Because your numbers tell a story
In our last blog, we stated that WE BELIEVE IN EMOTION. The best marketing connects emotionally…inside the heart of your customer…to motivate them to take an action in your direction to satisfy their need.
We also believe in NUMBERS—tracking the number of leads and sales you need to succeed.
As you track those numbers, they will tell you a story about what is working and who is responding.
In this process, there are three key numbers you will want to monitor:
# of Engagements with the brand
# of Qualified Leads
# of Closed Sales
1) # of Engagements
We consider an Engagement any contact that a potential customer initiates with the brand. This can result from inbound or outbound activity.
Inbound is when someone comes to your website. They can do that by directly typing in your web address, your URL, or indirectly based on a Google search. Finding you in a search means you have gained visibility, hopefully as one of the first three citations on page 1 of a search on the given keyword or phrase. Your goal is page 1. Rarely does anyone click to page 2.
You receive this higher ranking based on the value of your content, the thoroughness of your SEO (search engine optimization—what you do on the backend of your website) and the links that come to you from other sites. This is what Google evaluates to rank you as relevant to the seeker of information and you must build in order to gain more inbound traffic. Of course advertising with Google Adwords can give you visibility on a page, but it does not influence the organic ranking.
Outbound has to do with what you send “out.” Your goal is to have a potential customer open a communication that you have sent to them, then click through to take an action.
Outbound also includes traditional direct mail that someone receives and then responds to by going online, making a phone call or stopping into a store. TV, radio and social media would all also be considered outbound activities.
Either inbound or outbound efforts can result in a visitor filling in a CTA (Call To Action) form online, either on your website or on a special landing page designed to track responses against a specific ad or campaign. Filling in this CTA form starts them on the path to becoming a Qualified Lead.
Of course, (and this may seem a bit “yesterday,” with all the online activity,) don’t forget that a direct phone call to your organization motivated by one of your communications is of tremendous value. In fact it may be of surpassing value, because now you have person-to-person contact and your charm and expertise gets to kick in. For this reason, make certain you have a good system for answering the phone!
One example of digital outbound would be an email promoting a free consultation. This could be sent out through Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management system) like Salesforce, ZOHO, HubSpot or Pipedrive.
You begin with an email list of records.
There will be a certain number who open the email…then a subset of that number who actually take action, like fill in a CTA or request contact. In outbound, these are your first numbers to review.
And this is where you start to look for a story. What topics or offers that you send out generate the most engagement? How many of respondents have opened other emails from you? Are there certain types of emails they open that indicate their interest?
If they fill in a CTA form or have requested contact from you, they are part of an interested prospect list. You can now find out more about their interests and story as you nurture them as leads.
Here’s an example from MOVE Communications. We sent out a promotional offer to 948 people.
There were 215 who opened the email and 8 who clicked through to the campaign landing page or to our website. In looking at the data we were delighted to see that some individuals we didn’t expect to see had opened the email. Also, a number of people had viewed the email multiple times. We want to look at these customers and see how we might engage them further.
2) # of Leads
As you track your Engagement numbers you will have individuals who will take action with you—subscribe to a newsletter, ask a question or fill in a form to be contacted. These names should be tracked in your CRM so that you can follow through with them to provide more information about those topics they’re interested in, and to be in touch with them if they have requested contact. As you do, some of these prospects will turn into qualified leads, because they have expressed interest in buying your products or services.
At that point, you will create a Deal or Client Project record in your system and work to move them through your pipeline.
3) # of Sales
Ultimately, the number you are striving for is the number of sales. While marketing makes the important contribution of building awareness, marketing activities must also be tracked to closed sales.
One key starting point is to make certain that you record the Lead Source in the Lead and eventually Deal record. In this way, you can track all the way back to see what channels are most effective for generating leads that turn into sales. So, for example, did the Lead come through a special offer, the contact page, a webinar, a demo, or a live event?
Based on this data, you can calculate ROI. How many leads in a given channel are needed to actually get a sale? What is the average sale by lead source? What was the cost to generate content in that lead source? By analyzing your numbers, you will see over time what is working and where you should put your effort to get the greatest return on your investment. By sharing this story, you demonstrate how marketing is contributing value to your organization and where further investments can achieve the greatest results.
As you do this, you will build marketing momentum. More on that in our next blog.