You’re ready to blast out a series of promotions to boost business. Before taking action, consider setting up a system to monitor your efforts. By doing so, you’ll be able to see which one of your strategies best resonates with customers and generates the most sales.
Tracking your campaigns can also help you better manage your marketing budget. “If a program isn’t working, you know not to put your money into that advertising platform any further,” says Teajai Kimsey, an internet-marketing strategist and founder of InternetIdeaGirl.com. On the other hand, if a program gets a huge response and increases sales, you may decide to invest more resources in it.
Here are four ways to monitor your marketing efforts.
1. Use a dedicated phone number. If you advertise as part of a direct mail campaign, consider putting a unique phone number in your ad(s). Have a call-tracking service like Google Voice, Ifbyphone, or Mongoose Metrics redirect the number to your office line. That way, you’ll be able to tally up the calls generated by the ad when those customers contact you.
Similarly, you could assign a separate number to each one of your marketing campaigns. For example, use one number on billboards, another in magazine ads, and another for your social media efforts. If a particular campaign generates very few calls, you’ll know it’s time to try something else.
Swags Galore, a discount online retailer of window decor, uses different coupon codes for each type of campaign. For instance, every time it ships an order, the company sends a special promotion code with an expiration date to the customer. It also runs ads on blogs, usually for a length of 30 to 90 days. In addition, it posts various coupon codes on its website that don’t expire.
“Each month, we assess the data and move forward with, or increase, the avenues that are producing,” explains Melinda West, co-founder and CEO. The analysis also helps the company see which ads receive a lackluster response and thus decide what to modify or discontinue.
3. Set up a landing page. If you plan to run an ad in print or digital format, create a landing page on your website, where anyone who sees the ad can get more information. Include this webpage’s address in your ad. Using a program such as Google Analytics, you can then track how many people visit the page after seeing the promotion.
When setting up a landing page, Kimsey suggests, “Keep it simple and focus on the one thing that you’re doing.” For instance, you may be asking visitors to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a particular product.
4. Make the most of web analytics. Beyond tracking how many people land on your page, analytical tools can be used to set and monitor goals. Let’s say you want a certain number of website visitors to download a white paper. You can set this goal and monitor your progress for free in Google Analytics.
For $49 a month, Spring Metrics will track a visitor’s path through your website. Perhaps customers come to a landing page after seeing an online ad for your company. Once they do, you’ll be able to see where they click and how long they stay on each page during their visit.
Monitoring this activity allows you to see where and when the most purchases are made and identify any missed opportunities. Perhaps visitors spend a long time on one of your pages that doesn’t directly pitch your products. You could add a banner ad or links that point these prospects to your online merchandise.