What Makes a Good Micro Conversion and Why They’re Important

Michael Wiegand, Director of Analytics

If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ll know we’ve covered micro conversions before. For those who are new here and haven’t heard of this concept until now, welcome!

Micro conversions, simply put, are leading indicators that a potential customer is becoming more acquainted with your product or service. They are often tipping points from the consideration to purchase stages of the marketing funnel.

Choosing the right micro conversions for your business is critical for many reasons. It helps define nurture tracks and ideal customer journeys and helps create retargeting pools for folks to re-engage with your brand.

The Difference Between Micro and Macro Conversions

In order to choose the right micro conversions for your business, it’s important to understand your macro conversions first. Most businesses get this right, as it’s their reason for being. Macro conversions involve either making money from your products and services or gathering enough information for a sales-qualified lead.

Micro conversions involve the pre-sale exchange of information with the user, with or without contact information changing hands.

NOTE: We’ve talked about this distinction before using slightly different terms (i.e., primary, secondary, and tertiary conversions).

Selecting the Right Micro Conversions For Your Business

Pre-sale exchange of information can mean almost anything. So what are we really talking about here? Things like views of a key page aren’t enough. Good micro conversions signal one extra step of intent beyond arriving and reading a web page.

Let’s go through some categorized examples of micro conversions in the form of business questions they answer:

  • Navigation: Menu items and call-to-action buttons are littered around websites these days. But how effective are they at driving people further down the customer journey?
  • Scrolling: Long-form educational content around your vertical could take loads of effort and time to produce. Are people really scrolling at least 75% of the way down those pages?
  • Downloads: Similarly, producing enough written and visual content to generate a .pdf brochure or hiring a technical writer to produce a whitepaper isn’t cheap. Do people really download gated or ungated .pdf assets?
  • Video Views: Is getting a video production studio (or convincing your busy CEO) to produce a high-quality video of your product or service on display worth it? People might not be watching at least 75% of the video.
  • Subscribes: Just how valuable is an email subscriber? Or somebody who signs up to get your blog posts in their inbox? Has to be better than an average visitor, right?
  • Outbound Clicks: Is sending traffic out to a third-party partner creating profit for them? Do those social media profile icons in your homepage footer really get any clicks?
  • Interactions: Your company just bought a pretty expensive chat or on-site marketing platform. Is interrupting your users with a pop-up discount or a bot module worth their time or yours?

Turns out, it’s really easy to measure micro-conversions like these using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. But the answers to the business questions we just covered and the insights those questions are after prove more elusive.

Real-World Examples of How Micro Conversions Signal a Higher Likelihood to Convert on Macro Conversions

This is one area we’ve never addressed in a post like this. Does measuring these micro conversions actually make you a smarter marketer?

I’m here to tell you, unequivocally: Yes!

Demos to Lead Forms

A client we’re working with right now sells a cloud software product. They produced a pretty intensive demo video that’s featured prominently on their website.

Their average conversion rate on their lead form is almost 1% site-wide.

People who watched their demo, however, converted on their lead form at over 2.5%!

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Chats to Orders

Another site our parent company operates has a chat function run by live agents instead of bots.

Their site-wide conversion rate to an order is about 0.3%.

Users who talk to a chat agent convert to an order at over 1.5%!

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White Papers to Lead Forms

Another one of our clients has loads of ungated product documentation on their website.

Their site-wide lead form fill rate is around 0.4%.

Users who saw their documentation were 19% more likely to convert at over 0.5%.

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You’ll notice in almost all these cases, the segment of users who participated in the micro conversion not only macro-converted at a higher rate, but they were more engaged in their visits in general, spending at least 3x more time per session and viewing at least 2x more pages per session.

What can you do with this information?

First, you can invest more time and effort into the content creation that powers micro conversions.

Secondly, you can get a lot more intelligent about audience creation and budget allocation for retargeting efforts. If you know your whitepaper readers become leads far more often, you can pool those readers who haven’t converted and get more aggressive about offering them a demo, trial, or some kind of other incentive.

A Micro Conversion For Micro Conversions

Hopefully, we’ve won you over with these real-world examples.

Micro conversions aren’t just “nice-to-haves” in a digital marketing analytics plan; they’re the foundation of a good measurement strategy and having the best understanding possible of the ideal customer journey.

Listen to what your customers and prospects are doing up-funnel to build a stronger pipeline and bolster your revenue.

Michael Wiegand, Director of Analytics
Director of Analytics

In nearly two decades as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print and search. He now heads Portent's analytics practice, overseeing everything from Google Tag Management, to CRM integration for closed-loop analytics, to solving ponderous digital marketing questions. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music, playing D&D, and supporting Seattle Sounders FC.

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