Taking the Mystery out of Marketing

Taking the Mystery out of Marketing

by: Charlie Cook

Knowing where to start to improve your marketing can be a bit of a mystery. Is it your marketing message, the places you advertise, your web site or what? By measuring the results or your marketing efforts and collecting feedback, you can uncover the secrets of what is and isn’t working and learn what to refurbish or replace to generate more leads and increase sales.
Tom called me with a question about how to increase sales from his web site. Despite having spent three thousand dollars to build an attractive web, he wasn’t generating leads from his site. Only a small handful of people had contacted him since the site went live two months ago.
Do you have a web site? Are you disappointed by the number of leads and sales your site is generating?
I asked Tom what percentage of daily or weekly visitors to his site contacted him. He didn’t know the answer. I asked him how many people visited his site per month. He didn’t know. I asked him, how many sales of his books and coaching services had been generated by his web site. He didn’t have that information, either.
If you want to improve the performance of any marketing effort, whether online or offline, make the effort to collect and evaluate the results. You can use easily available numbers to help you fix what’s not working and improve what is.
Ever go on a diet? How do you tell if your eating and exercise regimens are working? You step on the scale and look at the number of pounds you’ve lost or gained. This simple figure gives you the truth about the success of your dieting efforts. To improve sales, track response to each of your marketing efforts and conversion rates.
1. Response Rates
If you spend money on advertising to drive people to your business web site, you want to know how many people responded to your ad and visited your site. If you’re only getting a handful of responses, the problem could be your ad. Something as simple as changing the marketing message you use in your advertising or in your search engine listings could increase your response rate.
If you’ve had success with the ad in another publication, it may be that the particular ezine or web site isn’t reaching your target audience and you’d be better off spending your advertising dollars elsewhere. If you track your ad results you can quickly discover where to avoid spending on advertising that doesn’t work and make changes to get more out of each advertising dollar.
2. Conversion Rates
If your web site draws lots of visitors, you’ll want to know what percentage of those visitors are buying, and if not buying, at least signing up for your ezine. With these conversion rates you can determine how to increase your online sales.
Barbara has a subscription-based web site that pulls in over twelve hundred visitors a day, yet only seven people a day contact her and the site only generates sales a couple of times a week. Is this the best she can do? Probably not.
You can prompt 10-50% of the people who visit your web site to contact you and then work on converting these qualified leads to sales. For Barbara, all it took was a few changes in her layout and copy for her to add two to three hundred people a day to her list of qualified leads and increase sales to dozens each day.
One of the most important things to identify and measure is where sales come from. If you advertise with Google or in ezines and see that an ad has more than paid for itself in leads generated and sales, you’ll know its worth running again.
Just asking people where they heard of you or how they arrived at your web site is useful. When I asked one client how they found my site, they explained how they had been searching the web using the phrase, “marketing services” and how difficult it had been to find the site.
My advertising hadn’t targeted the phrase “marketing services”, so I quickly added it to the list of keywords for my ads. The result? The next day someone came to my site via my targeted ad and bought every marketing manual I sell.
Don’t let marketing be a mystery. Start analyzing what is and isn’t working so you know what to fix. If your marketing is working, use these same numbers to set new goals for lead generation and salës conversions and be even more successful.

About The Author

2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the Frëë Marketing Plan eBook, ‘7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business’ at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com.
ccook@marketingforsuccess.com

This article was posted on November 29, 2004