Conversions: The Trickiest Marketing Agency KPI to Get Right

Published on: | Updated on: | Daniel Laloggia

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the backbone of marketing, but also one the trickiest things to properly select.  

Whether you have an internal marketing team or have hired a growth marketing agency, KPIs are what will tell you if marketing campaigns are doing what they’re supposed to do. 

There are tons of KPIs out there, but a popular one is simply “conversions.” Not vague at all, right? Conversions are important KPIs for a reason if handled correctly.  

Keep reading for everything you need to know about conversions so that you and your growth marketing agency avoid the pitfalls and only reap the benefits of reporting on conversions. 



A Brief Recap: Let’s Talk About Growth Marketing Agency KPIs 

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you measure the performance of your business. When you hire a growth marketing agency of any kind, KPIs are especially crucial in making sure that your external marketing partner is creating campaigns with the right success rates and reports in mind.  

KPIs in general can be a bit tricky to navigate. Some agencies will report on the KPIs that show the biggest numbers (like clicks and impressions, for example) so they can keep their client happy (often called “vanity metrics”). But by doing this, they avoid reporting on what actually matters, like discovery calls and revenue. 

Of course, the right KPIs vary depending on agency type. For more details on what KPIs are right for specific types of marketing agencies, check out The Complete Guide to Working with a Growth Marketing Agency (Without Going Broke) 

Conversions: Can’t Live with Them, Can’t Live Without Them 

One incredibly popular KPI often thrown around is “conversions.” Conversions refer to any specific, measurable action that you want your visitors to take. For example: 

  • Signing up for a newsletter 
  • Downloading an e-book or whitepaper 
  • Buying a product 
  • Subscribing to a podcast or blog 
  • Filling out a contact form 
  • The list goes on! 

Conversions can be difficult for growth marketing agencies to measure because the term itself is quite general and can encapsulate many things. That’s why conversions have to be clearly defined regularly. Otherwise, you’ll spend time and budget on trying to get higher numbers on a metric that’s irrelevant while ignoring the metrics that provide real insight into campaign performance. 

Defining Conversions (What Could Possibly Go Wrong?) 

Although conversions are often a critical KPI for growth marketing agencies, it can be hard to clearly define what a conversion is. As a result, many teams struggle with calculating conversions and accurately attributing value to them. 

Consider doing the following to define and calculate your conversions: 

  1. Before you begin, define the problem and create a solution. Whether it’s getting more sales leads or increasing traffic to your website, define what success looks like before starting on a solution. That way, you avoid building in wasted landings pages that don’t convert well—or worse, building something no one wants at all.  
  2. Make sure everyone on the team understands the goals and ideal conversion rate percentage (CRP) for a particular campaign. This allows them each to keep focused on their specific role within the team while still being held accountable for results across the board. It also promotes the alignment that is a hallmark of marketing success. 
  3. With conversions set, create campaigns centered around the best practice of conversion rate optimization (CRO). 
  4. As campaigns progress, make sure your marketers are always keeping KPIs and conversions in mind, and adjusting them if needed. 

And remember, if it doesn’t seem like conversions are the right KPI for a particular campaign, that’s okay, too! KPIs should be set on a case-by-case basis and constantly monitored in case they need changing. 


A well-designed conversion KPI can be a powerful ally in the field of growth marketing. But it's also one of the most difficult KPIs to define. 

Conversions are tricky enough that many companies opt not even try calculating them, instead using more straightforward numbers like cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS). But if you're going all-in on growth marketing and want to get serious about measuring its impact, conversions matter—and figuring out how best to measure them will help ensure that those metrics reflect success rather than failure. 

Want to Know More? 

Ready to partner with growth marketing agency that will help you set and attain the right KPIs for you? Get in touch today! 

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