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How to calculate the ROI of your CRO program

For any online business, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the conversion percentage on the website, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage The Global Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) market is supposed to respond at a growth rate of 9.6% between 2019-2026. Today most of the CMOs and their team are focused on driving traffic toward websites in the hopes that this traffic will convert into qualified leads. But with the increasing competition, penetration of digital platforms and changing consumer behavior it’s really difficult to make your visitors take any desired action on a webpage. And even more difficult is to calculate ROI for your CRO efforts. This is because you can’t point out at one aspect for a better CRO. You have to optimize user experience on your websites and apps, remove bottlenecks from your sales funnel, and work on multiple marketing channels, ads, and many more.

We at Nabler along with our research team and CRO consultants came up with a list of 6 very crucial data points that will help you make decisions on your CRO investments and will also help you calculate your return on conversation optimization. And we have coined a new name for this- Return on Conversation Rate Optimization (RoCRO),. But before we move ahead let us understand why this calculation is so important.

If you are the one who is strategizing and investing resources in getting visitors to your website, this process should be a critical piece of the strategy. Search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, blogging, SEO, and many other optimization efforts should be streamlined with the intent of driving more visitors to your digital platform. Because your website is the critical path for customer acquisition, a small increase in conversion rate has a great impact on the overall revenue.

Unfortunately, the trend shows that when it comes to investing in CRO versus other marketing expenditures, like PPC and others, many tend to lack an objective way to evaluate the decision. This lack of objectivity leads us to justify CRO without clear and compelling KPIs to back it up which can lead to a bad investment decisions.

With the help of this article, we are going to help you with a way to calculate your RoCRO and review some reasons why a CRO program may not always provide you with a positive return.

Calculate How an Increased Conversion Rate Can Impact Your Website

Before you start calculating your ROI, you need to understand your KPIs to make better decisions on CRO investments. To calculate your RoCRO, you need to capture the following 6 data points

  1. Average website sessions per day
  2. Existing website conversion rate
  3. Average order or lead value
  4. Average contribution margin ratio
  5. The estimated annual cost of CRO program
  6. Estimated conversion rate lift from CRO

Reasons for a Negative Return

If you are with us till this point in this article, then for sure you want to know more about how you can convert your negative ROI to a positive one. Below mentioned are few proven reasons which will help you understand the reasons behind your negative ROI.

1. You don’t have enough visitors

The impact you gain from conversion rate optimization is very dependent on audience size. The more your digital platforms are exposed, the more impactful they become. If your audience is too small, then you need a huge conversion rate improvement for the benefit to outweigh the cost.

Contrary to what some “experts” say, you shouldn’t test everything. There are some tactics you can use to mitigate low visitor volume, such as testing boldly and/or extending your test duration, but those work best when testing high value, low volume pages.

If your RoCRO is negative because of low visitor volume, then first you must focus on attracting more visitors to your website . Demand generation activities such as SEO, PPC or advertising on social media can pump up your visitor volume. Once those channels start bringing in the volume, it will be the right time to work on optimization.

2. Check on your conversation rate optimization goal

It’s usually a good idea to keep your expectations in check. However, being too conservative can cause you to pass up on a great opportunity to improve your business.

While it’s true that on average, 1 out of 7 A/B tests produce a winning experience, all you need is one big winner to make it all worth it. If you keep at it and test solid insights, you will find new experiences that have a big conversion rate impact. And the more you leverage good research and experiment design, the more likely are the chances at success.

If you’ve never done any optimization activity, then it’s okay to have expectations because there are probably plenty of opportunities to improve. On the other hand, if you’ve already addressed all the obvious opportunities on your website, then you may want to be a little more conservative because you’ll need to put more effort into finding insights and generating creative ideas.

3. Your CRO costs are too high

Sometimes you’re just investing too much and the return doesn’t make sense. One place to look is to re-evaluate how much you’re paying for your optimization platform. Adobe Target and Optimizely as CRO tools have incredible capabilities, but not everyone needs to spend heavily on those advanced platforms. If you fall into this category, then check out a few less expensive options like Google Optimize, Visual Website Optimizer, Reactful.


CRO should be a profit center and the return on your investment should always be positive. Talk to us to get a better understanding of where you are at in the CRO maturity journey and start on a solid footing! Read our whitepaper on multi-segment and session analysis to get more insights about our CRO process – Click Here

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