Marketing and advertising optimisation may not be all that it seems. For all that’s written about conversion rate optimisation and how to improve it, very little is written about the part the actual product or service plays in the process.

Not surprisingly the type and quality of your product or service has a huge impact on your sales conversion rates. 

This was brought home to me recently when one of my clients launched a new product range that saw conversion rates go through the roof.

Across all marketing channels conversion rates doubled and even tripled because of the new products.

Even Adwords, which is always the runt of the online marketing litter, had sales conversion rates up around 5%.

Email and organic search conversion rates were up to around 20%.

Good Products Sell, Bad Ones Don’t

This is actually not a new phenomenon. We’ve been observing this characteristic with this client for over a decade, and the results are undeniable:  Some products simply convert better than others because the customers want them more.

It has nothing to do with how persuasive your copy is, how well your page is laid out, your killer value proposition or exquisitely crafted call to action.

It comes down to: “Gimme gimme gimme, yes, yes, yes I want this but not that, I buy, buy buy.”

OK, so yes I am playing Devil’s Advocate here, but as I said we have over ten years of data to back this up. The client in question has a fairly strict approach to marketing product descriptions that hasn’t changed in that time. Neither has the basic page design, although it has been prettied up and modernised over the years.

But in essence the basic factors haven’t changed; the only variable that changes is the product.

Keep Swinging

Tom Peters calls this having an “At bat strategy.” That is keep swinging until you hit a six (home run).  Keep developing new products and services until you hit upon one that people crave.

Even Apple openly admits it had no idea the iPhone would be as successful as it has become, it just kept innovating until it made one that people fell over themselves to have.

"A gifted product is mightier than the gifted pen." - David Ogilvy

But Don’t Forget to Come to Early Morning Training

I’m not saying abandon developing your unique value propositions and clear calls to action (they are after all part of my stock and trade). What I am saying is don’t get caught up trying to optimise marketing material for a product that isn’t going to sell very much.

Good marketing and advertising optimisation techniques will help you sell even more of a great product, but they may not do much for an ordinary one.

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