Knowing your numbers

Knowing your numbers

“Half of marketing doesn’t work…If only I knew which half!” PT Barnum

That quote from the owner/promoter of The Greatest Show On Earth may have been valid back in his day, but there is no excuse in today’s day and age for not knowing which of your marketing activities are producing returns and which ones are not.

Technology is a marvelous thing. It’s the 21st century and you have an array of cost-effective tools available to you that will give you an accurate picture of the returns from your marketing efforts.

“But I ask all my customers where they heard about me from!” I hear you say.

Do you? Every time?

Do your staff ask them too? Every time?

Do your customers tell you accurately? Do they remember whether they saw you in the paper, heard you on the radio or clicked through from your website? Every time?

So what could you do to improve the accuracy of your tracking? Here are a number of ideas.

Call Tracking Numbers

These are fantastic. Basically, you have a unique phone number that is only used on one piece of marketing. Such as a website, a leaflet or a newspaper add. The phone number can be a local number and can be routed to any landline or mobile phone. Then you’ll have an internet portal that you log in to and it will tell you exactly how many phone calls you’ve received using that number.

They’re dirt cheap too. You pay a small monthly charge (Around £5) and then you pay a few pence per minute the calls connected. We use them on our leaflets and we know that for every 20,000 leaflets we circulate, on average we get about 18 calls.

Google Analytics

If you’ve got a website, you’ve got to have Google Analytics! It’s a free tool provided by Google and it gives you loads of insight into the traffic visiting your webpages. You simply set up an account with them and post a bit of code in the footer of your site. Google does the rest. Then you can find out not only where your traffic is coming from, but the behaviour of people visiting.

How long they stay for, what keywords did they use to find you, how many pages do they view, what page of your website do most people leave from, which pages are converting well and which ones aren’t. Plus loads more information.

Tracking URLs

Similar to tracking phone numbers in that they are unique and should be used only on one piece of media. So, for example, an email would have a different link to that on a newspaper advert. These will flag up in Google Analytics and you’ll be able to see how much and the value of traffic generated from that link.

Vouchers and Offer codes

Not particularly technical, but a reliable method, to collate information. Generally used in print, such as on a leaflet or on a magazine ad. These take the form of a cutout voucher that the customer has to present in order to redeem an offer when purchasing face to face or a unique code that they have to enter or tell you when buying online or over the phone. You can then count up the number of orders using the particular vouchers or offer codes.

This method also has the added benefit of increasing sales – Any good piece of direct marketing should have an irresistible offer that makes the reader want to take action now.

I’m a great believer in the phrase, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Armed with the information from measuring your marketing, you’ll be able to make better decisions. If for example, you knew that for every £35 spend on leaflet delivery, you received 3 leads, converted 1 of them to a customer and generated £300 in sales, then how many lots of £35 would you want to spend?

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