Test Your Conversion Mechanism – Every Time, All the Time

The pre-dominant reason that trainers, consultants, and professional coaches run marketing campaigns is to generate leads or sales. While larger firms might include branding and market exposure as a goal, it’s not the primary focus. For this reason, digital marketing should always drive to a call-to-action. If someone completes that call-to-action, they are counted as a conversion, otherwise known as a lead or a sale. It’s imperative that your conversion mechanism work properly, otherwise all the effort invested in marketing will fail to meet the primary goal.

For clarity, here is a list of common digital marketing conversions:

  • Completion of a web form for a specific offer or to be contacted.
  • An email or phone call replying to a marketing message.
  • A social media like/follow/subscribe (though these are soft leads requiring additional effort to be an actionable lead or sale).

The primary mechanism for concern is web forms. We were recently a victim of assuming a web form mechanism would function but not verifying the functionality which caused inefficiency in conversion.

Our client initiated a migration to a new web platform. The platform’s documentation outlined a process where credit card information could be submitted securely and stored on the local server. There was not a payment processor set up for our client but they did not want to delay launch to incorporate it into their site. Not using a built in payment processor caused an extra step of manually running the credit card but the client was comfortable with that, at least in the short term, as it was a necessary step with their former web platform.

Unfortunately when registration arrived, the payment information was scrubbed from the responses. We initiated an inquiry with the platform developer who instructed us that the data was being stripped because we didn’t have a payment processor set up. Despite the user manuals stating that the data would still be captured and the support team re-iterating that a form processor was not required, we were left calling registrants to get payment information.

The form “worked” and the admin panel did not raise any alerts about a payment processor being required. But the failure to fully test the conversion left a gap in our process. Fortunately the gap was identified early and work arounds were devised.

Always test your conversion mechanism. Even if it’s a process that has worked before, test the actual implementation. This example was a systematic failure but sometimes an isolated user error will cause the problem. Once your conversion mechanism is completed run a test, every time. This ensures that it performs in the way you expect and allows you to reap the benefits of your marketing efforts.

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