Hidden Dangers of a High Conversion Rate

Hi Again ūüôā

Today I’d like to talk about a subtle distinction in marketing strategy which often gets obscured by the ruthless focus on increasing click through and conversion. Surprisingly, we might not always want these metrics to be as high as humanly possible.

It all comes back to what we’re trying to accomplish in our businesses in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to cultivate repeat customers, ravenous for what I’ve got to offer, eager to ascend to higher and higher value products and services, respectful of my customer service team, and interested in referring me to prospects of similar quality.

Moreover, I’m interested in developing a core FOCUS in my business. ¬†Since I can’t be everything to everyone, I want my customers to share certain core values with one another and bond to me because of them…

That way my back end development is  crystal clear and I can keep my resources focussed.  I can also  move relatively quickly to introduce higher end products and services which will please the majority of my customers, rather than becoming fragmented into segments which drain my resources and prevent the development of anything spectacular.

Getting a high CTR and Conversion rate is only useful to me to the extent it serves these ends, and actually a distraction if it does not. ¬† ¬†And because increasing these metrics beyond a certain point necessarily entails convincing more and more ambivalent people to purchase (remember–the most ravenous people in your market will buy from even poor advertising if they trust you… good advertising is about convincing less interested and more skeptical people), it’s something worth thinking about very seriously.

The point is, single-minded  focus on CTR and Conversion in the absence of STRATEGY (e.g., WHO are you trying to attract, who are you trying to repel, and why) may waste your advertising dollars on prospects who engage in TRIAL BUT NOT REPEAT.

You can also wind up attracting customers who burden your support team with complaints, threaten your merchant account with chargebacks and refunds (not something to dismiss lightly given the Visa/MC shakeup this year), and most importantly, diversify your customer base too broadly to allow you to effectively develop back ends and maximize customer value!

Now, from most of the advertising I see online, I’d say the vast majority of vendors in AdWords don’t really get this. ¬†Or perhaps they don’t care because the math works for them, at least for the moment.

But, especially in a PPC environment where auction prices continue to rise, transactional thinking just isn’t going to cut it in the long run for your business. ¬†You need to build on stone, not sand.

Let’s work through a real life example.

I have a friend who’s daughter has a debilitating condition called “Myasthenia Gravis”. ¬† ¬†When I type this into Google, the FIRST link on the left hand side is for Wikipedia, and in the very first paragraph it says “there is no known cure”. ¬† Subsequent organic links confirm this, though many offer hope of relief and cautiously optimistic treatment.

Here are two of the first page ads I see:

Now, I’m sure we could all jump in and talk about how to improve these ads, but that’s besides the point.

The point is the “Myasthenia Gravis Cure” ad is almost certainly getting a higher click through rate.

And if they’re carrying through their promise of a cure to the landing page (I didn’t review), they’re probably getting a higher conversion rate as well.

And I’ll bet you they’re making more money (a lot more) ON THE FRONT END TRIALS.

But are they building a business? Are they cultivating loyal customers? Are they producing evangelists for their products and services who will bring more high quality, loyal customers at zero cost? Do they have true back end capabilities? What about customer service problems? Merchant account issues?

If they’re promising a cure when there really is none (and then just dealing with the refunds because the math works out for them), I’d venture to say not!

In fairness, there MAY be a cure we don’t know about. The sites on the left may be wrong. ¬†Maybe this “Cure” site really DOES have something special and in that case, more power to them for getting out there with full force.

But if not, what they’ve got is a temporary income stream, not a business. They’ve got a good ad, not good customers.

If they were my client I’d actually advise them to cut their click through rate and conversion, and go with ¬†something more like the second ad instead. ¬†It might not be as strong in creating trial, and the cost per initial sale would certainly be higher… but it would fill their business with grateful, loyal customers, higher long term values… and all the other good things above.

Now, the only way YOU can do this is if you REALLY know who you’re going after in the first place. And that’s where MARKET INTELLIGENCE trumps keyword intelligence, every time.

Because if you know the unique conversation in the prospect’s mind behind each keyword search (every keyword really is a unique conversation)…

If you know with confidence which keyword conversations define your center of gravity…

Then and only then can you begin to write your ads to attract hyper-responsive customers, repel the riff raff, and keep Google happy in the process. (Remember, PPC IS A THREE WAY JOINT VENTURE… you’ve got to provide value for Google, your prospects, and yourself… if any of the three loses, the system doesn’t work)

Which is the essence of Dr. Glenn’s Golden Rule #2:

“Sell Distinct Advantages to Hyper-Responsive Customers
Using Their Emotional Buying Language… And Actively
Repel Everyone Else”

And if you’d like to have confidence that you’re doing that ¬†better than anyone else in your market, it’s definitely time for you to¬†join the club!

Hope it helps,

Dr. G ūüôā

PS – In keeping with this post, let me please say that unless you’re already operating a very profitable online business, you won’t get rich in the next few months using the hyper responsive marketing club. ¬†It’s not even within the realm of possibilities. ¬†But you WILL learn a way of strategic thinking which is different than what anyone else teaches online, and which is linked to a step by step approach which will last you a lifetime! ¬†join the club


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