con⋅ver⋅sion - [kuh n-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n] - a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference, disbelief, or antagonism to one of acceptance, faith, or enthusiastic support, esp. such a change in a person's religion

The Dictionary that I used on the Internet (whatever happened to the Big Red Book I used to own?) had 17 different definitions of the word conversion, and I chose the definition above because it best illustrates what I mean when I say conversion in relation to marketing. Many of us have heard the term conversion used when referring to having a visitor to our website click through and request information, or take some kind of action and this is a perfectly acceptable and critically important part of the marketing process - but I want to be very clear here - I'm not talking about that at all. I'm referring to the process of guiding a lead (someone who has identified themselves to you as potentially interested in your services) into making a well-informed decision to become a client, or patient, or customer of yours.

In my experience, this is where EVEN EXPERIENCED MARKETERS fail the most.

So let's start at the beginning before we even discuss the "HOW" of conversion. For the purposes of this article I'm going to assume that you are doing the following things pretty well right now:

  1. You've learned to redesign your marketing messages and strategies to focus on the worries and concerns of your prospective clients/patients/customers. You are able to get people's attention by talking about them, not about you. If you aren't doing this then the rest of this article isn't going to help you much because you're still marketing and being completely ignored.
  2. You've produced at least one good information premium (a book) that is free to those who request it and that answers the questions that are keeping your prospects up at night. You've produced this because you know you need an offer that has a high perceived value and is relatively easy to request. And finally, you've done this because you know that you need to be building the list of people who have some interest in what you do because they are the source of the vast majority of your new and repeat business.

I've noticed that when most people hear me speak they tend to fixate on one part of the message. Usually it's the book. Sometimes it's the website, but they rarely see the entire picture - the conversion process.  Remember the definition of conversion: a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference, disbelief, or antagonism to one of acceptance, faith, or enthusiastic support? This is where REAL marketing happens. The process in which we guide an individual to CHANGE THEIR MIND and make a decision to contact you because they have finally concluded that A: They do need help and B: You are their solution.  A very important point here is that they also made up their mind to take and action and are no longer put off getting the help they need.

Next Week: Conversion – Part Two: The Key to Excellent Marketing

Rem Jackson
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Founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC
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