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Need help estimating a percentage

     
3:33 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A friend of mine is about to run a test and he is looking to establish a baseline for success. He runs a specialized directory whereby it simply lists companies. He is looking to add functionality to the website whereby visitors can post a question (anonymously and free of charge) to the companies listed in the directory.

My question is: What percentage of visitors do you think would submit a question to the companies listed in the directory? 1% , 5%, 10% 20%? Can anyone draw from past experiences to offer up a suggested percentage?

What percentage, in your opinion, would be considered a success? (assuming that was the main goal of the website).

I know I am limited in details, but I can't directly reference the website............Again, if you have any past experience to help us come up with educated guesses, that would be great. Right now we are trying to pick numbers out of thin air.

3:39 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only percentages I can draw on are sales percentages which average 3% conversion on most sites but I hear tales of 20% and more. I think the answer will be in how the value of posting questions on the site is perceived and explained - if people understand exactly how their posts will be handled and real companies will respond to them the potential for success is higher.

In my experience, typically it's only the DIGRUNTLED people posting which you can easily see in the AdSense forum.

3:52 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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you reference a 3% conversion on SALES...... That is an interesting number...........I wonder if our percentage would be higher because we are simply inviting the user to submit a question to the listed companies...There is no obligation to buy anything, and an email address isn't even required.

If we could get 10% of all visitors to submit a question to the companies, I would be very happy. Think this is in the realm of possibility?

4:06 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You might want to ask the Brett about this as I'm sure there is a ton of lurkers and visitors to webmasterworld that never submit anything. I've run forums before and that was pretty much the norm.

Like I said, it depends on the perceived value to the visitor. If visitors think someone will actually READ what they write and maybe reply, the percentage could be very high. Depends on how you market and position the site, if visitors can't figure out they can email these companies within 5-10 seconds of hitting the page I'd say the percentage will be lower.