Conversion rate (CVR) – what is conversion rate and how is CVR calculated (exact formula)?

Conversion rate (CVR) – what is conversion rate and how is CVR calculated (exact formula)?

A conversion rate is a marketing metric that quantifies the proportion of instances when a user successfully completed a desired action, usually expressed as a percentage.

What is a conversion rate?

A conversion rate is a key metric used to assess the effectiveness of a campaign or content piece. It measures the frequency with which viewers or users take a desired action, such as clicking a link, registering for an event, or making a purchase.

The conversion rate is always expressed as a percentage, and a higher rate indicates a more successful campaign. While average conversion rates vary across industries, they generally remain in the low single digits. For example, only about 2% of app downloads typically result in a purchase. This means that even a small improvement in the conversion rate can have a significant impact.

For instance, if a landing page has 1,000 views and 20 of those sessions resulted in a purchase, you have a 2% conversion rate (20 / 1,000 = 0.020 or 2%).

Why is your conversion rate important?

Your conversion rate holds valuable insights because it indicates how effectively a page or content piece performs its intended purpose within your marketing plan. While metrics like page views or impressions provide useful information, they don’t reveal whether your content is effectively driving users to take action.

Consider the scenario of running a digital advertising campaign with the goal of increasing app downloads. You may have a satisfactory click-through rate (CTR) to the app listing, but if the number of app downloads remains low, your campaign isn’t achieving its objectives.

Conversion rates enable marketers to identify potential weaknesses in their marketing funnel. In the example above, the ad itself performs well in attracting attention, but the landing page or promotional offer may have issues that require attention and improvement.

How do you calculate your conversion rate?

Many analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, automatically calculate the conversion rate once you set up your goals. However, you can also calculate it manually using a straightforward formula.

To calculate your conversion rate, take the number of conversions (i.e., users who completed the desired action) and divide it by the number of interactions with your content (e.g., views, opens, clicks). Multiply the resulting fraction by 100 to obtain the conversion rate percentage.

What factors impact conversion rates (CVR)?

Consider the intricacies involved in a typical online purchasing decision. Questions arise such as: Do I find the product appealing? Is it suitable for the intended space or device? What do customer reviews suggest? Is the price reasonable? Can I find it cheaper elsewhere? Is this company trustworthy? Capturing a user’s attention and addressing their hesitations in a limited time span is crucial.

It’s essential to highlight the benefits of your product or service using persuasive content and visuals. However, that alone isn’t sufficient. A compelling call to action and a smooth user experience are equally vital. Listed below are the primary factors affecting conversion rates.

  • Page load time:
    • Consumers are likely to leave if a website takes too long to load. A brief delay can result in reduced interest or diminished trust. Research from Portent reveals that a website loading in one second can achieve conversions 2.5 times more than one taking five seconds to load.
  • Page design:
    • The layout and overall design of your website play a pivotal role in user experience and optimization.
    • Naturally, your site should be mobile-optimized and adhere to web design standards.
    • Employ visuals like images, diagrams, videos, and headings to segment extensive text sections.
    • Ensure your content is concise and direct, and emphasize calls to action.
  • Differentiation:
    • On third-party platforms like Amazon, or the Apple or Android app stores, you lack control over the page layout.
    • Given that your content might be displayed alongside similar products from competitors, it’s imperative to stand out.
    • Adhere to guidelines specific to these platforms to maximize conversions.
    • Utilize social proof and striking visuals to accentuate your product or service.
  • Pricing and offer:
    • Interest in your product or service might wane if potential customers find your pricing steep.
    • Regularly compare with competitors to ensure your pricing aligns with the market rate for similar offerings.
    • Employing promotional offers can instill a sense of urgency, nudging users towards conversion.
  • CTA message:
    • The call to action (CTA) is pivotal in influencing your conversion rates.
    • Effective content navigates users seamlessly towards desired actions.
    • Clearly delineate the next step for users and use compelling language to motivate them.
    • Rather than generic prompts like “Sign up” or “Learn more”, think of more enticing alternatives such as “Begin saving” or “Explore your next journey”.
    • For the most impactful CTAs, draw inspiration from various sources and continually test different approaches.
  • CTA format and placement:
    • While buttons are the most prevalent type of Call to Action (CTA), they’re not the sole option. Banners, pop-ups, slide-ins, forms, and in-line links can all serve as CTAs.
    • If you’re using a button, its design aspects like color contrast and spacing, along with its positioning on the page, are crucial. For lengthier content, it’s advisable to have a CTA both above the fold and another towards the end.

Tips to enhance conversion rates

No one wants a leaking marketing funnel. Follow these tips for optimizing your conversion rate to help you grow revenue and return on investment (ROI) for your marketing spend.

Three conversion rate mistakes to avoid

So, your conversion rate is lagging behind your peers. Now what? Make sure you aren’t falling prey to these rookie conversion-rate missteps.

Measuring the incorrect action

  • With a well-crafted content strategy, every advertisement or content piece should progress towards a specific objective. However, this objective shouldn’t remain constant across all content.
  • While the primary aim in marketing is to secure a purchase, this might not always be the conversion metric, especially for top or middle funnel content.
  • Instead, focus on actions indicative of lead generation or nurturing for these content types. This can mean a user downloading a material, subscribing to updates, or engaging with your social media.
  • After securing someone’s email, for instance, the next conversion measure could be them opting for a free trial.

Asking for too much information

  • Studies show that approximately 70% of eCommerce shopping carts are abandoned. A significant reason? Overly complicated checkout processes. Remarkably, the average online checkout process incorporates 23 steps, which is double the number recommended by the Baymard Institute.
  • Elongated lead generation forms are also problematic, as potential leads might exit without finishing them. Conversion drop-offs occur when customers perceive the process to be more cumbersome or time-consuming than the expected benefit.

Not providing sufficient information

  • Striking the right balance in information dissemination is crucial. However, it’s essential for customers to recognize the value before proceeding.
    • Highlight both tangible and intangible benefits.
    • Display a variety of media, including images, videos, and detailed product specifications.
    • Feature social proofs such as customer feedback, accolades, or media mentions.
  • Consumers are naturally protective of their personal details. When requesting an email subscription, for instance, specify the frequency of contact and clearly state your privacy policy to assure them that their data will be kept confidential.
  • When promoting free trials or special offers, consider enhancing your CTA with terms like “free”, or provide assurances like “no purchase necessary” or “no credit card needed”. This strategy can mitigate concerns and boost the confidence of potential customers in availing offers.

Ways to increase your conversion rate

Once you’ve correctly identified the desired conversion action and set up your lead generation or purchase link, it’s time to refine your content to persuade more users to take the desired action. Here are some strategies to elevate your conversion rate, thereby increasing revenue and optimizing ROI on your marketing investments.

  1. Localize your content
    • Picture yourself clicking on an advertisement, only to land on a page in a foreign language, filled with unfamiliar cultural references, or showcasing prices in an unfamiliar currency.
    • For businesses catering to a global clientele, especially those deploying paid campaigns across various countries, localizing content is paramount. This entails tailoring your messaging to accommodate language nuances, dialect variations, and culturally relevant references. Designing country-specific web pages and app listings can effectively aid in this endeavor.
  2. Localize your visuals
    • Ensure that your imagery is relevant and resonates with the specific demographic you are addressing.
  3. Address functional elements
    • Take care of the practical aspects such as currency, shipping, and product availability based on the region. It’s disheartening for a customer to navigate through the checkout process, only to discover at the last step that the shipping costs are prohibitively high or that a desired product isn’t available in their region.
  4. Refine your messaging
  • If your advertisements are garnering significant engagement but conversions remain low, scrutinize your landing page content. Does it captivate the visitor immediately? Is the value proposition of your offering evident?
  • A misalignment between your advertisement and landing page messaging might be the culprit.
  • Exceptional content clearly delineates a problem and underscores how your product or service provides a solution. Without a discernible problem or evident solution, the motivation to purchase diminishes.
  • It’s prudent to engage the expertise of a professional copywriter or a reputable agency to fine-tune your landing page content. Employ market research or leverage A/B testing with dynamic content to ascertain which messaging strikes a chord with your target audience.

Instill a sense of urgency:

  • Sales promotions often excite us because they instill a feeling of gaining an advantage or achieving a win. By invoking urgency, you not only make customers feel like they’re bagging a bargain or securing a free item, but you also introduce a fear of missing out if they don’t act promptly. Consider the following examples:
  • “Secure your special offer by Jan 1.”
  • “Enroll today and save $200.”
  • “Shop for $150 and receive a complimentary gift.”
  • Even without a monetary incentive or complimentary offer, you can still employ this strategy. For a B2C context, emphasize dwindling stock levels with alerts such as “Selling out fast!” or “Only a few left in stock.”
  • In a B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) setting, focus on tangible value propositions. For instance, if you’ve made a case that your service is a time-saver, a compelling call-to-action could be “Shave off 2 hours of administrative tasks this week.”

Key information about a term “conversion rate (CVR)” to remember

Though your conversion rate might appear as a modest figure, it carries significant weight. By focusing on this metric, you can move beyond broader indicators like traffic volume to truly gauge how compelling your content is in motivating users to act. With a host of optimization tools and strategies available, you can incrementally elevate this percentage, leading to increased leads and sales.

Keep these core principles in mind:

  • Clearly define the desired actions you want users to undertake as a part of your marketing strategy. Beyond just sales, also factor in objectives related to building your audience and generating leads.
  • Assign equal importance to both the aesthetics (format and design) and the content (message) of your presentation.
  • Craft a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that underscores the value and benefits users stand to gain from your product or service.
  • Invoke emotion and create a sense of urgency to prompt users to take the desired action.
  • Regularly monitor your conversion rate’s trajectory. Employ A/B testing or make iterative adjustments over time to ensure continuous improvement.


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