Often, marketing and advertising is difficult to track. This makes it very difficult to decide where to allocate a budget for these. Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to get a clearer picture. Once done, money and resources can be given to the higher yielding marketing strategies. While either strengthening or getting rid of all together, lower yielding strategies.
The most important way, for any website, is to track your users. Their is free tracking software that does this. You can see where the user came from, how long they stayed on your site, what areas of the site they went to, and even if they returned to the site on later visits. This is a must have for any website.
When a site has a PPC campaign (pay per click) they get a lot of data. The most important being the search phrase used. This can help determine where to budget your ads for, and not only that, but tweak your site to make users more responsive.
Coupons and Codes
When doing a promotion, having coupon codes can be a great way to track visitors. This can work for online and offline. For example, if you sell a product, during the checkout, have an area for the user to enter a coupon code. Or if it is a brick and mortar store, a physical coupon would work. This is a very solid strategy for tracking users.
Many brick and mortar stores as well as websites have this option. When a user buys a product or service, simply put a question, how they found this site. Make sure to make it an optional question as not to bother the customer. You could ask if they found you via an advertisement, a radio spot, reference or search engine. This can be great data and will certainly help get an idea of where time and money should be allocated.
An email marketing plan can be very tricky, and it is best to only contact people who have given you an email address. It is not very efficient to email people with no interest, but targeted emails can have a very high success rate. What you would do, when doing an email marketing campaign is setup a landing page. That is; when the user receives an email and clicks the link, setup a page specifically for this email. Then, if tracking code has been installed on the site, you should be able to see how many people clicked the link, and even if they converted as a customer.
Tracking marketing strategies is one of the most important aspect of a business. Not only can it save you money and time, it also allows you to acquire new customers easier. There is no one size fits all strategy, and everyone will have to constantly tweak theirs, to find out exactly what works. But this is what separates good companies from great companies. The most important step with online marketing is tracking web visitors. Once that is done, the rest of the work becomes much easier.
Ilina Merkowetz writes about marketing, business & more at www.creditreport.org.