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Conversion optimization has become a big deal in the analytics- and measurement-crazed world of online marketing. At its heart is the singular concept of conversion.

Whether or not you know how to optimize the customer-meets-business interaction, the simple truth is that conversion is the most fundamental element of online business success.

To click or not to click. That is the question.

Conversion's purpose is to provide the maximum return on your marketing spend—a concept rooted in common sense, yet shrouded in the mysteries of behavioral psychology.

Conversion is the mechanism and process of pouring targeted consumers into, through, and out the other side of the marketing funnel. Persuasion is not a dirty word when spoken in the right way, at the right time, to the right person.

That is the essence of "Clicking Me Softly": Convince, don't coerce. Guide, don't deceive.

And remember: Sustainable marketing success is achievable only when you help people get what they want.

Conversion Fundamentals

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Oli Gardner is a co-founder of Unbounce.com—The DIY Landing Page Platform. He writes about conversion-centered design, landing pages, and marketing theory. Reach him via email at oli@unbounce.com and Twitter @unbounce.