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Key takeaways from Epiphany's conversion tracking workshop.

Arianne Donoghue, Paid Media Development Manager

The author

Arianne Donoghue

Paid Media Development Manager

Earlier this week, I ran a workshop at the Paid & Biddable Leaders Masterclass on tracking the value of campaigns.

Having worked in paid media for over a decade, I know that one of its biggest attractions is measurability; the ability to see in black and white exactly what return we generate. However, I also know that one of the biggest flaws is the focus on last-click.

By focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel activity rather than looking at the top of the funnel and previous interactions a customer has had; certain campaigns can be discounted as having no value (particularly display).

So the focus of the workshop was to look at the entire funnel and the micro-moments that sit within it, and look at whether the right KPIs were being tracked at each stage.

For example, what’s the goal of a prospecting campaign? Ultimately, we want it to drive sales, but sometimes this can extend well beyond the scope of a regular 30 or 90-day cookie window.

But if we really think about it, the goal of the campaign in the short-term is to find new users who are unfamiliar with your brand and bring them to the website for the first time. Once this has been done, prospecting has done its job and it’s on to retargeting and paid search to take the user to the point of conversion. Yet the KPI of the end-goal conversion is used, giving no value to this prospecting phase.

Focusing on micro-conversions

We discussed how to start looking at micro-conversions (activities that users engage in before purchasing, e.g. email sign up, PDF download etc.), which forces you to look at more of the multi-channel picture. Avinash Kaushik wrote in detail about this subject almost 10 years ago; and how looking at micro-conversions also allows us to understand the behaviour of distinct personas who use a site.

When we ignore micro-conversions, we’re essentially saying we don’t value the users who spend significant amounts of time on our websites, or those who sign up to our emails; just because they’re not ready to buy right now, doesn’t mean they never will.

Of course, with some of our marketing efforts we can create remarketing lists that target these users to bring them to the point of eventually converting; but the credit for this macro conversion would go to the later activity.

The increased use of attribution and data-driven models in particular is helping to address this issue.

In the workshop session, we discussed some top tips for attributing value correctly across your activity:

  • Ensure you have goals set up to track your micro conversions and assign a value to these.

  • Consider using traffic and brand awareness increase as KPIs for certain types of display and other top-of-the-funnel activities.

  • Remember that in the vast majority of businesses, most customers won’t convert on their very first interaction with a new brand - so the way we measure and report on marketing activity should reflect this.

If you didn’t attend the masterclass event on Tuesday but would like to learn more about tracking and reporting on micro-conversions, feel free to get in touch here or tweet me - @ArianneDonoghue and we can send over the template and starting points discussed at the event.