The Conversion Trinity

  |  June 17, 2011   |  Comments

The three-step magic formula to increase click-throughs and conversions.

Being able to share a great success you have is a nice thing, but it is even better when you have the opportunity to share your students' successes. Over the last couple of years I have seen my students shine writing for publications such as ClickZ, speaking at conferences, generating and publishing interesting research about personas, and of course getting remarkable results for themselves or for clients. I am sure you would love to know the secret to their success?

I went back and analyzed thousands of tests and improvements we made for clients in my 10-plus years running our agency and the success that my early students had, and I was able to narrow it down to what I call the "conversion trinity." This is also the same formula I have shared to help people find big ideas for testing and to ensure they are testing smart variables that won't waste resources but will provide them a lift in click-through rates and conversions.

So What Is the 3-Step Formula of the Conversion Trinity?

  • Relevance. Are you relevant to my wants/needs/desires (search query)? Have you maintained scent?
  • Value. Do I know why you are the right solution for me? Have you explained your value proposition/offer well?
  • Call to action. Is it obvious what I need to do next? Have you given me the confidence to take that action?

Every successful test or ad or landing page improvement has come from enhancing one or more of the trinity factors.

My former student Noran El-Shinnawy did a great job explaining how to use the conversion trinity with email marketing. I'll be sharing with you how to use it to improve the ideas you test and some examples from PPC advertising.

Former student Patricia Hader had her test, which she performed as part of her MarketMotive Master Certification course work, published on We'll look at this test as a great example of using the conversion trinity to improve conversion rates.

Let's start by analyzing Patricia's 52.8 percent boost in newsletter subscriber rate for the New York Public Library.

Here is the before page:


Let's see how she improved the page:


How did it improve:

  • Relevance. The new headline let's people know that this is how to stay up to date with the NYPL instead of just telling them to subscribe to newsletters.
  • Value. A bulleted list of what visitors would get when they subscribe was added, as well as an image and link to a sample newsletter.
  • Call to action. The form was simplified to one field from three fields and a list of check boxes to choose from. Also, the point of action regarding NYPL's privacy was simplified.

The Conversion Trinity for Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Above you have seen an example of how to improve a landing page. Now let's look at a PPC ad and see how we can apply the conversion trinity.

Let's analyze this before and after the PPC ad rewrite from BoostCTR that resulted in a 326 percent increase in click-through rate.





  • Relevance. The new ad focuses in on the need of wanting better PPC ads versus a headline that just said "boost CTR."
  • Value. The new ad includes a specific value of clients seeing a 30 percent higher CTR.
  • Call to action. By adding the word "get" to the guarantee of better ad creative, the phrase was turned into a call to action.

Try a Conversion Trinity Analysis Yourself Now!

Do a search on "cheap hotels NYC" and look at a couple of the ads and landing page combinations. Using the conversion trinity, what would you suggest that these advertisers improve? Share it in the comments below.

Now try it for your top three to five terms.

Look at yours and your competitors' ad/landing page. What could you improve based on your conversion trinity analysis? Feel free to email me what you found.

Looking for more proof that most successful improvement comes from leveraging the conversion trinity? If you look at what MarketingSherpa found as the top four page elements having a significant impact on testing, I think you will see that they are all part of the conversion trinity.


Headline and images are about relevance, body copy is about value, and form layout is about call to action.

Are you focused on using a successful formula or are you just fumbling around hoping to get lucky?

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Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES,, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at

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