Micro vs. Macro conversions – Simplified!

Assuming you have some basic knowledge about digital marketing, you would know there are many factors and channels that contribute to your business success. You can think of them as team players, where each contributes with a different move to help the team scores a goal (or a “conversion” in the digital marketing world).

There are 2 types of conversions; micro and macro… Sometimes the best way to describe something is by giving examples:

Micro Conversions

  • Facebook page like
  • A follow on LinkedIn or Twitter
  • Subscribing to e-newsletter
  • Downloading a product guide

Macro Conversions:

  • Filling an online lead capture form (B2B)
  • Buying a product online (Ecommerce)
  • Calling to enquire about the product/service (which is usually a miss-tracked macro conversion)*

On the last Macro conversion example, you must use a call tracking technology with multiple proxy numbers. Proxy numbers are temporary numbers that you can buy in bulk to track different traffic sources to your online properties. For example, when someone visits your website with a call tracking technology enabled, instead of the visitor seeing the default business phone number, he/she would see a unique number that tracks the source through which has come to your website.

Sorry for digression… Ok, so why it is important to understand and identify conversion types, i.e. Macro vs Micro, and measure them effectively?! Well this an FUQ (Frequently Un-asked Question) but I will explain here… As they say, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – or can’t improve it!

If you don’t define the different types of conversions, then you don’t know what to measure and how to make your online results better!

So, what are the types for conversion measurement tools?

  • Web Analytical Tools (such as Google Analytics)
  • Built in conversion tracking on Ad Platforms (Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook, etc.).
  • Custom tracking codes developed specifically for your website
  • Call tracking codes for phone conversions

The most simple method used by conversion tracking tools (to identify a conversion) is by using what it’s called a conversion pixel. This is a zero size image that gets injected into the HTML code of a web page on which a conversion would happen. When one visits that page, the image loads and is tracked as a conversion by the tracking tool for each load/visit.

So to go back to business, what are the benefits of macro-micro conversion tracking?

Let’s say you are running a B2B business (B2B is business-to-business), and your ultimate macro conversion is online form submissions from lead capture forms. What if you find that 80% of your customers buy your service/product only after subscribing to your weekly newsletter (which you are not measuring as a ‘micro’ conversion, or not measuring at all!). That may lead to changing your content priorities to put more focus on encouraging users to fill-in the newsletter subscription field, instead of trying too hard to ask them to call you or filling an online lead capture form (or adding the product to their shopping cart for ecommerce websites). Also, your CTA (Call to action) will change across the website to make the newsletter subscription more prominent and to have your messaging pointing to it. The same applies to the design of the website, and almost everything else that you have online will be influenced by this important finding!

Now, I hope you start appreciating the need for identifying all conversion types (macro and micro) and measure each one in aggregation (as a team) and in isolation to see how they perform together and independently to lead to your ultimate goals, whatever they might be!

Conversion types can be the most important factor in distributing your marketing budget, by gauging your willingness to spend for each conversion.

Let’s say you have a budget of 10,000 ($, Euro, or whatever the currency you use!), and using the story above, you may chose to allocate at least 80% of that to e-newsletter subscriptions (which is a micro conversion!) instead of killing your self to convince a visitor to contact you, while they would be be more likely to do so if they get kicked first by another player!

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