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CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): What is it and How to Apply it in Marketing?

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Do you know how to use CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) to increase your business' sales? 

To understand CRO, think of a system of water pipes in a house. The pipes must carry water from a cistern to the taps and, along the way, there are valves that are opened and closed to control the flow.  

One day, the water stopped coming out of one of the taps and the residents called a fireman to fix the problem. The professional then assesses the valves and discovers that one of them has closed. He then uses his tools to reopen the valve and restore the flow. 

CRO is like a hydraulic fireman, looking for where there are blockages to lead conversion. Their job is to find these impediments and fix each one, increasing the conversion rate and the success of a company's marketing strategy. 

In this article, we'll explain in detail what CRO is and how you can use this tool to increase your sales. Let's go? 

What is CRO? 

The term Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is translated into Portuguese as Optimização da Taxa de Conversão. In short, CRO is a set of techniques for improving the conversion rate of a given process. 

And what is conversion rate? 

Before talking about conversion rates, we need to understand what a conversion is. A conversion is a numerical indicator that shows how many users have carried out a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling in a form or signing up for a newsletter. 

Consequently, the conversion rate is the proportion of visitors who carry out a desired action in relation to the total number of visits. The formula for this calculation looks like this:

Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversions / Total Number of Visitors) x 100

Here's an example: The website of a pet store had 1,000 visitors during the week. 50 of them made a purchase. The conversion rate would be:

Conversion Rate = (50 / 1000) x 100 

Conversion rate = 5%

In other words, the conversion rate of visitors to the site was 5%. And the same conversion rate can be used to count any planned action, for example:

  • Subscriptions to a newsletter;
  • Shopping in e-commerce;
  • Hits on a landing page;
  • Online demo requests;
  • Participation in an event. 

What are the techniques for CRO? 

CRO techniques for optimizing the conversion rate can be used at every stage of a user's conversion process, from motivating them to buy through the offer to taking impediments into account. 

To demonstrate some of these techniques, we'll use the stages of the conversion process as starting points. 


For a user to do something, they need to be encouraged. 

When a company offers its products to babies, it is motivating mothers, fathers and relatives to make a purchase. However, if this offer is made to a person who has no contact with babies, it is not capable of motivating a conversion. 

With this example in mind, understand that offers must be aligned with customers' needs and expectations in order to be motivating. The more aligned they are, the greater the conversion capacity. 


To create offers that are more attractive, you need to know who the people are who can buy your product or service. By knowing their needs, desires and frustrations, you will know how to develop truly motivating offers. 

Start by gathering demographic information, such as the audience's gender and average income. Next, look for information on what products they have previously bought, what they liked or didn't like and what problems they still need to solve. 

This way, you can target your messages to what your customers want to hear. 


Consumers may need incentives to convert. When added to the value proposition and the offer, incentives can push the consumer to take the final step towards purchase.


There are types of incentive that are capable of creating urgency in users.

1. FOMO 

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is the fear of not keeping up with news and trends. This feeling of being "left out" of a group's affairs and, consequently, being excluded, drives people to consume. 

2. Warranty

Fast delivery for that purchase, receiving more samples of other products and free exchanges are some of the guarantees that encourage consumers to buy. Especially when associated with a purchase in a short period of time. 

3. Discount

The most common is a discount. By receiving a special offer for that purchase, users can be encouraged to buy so as not to miss out on the discount. 


In addition to techniques to encourage a purchase, there are techniques to reduce feelings of anxiety that prevent a purchase. Shopping on the web can be the trigger for data theft, especially bank and card details. 

So imagine how a user feels when buying from a new website. Anxiety about online security, receiving the product or service and its quality can lead someone to give up on the purchase. 

Social proof

Social proof is proof from other people that the company, product or service is good. 

In e-commerce, product reviews fulfill this role of social proof, giving users the chance to read the experience of others. So leave the comments open so that people can write and read them. 

Another form of social proof are stamps with information such as:

  • Recommended by several experts;
  • More than 1 million downloads in Brazil;
  • Used by large companies in the market.

With this information, you can reduce the anxiety of buying a product because other people have bought it and had good experiences.

A/B testing

Testing is a technique that can be applied at any stage of the conversion process. 

Tests should be conducted slowly, without testing several elements at the same time. When several tests take place simultaneously, it's easy to lose focus and make unobjective analyses.

So, when you test the new color of a button, email marketing layout or text for an ad, test only that aspect and then move on to the next one.

Another point to consider with A/B testing is that learning is individual. What worked for one company in one market segment may not work for yours. Consequently, collect data on what works for your business and leave guesswork out of the process.


CRO is used by companies looking for ways to maximize their sales. With techniques that motivate, encourage and reduce user anxiety, you'll see conversion rates rise and more sales in the final reports.

Now you know some of them and can start applying them today!

Want to learn more about digital marketing strategies that can result in more sales? Follow the Pareto blog!

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