back and evaluate your form based on how many of those leads were converted to sales.

Some marketing automation tools contain this information as a built-in report.

Be prepared for the big dip

If you are refining your forms for better quality and less quantity, you’ll see a dip in the number of leads that come in. This is a standard effect that almost all companies implementing marketing automation will see.

Following are some tips to help you prepare for the inevitable dip:

  • Prep stakeholders: You should set expectations about the big dip with sales and upper management before you implement marketing automation. If you are being measured only on the quantity of leads, your numbers will go down for a period of time. Make sure to let stakeholders know why so that they don’t think you are doing a bad job.

  • Don’t panic: If you panic during these improvements, you’ll likely not do a lot of them, which can mean staying in the back of the pack.

    The biggest piece of advice is to remember that the elements you change can all be changed back to where they were. If you find out that your idea wasn’t that great, just revert back to your old form. All marketing automation tools save your old forms, so you can easily just swap them in and out.

  • Prove your value: To prove that the dip in the quantity of leads was worthwhile, make sure that you can look at the number of sales generated by the fewer leads. The number of sales is the only way you can demonstrate that your tactic was worthwhile, so make sure that you have set up reports to track your sales from it.

    This capability is standard with some tools; others require you to set it up. Make sure that you know which kind of tool you have.