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6 Different Types of Conversions in Digital Marketing

December 8th, 2022 | 4 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

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The golden “conversion” of marketing is, of course, a sale. You want to win over your prospects and convince them that your product or service is worth buying — repeatedly.

It makes sense. The point of investing in marketing is to make money! That said, other layers of conversions are excellent guideposts to getting you there.

If you’re feeling a little confused about the types of conversions, Zoe Marketing & Communications is here for you. In 15+ years in digital marketing, we’ve helped clients understand the value of their conversions — and craft realistic expectations about them.

In this blog, we’ll cover what conversions are in digital marketing, and several key types:

  1. Click-through conversions

  2. Landing page visit conversions

  3. Lead gen form fill conversions

  4. Subscription/registration conversions

  5. Sales conversions

  6. Other conversions that are useful to track

By the end, you’ll feel confident about the various conversions. And you’ll understand the power of the “smaller” conversions that happen along the way to a sale.

What is a conversion in digital marketing?

A conversion means a person has taken a specific action on your ad or website. That action meets a particular goal. It can be a sale, for sure. But it can also be a click, a page visit or filling out a form. There’s a “transaction” you want people to make. When they do, they convert.

Different conversions happen during the sales process. You can use this term to reflect those various “goalposts” of what you want people to do. 

You can track any of these markers in the buyer’s journey — from awareness to consideration to a decision.

Key types of ad conversions

1. Click-through conversions

In this conversion, people click a button or ad touting something on your website.

Clicks are the first spark of interest. You’re putting your message in front of prospects, and their click signals, “This might be a fit for me.”

They’re not ready to commit, but they’re qualifying themselves. There’s a good chance they’re your audience. Your product or service resonates, and they’d like to learn more.

They’re just becoming aware of you at this step.

2. Landing page visit conversions

This might seem the same as a click, but it’s not. After all, not everyone who clicks on an ad or button successfully gets to your landing page. Maybe they clicked accidentally or bailed out.

But for those who “arrive,” there’s some valuable info you can glean:

  • They likely saw at least some of your deeper messaging.

  • You now have their IP address — if you set up a tracking pixel on the page. That allows you to retarget them with more ads to remind them you exist.

This conversion builds on the awareness from clicks. People might start considering you, too. And they may jump off and do more research on your competitors.

Learn more about why click reports and page views don’t perfectly match.

3. Lead gen form fill conversions

This conversion is a big one. You’ve lured people to fill out a form to learn more about you. Typically, that form is on the landing page they clicked on and asks for a name and email.

Up until this point, you’ve been “renting” your audience. But now:

  • You have their direct contact information and can personalize messages.

  • You can run your own internal contact efforts, such as sending informative and educational emails. Along the way, ask strategic questions to learn more about them. Based on their needs, you can provide better details on how you can help.

This is your most potent opportunity to connect directly with prospects on your terms. It allows you to stay top of mind and build trust and esteem. So when they are ready to decide, they’re more likely to choose you. (Be mindful not to overwhelm people with emails, though.)

Keep in mind: These numbers are always lower than your clicks or page visits. And only some people who fill in a form will convert. But it helps hone in on ever-better prospects.

4. Subscription/registration conversions

Technically another type of “lead gen,” these are more specific. Here, you’re enticing people to share their info in exchange for an e-newsletter, webinar access, a free download, etc.

Since you’re giving something away, the exchange can be more appealing — because folks are getting something out of it. A couple of key factors:

  • Be sure to let them know the benefits of what you’re offering in your giveaway. Educate people vs. selling yourself. 

  • If you’re nervous about “giving your secrets away,” remember that this kind of sharing builds trust. And, after reading a detailed guide, for instance, some people will think, “This is a lot to do myself. It might be worth paying this credible company instead.”

5. Sales conversions

Last but not least: Someone buys your product or service. This is the ultimate conversion. It’s the final stop on the buyer’s journey, too — the decision.

Getting here takes a lot of deliberation, though: clicks, page views, retargets, form fills and emails. It’s a journey of discovery and education. People need to first:

  • Be aware of you

  • Trust and think well of you

  • Consider competitors

  • Be reminded of you

In the meantime, they can change their mind, get cold feet, become distracted — i.e., normal human behavior. Cultivating people to the sale stage takes time. It could be months, even a year. That’s why sales conversions are highly valued and slower to come by. 

6. Other conversions that are useful to track

It’s also worth keeping an eye on how users interact with your website on Google Analytics. There are over 200 trackable factors, but these five are among the most insightful:

  1. Users: How many new and unique people are visiting your site

  2. Returning visitors: How many people are returning to your site, from the same device, within two years (they’re more likely to make a purchase)

  3. Average session duration: How long people are on your website in a given timeframe (it expires after 30 minutes of inactivity)

  4. Pages per session: The average number of pages they’ve viewed in a session

  5. Goal completions: You can even set goals that you’d like your analytics to track — up to 30 “events,” as they’re called — for specific pages or actions

As you observe these conversions over time, you can get a sense of your baseline and make adjustments to grow from there.

What are my next steps in tracking my conversions?

Sales are a big conversion, but it takes time to get there. And in the meanwhile, there are other marketing conversions you can set and track to measure your growth.

This blog covered four more, including ad clicks, landing page visits, lead-gen form fills and subscriptions/registrations. We also touched on a few key Google Analytics conversions.

Ready to create more depth in tracking your future customers? Talk to your advisor at Zoe Marketing & Communications. With 15+ years of digital marketing experience, we can shape your roadmap and nurture your conversions across the board.

If you’re still exploring, dig deeper with these articles:

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Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.