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How numbers make you feel


I had a SaaS client with a 0.57% conversion rate and they felt just awful about it.

Their goal was to get that 0.57% to at least 0.62% by the end of the quarter. That would feel better.

They’d watch this number week over week, willing it to go up. Sometimes it did. But sometimes it went down, and this was agonizing.

It would dip down to 0.32% some weeks.

A heat map of their top landing page (the homepage) showed the tiny “Customer Resources” link lit up a brighter orange than any other element on the page.

It turns out that over two thirds of their traffic is from existing customers. Most of these visitors google the company name, click the top result, hit the homepage, and click through to log in.

Segmenting out anybody who visits the login page, we have a much smaller audience with a much higher conversion rate - in this case, 2.1%.

Boom! That’s way better than 0.57% 😁

Of course it doesn’t mean more conversions or revenue. Nothing’s changed about the business. I’m just playing with numbers.

Still, would you rather target an increase in a 2.1% conversion rate among visitors who are not yet customers, or an increase in a 0.57% conversion rate among an anonymous audience three times bigger?

Which number would you rather see in the dashboard you check every week? Which number would you rather put in the reports you send out?

Wouldn’t you feel more motivated to reach a goal that doesn’t start with frickin’ zero?


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© 2022 Brian David Hall