Direct Response Copywriter on a Myth About Conversion Percentage

A client just sent me an email about the conversion rate from a letter I wrote. The client sells consulting services to a specific niche.

The conversion rate is low for the letter.

But what is a “good” conversion rate? I’ve heard 3% … or thereabouts. But it’s generally a mistake to focus on conversion rates and related data. Conversion rate is only really useful when it comes to establishing, then beating, a control.

I’m more interested in the actual revenue the copy generates. You can put money in a bank account but you can’t put conversion rate in the bank. I currently have a VSL that’s generating a TON of money for a client. I don’t know the conversion rate. It’s irrelevant until I try to beat the control. Even then, conversion rate is just a number, a statistic.

Back to my client with the low conversion rate. If the conversion rate means he gets just one new client for his services, then the letter has been a raging success. That’s because the lifetime value of that new client will be tens of thousands of dollars. Plus there could be a “knock on” effect as the client tells other potential clients.

As a direct response copywriter, I’m interested in conversion rate … but I’m much more interested in the actual revenue.


I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here when you have a project you'd like to discuss. I'm also a Dan Kennedy certified copywriter for information products.