It’s Okay If Your Click Doesn’t Convert

Your ad is set. It’s super cool. Engagement is off the charts. People are clicking like their lives depend on it. But people aren’t buying.

Nightmare? Far from it.

A lot of the time when I’m working with people on their marketing campaigns they are looking for immediate action – which in most cases means getting people who click the ad to make a purchase (conversion rate). They do all the work to get the ads out there or the third-party relationships in place to drive traffic, and people are engaging. They’re clicking through. But according to analytics, no one is buying after they click.

My response? That’s fine. Do you really think that the person you were in front of was eager to make a purchase at that time? Unless you were running your ad in a shopping network or on a specific purchase intent keyword, the chances are no. That person was not in buying mode.

But that’s okay! You got them to come through. They know who you are. You’ve done the first part of any marketer’s job: have people know you exist. Better yet, you brought them to your website with something they found interesting (and hopefully you gave them a good experience, and not a bait and switch, when they got there!).

The thing to remember is that marketing is journey. Every one of those journeys starts with what’s called a “First Touch” channel – and a lot of the time that “First Touch” isn’t going to result in a direct sale. You’ll need them to come back when they are ready to make a purchase. And for that to happen, they need to know you have something they want. That’s what the first touch is for.

Of course you’ll do a much better job closing a sale by continuing your relationship with the customer. That’s where taking a different approach to conversion, and instead looking at the first touch as a kind of “lead generation” can come in very handy. Once they’ve been to your site, try to get them to sign up for your emails. Like you on Facebook. Follow you on Twitter. Better yet, look at remarketing strategies to keep that product they showed interest in always there, just within reach, through display ads etc. so that when they do make that decision to buy, you’re ready to help.

At the very least, every interaction people have with your brand is another step in brand recognition. The more times someone comes across your brand, the better the chances are that when they are shopping for whatever product or service you sell, they’ll buy from you. They’ve heard of you. They recognize you. And hopefully they trust you.


P.S. All of this is worthless if you are putting your ads in front of people who are unlikely to be your customers. Getting a bunch of hockey fans to click on your Beethoven CDs isn’t going to do you much good. Keep your ads relevant and targeted and even a “nonconverting” click is worth something.

You should totally share this.

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