I haven’t met a business owner yet who hasn’t — at one time or another — been disappointed by their marketing.
“I did market, but it didn’t work.”
I get the frustration… it’s part of the reason I created a department at PostcardMania solely dedicated to collecting and tracking clients’ results.
However — it’s a fresh new year, and I’m guessing you’ve got big plans for your biz in 2019.
But first, you owe it to yourself to do one thing…
And it is THE most important thing you can do before jumping into your 2019 plans.
Before you decide what you’re going to do for 2019’s marketing, I think it’s worth evaluating the cold, hard facts from 2018.
We’re going to look at:
But don’t worry — I’m going to make this process EASY.
(Even if you’re thinking, “Oh, I don’t have that many numbers to look at…”)
By looking point blank at what your marketing did for your business in 2018 (or, what it didn’t do), you’ll know EXACTLY which strategies to invest in for the new year…
I’ll quickly run through 4 ways to analyze your 2018 marketing.
But don’t get me wrong:
You may need to dedicate some time to this exercise after you read my 4 tips.
(Even if you’re slammed busy, just reading these over WILL help you understand what went right or wrong with last year’s growth plan.)
I’ll also give you 5 methods — that we personally use here at PostcardMania — to track your 2019 marketing like a ninja right out of the gate, starting now.
Here we go — let’s start off with how your 2018 marketing fared:
1. Tally where your leads came from.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but really:
Do you have a system in place that tracks how every lead learned about your business?
If you do, great! Add ’em up!
If you don’t, I recommend you put together a spreadsheet (or download this one) to organize your leads for 2019.
All you have to do is ask each new lead how they heard about you, and then keep track of that information somewhere.
The easiest, most basic way to do this:
A simple spreadsheet that lists in a column every possible lead source, and then each month the number of leads that source generated.
2. Find out how much your revenue grew (or shrunk)
Find out from your accountant (even if that’s you!) where your revenue landed in 2018 vs. 2017.
Up or down?
If you can, nail down the factor or factors that changed from 2017 to 2018 that contributed to the revenue growth or decline.
Hint: if you can successfully isolate what made your revenue go up, you’ll know where to invest your marketing dollars!
#3 will help with that too…
3. Were there any trends or patterns in your leads and revenue?
A few questions you can ask yourself to help figure this out:
- Did you notice a period where it seemed like it was raining sales — or maybe things felt especially dry?
- Was there a spike in leads at any point, and did that lead to a spike in revenue later on?
- Is there any correlation between your high/low revenue points and your marketing schedule?
For the last question, you’ll want to take into account that some industries have a quick sales turnaround, while, in other industries, it might take 4-8 weeks or even months for a prospect to close.
You get the idea.
4. Did anyone redeem any offers or coupons?
Following up on #3 above, were there any special offers or coupons that definitely drove in new customers?
If yes, can you trace that offer back to a unique marketing source? (This can help in case you aren’t doing #1 above yet.)
If you’ve never used a special offer as part of a lead generation strategy, put that on your 2019 to-do list right now!
This will help you too:
Now let me say this:
If those 4 steps just left you totally overwhelmed, DON’T worry…
Let that be a sign that starting soon (2019 is basically here!!), you can save yourself time and guesswork by tracking your marketing analytically from the get-go.
Is KEY to maximizing your budget and ensuring you WON’T be disappointed in your marketing in the future.
You can tweak your 2019 marketing quarterly or mid-year based on which tactics you’re seeing — from the cold hard numbers — is generating leads AND sales!
And if you don’t want to spend time developing your own tracking system?
Well, we created 5 tracking techniques for you.
And I use them PERSONALLY here at PostcardMania, so I know they work.
They range from dead-simple, my-dad-could-do-this (and he uses Facebook in all caps) to more technical.
Here they are:
1. Give a simple fill-in New Caller Sheet to your receptionist
Give your receptionist (or whoever answers the phone) a New Caller Sheet.
This easy-to-use checklist helps your receptionist remember to ask new callers for all their information every time the phone rings.
Even if you’ve asked your receptionist before to ask every new caller how they heard about your business, he or she might forget — a lot.
Of course your receptionist means well, but they’re not necessarily going to remember to ask every caller every single time unless they have a reminder to hand.
Maybe you ask your receptionist, “Did we get any calls from the postcards?” and say, they forgot to ask a caller (or 10)… they’ll likely just say “no” instead of admitting they forgot to ask. This is my experience.
So help them out and implement something tangible… like the new caller sheet!
Keep a stack of new caller sheets at your front desk and train your receptionist to use them.
2. Add call tracking to your marketing to track (and record) calls automatically
A call tracking phone number is a unique phone number assigned to your marketing campaign that prospects use to call your business.
It rings directly to your front desk (or wherever you want), and the phone number itself acts as a tracking device to tell you instantly how many calls that specific campaign rang in to your business.
Here at PostcardMania, we have 428 dedicated call tracking numbers that we use to track all of our marketing campaigns, which is to say:
I am a huge fan of call tracking numbers!!
I would never send out a postcard without a call tracking number on it. (And they are dirt cheap so you shouldn’t either.)
Whether you have 1 call tracking number or 400, this tactic is proven to work and help business owners keep tabs on which marketing channels are generating calls.
Most call tracking services offer an online dashboard, so you can log in and see your calls.
PostcardMania clients can access calls and call recordings in real time, 24/7, from an online dashboard in our client portal. It looks like this:
You can listen to call recordings at ANY time.
This is valuable for training. You can hear how your receptionist handles new prospect calls and train them to do better.
And did I mention?
Call tracking is an extremely affordable feature.
You can see EVERY lead’s demographics (with our call tracking software).
Starting in January, you’ll be able to view the following for each and every person who calls into your business using your call tracking number:
- Full name
This information will be accessible from your Everywhere Small Business dashboard —
Depicted on a map like this:
This data automatically comes with Everywhere Small Business.
And here’s why that data is valuable to you:
If you notice that the majority of your leads are calling in from, say, a certain zip code or age bracket, you can turn around and hone in on that demographic with:
- more postcards
- more Google ads
- more Facebook ads
- and more Instagram ads
Which are ALL included in your Everywhere Small Business campaign package.
Oh, and call tracking is included too.
3. Install Google Analytics to better understand your website’s traffic flow
This one is FREE.
Here’s why you need it:
The majority (95%) of prospects will head to your website before they decide whether (or not) to take action with your business… like calling you!
In other words:
Your website is CRITICALLY important to your overall marketing strategy.
It can either generate leads for your business —
Or scare them away.
Google Analytics will give you detailed insight into the following:
- How many website visitors you’re generating
- Where they come from
- Which pages they spend the most time on
- Which pages they leave the website from
- And much more!
Why would you want this information?
Similar to the lead analytics data I mentioned in #2 above, the more you understand about your leads, the more you can turn around and tweak your marketing strategy to reach more people like the ones who’ve already reached out to your business!
Here’s just one example:
Let’s say you send out 10,000 postcards, and you notice that after your postcards hit mailboxes, you receive floods of online visitors, specifically to your “About Us” page. You can use that data to put a pop-up form on that page to capture more leads!
By tracking our website’s activity using Google Analytics — plus testing many different pop-ups using this tool — we ended up using this one:
By switching to this pop-up from another version, we increased the number of visitors who filled out the form by 400%.
This 400% increase wasn’t quite as simple as throwing a pop-up on our website and calling it a day. We rigorously tested which design, copy, and placement of the pop-up would work best to increase our leads. And honestly…
This technology took years for us to perfect, and now we offer this pop-up testing service as a simple tool to our clients a crazy low price.
It was LOOKING at the numbers and data in Google Analytics that prompted us to even TRY this strategy.
4. Use landing pages with lead capture forms
Landing pages are web pages specifically designed for prospects to “land on” as part of a marketing campaign, and they almost always have the sole intention of collecting contact information.
Here’s why I’m recommending landing pages:
When prospects visit you online — which they will! — you need the following to happen…
- Capture their information (email minimally)
- Track that this conversion happened
- And ideally, you’ll want to know from which marketing campaign this lead came
Luckily, there’s an easy way to do this…
- Create a dedicated landing page for your campaign
- Print that landing page’s URL on your postcard (and online ads!)
- Track how many prospects fill out your lead form on your landing page
It’s really that simple.
And following up to #3…
By logging into your Google Analytics account, you can quickly see just how many people visited your landing page directly from the postcards you mailed, too!
Last but not least:
5. Use hands-down the ULTIMATE tracking metric
One of the most common questions I get asked at events as a speaker is what kind of response you can expect from your direct mail campaign…
As in: “What will my response rate be?”
But this is WRONG.
You should be asking:
“How much REVENUE will this generate?”
I’m talking about your return on investment — ROI!
The purpose of marketing is to GROW your business with new customers and, therefore, sales and revenue.
Plus, a marketing campaign’s response rate could be deceiving.
Your marketing campaign could create a huge response and a ton of leads — but they never buy anything. That can be SO frustrating!
And the opposite is true…
Your marketing campaign could potentially have a low response but a HIGH ROI.
Here’s an example:
A day school in Great Falls, VA called Village Green Day School contacted us to help them launch a marketing campaign to boost their new student enrollment.
Here’s what happened after we mailed postcards targeting families with household incomes of $150,000 and with children in the home ages 1-10 years-old:
- Just 3,000 postcards were mailed
- 4 families ended up enrolling
- Which generated $25,000 in revenue
Now… only 4 families ended up signing their children up, which seems bad, right?
That’s an ROI of 1,014% from ONE postcard campaign.
If you judged the campaign from response alone, you may have considered it a total failure.
But $25,000 in revenue from just 3,000 postcards mailed definitely qualifies as a success!
(Imagine their ROI if they would’ve mailed 10,000 postcards!)
Here’s the design they mailed:
Even if you implement just ONE of these tracking techniques I mentioned today, you’ll start to get a better idea of what works best for your marketing budget.
Not sure what your marketing budget should be in 2019? We created a plug-and-play marketing calculator HERE! (Seriously, it’s SO easy to use!)
Make sure you tabulate ANY results from your marketing to help you look at which channels produce the most ROI for your business’s bottom line.
If you need any help with your 2019 marketing or have questions about Everywhere Small Business, don’t hesitate to call one of my marketing consultants at 1-800-628-1804.
They’ll answer any questions you have about your marketing and help you find the best option to GROW your business this new year!
P.S. Everywhere Small Business automatically includes the call tracking and lead demographic dashboard to make tracking your marketing virtually effortless! Watch the video here.