Posted October 8, 2009 1:01 pm by with 3 comments

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Dollars FloatingWho’s in charge of conversions in your company, or at your clients’ companies? Anyone? Maybe it’s time to get on that—a new study by Econsultancy and RedEye, published today, indicates that companies with at least one employee directly responsible for conversions are more likely to improved their conversion rates over the last year.

And it’s not because they’re fudging the numbers to make themselves look good (well . . . probably not). But when you have one person directly responsible for conversions, you have someone you can go to at any moment to know how you’re doing—and what you can do to improve.

What tends to improve conversion rates?

  • Regular website testing—those satisfied with their conversion rates were conducting over four times as many monthly website tests as those dissatisfied with their conversion rates.
    • Testing types included multivariate testing, user testing, cart abandonment analysis and A/B testing—even though 95% of those surveyed agreed A/B testing was either “quite” or “very” valuable, only 32% were doing this (46% planned to).
  • Segmenting customers—those with improving conversion rates have twice as many segments as those without improving conversion rates. Popular segment types included demographic , geographic and behavioral.
  • The four practices with the strongest correlation to client satisfaction:
    • Removing bottlenecks and blockages to conversion
    • Identifying key performance indicators
    • Aligning keywords, calls to action and landing pages
    • Using compelling and effective calls to action

None of this is groundbreaking—who among us doesn’t know that testing what users are actually doing is a good way to find out whey they’re not buying and fix it?—but it does highlight the discrepancy between knowledge and action.

As we see in this survey, most of us already know the best practices for improving conversion rates. But we’re not doing them. The survey found that most clients (47%) say that lack of resources is holding them back, but only 33% of marketers and agencies claim the same (this isn’t the same as lack of budget—which 40% of marketers and 39% of clients cited as one of the top three problems). After budget and resources, the most popular problem among the “supply-side,” as the survey calls them, is lack of strategy.

Well, this survey might be able to help a little in that area. The suggestions here include better education and training—but all of the above data also makes clear suggestions: have someone (or someones) responsible for conversions. Engage in testing. Craft your landing pages and calls to action. Remove barriers to conversion. Segment customers. Look at the data.

70% of client respondents said their conversion rates had increased, but nearly 40% of digital marketers are dissatisfied with their conversion rate, getting someone to be in charge might be a little hard—but it can certainly pay off.

However, the biggest reason that having one person responsible for conversions helps conversion rates is probably that when one person (or a team) is the go-to person for that topic, then s/he will actually get down deep in the data. If it’s their responsibility, they’ll work to improve it.

The full report is available from Econsultancy.

What do you think? How have you improved your conversion rate? Could you (or your company) learn more about conversion rate enhancement strategy?