Sales Letter Conversion Rates - Authoritative Statistics??

13 replies
Mind if I ask a quick question?

You've probably already heard the quote "the average sales letter converts at an industry average fo 1-2%..."

Well can anyone else point to an authoritative source on these statistics?

The Direct Marketing Association has some statistics on clickthrough and open rates that I refer to, but haven't seen anything on "industry average" conversion rates.....

Thanks in advance!
#authoritative #conversion #conversion rates #letter #rates #sales #sales letter #statistics
  • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
    p.s.
    here's the link to the study I mentioned on OPEN RATES & CTR's NOT traditional long form sales letters....
    DMA Releases 2010 Response Rate Trend Report
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  • Profile picture of the author docsulo
    Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

    Mind if I ask a quick question?

    You've probably already heard the quote "the average sales letter converts at an industry average fo 1-2%..."

    Well can anyone else point to an authoritative source on these statistics?

    The Direct Marketing Association has some statistics on clickthrough and open rates that I refer to, but haven't seen anything on "industry average" conversion rates.....

    Thanks in advance!
    The problem with averages and response rates in the "industry" in general is that you are dealing with businesses that would prefer that their competitors don't get this information. So it's not like data collection is completely open. That said - good list brokers can often give you some really detailed info in specific areas (generalities don't really matter do they?). Just watch out - IMHO list brokers are usually a very small step up from lawyers, crooks and thieves. - (not kidding - find someone you can trust).
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by docsulo View Post

      The problem with averages and response rates in the "industry" in general is that you are dealing with businesses that would prefer that their competitors don't get this information. So it's not like data collection is completely open. That said - good list brokers can often give you some really detailed info in specific areas (generalities don't really matter do they?). Just watch out - IMHO list brokers are usually a very small step up from lawyers, crooks and thieves. - (not kidding - find someone you can trust).

      Thanks. I'm actually doing some research for an article and for possibly hiring copywriters. It makes sense to know what (rough) industry averages are as ideally you want to hire someone who can perform "above average".

      Edit:
      I found this, but it looks a bit dated
      http://www.internetretailer.com/2006...ays-megaview-r

      "While the industry’s conversion rate hovers around 2.5%, several retailers far exceed that, according to Nielsen/NetRatings’ MegaView Retail Report for January. The Top 10 online retailers based on conversion rates in January were:
      proflowers.com, 14.1%
      Coldwater Creek, 13.3%
      FTD.com, 13.0%
      QVC, 12.8%
      Office Depot 5 Office Depot Inc. Office Supplies Online Sales:$4,100,000,000 Growth:-14.6% See More , 12.4%
      eBay, 11.5%
      Lands’ End, 11.5%
      Tickets.com, 11.2%
      1800flowers.com, 10.0%
      Amazon, 9.6%

      Nielsen/NetRatings defines conversion rates as the proportion of unique visitors to a site who become buyers.
      Online sellers

      Of course we know that things like warm vs. cold traffic is a factor. But I just want to know if there's any benchmark studies out there which can tell you what happens when a unique visitor hits a webpage for the first time (let's say it's from search engines to keep it simple....paid or seo....)
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
        Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

        Of course we know that things like warm vs. cold traffic is a factor. But I just want to know if there's any benchmark studies out there which can tell you what happens when a unique visitor hits a webpage for the first time (let's say it's from search engines to keep it simple....paid or seo....)
        Maybe something on a site like Marketing Sherpa but like Rick mentioned, most savvy business owners won't publicly reveal their conversion rates.

        Four quick reasons...

        1. It leads to increased competition and knock-off products.

        2. It leads to people swiping their copy to use on their own sites and products. Case in point... I ran a WSO for my testing software a few years ago where I used the phrase "Split Testing on Steroids". Since then, I've seen dozens of similar "On Steroids" headlines in the Warrior Forum and online.

        I'm not upset about it... but it's a clear example of how quickly ideas and even copy get swiped or ideas recycled online.

        3. It depends on the niche, product/service being sold, price point, and how well you target. Typically, the higher the price point the lower the conversion rate.

        4. On some products/services you don't care about a low conversion rate... you're more worried about ROI or getting buyers into that part of your marketing funnel.

        Hope that helps,

        Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

    Mind if I ask a quick question?

    You've probably already heard the quote "the average sales letter converts at an industry average fo 1-2%..."

    Well can anyone else point to an authoritative source on these statistics?

    The Direct Marketing Association has some statistics on clickthrough and open rates that I refer to, but haven't seen anything on "industry average" conversion rates.....

    Thanks in advance!
    I have not heard that.

    And I would personally be are pressed to believe anything from "an authoritative source."

    I mean c'mon, think about it...

    Cold or warm list? It makes a difference.

    Endorsed or unendorsed? That make's a HUGE difference.

    Online or offline? Yes, obviously that makes a difference...

    I could go on.

    Trying to pigeonhole conversion rates is a waste of time unless it's relative to an existing control.

    - Rick Duris
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    I quoted the MegaView Retail Report stats in my report The Secrets Of A 10% Conversion Rate, and one thing to bear in mind with sites like Amazon.com and Proflowers.com is that their visitors are usually PRESOLD.

    If you're going to Amazon, chances are you're already in BUYING or THINKING OF BUYING mode... because it's essentially a digital shop store.

    In fact, when you think of it... 9.6% is quite LOW for what Amazon is... a digital shop store. It means that 9 out of 10 people who "enter the store" leave without buying.

    When you're talking about the "Internet Marketing" industry, I don't know if a comprehensive study is available... but conversion rates vary wildly.

    I've seen some products convert as low as 0.5%, especially when we're talking about "cold" traffic.

    On the other hand, many marketers can achieve over 10% when they presell, and train their affiliates to presell.
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  • Profile picture of the author xerlynne
    IMHO if an internet marketing product gets 0.5% conversion rate from cold traffic, that's considered pretty good already.
    With all the hypes & "scam factor" associated with all those products, it's tough to sell to cold visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
    It's always sensible to have a benchmark - NO MATTER HOW ROUGH IT IS.

    Also, you can't mention any kind of stats in a b2b type of publication without any kind of references to some kind of (even "semi") authoritative source.

    Thanks for the info and comment paul. I've found this so far (below) and it's better than nothin'!

    The Average Conversion Rate: Is It a Myth? | ClickZ

    DMA Releases 2010 Response Rate Trend Report

    Industry Statistics - Proflowers leads in conversion rates in January, says MegaView Report - Internet Retailer
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

      It's always sensible to have a benchmark - NO MATTER HOW ROUGH IT IS.
      So set your own benchmark for your own product by tracking your own conversion rates. Do some multi-variate or split testing and see if you can raise your conversion rates even higher.

      There is no cookie-cutter benchmark that works for every type of niche... every type of product... every type of visitor (presold, cold, warm, targeted, untargeted, etc.) hitting your site... or every economic condition in whatever part of the world your unique visitor is located in.

      Find what works for your product and keep testing & refining it from there.

      Good luck,

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    The goal is to get a conversion rate of at least 1% – ideally closer to 3%.
    Chris McNeeney writing on the Clickbank blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    who cares about conversion rates?

    all i care about is money in, money out.

    if i spend x amount on traffic, how much is that gonna make me.

    if i converted at .5% but still was profitable, who cares?
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam98
    I never heard that..
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