Hard vs Soft Conversions

Conversion OptimizationVideo🕑 Reading Time: 2 Minutes

In this Insivia Insight, Justine differentiates between the two types of conversions: hard conversions and soft conversions. It’s not wise to hyperfocus on one and ignore the other, yet this is still a pretty common practice. First, let’s define the two.

Hard Conversions

Hard conversions are the more “traditional” types of conversions. These can be phone calls, contact form submissions, or even demo or trial sign ups for SaaS companies.

Above anything else, the defining characteristic of a hard conversion is clear intent. The lead has done their homework, and they like you. They want to give your goods or services a test drive, or plunge deep into the consideration phase of the sales funnel before ultimately pulling the trigger and making a buy decision.

Soft Conversions

Soft conversions are a little different. These buyers are just dipping their toes in the water and are a little farther away from a buy decision. The defining characteristic of a soft conversion is clear interest.

Examples of soft conversions are newsletter signups, premium content downloads (white papers, slideshares, etc.), seminar/event registration, and social shares/likes.

Leads that perform a soft conversion action are either not ready to buy, or not sure if they want to buy from you yet. Think of it as a first date. Don’t screw it up.


Though it’s natural to want to focus on hard conversions more than soft conversions, that can be a mistake. The best approach is to keep the two in balance. Will every newsletter or email signup eventually buy from you? No, of course not. But even if they don’t, they could recommend you to somebody who will buy.

On the other hand, many make the mistake of focusing too much on soft conversions. Social media shares, email list signups, and/or event registrations are not an end in themselves; they are a means to an end. They are great for getting leads into your marketing ecosystem, but once they are there, further action is needed.

Once you get people into your marketing ecosystem though either type of conversion, it’s important to follow up. Be consistent in your messaging and engage your leads with your brand through your normal marketing channels to create positive associations and experiences.

Want to learn how to increase your conversions? We’d love to help. Take a look at our conversion optimization services and contact us today for a free consultation.