Clearbit Conversions Overview

What are conversions?

Conversions are events that advertisers send to ad platforms when a prospect or customer completes a desired goal. Typically, B2B advertisers send conversion events when a person:

  • Submits a demo request
  • Downloads content
  • Registers for an event
  • Signs up for a product or trial
  • Installs or uses an in-app feature
  • Reads a blog post or case study
  • Watches a video

Sending conversion events to the ad platforms helps advertisers do three things:

  1. Effectively find and generate high-quality conversions. Ad platforms use sophisticated machine learning models to predict who will convert on each ad they show. These machine learning systems rely on conversion signals to understand what a good outcome means to the advertiser (if the platform knows what a good outcome is, it can find more of them). Without conversion data, or if conversion data is limited, ad platforms become less effective, meaning fewer quality conversions at higher prices.
  2. Manage and optimize bids. In the old days, performance marketers manually moved money around and set bids for different ads, audiences, and campaigns. Now, platforms like Facebook and Google do that work for them (and they do it incredibly well).
  3. Measure attribution for smarter decision making. Advertisers rely on attribution from clicks and views to understand which ads are performing (or not), how they can improve their campaigns, and where to allocate their budgets more effectively.

Sending conversion events

Traditionally, advertisers track conversions by sending javascript events to a 3rd party cookie, which is logged in the user's browser. The cookie (or pixel) uses information it knows about the visitor to match that conversion to an ad click and a user (e.g. a logged-in Facebook or Instagram user).

The problem with 3rd party cookies

3rd party cookie tracking used to be best practice, but privacy regulation and technology has evolved quickly in response.

Ad blockers, browser limitations, and operating system restrictions all block 3rd party cookies from collecting, identifying, and tracking conversion events. This leads to fewer conversion signals, suboptimal targeting, and inaccurate attribution.

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In many ways, these changes benefit marketers as much as they do users. The proliferation of 3rd party trackers slows down websites, can expose sensitive information to devices, and are vulnerable to spam attacks.

But to realize these benefits, advertisers must make a shift... from the browser, to the server.

Server-side conversion tracking

Clearbit Conversions are unique because they are sent to the ad platforms server-to-server.

Server-side event tracking has one major advantage compared to 3rd party cookie events... They cannot be blocked by other systems.

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Server-side conversion events bypass the restrictions imposed by ad blockers, browsers, and operating systems... ensuring 100% of events are sent and received by the advertising platform.

Sending quality and value signals

Server-side events also give the advertiser full control over the passage of data. The advertiser is able determine what information is sent, and what is filtered out (e.g. spam and low quality conversions).

Training advertising platforms to optimize for quality

Platforms like Facebook and Google us conversion events to understand what a good outcome means to you, so that they can find more of them.

Most B2B companies, for example, have some definition of what "quality" means to them. Often this takes the form of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Product Qualified Lead (PQL), or other form of lead grade.

By sending quality conversion signals back to Facebook and Google, the systems can understand the difference between good-fit leads and those pesky student, hobbyists, and spam bots that keep clicking on your ads and filling out your forms.

In other words, by sending higher quality training data to their machine learning models, Facebook and Google can generate higher quality conversions across your social, search, display, and video campaigns.

Improving bid optimization

Not every lead is created equal, and if those leads are qualified.

For example, many B2B companies value enterprise leads more than mid-market or SMB leads. Larger companies tend to have larger budgets, have large contract values, and retain better.

But without defining those values, advertising platforms assume that every lead is the same. Which means that they will bid the same for Enterprise and SMB leads.

Traditionally, advertisers have worked around this by splitting audiences into separate campaigns and managing bids manually. Besides the extra work involved, these techniques are often hard to manage, reduce audience sizes, and cannot be controlled on channels like search.

With Clearbit Conversions, advertisers can assign predicted lead values to each conversion.

This allows advertisers to use Google's Smart Bidding or Facebook's value-based optimization features, which automatically adjust bids based on conversion value (e.g. spending more on high-value leads, and less on low-value ones).

Predictive reporting & budgeting

Sending predicted lead values to platforms like Facebook and Google have another benefit: they allow B2B advertisers to predict revenue outcomes in real-time.

For example, if you know that enterprise content downloads typically generate $2,300 in future revenue, you can send that predicted value to the ad platforms for reporting.

This unlocks the ability for advertisers to report on Predicted ROAS... weeks, months, and sometimes years before that revenue is actually realized.

This means that advertisers can immediately demonstrate the value of their campaigns, make smarter budgeting decisions, and advocate for budget increases without having to wait for a long sales cycle to close.

Conclusion

Clearbit Conversions use server-side event tracking to ensure 100% event tracking. Deep data integrations help train the advertising platforms to find and generate high-quality conversions while maximizing the advertisers's return.

Conversions are an effective way to maximize revenue across all types of Facebook audiences, Google Search ads, Google Display Network (GDN) ads, and Youtube ads.