Everybody wants the online sale. But are you relating to your customer in ways that make it easier for them to buy? You might be thinking, "How can it get any easier to buy from us? All they have to do is click add to cart, fill in some boxes and hit checkout!" Sure, it might be easy for them to physically buy from you, but how about psychologically? How easy is it for them to make the decision that you are specifically the right choice for them?

They can go to any one of your competitors and hit a few buttons to purchase, get a quote or make a contact. But, there's a buying process that customers go through. For lots of industries, they research and feel out their options before making a choice. So, what's going to make them eventually buy from you specifically? Here's a suggestion...micro-conversions.


Gain a small commitment

What are micro-conversions? They are little commitments made by customers to your site that fall short of becoming a paying customer, but keep them connected to you. For example, they sign up for your email newsletter, download the free version of your software, sign up for a 7-day free trial, fill out a request for quote, or download a whitepaper. None of these are what you're truly after. You're after the sale. But, what must be remembered is the importance and presence of micro-conversions along the buying path.

They are ultra-important because of two psychological principles that work in tandem with each other: commitment and consistency. You see, it's psychologically proven that people have an innate desire to be consistent. In fact, in most societies, people that aren't consistent are looked down upon. Therefore, once a person makes a commitment to something, they have a desire to stay consistent with that commitment.

This can apply to all types of situations. For example, you ever come across a situation where an elected official gets re-elected despite their jurisdiction's conditions being worse since they took office? You may be baffled at how this could happen. But really there's a simple explanation for what seems otherwise ludicrous. For those that voted for the incumbent the first time around, they have a hard time admitting they were wrong. Their desire to stay consistent triggers reasoning in ways that justify their original position; even if hard data says otherwise. It takes more to change their vote the 2nd time around than it took to win their vote the 1st time. After they made a commitment to the candidate, selling them again wasn't as difficult. This is why it's so hard to un-seat an incumbent.

Go from single to dating

For marketing purposes, the micro-conversion can work this way. If you can get a customer to make a small commitment to your brand, it's easier to persuade them to go all-in on your solution than if they never made the initial commitment, especially if that micro-conversion is one that incorporates the principle of reciprocation while delivering high value. Instead of asking to go from single to married in one touch point; you ask to go from single to dating, and then really impress them when you're together! This has much higher conversion rates

First Date.jpg

You know those micro-conversions that you don't have in your online marketing mix, or those that you are not tracking, or those that you haven't applied an economic value to? It's time to re-think their importance and value to your business, as well as strategize how you can better take advantage of them in your sales process.

March 15, 2013

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.


"If you can get a customer to make a small commitment to your brand, it's easier to persuade them to go all-in on your solution than if they never made the initial commitment"

That makes a lot of sense. That initial small commitment gets a customer familiar and comfortable with your brand. It gives you the opportunity to impress them with your knowledge/customer service/etc and make them want to keep doing business with you on a bigger scale.

Sorry! Im not understand what the topic you are covering through this article. please clarify again. thanks.

Do you have any good suggestions as far some good micro-conversions for internet marketing beyond the four that you gave? Would you consider social sharing a micro-conversion?

I would be very interested in what you might suggest!


Micro-conversions are really business-dependent. What small commitment (compared to the larger commitment you want them to make) is going to help your specific customers along in the buying process, as well as activate the principle of reciprocation?

I would not count social shares as micro-conversions because they don't activate permission marketing that allows you to develop the relationship with the customer. On that note, you might count Likes on Facebook or comments on your blog posts as micro-conversions, depending on your business.

For instance, if you're a photographer, Likes on Facebook would likely count as a micro-conversion in my book because they are giving you permission to show them your pictures. This keeps the relationship fresh until it's time for them to purchase pictures. Then, since you've developed a relationship by delivering great pictures for them to consume, they are likely to reciprocate your efforts back to you.

If you're a professional blogger, your macro-conversions might be advertising revenue or e-book sales. If that's the case, comments on your blog or email newsletter sign ups would be great micro-conversions. They are helping to develop the relationship that leads to more pageviews and more revenue when they share with their connections.

Great article.I agree with your points.Thank you for sharing.
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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > Why Micro-Conversions Are So Important For Your Brand