So you’ve just placed a £500 advert in your local newspaper promoting your Christmas membership campaign. You get 5 enquiries and just the 1 sale (£300). How successful has your campaign been?
Looking at enquiries and direct sales is only part of the process when evaluating the success of your campaigns. Here are some other methods to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising activity.
Sales and Walk-Ins ‘Source of Enquiry’
Asking your new and enquiring customers ‘how did you hear about us?’ is still one of the most common form of monitoring which marketing activity is working. However, this can be flawed as customers often say ‘word-of-mouth’ or ‘passing by’, despite seeing other advertising for the facility. Staff need to be trained to probe further and identify any specific marketing messages that the customers may have seen. If there is a number of marketing activities taking place in a particular month then setup a separate ‘how did you hear about us’ capture form and attach to all application forms to specifically monitor these activities.
Social Media Insights
Monitoring your Insights pages on your social media channels allows you to see how effective your posts and communication with your followers are. Do your followers increase when you post an interesting question or start a debate? Are people sharing your posts? What time of day do your posts achieve the best reach and engagement? Use this information to decide which posts works and at what time of day.
Your website should be key to any of your marketing activities and annual strategy. Warning! It can be confusing as Analytics uses hundreds of metrics to assess your website performance. We’d recommend choosing a select few and regularly comparing the results: Visits, Time on site, Bounce rate, Traffic sources and Search terms.
Other websites such as alexa.com and klout.com are useful tools to monitor the effectiveness of your social media reach or website ranking. Analysing monthly how your sites are performing tells you if your marketing messages are being effective or if you need to change your strategy.
When running press adverts or leaflet distribution always include some data capture activity. This may be a prize draw to win a month’s free membership or a simple competition. As well as generating leads it creates a more interesting and interactive advert. Remember to consider your audience and how they may prefer to enter: text-back, coupon, phone entry, Facebook referral or web enquiry.
Inbound Phone Number Control
To efficiently monitor telephone enquiries you need to have some management tool giving you access to the number of calls made, answered, length of call and time of call. This is available at a small charge by BT or other communication companies. Why not try using a unique hotline number to make the telephone number more memorable, such as 0845 111 999. 03xx numbers are available to not-for-profit, charity or government organisations.
Shortened url codes
Instead of using full length url codes such as www.facebook.com/#!/h78uik653df/allianceleisure/ try using shortened url codes available freely through website such as bit.ly and ow.ly (http://bit.ly/wMSTDk). These tools also allow you to track the number of clicks each of your urls receives.
The jury may still be out on the effectiveness of QR codes but to include a small 3D barcode on your literature giving direct access to your website, Facebook page or online joining portal is well worth the space on your adverts. Combined with shortened url codes these can easily be tracked.
Using email software such as Reach lets you distribute e-shots or e-newsletters to thousands of your contacts quickly and cheaply, but then more importantly allows you to look at how recipients are interacting with these communications. Why follow up on all these emails when only a small percentage will have been interested in the message?
So consider all of the above when evaluating your campaigns and marketing activity. Not every campaign has to generate direct sales to be successful but many of the tools above will measure the awareness created and give confidence in that form of advertising next time round.