How to Consistently Increase Conversion

Daniel Burstein
Key Takeaways

​What? Marketers are challenged to show ROI and efficiency.

So what? Marketing activities can be difficult to measure with the same precision as business activities such as manufacturing.

Now what? The conversion heuristic helps marketers see the value and relationship of different factors on conversion, helping them emphasize those that are most influential.​​​


Marketing executives are challenged to get consistent performance out of their teams and agencies just as their manufacturing, engineering and business process peers do.

MECLABS Institute​ created the Conversion Sequence Heuristic in 2007 to provide marketers with a process improvement tool. Marketing leaders have used it to help their teams and agencies consistently take a customer-first approach to their initiatives — no longer relying on individual star performers who just happened to have the “golden gut.”

The conversion sequence heuristic is not a formula to solve. Rather, it is a thought tool to help marketers see their messaging through the eyes of the consumer and optimize the factors that influence conversion.

Probability of Conversion

You can never guarantee conversion, but by using this methodology, you can increase its probability. Make sure to choose conversion objectives that serve your ideal customer.

Motivation (of the Customer)

The numbers in front of each letter indicate its impact on the probability of conversion. Tapping into your potential customers’ motivations has the biggest effect on conversion, so it is represented with the largest coefficient.

Clarity of the Value Proposition (Why Act?)

Your value proposition is the appealing, exclusive, credible and clear answer to the question, “If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than any of your competitors?”

Incentive to Take Action

When brands don’t ask for customer-first conversions or have a true value proposition, they try to compensate by overdoing incentives. Incentive is paired with friction in the heuristic because it should only be a little extra something that helps overcome friction, not the entire reason for the customer to act.

Friction Elements of the Process

The minus signs in the heuristic indicate elements that hinder conversion. Friction is an aggravation factor, a psychological resistance to elements in the conversion process.

Anxiety About Providing Information and Receiving Value

Anxiety is another aggravation factor. It’s a psychological (and not always rational) concern stimulated by a given element in the conversion process. Anxiety and friction can never entirely be eliminated, but you can optimize your marketing initiatives to reduce the impact of these elements on conversion.​​​

Daniel Burstein
Daniel Burstein is the senior director of content and marketing at MECLABS Institute. He oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS .