The 2% rule

The more time I spend around web services, the more I see 2% conversion rates show up all over the place. About 2% of people who visit a WordPress.com blog leave a comment. 2% click on “related articles” below a blog post. 2% of Evernote users buy their premium service. Same with 2% of Box.net users. We see similar numbers with WordPress.com premium upgrades. Is this a coincidence, or is there an underlying law that drives this? If you put something for free on the Internet and ask people to engage and take some sort of action, 2% of them will do so on average? I say on average, because I’ve seen 1-5% ranges on various services, but the 2% number seems to be the most common.

9 comments

  1. Donncha

    I think the same is true of anything. Those willing to help out with plugin development, or donate, or help at a club will be a tiny minority of the total users. Is it human nature? Are we all selfish at heart?

  2. Mark Jaquith

    It will be interesting how this changes as the Internet continues to expand its audience. What happens to that number as Internet users become, on the average, less technical?

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  4. Jim McNees

    As contacts multiply and grow exponentially, will the 80/20 rule expire and now new on-line business will expect business from 2% of their on-line business contacts? 98/2 now?

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