We have all heard “set it and forget it” chanted through the crowd during the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie infomercials. While the slogan works great for that product, the same cannot be said for a marketing campaign. In order to be successful with any branding, lead capture, thought leadership, or exposure initiatives, you should not set up the program and then forget about it.
You need to measure your efforts every step of the way. Measuring gives you the ability to make smart and informed decisions, and have your time and money be well spent.
So how do you measure your different initiatives? And how long should you test them before you can determine if they are worth the continued effort?
1. ADVERTISING (online & eNewsletter)
Measure: The benefit of advertising on a web-based outlet is that you can easily track the clicks and referrers that your campaign receives. Simply create an account on goo.gl or bit.ly to develop a shortened URL. Then, use that URL as the link in you advertising campaign. Once the campaign is live you can refer back to your account to see the progress that has been made. Also, some companies like insideARM.com make it even easier by providing monthly advertising reports that tell you the exact impressions, clicks, and CTR that you campaign received.
Length: The amount of time that you run an advertising campaign really depends on the amount of exposure that is taking place within that timeframe. If you plan to run one ad for one day, sure you will get exposure, but you are wasting your money. The rule of seven is one of the oldest marketing concepts but it certainly isn’t outdated. It states that your prospect should see your advertisement at least seven times before they remember your company and ultimately buy your offering. For this reason you should plan to run at least a solid two months of advertising before determining whether or not it is worthwhile to continue to pursue.
Measure: Whether you have a blog on your site or on another one in the industry, make sure that you have Google Analytics added on your company website. This is important because it allows you to look at things like: Pageviews (how many people read each of your blog posts so you can pinpoint which topics are of most interest to your readers), Traffic Sources (how readers are getting to your blog whether it is via search, social media promotion, an email, etc.), Average Time on Page (how engaged the readers are with your posts – typically the longer the better), and New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors (if there is a shift in returning visitors it could be an indicator that people are finding your content useful and are coming back).
Length: As a test we suggest publishing consistent content (at least two blogs per month) for at least three months. This gives your readers a chance to recognize the valuable content you are providing so that they come back to read more, and for you to also receive the search benefits of adding the new copy.
Measure: Before you send a large eBlast (to hundreds or thousands of people) consider setting up a landing page that is a match with the eBlast offering. Within that landing page you can track how many people are really interested and have taken action by accessing that landing page, filling out a form, etc.; you can measure the responses. And of course, you want to look at the analytics provided by the email service provider you used. Look at the unique open rate to see how compelling your subject line and preview text was, look at the clicks that occurred to see what hyperlinks were most popular, look at the amount of unsubscribes to determine if the offer was well received, etc.
If you are sending emails on a smaller scale, other than seeing if the recipient responds via phone or email, two of the tools mentioned in last month’s spam filter blog post can help.
Length: There are so many factors that determine whether or not an email was successful (day and time sent, subject line, offer, CTA, button placement, colors used, etc.). At insideARM.com we recommend that you do not send the same eBlast more than twice. And on that second send, try switching up the subject line so that it is not a complete duplicate. The key is to ensure that you have a compelling messaging with each eBlast and that you continually test your sends to see what works best for your company – one email will simply not tell the whole story.
After you run your tests and gather the measurements, use that information to determine whether the channel is worth your continued effort.
There are so many different channels out there for achieving your marketing goals. If there is a channel that you are taking on and aren’t sure how to measure it, let us know in the comments section and we will offer some advice!