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I work for an online marketing company, so I’m supposed to tell you that traditional marketing is a waste of money and doesn’t yield good results, right? Well, it depends (sorry—that’s probably not the answer you wanted!). Different marketing strategies work for different companies—there’s really no black and white answer. It ultimately depends on the nature and scope of your business, your geographic location, your goals, and so many other factors.
There are all kinds of traditional and online marketing strategies out there—so how do you know which ones to use for your specific business? Well for starters, you must track everything. How can you intelligently invest in any marketing strategy if you don’t have baseline data for where you are today and tools in place to accurately quantify the return of these strategies?
Importance of Ad Tracking
The foundation of every high-performing marketing campaign is accurate measurement and tracking. How much are you spending on each individual marketing and advertising effort? What is your return on investment for each tactic? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you may want to consider investing in ad tracking.
Ad tracking enables you to calculate your return on investment for each strategy so that you can eliminate any poor performing strategies and identify new tactics worth testing.
Google Analytics is a great tool to track your web marketing efforts, but how are you supposed to track your print advertising pieces? You can certainly ask customers where they heard about you, but that does not always yield accurate results.
Phone Call Tracking
At Blue Corona, we provide a detailed phone call tracking service that allows you to assign a unique phone number to each of your advertising strategies. All calls re-direct to your main phone line, but our call-tracking software can determine the original phone number that the person dialed and attribute that phone number to a specific advertising piece.
Using a combination of Google Analytics and phone call tracking, you can make intelligent, data-driven decisions about your future marketing and advertising efforts.
Let’s pretend that after analyzing your web and call tracking data for 90 days, you find that your printed newsletter only generated five leads and cost you $6,000 to develop and mail. That equates to a $1,200 cost-per-lead for this effort. If your lead-to-sale rate is 50%, that means that your cost-per-aquisition (aka how much you are willing to pay to acquire a new customer) is $2,400, way more than you are actually willing to pay for a sale. Using this data, you decide to eliminate your printed newsletter and try out an email marketing campaign.
Test an Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing is a great way to reach potential customers and stay in touch with existing customers. It is a relatively inexpensive tactic that can be a great complement to your other marketing strategies. Email marketing campaigns can serve multiple purposes and be can designed to meet many types of goals, including:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Building your online authority
- Highlighting promotions and specials
- Promoting new products and services
You can send email newsletters weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. The length and frequency of your communications is ultimately up to you and your business goals. But no matter what your goal is, you must focus on providing relevant information that provides genuine value to the reader. For example, sending an email to customers about scheduling an air conditioning unit tune-up in November is irrelevant due to the seasonality of the HVAC business.
Let’s pretend you decide to test a monthly e-newsletter campaign, and each e-newsletter costs you $1,000 to develop and send. After 90 days, you’ve spent $3,000 and the campain has generated 15 phone and web leads. That equates to a $200 cost-per-lead, and if your lead-to-sale conversion rate is still 50%, your cost-per-aquisition through this effort is now only $400 (500% less expensive than your printed newsletter campaign)! See how important tracking and data are to making intelligent marketing decisions?!
Creating an email campaign with a clear, unified message, engaging content, and a professional design can be a complex and time-consuming effort. Unfortunately, most business owners simply don’t have the time, tools, or resources to create and manage on-going email marketing campaigns on their own. And you don’t want to risk losing potential leads and poorly representing your brand through a misrepresented e-newsletter.
TRACK > TEST > TWEAK > REPEAT
So the next time you think about diving into a traditional marketing campaign, take a step back and really look into the data. If you are unsure, test out a strategy for 30 – 90 days and see what the numbers look like. If it isn’t successful, nix the idea and try something else.
By tracking each marketing and advertising campaign, you can determine which strategies are effective, which can be turned off, and which could produce better results if tweaked just a little bit. Finding the most successful marketing strategies for your business involves a degree of trial and error, but having sound ad tracking programs in place and continuously analyzing and adjusting your strategies will ultimately lead to better results.
Does your company need help tracking your advertising and marketing campaigns? We’d love to help! Contact us today for more information.
About The Author: Amanda is an Account Manager at Blue Corona who has recently discovered her passion for online marketing. When she’s not sharing that passion with anyone who will listen, she can be found relaxing on her porch with a cup of coffee and a Sudoku book.
View more blogs by Amanda O'Dell