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Are you tracking anti-conversions?

Any digital marketer worth their salt is tracking conversions. (I am not sure how much salt is worth, but stick with me here.) And that’s good–we want to count when users do what we want them to. But are you counting what you don’t want them to do?

I work with many clients to improve their customer experience, and that often requires that we measure completion of tasks or other types of conversions. But there are many situations that make it hard to define conversions. Most support experiences, for example, are successful if the user finds the answer, but there is not much to indicate that this has occurred. That’s where the anti-conversion come in.

An anti-conversion is when the user does something you really wish they wouldn’t do, such as a request a support chat, or call your phone desk. You don’t want them to do these things because they cost a lot more than if the user had found the answer independently on your site. These actions aren’t usually that hard to count, but do you track them?

Going further, do you total up what these anti-conversions cost you? Somebody knows what each support chat costs. Someone else knows the price tag of a support phone call. Keeping track of what these anti-conversions cost can help make the case for improving customer experience–especially site search–to help more customers succeed with self-service web actions than resorting to chat and calls that require human intervention.

If you’re not tracking your anti-conversions, let us know why not in the comments.

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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