At the beginning of 2016, you created a marketing plan with ideas for all your campaigns, along with a budget showing what you would spend in each area so you could increase sales. Great!
So now we’re nearing the end of 2016, how have things gone? Are your sales up over the same time last year? Did you stick to your budget? What was your ROI on your campaigns? Do you know which marketing efforts were most effective?
If the answer to any of these questions is, “I don’t know,” you’ll want to make some changes in time for 2017.
Why measure and test your marketing?
When it comes to marketing, it’s critical to know where you currently stand as well as what’s working and what isn’t – not only so you know if you’re improving, but also to know which marketing campaigns are worth your time and money.
Testing is also a great way to improve your marketing. This can be done by creating different versions of print ads, postcards, landing pages or email campaigns and tracking which ones get the best results.
With these things in mind, here are four major areas to track in your marketing:
Print marketing results – for instance, from print ads and direct mail offers – can be difficult to track, but they’re an important part of branding and an overall marketing strategy. One way to help track the effectiveness of print promotions is to include an offer code in the ad that the customer has to mention in order to get a special price or discount. You’ll also want to make sure you include a call-to-action that urges recipients to act (preferably before a deadline, so they feel a sense of urgency).
As noted above, you can also create different versions of postcards and send them to different groups within your list to see if one version gets better results than another.
In any case, be sure you keep track of your print promotions and have a clear schedule that notes how many you’re sending, when, to whom and what your results were for each one.
Your website should be a 24/7 tool that helps answer questions, handles sales (if you sell products online), builds your brand and educates your audience. Do you know if your website is performing as it should? Is your traffic going up or down? Is your site leading to sales?
Google Analytics, which is a free and powerful tool, does a great job of giving you information about your site, including overall traffic numbers, demographic information, how much time people are spending (on average) on your site, whether they’re using a desktop computer or mobile device to view your site and many other key statistics.
However, there are many things Google Analytics CAN’T tell you in basic reports, such as how useful and clear your content is or what your overall user experience is like. Other tools – such as ClickTale and CrazyEgg – can help you understand viewer behaviour, but to really get a grasp of your website performance, you’ll probably need a website audit. Talk to us about doing a website audit.
3. Email campaigns
Email platforms like MailChimp have fantastic reporting tools built into their systems, so when you send a campaign, you’ll automatically be able to see how many people opened your message, clicked on any links or went to your website directly from the email. You’ll also be able to see information about which email addresses bounced or if anyone unsubscribed.
In addition, MailChimp offers many tools that allow you to track sales that come directly from email campaigns, as well as connect your campaigns to other apps and programs like Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce so you can see just how well promotions lead to sales.
And if you have time to do some A/B testing of subject lines, content, offers or images in your emails, you’ll be able to track what resonates best with your audience and adjust your emails accordingly to make them more effective.
4. Social media
All social media platforms offer analytics. Make sure you’re regularly looking at the reach and engagement your posts are getting, so you can fine-tune your content in the future. Keep an eye on how many people are unliking your pages – this can be a sign that you’re not producing relevant content.
Build a monthly dashboard pulling together the key metrics from your marketing efforts, so you can keep an eye on KPIs. You’ve got great tools as your disposal such as Google Analytics, MailChimp and social media analytics, so be sure to use them.
Need help measuring your marketing? Contact Breathe Marketing today.