Macro vs Micro Conversions: What’s the Difference?

Macro vs Micro Conversions: What’s the Difference?

8 Min Read

As you create and launch ad campaigns, you may be setting lofty goals related to your desired number of conversions. You might be tempted to measure the total number of customers driven by each campaign and use it to calculate your return on investment.

But if you’re not measuring the right KPIs and metrics, you may be missing the big picture. Accounting for micro, as well as macro conversions, will give you a clearer assessment of how well your marketing campaigns are building awareness, driving traffic to your brand, and converting leads into customers.

This guide on macro vs. micro conversions lays out everything you need to know to better understand your marketing goals and successes.

What are Macro Conversions?

Macro conversions refer to the main action you want customers to take. If you’re running an e-commerce site, this would be when a buyer makes a purchase. If you’re running a software as a service (SaaS) company, your primary aim may be to get potential customers to sign up for a free trial or subscribe at the end of their trial period.

What you consider a macro conversion will differ based on your goal. If you’re running a lead generation campaign, a macro conversion could be as simple as someone signing up for a sales meeting. Ultimately, macro conversions represent your primary goal – converting prospects into customers. 

Importance of Macro Conversion Tracking

When people refer to tracking conversion rates following ad campaigns, they are usually referring to macro conversions. By measuring how many people were prompted to take a specific action, you can understand your overall success rate.

Keeping track of macro conversions lets you assess which of your ad strategies are most effective at driving customers. You can also learn more about your customers’ preferences based on which messages or products are most successful.

Conversely, you can assess which marketing campaigns were less successful and do a deep dive to understand why. Perhaps you weren’t highlighting the right benefits of your product, or you weren’t successful in differentiating yourself from competitors.

Looking at your successful campaigns and comparing them to those that didn’t convert as many customers, you can make adjustments.

Examples of Macro Conversions

Macro conversions differ based on your goals and industry. Use these examples as a guide to set your conversion goals and key performance indicators.

  1. Making a purchase – customers adding products to their cart and completing a purchase is the ultimate macro conversion. 
  2. Subscribing to a paid service – increase this macro conversion rate for a steady stream of revenue. 
  3. Registering for an event – if you’re charging for an event, or if registrations are your ultimate campaign goal, this would be a macro conversion. 
  4. Filling out a long-form lead generation form – this could be considered a macro or micro conversion based on your overall goal. 
  5. Requesting a quote – when customers request a quote, it indicates that they are ready to buy. 
  6. Signing up for a free trial – this is another example of a macro or micro conversion. Track it based on your ad campaign goals. 
  7. Requesting a consultation – potential customers typically won’t sign up for a consultation unless they’re seriously considering your company. 
  8. Downloading a white paper or e-book – these types of gated content are great for motivating potential customers to learn more. 
  9. Upgrading to premium service – you can track this macro conversion for existing or new customers who opt for the premium service upfront. 
  10. Donating to a charity or cause – if you’re a non-profit or your company is partnering with an organization, calculate donations as your macro conversions. 

What are Micro Conversions

Micro conversions refer to actions potential customers take that let you know that they are interested in your brand and are considering becoming a customer. Although micro conversions aren’t as profitable as macro conversions, they are still vital to your company. Think of a micro conversion the same way you would think of a warm lead—they may not be ready to buy now, but they are definitely interested in learning more about you.

Importance of Tracking Micro Conversions

Measuring micro conversions gives you insights into how potential customers are interacting with your brand. You can see which parts of your website are drawing the most interest, which products people are adding to their carts and abandoning, and which pieces of content get the most engagement.

Micro conversions help you adjust your advertising campaigns to potentially get more macro conversions. For example, when you know which social media platform draws the most traffic, you can either focus on engaging users in one place or ramp up efforts on your other platforms.

It’s also important to track micro conversions to let you know your weaknesses. For example, if multiple people are adding items to their carts without making a purchase, you may want to evaluate your checkout process. There is likely some part of it that is making people turn away from your website.

Tracking micro conversions also helps you build retargeting ads and other methods of nurturing warm leads.

Examples of Micro Conversions

Use these examples of micro conversions to set your campaign goals and key performance indicators.

  1. Clicking a link or button – people who click on links to products, content, or other parts of your website are interested in learning more about your brand. 
  2. Adding a product to a cart – when someone abandons their cart, you can take steps to find out why and improve your checkout process. 
  3. Subscribing to a newsletter – your newsletter subscribers are interested in engaging with you. Use your newsletter to build your credibility with potential customers. 
  4. Watching a video – videos are a great source of content, and they can lead to more macro conversions. 
  5. Filling out a form – this action could also be a macro conversion. Track it based on your overall campaign goal. 
  6. Clicking to call or chat – potential customers who contact your support team may end up buying from you later. 
  7. Adding a bookmark or favorite – when someone favorites your website, they are likely planning to come back. 
  8. Following on social media – social media is another great way to foster a trusting relationship with your potential customers.
  9. Using a product comparison tool – potential customers at this stage are likely trying to see how you stack up against your competition. 
  10. Checking store or product availability – maximize this micro conversion by making sure your inventory system is consistent and up to date.

Related: What Is a Conversion Funnel? Ecommerce Funnel Explained

Summary of Key Differences

Macro conversions refer to the total number of people who took your primary desired action, whether that’s buying a product or booking a consultation. Micro conversions are small actions people have taken that show you they may be interested in purchasing in the future.

Measuring macro conversions gives you an idea of each campaign’s overall success rate. It also helps you understand which of your campaigns are performing well. So, you can refine your messages based on customer behavior.

Measuring micro conversions gives you more insight into how people are interacting with your brand and which specific parts of your messaging are resonating with them. Knowing how many micro conversions you’ve made with various ads also helps you gauge your messaging success.

By measuring micro conversions, you can also get a better idea of the overall user experience, as well as how they are being introduced to your brand. It’s a great way to optimize your sales funnel to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

Why You Need to Be in Alignment on Both

Measuring macro vs. micro conversions together gives you a better understanding of the customer journey from start to finish. By assessing which touchpoints are most successfully driving traffic to your site, you can have your marketing team focus on them.

You can also see which marketing actions may be more successful at driving macro conversions in the future. Tracking micro conversions lets you create retargeting ads and other nurturing campaigns you can use to keep potential customers interested.

How Connected TV Can Get the Ball Rolling

Connected TV (CTV) ads offer you the best of traditional advertising and digital campaigns in one platform. You get the creativity of television advertising with the ability to target customers based on specific metrics like you would with pay-per-click and social media campaigns.

MNTN’s unique CTV advertising solution lets you tailor your television ads the same way you would with a paid search. Launch prospecting campaigns to drum up interest in your brand and encourage micro conversions.

Else, you can use CTV platforms to drive macro conversions with messaging that resonates with your target audience. MNTN Performance TV offers you performance metrics and data you can use to refine your ads until you find the best strategy. Unlike traditional television advertising, Performance TV lets you do A/B testing with smaller audiences to find the right blend of targeted message and receptive audience.

You can also use MNTN to retarget people who have visited your website based on their past behavior. This type of marketing lets you capitalize on interest and potentially convert more customers.

Sign up for a demo today and find out how we can help you grow your business.

Macro vs. Micro Conversions: Final Thoughts

Although macro conversions are your ultimate advertising goal, there is something to be said for tracking micro conversions. Macro conversions lead to more revenue and help you keep your business growing. They also help you set and achieve bigger goals based on past successes.

But micro conversions help you map out the journey your customers take from information gathering to purchase. Even if an ad campaign didn’t result in your expected number of sales, it could have generated large amounts of web traffic.

Micro conversions also help you assess which parts of your marketing strategy aren’t as successful. You get an idea of how far your customers are going through the sales funnel, which helps you strategize ways to push them toward a sale.

Measuring macro and micro conversions helps you plan your marketing efforts and allocate resources toward your most successful platforms. It also helps you understand user experience and tailor it to make it more effective.

Tracking both of these metrics offers a holistic view of your marketing successes and helps you improve.