How many times have you sat at your laptop, logged into your track, only to find you have zero sales conversions.  Zilch.  But you know for a fact in your Infusionsoft account you sold something.  Or vice verse.  You don’t see diddly in your actual merchant processor, but your tracker is reporting all sorts of sales and conversions.  What’s a marketer to do?

When it comes to using marketing metrics to guide us in making intelligent marketing & business decisions, the rubber truly hits the road when it comes to conversion tracking.

From hereon out when I am saying “conversion tracking” I am not talking about tracking optin-rates and such, though obviously important.  I am talking about tracking sales.  Revenue.  Cash dollars.

Because at the end of the day nothing the entire concept of using numbers to make intelligent and objective marketing decisions falls to pieces if you don’t actually know your sales/revenue numbers.  There can be no ROI analysis.  No profit/loss.  No break-even analysis.  No analyzing revenue per lead or average cart value.  All these key, deep funnel metrics rely upon having accurate sales data.

Now here’s where conversion tracking get crunchy…

Keeping it simple, conventional conversion tracking works something like this.  You place a special pixel on the thank you page after a purchase.  This is referred to as the ‘goal url’.  Or you have a sophisticated, unique 1-pixel solution like ConversionFly and you designate the goal URL in your dashboard.  In either case, the way tracking works in this application is when one of your visitors hits that ‘goal url’ a conversion is registered.

What’s wrong with that you say?

Seems pretty simple, logical.  And it is.  And works… most of the time.

Lets look at a couple scenarios to highlight some cracks in the foundation of this conventional approach to conversion tracking.

Conversion Tracking Crack #1: Bob is a Bot

Ok, there are bots out there.  They’re all around us.  All about us.  Not getting nutty here, but fact is Google and a whole lot of other sites use bots to crawl your site.  Most of the times this traffic can be filtered out.  However, not always.  And if a bot searches your directory and finds your goal url’s, Bob the Bot can be ringing up some imaginary conversions on your scoreboard.  That’s the kind of misleading data that can lead to bad marketing decisions.

Conversion Tracking Crack #2: How Did YOU Get Here?

If you have been marketing online for any length of time you know users are unpredictable to say the least.  They will break the unbreakable.  They will walk backwards through a door that says exit-only.  If there is a way to break it, they will find it! 

It is not uncommon for a user who has never purchased anything from you to get a hold of your ‘goal url’ and hit your page.  Imagine sitting back, hi-fiving your spouse as you celebrate a $500 sale.  You re-order the solo-drop you think is responsible.  And get ready for a tidal wave of sales.  Only to uncover Ted O’Toole never bought anything!  He was just messing around visiting your random thank you pages.  Grrrr!  How can you run a business like this?!

Conversion Tracking Crack #3: Count, and Double-Count

Since the conventional approach to conversion tracking is based simply on visiting a specific URL it is vulnerable to double-counting.  It could be something as innocent as a new buyer refreshing or opening a thank-you page a second time in a separate tab.  Or your new buyer visits your ‘goal url’ again at a later time from a different device or browser.  Point is, it’s quite possible using only ‘goal url’ based tracking, your tracking can be double-counting your conversions.

Conversion Tracking Crack #4: I Thought Betty Bought?!

Using ‘goal url’s’ to track conversions can lead to be over-counting as well as under-counting.  A goal is only recognized when a specific url or url containing a specific string such as “order-confirmation” is visited. Lets face it.  As marketers we are constantly testing, tweaking and mixing things up.  Sometimes changing pages and paths daily.

If you have some variation of a page that sends to a different thank you page or an alternate thank you page variation and the url string doesn’t match, those sales conversions will never be tracked.  Betty flies completely under the radar and never hits your scoreboard.  You could be in the process of dialing in a winner and stop dead in your tracks because you mistakenly think your marketing is broken… because you are not seeing any conversions.

As you can see without accurate conversion data, you can’t make intelligent marketing decisions, let alone even successfully run your business.   

Conversion data is the basis for how you spend your marketing dollars and whether you decide to keep moving forward or cut bait and move on with your ad spends.

In the simplest form, if you had to know just one marketing metric to run your business and make a decision on an ad spend it’s this.  How much did you spend on an ad and how much did you make from that ad?

Having the most accurate conversion tracking possible is a must. 

So what’s a serious marketer to do to get the most accurate data possible?

An alternate and more accurate way of tracking conversions is using an approach that leverages something called a “web-hook”.

What the heck is a “web-hook”?

Webhooks are an advanced method of tracking conversions working directly with your payment process.  It is the ultimate solution for conversion tracking accuracy.

A webhook uses something called an HTTP callback.  Essentially what happens is the tracking solution sets up a pathway for the merchant to actual ‘ping’ the tracking solution every time a conversion occurs.  And it only pings when an order is successfully processed.  So instead of relying solely on page visit, you are tracking based on dollars in the bank.  No false conversions.  No undercounting or over-counting.

ConversionFly is now taking conversion tracking to an even higher degree of accuracy for all our users with webhooks.  We have already established direct integration via webhooks with  the most popular payment solutions you are using like PayPal, Stripe, Infusionsoft and SamCart.  Just to name a few.  And more being added weekly.

Just one of the ways ConversionFly is leading the tracking revolution and changing how the smartest online marketers are scaling their businesses.

Remember this.  The intelligent marketing decisions you make in your business are only as good the data you are using to make those decisions.

You business it too important for you to be making your marketing decisions with anything less than the most accurate metrics you can get.