How to be the Cheerios Guy of Conversion Marketing

“I just lowered my acquisition cost.”

You may remember a series of commercials created for Cheerios® cereal, in which a regular guy goes around compulsively telling people that he lowered his cholesterol, ostensibly by eating Cheerios.

“I lowered my cholesterol,” he would say to bemused strangers. They would then look at him as if to say, “You lowered your social skills, too.”

If you are building a “conversion culture” within your organization, you want the people around you to be looking at you in the same way. Really. You need to be celebrating your wins while communicating to others the importance of “converting” suspects to prospects and sales.

“I just raised my conversion rate,” you might say to the Product Manager before the staff meeting starts. He will be polite, but you know he’s thinking, “Are you a in a cult or something?”
In a way, you are in the cult of conversion. With this simple statement, you’ve accomplished two things. You’ve given yourself a little pat on the back, and you’ve begun to indoctrinate the Product Manager you’re focus on.

Celebrating can be tough. Many of our victories are measured in small percentages. You can’t wait for the monthly executive meeting

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to let people know how you’re doing. Graphs and charts don’t really qualify as celebrating. Celebrate in the break room, after meetings, or over lunch.

“We got 40.2 more leads this quarter,” you might say to the PR Specialist, and they’ll think, “How do you get .2 of a lead?” Regardless, you’ve just communicated that leads are important.

“I just beat my best-performing control,” you could say to the VP of Sales, and she will think, “Wow. You give new meaning to the term ‘Control Freak.’” With time, she will come to understand that you’ve just taken another step up in your craft, and that her team will benefit.

Incidentally, you need to be a “Control Freak” if you’re going to play the Conversion game. Your control is your golden child, the page or process that is performing the best for you. You beat it by testing it against something new and seeing if the new one performs better. The control can be hard to beat, and a short dance is warranted if you do.

The Critical Eye of the Conversion Marketer

The challenge for conversion-focused marketers is that we tend to cast a critical eye on everything. Not content to sit on our laurels, we look for those things on a page or in an ad that may be suppressing clicks, causing people to abandon a form, or impeding purchases. Even when we get a win, we tend to go right into a critical analysis asking ourselves, “How could we do better?”

Take a moment and celebrate your victories.

Celebrate your losses, too. It’s a fine thing to have tested a tactic only to find that it doesn’t perform well. That’s one mistake

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you will avoid in the future. Fist pumps are in order for failures.

“I just killed a really crappy landing page,” you might say to the guy in legal, to which he might reply, “Does that expose us to litigation in any way?”

He’ll learn. They all will. That’s how culture is built.

Hey, I just used the term “Control Freak” in a positive way. FIST PUMP!


Brian Massey is a conversion scientist at online sales conversion firm Conversion Sciences and a frequent PubCon speaker.
Connect with Brian on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe to The Conversion Scientist. Read Brian Massey’s full PubCon speaker biography here.