One of the most important (and most commonly misunderstood) concepts in digital marketing is the conversion. In this article, we will define conversions, their importance, and offer resources to track and understand conversions while using Feathr.
A conversion is when someone performs the goal activity of a campaign, after interacting in some way with that campaign. For example, if the goal of your campaign is to increase event attendance, someone converts from a prospect to an attendee when they are influenced by your campaign to purchase a ticket. And because conversions are a metric of digital advertising, they can be easily tracked in a variety of ways.
Defining your own conversions
Now that you know what a conversion is, it's important to define what a conversion means to you for your own campaign. Typically it will be an activity a member of your digital audience can take that satisfies the reason you're marketing to them in the first place. Running a conference? A conversion will likely mean a sold ticket. Promoting a fundraiser? A conversion will likely mean a donation. And so on.
Conversions are often, but not always, a financial transaction. When a conversion is a financial transaction, it helps to measure the value of conversions against the budget of their associated campaign (shown as conversion value in Feathr reports).
Simple awareness campaigns are a general exception to this because when the goal is awareness, there is no transaction involved. In those campaigns, the conversion activity may be to submit an online form or even simply to view a page.
We recommend defining what a conversion will be for any given campaign well before you publish it. That way your creatives, your chosen audience, and your campaign dates can all be created to optimize for conversions. Ask yourself, "what do I want people to do after seeing my ad?"
Tracking conversions in Feathr
Once you've decided what activity will represent a conversion in your campaign, your next job is to accurately set up conversion tracking in Feathr. In order to track conversions in Feathr, two conditions must be met:
- Ad activity such as views and clicks must be tracked in Feathr.
- The "moment of conversion" must be visible by Feathr.
Fortunately, number one above is inherent to Feathr. Because the Feathr Super Pixel is natively embedded into every ad impression and installed on your website, no special effort is required in order to track ad activity.
Number two, however, may require the installation of the Super Pixel or other tracking code at the place of conversion. Here's why: much of the time, conversion activity takes place somewhere other than your own website, especially if the conversion involves a transaction. A registration vendor, a payment processing vendor, or any other 3rd party involved in the transaction represents a website you cannot edit directly. Because of this, some preparation and communication with those 3rd parties may be necessary before conversions can be fully tracked. Thankfully, conversion tracking is a common use case and they will likely be familiar with that requirement. Please read the linked articles below to learn more about setting up conversion tracking:
How to ask your vendors to place the Super Pixel
How to use Advanced Conversions
Additionally, Feathr offers two modes of conversion tracking: single- and multi-convert. Single-convert is intended for campaigns where an individual is unlikely to convert more than once, and tells Feathr to only count the first conversion. Event tickets are a typical use case for single-convert mode since one individual only needs one ticket and any additional ticket sales to that person may be a mistake.
Multi-convert tells Feathr to count all conversions by the same individual. Donations are a good use case for multi-convert mode, since the same individual could donate more than once over the course of a fundraising campaign. Read more about multi-convert here.
Conversion value explained
As mentioned above, Feathr campaign reports contain a section called Conversion value. This is, in essence, your return on investment for any given campaign. When defining a campaign's conversion goal, Feathr will prompt you to enter a value for that goal. Generally, a conversion value falls into one of three categories:
- Fixed value
- Dynamic value
- Qualitative value
A fixed value is when the conversion activity for a campaign is always worth the same amount. For example, if your campaign is targeting potential event attendees and your event ticket costs $399, then you can mark your conversion value as $399 (or alternately, whatever your actual net profit is) and know that for every conversion in your campaign, Feathr will add another $399 to the conversion value section of your report. This is the most straightforward way to assess conversion value.
A dynamic value is when a single conversion activity could have a range of real monetary values. A fundraising campaign is a good example, because any donation could be counted as a conversion, whether it's $10 or $10,000. To accurately track this possibility in Feathr requires some additional code that can parse the differences. Use this guide to advanced conversions if your campaign falls into this category.
A qualitative value is when a conversion activity for your campaign does not have a monetary value, but it is nonetheless important to track. The aforementioned awareness campaign is a good example of this. The goal for a campaign like that might be to get email subscribers. Many Feathr customers simply put $1 as the conversion value for campaigns like that.
Conversion attribution models
Now that you know what conversions are, you might want to know more about the methods behind calculating them. Conversion attribution models are a set of choices you have as a user to determine how and when a conversion is calculated. They become more important once there are multiple campaigns running simultaneously where the same person might view ads from any of them. Read our guide to conversion attribution models here. Note that the default conversion attribution model will work well for most users, so understanding attribution models is by no means a prerequisite to accurate conversion reporting, but the information is there for the curious.