March 9, 2020
The question I probably hear most often from creative entrepreneurs like yourself is this ::
“WHAT IS A GOOD CONVERSION RATE?”
It’s not a good question because it falls in the “interesting but useless information” category.
It’s “interesting” because it gives you something to compare yourself to… but it’s “useless” because what do you DO with that information? What momentum does it provide to you? How does it inform the next action you could take?
There are some waaaaayy more insightful and actionable questions you can ask yourself about your conversion rates, like ::
1) “WHAT WAS YOUR LAST CONVERSION RATE?”
People like to throw around terms like “industry standards” and “demographic averages”.
I call B.S. on these people.
Furreal, though, because you should seriously question the source of these stats when they’re usually 1) taken from a very small sample size; 2) mega-bias to whatever they’re trying to prove or promote; and 3) not especially scientific in how they define the “industry” or “niche” they’re talking about.
But let’s pretend this is a very reliable, accurate, unbias source. M’kay. So what, then?
Comparing your conversion rate to someone else’s is a bit like comparing your Instagram feed to someone else’s. You’re way better off focusing on showing up as the best version of yourself than you are to measure your presence to some influencer whose standard isn’t the same as yours.
INSTEAD OF ASKING WHAT A “GOOD” CONVERSION RATE IS, ASK YOURSELF HOW YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR LATEST CONVERSION RATE.
Because when your eyes are focused on your own test paper and YOU’RE CONSISTENTLY IMPROVING YOUR RESULTS AND HOW YOU SHOW UP, it really doesn’t matter what someone else thinks a good conversion rate is… because you’re crystal clear about what a good conversion rate is FOR YOU!
2) “WHICH CONVERSION RATE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?”
All too often, people throw around conversion rate stats to support their vanity metrics but don’t actually say which conversion rate they’re talking about.
KNOWING AND BEING CLEAR ON WHAT YOU’RE MEASURING (AND WHY IT MATTERS!) IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWING WHETHER YOU CAN CALL IT “GOOD” OR NOT.
Because conversions can come in the form of new email list subscribers or they can represent the sales you’ve made – totally different things to be measuring, right?
You can make sales conversions FROM your email list… and those are going to look totally different from the sales conversions you’re making from your landing page or from your affiliate links or your social media or your retargeting ads. These start and end points matter to the decisions you make about your performance way more than whether someone else thinks yours is “good”.
Being able to clearly define them is key to kai-bosh-ing comparing yourself to someone else’s vanity metric.
When it comes to data and numbers, the only people upset by clarifying questions are the ones with something to hide. (The rest of us legit data nerds actually love that you’ve asked! 🤓)
3) “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR CONVERSION RATE?”
Numbers aren’t inherently “good” or “bad” – we’re not talking princess versus villain here – but what we ARE talking about is being able to make CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE TRENDS AND PATTERNS YOU’RE SEEING IN YOUR NUMBERS that will give them some meaning.
THE TRUE POWER OF “KNOWING YOUR NUMBERS” ISN’T IN KNOWING THEM, BUT IN THE INFORMED ACTION YOU’RE ABLE TO TAKE BY USING THEM.
So what is your conversion rate telling you to do? Maybe it’s telling you that the time you’re spending on Instagram isn’t as cash-lucrative as the time you’re spending on YouTube but you’re getting more leads from Pinterest than you are from your ads. Maybe it’s telling you that you should test a stronger call-to-action on your sales page, or that people aren’t interested in that one thing you talk about but they sign up to your list like gangbusters with the other topic, or maybe they’re saying that your email list could use a little cleaning.