8 Things to Double-Check Before You Begin Your Next Campaign Analysis

Instead of addressing the mistakes commonly made during analysis, I think it’s important to look into the mess you can create even before your analysis begins. In order to properly collect data, there are several things you need to set up a certain way. Some of these considerations are specific to your company, and your data will be skewed if you forget to do them correctly. Others involve how you set up your software to gather data in the first place.

Before jumping into your next campaign analysis, make sure your marketing automation program is properly set up to gather the data by doing the following 8 steps:

1) Select the right time period.

After you have the right domain selected, you should also make sure the right time period is selected. While it’s a natural instinct just to report on what appears on the dashboard without checking the time, that could easily lead to careless mistakes.

For example, many of us do end of the month reporting on the first day of the next month. At that point your reports have probably shifted from the previous month to the current month. With that said, you’ll want to make sure that you adjust the time range to reflect the previous month that you want to report on. This rule applies to end of the week reporting also. Additionally, if you are comparing this month’s progress to the previous month, make sure that the accurate month is reflected before you begin your analysis.

2) Make sure you’re reporting on the right domain.

You may have multiple domains that you need to track throughout the month. Maybe you have one for your main website, one for your blog, and another for your landing pages. No matter how your domains are set up, it’s important to make sure that you are reporting on the right one.

If you’re an international company, you might have domains for different countries or languages. When you do your reporting, it can be difficult to keep track of which domain has which goal. To make sure your goals and results are aligning, pay close attention to which domain you select each time.

Along those lines, if you own a specific channel of marketing, such as paid or email marketing, you may only want to report on one source instead of all of your sources as a whole. When sources are all presented one page, it can be easy to mistake the numbers from one channel with the numbers from another. To avoid any confusion, you should filter your sources to focus on one specific channel at a time.

3) Exclude your company’s IP address.

I’m sure you know the value of regularly monitoring how much traffic you get to each of your web pages. And while you want this number to be high, you don’t want it to reflect the page views that come from your colleagues and employees, as this will skew your data.

For example, imagine that you have 10 employees at your business, and each of them looks at different pages on your website an average of 10 times a day. That means that they are contributing an additional 100 views a day, 700 views a week, and up to 3,000 views a month. That data can completely change your progress toward your monthly goals. To avoid this, your website should be able to exclude your company’s IP.

4) Track your target geography.

Not every business markets to every country in the world, or every region of its country. This means that you need to pay close attention to the visitors who are in your target geography. Let’s say your target geography is Europe, and you are getting 1,000 visits a month to your website from there. However, you also find that you are getting another 1,000 visits a month to your website from Asia. If you are reporting your visits as 2,000 instead of 1,000, you are going to skew your data because you can only work with and nurture the people from Europe.
To ensure that you’re reporting on the right audience, take a close look at the IP of all people coming to your website. You can then start to segment based on people who are in your target geography to avoid spending time and resources on those who are not.

5) Evaluate your social media success.

When you run any marketing campaign, it is important to track how each lead is interacting with your marketing — even if the interaction occurs outside of your website. For example, let’s say that you are running a promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website. Some tools may automatically bucket that as social media, leaving you with no indication of which social platform generated more traffic. Make sure you structure a solution to ensure you can determine which media is driving traffic to your website or assets.

6) Set up the proper tracking code.

Before you start referencing links to your website from anywhere, you need to make sure you have the proper tracking code installed on your website. This will ensure that you are tracking traffic coming to your site, gathering proper lead intelligence about visitors coming to your website, and offering insight to help you improve the amount of traffic that comes in to your website.
If you have been working on marketing campaigns that drive traffic to your site and do not see an increase in traffic, that may be a good indication that you do not have your tracking code set up properly. Without this information, it will be difficult to segment your database to deliver more personalized marketing experiences.

7) Understand what your metrics mean.

Before you even begin to do your analysis, you need to decide which metrics you want to report on. Furthermore, you need to decide what the metrics actually mean and how to interpret them. Many times we report on metrics that we think represent success, however it’s possible that they might mean something entirely different.
For example, Google Analytics will report on the time someone spends on your website. And while we often equate a long visit to an interested visitor, this isn’t always the case. Although you’d like to believe that someone who has clicked around on several of your pages is liking what they’re seeing, it could also mean that they are struggling to find what they are looking for. As you analyze your metrics, dig deeper to understand what they mean. The results may not always signify what they seem to at first glance.

8) Attach tracking code to all relevant assets. 

One of the hardest things for marketers to remember is to put your tracking assets in place before your marketing campaign launches. This may include, but is not limited to, creating tracking URLs, putting them across the different platforms, or tagging your pieces of content.
If these tasks aren’t done ahead of time, you could lose some of your analytics forever. For example, if you plan on using a tracking URL on your Facebook post but forget, you will miss out on all the clicks that your visitors took to get from Facebook to your site. If you edit the post and add it in, you will be able to get some of that back, but you will still not have everyone.
Taking all of these actions listed above in the beginning of your setup can save you in the end. Before you publish all of your assets, check to make sure you have everything in place to ensure the correct data for your analysis.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Re-marketing.

Slide21Marketing is a very interesting field and there can be many desired outcomes from your marketing campaigns. From earning new leads to engaging existing leads to move forward through your marketing funnel, marketing is an undeniably useful tool for any company. And with e-marketing and marketing automation, your marketing efforts can now engage leads in real time and in the context in which they will most likely be receptive to your messages. However, digital marketing tools can only guide your leads to your content, they can’t persuade them to make a purchase or to attend a webinar. The reality is that, sometimes, your customers will simply walk away before they convert.

There are many reasons that marketers and marketing researchers have found for customers “abandoning” the sales process. From simply getting distracted by other digital noise on the internet, to misconfigured e-commerce shopping carts, and even “sticker shock” when customers see shipping rates, it’s estimated that some e-commerce companies see up to 80% of their customers abandoning their carts before finally checking out and processing their payments. This represents a huge loss in potential earnings for retailers and other e-commerce vendors, but it also represents a large portion of missed opportunities for anyone who engages in digital marketing. Luckily, this is one area where marketing automation can be extremely helpful.

Opening a dialog

Marketing automation tools operate under a fairly simple idea: deliver messages to leads and track lead activity throughout the interaction narrative. From the launch of a campaign, you are able to track who receives an email and whether they clicked any links, how many people are exposed to online advertisements and when they follow through to your landing pages, and you can even track a lead’s progress through your site up until the point of exit. Using this data, you can build extensive and data-rich profiles of your leads’ activities. You can develop metrics for testing pain points on your website, and you can even develop sophisticated A/B tests to find out exactly how best to serve your audience. Given all of this data, it makes sense then to also track and analyze how many leads begin the conversion process, for example by signing up for an online event or by adding items to their online shopping cart, and then who abandons the process before completion. Furthermore, this presents you with an extremely exciting opportunity: re-engagement.

Re-engagement, or re-marketing, gives marketers the ability to reach out to their lost opportunities within minutes of an abandonment event. This could mean anything from sending out a quick email reminder that asks if a shopper has had trouble with their transaction all the way to sending the lead’s information to sales for a follow-up telephone call. And many e-commerce vendors are finding that, on average, re-marketed leads spend more on their return visits than they had initially planned to do. This behavior can even be encouraged by providing a one-off, limited time voucher or coupon via email to your leads within a few minutes after they abandon their carts.

Be careful what you wish for

However, like all things, re-marketing is not a silver bullet: there are cases where re-marketing campaigns can backfire. Examples of this include higher levels of SPAM complaints, bounced emails from false information, and complaints from agitated customers who wish not to be engaged after leaving your site. Because of this, it is extremely important to monitor and analyze your re-marketing efforts just as you do with all campaigns. Seeing whether or not these campaigns are providing real value, both in the short- and long-term, and utilizing that information to make future decisions regarding marketing can make the difference between increased MROI and happier customers, and wasted marketing spend and decreased customer satisfaction.

Looking Forward

Because digital marketing is a complex process, with many factors that can influence the success or efficacy of a campaign, it’s important to look at your marketing efforts holistically. You may find that you can decrease pain points and friction in your marketing and sales funnels so that re-marketing is unnecessary, and of course reaching your audience on the first try is always better than having to spend resources on re-engaging them. But abandoned shopping cart campaigns can be powerful and useful tools in the digital marketer’s toolbox as long as they are used carefully and analyzed to ensure a positive MROI.

3 Essential Tips for the Modern Marketer

The rapidly expanding and changing landscape of marketing technology means that marketing professionals must maintain a wide skill set in order to remain competitive in the industry. Simply being a gifted writer, or being familiar with the concepts of page design and layout are no longer enough to keep marketers ahead of the competition, or to stay fresh in the minds of their customers. Creating personalized, relevant content and delivering it to audiences just-in-time is how modern marketers succeed, and in order to accomplish this goal there are several important skills that marketing professionals should develop and strengthen.

1. Keep your technical knowledge up-to-date and relevant.

While marketing managers often aren’t required to get their hands dirty in HTML or JavaScript, having an understanding of how these and other technologies work together with e-marketing systems is essential to providing proper guidance and support to your clients. Keeping an eye on emerging design trends, understanding how SQL databases work, and knowing the ins-and-outs of your MA system’s API can go a long way not only in gaining the trust and respect of your customers, but it can also be extremely useful for working on the fly with customers during training or screen-sharing sessions.

2. Become and stay proficient with modern marketing tools and applications.

Knowing how to code a beautiful, responsive HTML email is great, but how do you deliver it to your audience? Can you schedule your email blasts to coincide with customers’ birthdays? How do you know what your deliverability rate is and how to improve it? The answer to these and other questions is to make use of marketing automation. Marketing automation platforms are extremely helpful for marketers because they can act on lead actions, offer up customized content based on a variety of factors, and even integrate with other business systems and platforms to help build business intelligence and greater levels of customer awareness.

3. Learn to love data.

Having the knowledge and tools to deliver personalized, cross-platform marketing campaigns to your audience is great. But once the campaign is over, and the dust has settled, what do you do next? It’s important to be able to create and analyze reports from your marketing automation and CRM platforms. The data that is returned to you is often essential in seeing where existing campaigns are failing, how much value they are creating, and in planning new campaigns for the future. Data analysis, reporting, and the development of custom dashboards are just a few techniques that can be used to discover and analyze trends in your marketing data. Customized, highly-targeted content is great, and it’s been shown to increase Click-through Rates (CTR) and other important metrics. But just-in-time marketing is better. And knowing when, and how, your audience wants to interact with your brand is essential knowledge that can only be gained through careful collection and analysis of your marketing data.

Knowing how to craft your message, how to get it in front of your audience, and how to time your communications to meet your audiences’ needs will help you to propel your marketing efforts into the big leagues. However, only by constantly evaluating and updating your e-marketing skill set will you be able to maintain the momentum required to truly succeed in the age of digital marketing.

Beware of Bad Metrics: Your Key to Customer Success

We’ve all had some horrible marketing or sales experiences we can reflect back on…the ones where we got annoyed by constantly gated information, the harassing sales calls, pulling our hair out when no one was there to help us with support, too much help when you didn’t need it, being passed along the line of contacts, haggling over the price, and so many more aggravating scenarios.

But even though we know how this feels, we keep repeating these same behaviors. Why don’t we change this pattern of bad experiences? And how are they really impacting our business?

BAD METRICS = BAD EXPERIENCES

If we are all striving for customer success, we need to reassess the success metrics we are measuring. Our typical short-term metrics used in most businesses include:

  • Pipeline
  • Margins
  • Number of leads
  • Number of opportunities

Though these metrics are common, they may be promoting the wrong behaviors described above and creating bad customer experiences. We should also be looking closely at customer satisfaction metrics such as:

  • Engagement
  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT)

BAD EXPERIENCES = LACK OF GROWTH

Beware of the metrics that could create detractors. Those unhappy customers can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. Your brand is not just a factor for Marketing, but everyone in the company influences brand and the customer’s experience. Factors that can negatively affect your customers and thus your brand include:

  • Having to fill out many fields and personal information to get to useful information
  • Not being able to get help when you need it
  • Contacts handing you off from one person to the next to the next
  • Getting excited to buy but then spend months haggling prices
  • Being harassed by pushy sales people
  • Encountering even more gated information
  • Having to talk to a sales person, again
  • Or not being able to reach a live person when you need to
  • Being wined and dined for a contract then no support for success

The short-term metrics we’ve been using like pipeline, numbers of leads and opportunities, and margins, seem to be creating the bad organizational success behaviors, which in turn create negative customer experiences. These are not the customers that are going to close a deal with you, create renewals, or especially serve as a positive referral to others. Not only does this hinder your growth, but you can also bring damage to your reputation and branding.

GOOD METRICS = GOOD EXPERIENCES

Since the short-term metrics aren’t finding their way into the hearts of our prospects and customers, we need to formulate positive, long-term metrics…metrics that move, drive, and motivate the marketing and sales teams.  By measuring engagement, NPS, and CSAT, we will encourage positive customer success behaviors such as:

  • Viewing demos and papers without filling out a form every time
  • Feeling more support and less sales
  • Having transparent pricing
  • Quickening help response times
  • Sales being open about when their product/service is not a good fit
  • If you want to talk, someone being available
  • No routing rules…response is based on the customer
  • Live chat anywhere for full accessibility
  • Getting more love AFTER the contract is signed than before

All these good experiences come when an entire organization rallies behind good, long-term metrics. When measuring the right metrics, you are setting your customers up for success. The logic goes like this: If they need help, you give them help, then they succeed and are happy, thus eager to refer you.

GOOD EXPERIENCES = GOOD GROWTH

If we can learn from our experiences, then we can successfully evolve to an elevated way of viewing customer success metrics. The old metric was to encourage anything to close. Then we advanced to making sure the customer renewed. Now we are dealing with savvy, experienced customers who feel deserving of a great experience at every stage of the life cycle. This new guideline for customer success sets the metric at whether or not the customer recommends you to others.

Organizing and incentivizing your marketing, sales, and support teams to stand behind this long-term metric will ensure great experiences every step of the process. Follow the methods outlined above to accomplish the following:

  • Transform your customer experience
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Generate positive word-of-mouth
  • Reduce churn
  • Increase overall growth

Your goal with positive, long-term customer success metrics is to create the Promoters. These loyal enthusiasts will keep buying and referring others, fueling growth faster than any of the short-term metrics on their own. Pulling all teams together, your organization has the potential to be the breath of fresh air to your customers, so much so that they will pass your name to 5, 10, 15, 20 other prospects. You can’t fight the equation:

Good Experiences = Happy Customers = Good Growth

How to Survive the Mobilegeddon!

Marketers are constantly developing multi-channel marketing campaigns to reach their target customer. Generally, Marketers tend to focus majority of their attention on websites and include a mobile friendly website design as a beneficial addition. However, with more percentage of users on mobile than ever before and Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm, Marketers need to shift their attention to mobile.

In April, Google announced that mobile friendless will be used as a ranking signal which will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide. Many are deeming this algorithm update as a “Mobilegeddon” and wondering how this change will impact their business.

But no need to fret, we have all of the details you need to know to survive “Mobilegeddon” and what you need to do to save your website!

Below are some recommendations to ensure your website is mobile friendly:

  1. Avoid common mistakes such as unplayable videos, faulty redirects, blocked JavaScript, CSS, image files, irrelevant cross links, etc. These are often frustrating for visitors and provide a poor search experience.
  2. Use text and formatting that is resizable to the screen size without having to zoom.
  3. Include enough spacing between links so that visitors can easily tap the link.

Have you followed these guidelines and are now wondering if your website is mobile friendly? Take the mobile friendly test.

What configurations does Google recognize and recommend for building mobile sites?

  1. Responsive design is Google’s preferred method for web design. It renders the same HTML code and same URL’s for any device and resizes itself to fit the screen being used.
  2. Dynamic serving design delivers the same URL’s but different version of HTML code depending on device and browser.
  3. Separate URL’s deliver different URL’s and HTML code according tothe users device.

Responsive design is perfect for businesses that are looking to offer a consistent and holistic website experience to users on all devices: desktop, mobile, and tablets. If you are thinking ahead and want to cover your bases for any future updates, responsive web design is the best option.

Dynamic design is an ideal solution for companies that make frequent changes to their websites and adjust display for one device as needed.

Separate URLs are used by businesses who want to manage their mobile site independently. It can be a cost effective solution for small businesses with basic website needs.

ShowMeLeads offers a variety of responsive design and landing page services as well as custom design based on your business needs. Check out our library of responsive designs or ask us about creating your own custom template.

For more information on Google’s mobile search engine rankings or responsive web design contact us.