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Commentary & Analysis

Are You Distinguishing Between Macro and Micro Conversions?

Are you helping your clients track both micro and macro conversions? If not, you’re losing opportunities to understand not just what works and what doesn’t, but why.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: March 20, 2018

Part of being a marketing services provider (MSP) is helping customers track the success of their campaigns so they know what works and what doesn’t. That enables you to help them do more of what works. But which metrics best help you do that?

For most MSPs and their clients, metrics like conversion rate and revenues generated are marketing gold. That’s what everyone wants, right? Yes and no. While these top-line metrics tell you whether your clients are making money, they still leave a lot unknown.

For example, you helped your client produce a direct mail campaign with email follow-up. The response rate is dismal. The “revenues generated” metric delivers the bad news, but it doesn’t tell you why the campaign tanked. Where did things go wrong? Was it the direct mail piece? Was the email list bad? Or was it something else? This is where more granular metrics are helpful.

Let’s say you are sending people to a campaign-specific landing page. You can track the effectiveness of the email or direct mail piece by tracking the number of people who respond by going to the campaign page. So what if sales are still terrible? Since lots of people converted from the primary call to action, you can diagnose the problem as not coming from the direct mail piece or the email.

Next, you can look at the main campaign page. How many people who landed on the page clicked through for more information? If the number drops off precipitously, you might have located the problem. Is the copy dull and boring? Is the value clear? How about the no call to action?

If, however, lots of people click through the main campaign page to the product page, then the campaign page is doing its job. The problem must lie further down the funnel. Does the product detail page do its job to close the sale? If so, is the problem in the checkout experience? Is there something going wrong in the shopping cart?

While we tend to focus on the macro conversions, these are all conversions, too—micro-conversions. Once the audience responds to the main call to action, everything from there on is a micro-conversion. Did they click through for more information? Did they download the white paper? Did they watch the video?

In the words of one marketing blogger,

Macro conversions tell you if your strategy is increasing the business’s bottom line. Micro conversions help you reveal problems, diagnose them, and tell you whether or not you’re heading in the right direction to accomplish your bigger goals.

When setting up metrics for your clients’ campaigns, make sure to include metrics for tracking both macro and micro conversions. Especially if you are marketing yourself as an MSP and not just a print provider, those micro-conversions are critical in providing the “M” part of the MSP label. 


Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”



By Gina Danner on Mar 20, 2018

Good insight... little things can impact the success of every campaign. By watching those little items, you can make big impacts in the ultimate results. The challenge for some PSPs is that they think marketing is this unknown creative process -- if they will start to look at marketing in the same light as a manufacturing process they will see that it is just a process... create awareness, engagement, and action. Through each step are you moving the buyer forward. Every PSP should be applying a defined marketing process to their business.


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