Many small business owners are becoming more aware that they need to be engaged in online marketing for their business. Typically the first thing they do is setup a website, and there’s nothing wrong with this. However, there’s a key element that they often overlook when doing so.
This key is tracking the performance of their marketing campaigns, both online and off. When I talk with small business owners about how they’re tracking the results they receive from things like traditional print or radio ads, I’m often met with blank stare, like a deer caught in headlights.
The typical response is “well, my phone rings more and our sales increase.”
Don’t get me wrong, that’s great. After all, that’s the goal of every ad campaign, right?
But do you know how effective that campaign is for you? Do you know how much you’re spending per phone call? How about the price per customer acquisition?
And this is where I’m met with the 1000yd stare.
Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think.
One of the easiest things any small business owner can do to begin tracking is to setup a call tracking number. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated.
When you’re running multiple ad campaigns, flyers, Yellow Pages, a website, and I could go on, do you know at the very least how many calls each of these sources is generating for your company?
If you’re like most, I’m betting you probably don’t have a clue. And if you do know the numbers, believe it or not, you’re in the minority.
Setting up a separate phone number for each of these advertising sources will allow you to know definitively how many customer calls are being generated. Wouldn’t you like to know if that Yellow Pages ad that you’re spending thousands on every year is actually generating customer calls? If not, wouldn’t it be a good idea to turn it off and try something else?
Call tracking is actually a very easy and straight forward process. There are a number of companies that offer this service, and it’s very inexpensive. The rates run from $1-$5 for the initial setup and that again for the monthly recurring cost of keeping the number. The per minute rate for the line is typically less than $0.01 per minute. Most companies like Call Fire or Twilio will provide you with the number and have it up and running for you in a matter of minutes, not days.
One of the things that I love about these companies is their back end software. Most of these companies provide the ability to generate reports from the data they’re collecting. They also provide the ability to record the calls, for quality purposes of course. What if you’re receptionist was snarky with your customers and you didn’t know it. Believe it or now, I’ve seen this happen. They also provide a great tool set to show what is the busiest time of day, or which days of the week receives the most calls.
Depending on what type of advertising you’re doing, this is invaluable information. Let’s say you’re running an ad with Google Adwords. After your first month, you look and see that 90% of your calls are coming in during the week, between the hours of 1pm-5pm. With this information, you can tune your ad to only run during those time periods. You’ll reduce your costs, and only see a marginal drop in calls.
There’s also the question of how you’re tracking customer leads once they’ve picked up the phone and called you, but I’ll save that for another time.
If you’re running a small business and this all feels a bit overwhelming, or it’s something that you don’t feel you have time for, give us a call. Tactix Marketing has worked with many small businesses to help optimize their ad campaigns and make sure they’re spending their advertising dollars in the right place. If you have questions, we’ll be glad to sit down with you and provide a free initial consultation and show you how we can help your business grow and thrive this year.