Have you ever been creative in the kitchen and just started experimenting with ingredients that may not be included in the recipe? Or, perhaps you added a little more or a little less of an ingredient to see if the dish tastes any different? It’s likely that some of your kitchen experiments have turned out better than what the recipe called for while some haven’t turned out so good. For the recipes that turned out really good, did you keep experimenting with that one ingredient that worked to see if you obtained similar results in a different recipe? The point is that testing and experimenting can lead to finding out what works and what does not work.
This same principle applies in marketing. As a direct marketer, I’m a firm believer in testing. It’s through trial and error that you will find out what really works and what isn’t producing results. You might be asking “how do I know what to test?” Whether you are a small business owner or are marketing for a corporate company, as part of your overall business plan, you must have a marketing plan. For more information on the marketing plan component, check out my blog talking about the importance of marketing plans. It’s your marketing plan that will outline your road map of how to get from A to Z based on your goals and how to do it through testing different marketing components.
Once you have your marketing plan and your testing plan outlined, it’s critical that you monitor performance daily, if possible, or weekly at a minimum. Depending upon which marketing channels you are using, there are different back end ways to monitor performance. Listed below are some of the most common ways and tools that will track performance.
800# – Use a dedicated 800# for your campaign to easily track IB call volume.
Website URL – Use a unique website URL that will drive traffic based on a TV commercial or from a printed piece.
Source Code – Insert a printed code on your mail piece or advertisement for easy identification when calling about the offer or when speaking to a representative.
If you are using inbound channels to drive calls, it’s imperative that your representatives are trained on the campaign and know how to disposition the calls in your database.
Google Analytics – Will track all your website stats (visits, time on page, page views, bounce rates, keywords, etc.)
Facebook Insights – Will track engagement to your page (likes, comments, trends, +/- week over week activity, etc.)mmmmmm
Twitter – Many platforms will track your tweets, following, retweets, etc. I’m a proponent of using HootSuite for daily monitoring.
Depending on the campaign and the longevity of the campaign, will determine when significantly significant results are available. For example, email campaigns typically have accurate data of click throughs and open rates within the first 24-48 hours from deployment, which will give you a good idea of the performance of your email as emails are opened within the first day or two from the send date. On the other hand, direct mail campaigns have a longer shelf life and can take upwards of 2-3 weeks from the mail date to have an accurate read on the initial results.
As all businesses are different and have different goals, testing strategies vary and should be considered work in progress until you find that sweet spot. You will find the magic formula if you have a plan, monitor performance and continue to tweak your strategy. If you need help writing your marketing plan or outlining and implementing a testing plan, please contact us at: www.wmarketingservices/contact-us.
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