Valentine’s day is around the corner, and they say love is blind, but no one ever talks about how blinding engagement and conversion rates can be… until now.
I’ll never forget the frustrated phone call I received from a business owner a few years ago. She was so puzzled. Her email marketing open rate was consistently 38% but her email marketing conversion rate had dropped from 12% to just under 1%. Her social media engagement had gone down 15% from a consistent 32%, and her sales had plummeted. How were things going to wrong when they had been going so well, for so long?
First, let’s back up. An email marketing open rate of 20% is great for any industry. Twenty-five percent is something to cheer for. A 38% open rate, especially a consistent one is amazing. Add to that a conversion rate of 12% (we hope for 3%) and that’s also pretty incredible. So… what went terribly wrong? Her excellent conversion and engagement rates disguised her need to build her audience.
I will be the first one to tell you that a smaller, engaged audience is ten times more valuable than a larger, disinterested one. However, there’s a tipping point, and it’s a fine balance.
Here are some guidelines to help:
- Try to keep your email open rate at the 20-25% range. If you’re below that, work on engaging your current audience. If you’re above that, build your audience.
- Try to keep your (organic) social media engagement rate between 5-15%. If you’re above that, build your audience. If you’re below that, work on engagement.
- Try to keep your conversion rate (per post or email) between 1-3%. If you’re above that, build your audience. If you’re below that, (you guessed it) engage them.
See the pattern? We all know that conversion and engagement rates can be too low, but we rarely think about them being too high.
In short, keeping your conversions and engagement at a healthy level is a constant cycle of build >> engage >> build >> engage. How do you do that?
The three Cs. Engagement relies on great content… a topic which we explore extensively on this blog. Building relies on collaboration (guest blogging, press releases, partnerships, sponsorships, etc.), Building also relies on lead capture… if you haven’t examined where and how you are getting email opt-ins recently, please do!
In addition to the three Cs, a final tip I will give to those who’ve reached a consistently high engagement and conversion rate and need to grow their audiences: You’re ready for paid traffic. Next week I will discuss the best and most economical way to get started in that realm of digital marketing.