Where’s That Yardstick? Test And Measure Your Way To Your Best Marketing Campaign Yet
April 22, 2020
Author: Liam Dunne
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Sadly, not every ‘genius’ idea that we have will click with our target audience. On the surface, successful campaigns are easy to ‘measure’ because your lead generation is off the chain and you’ve got sales coming out of your ears. Likewise, most business owners will probably have a ‘feel’ for what doesn’t work for them. However, properly testing and measuring your campaigns are a sure-fire way to refine and make better what is working for you and to avoid what doesn’t so as not to waste any of your precious marketing budget.
“Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wannamaker, 1922.
Luckily for us it’s now 2020, and we have the tools and strategies to help us with our testing and measuring efforts. Here’s how you can do it consistently:
A lot of marketing is done by gut feeling or instinct. And often it can provide you with a decent start (it’s rare that a piece of marketing will generate ZERO consumer activity). But with A/B testing, you can gradually refine that piece of marketing until it is converting like Dan Carter! The trick is you take your original ad (the control) and you change one thing on it. Maybe it’s a call to action (CTA) on a website. You produce another page (the challenger), identical in all respects except on this one you make one change (could be size, font, placement or animation). You then run your control to half your visitors and your challenger to the other half. You may not get any gains, so your challenger might fail, but just do it again with a different variable.
No matter how many times your A/B test fails, it’s eventual success will probably outweigh any costs. Plus, every failed test is something else learned and you can apply those lessons to the next ad campaign you design.
Use Analytic Tools
For most businesses this is going to be largely Google Analytics, although social media channels have reporting tools built into them as well. Google Analytics will give you huge insights into your customer base, if you know what you’re looking at.
The most important metrics to focus on are:
- Acquisition Overview. This tells you both how many people visited your site and where they came from. The most important stat in here is search traffic and a good score would be over 50%.
- Conversion Rate. This is by far your most important metric. You can have all the visitors in the world coming to your site, but if they are not converting, this is a sure sign that you need to change something. In marketing, a conversion is when a visitor completes a specified goal. Therefore, the rate is the number of visitors completing a specified goal divided by the total number of site visitors. As per the industry benchmarks, 1.33% is the average conversion rate for eCommerce, while a conversion rate above 3.6% puts an eCommerce store in the list of the stellar performers.
- Bounce Rate. This is the number of people who visit your site and exit with the page they landed on being the only page they visited. This varies massively from site to site but anything over 75% should have alarm bells ringing and you looking to do some A/B testing of your landing pages.
- Top landing pages. This report will help you to identify exactly which pages your customers are landing on. This is important as you need to make sure you optimise those pages for conversion with great CTAs and visually engaging content.
- Exit Pages. As it suggests this report tells you what page your customers leave your site from. You want your customers to be leaving via order confirmation pages and form completion thank you pages but should be a bit worried if they are leaving from your home page, or at other stages of your checkout process.
Other metrics to also consider looking at are Goals, Social Overview and Behaviour Flow.
Ask Your Customers
At some point during the buyer journey, your customer should be having a human interaction with your staff. Make sure your customer service staff or sales people have a tally sheet of ALL your current marketing activities or tactics and that they are asking every lead how they first heard about your business. Totalling the results will give you a great insight into what is working and what is not in terms of lead generation. Maybe consider doubling down on things that are definitely working.
Test Your Campaigns On Social Media
A cost-effective way to test the waters for a particular offer or ad campaign is to run a few tests on social media. Twitter for example, due to it’s low character count, can let you test a whole bunch of potential email subject lines or headline copy for a Google Ad. You can quickly see which ones are interacted with most and focus on those.
Use CRM Software To Track Your Leads
The best way to track your marketing is by following up on your leads and assessing the quality of them. You need to know where you get most of your leads that convert from. Using CRM software such as Hub Spot Lead Management, Leedfeeder, Salesforce or Less Annoying CRM will allow you to do that. Our top tip is pick one that works well with your existing workflow rather than going for one that requires a sea-change in your SOPs.
However you choose to test and measure your marketing efforts, your surest path to increasing your ROI from your marketing spend is to do it, do it consistently and act on the data that you get from it. Remember, insights mean everything.