Archive for the ‘vague idea’ tag
This is a guest post from Brad Shorr.
A lot of entrepreneurs and midsize firms say they “get a lot of web leads.” However, when asked if they know the source of the leads, they have only a vague idea – and sometimes, no idea at all.
How can you tell where to direct your marketing efforts if you don’t know where your leads are coming from? You can’t.
This post will talk about how to set up lead tracking on your site, take the guesswork out of your marketing, and help you get more, high quality leads.
A lot phone inquires are never even identified as web leads! This can lead firms to seriously undervalue their Internet marketing efforts.
There are basically two ways to track phone leads: “simple” and “session.”
Simple Phone Tracking
With this method, a service provider such as Marchex sets up a unique phone number that is tied to a particular lead source. Depending on how broadly or precisely you want to track, a handful or a much larger number of phone numbers can be used.
For example, some firms tie one phone number to all of their Google AdWords ads. Other firms tie a phone number to each keyword within the AdWords campaign. The first way allows you to measure the effectiveness of your PPC program as a whole; the second, more granular approach allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of each keyword phrase you are bidding on.
In the same way, a unique phone number can be tied to Microsoft adCenter ads, an email campaign, a specific email blast, a social media landing page, or even a print ad. The service provider collects the data and supplies analytics.
Beyond providing aggregated referral data, tracking services can supply you with a recording of every phone call. By listening to the call, a business can identify the source of each individual lead – and evaluate and improve its inbound sales team’s performance.
Session Phone Tracking
Firms that are highly dependent on web leads often want more detailed lead tracking data. Service providers such as Mongoose Metrics are able to assign a unique phone number to each site visitor, which dynamically displays when they enter your site.
Phone numbers stay attached to the visitor for a fixed period of time — say, 12 hours. During that time, the tracking service records all phone leads, along with data from every visitor session, including where visitors came from. Data on referring sites can be as granular as specific keywords from a PPC ad.
These services are expensive, but offer insights that can help refine not only lead generation, but conversion rate optimization (CRO) as well. We normally start recommending this approach when a firm’s media spend exceeds $5000/month.
Insider Phone Tracking Tips
- Always select an 866 number over an 800 number. Since 800 numbers have been around much longer, they tend to be recycled, and as a result, generate more junk calls from people who associate the number with its previous owner(s).
- Be sure to ask your tracking service to turn on phone recording because surprisingly, some don’t record automatically.
- When reviewing recorded calls, accept the fact you will have to listen to misdials, hang-ups, and auto-dialers (phone spammers). These often represent a fair amount of call volume, but need to be sifted through in order to identify and evaluate the true leads.
Many firms lump all of their form fills into a “web lead” pile that doesn’t tell them anything about where the leads came from. This can be fixed by setting up form tracking, which can be done internally or through a service.
DIY Form Tracking
You or your developer may have the ability to set a cookie that identifies the referring site of every visitor, including the PPC keyword. When a visitor fills out a form, the referring site information is attached to the form. Now you know where your form leads are coming from.
Form Tracking Services
Two problems with DIY tracking: first, some firms don’t have the expertise to set it up; second, even though the referral information is connected, everything else in the conversion process is still manual.
To overcome these problems, services such as Marketo can be hired to basically take over your form management. These platforms not only manage data collection and analytics, they take care of your lead response process – sending acknowledgment emails, offer fulfillment, etc.
As these services offer a high level of automation, they tend to be pricey and make sense for firms with a high volume of leads, or sell high-ticket items, and/or are highly dependent on web leads for their success.
Insider Form Tracking Tips
- Avoid using CAPTCHA on forms. Although it cuts down on spam, it causes conversion rates to plunge.
- CMS platforms may often alternatives to CAPTCHA that have little or no impact on conversion. We use Drupal’s Mollom module, which uses a 50-point inspection to identify spammers, is activated when the user submits the form. If the user is deemed a spammer, Mollum will block it or display CAPTCHA.
Get On Track
As I hope you can see from this post, lead tracking can be fairly easy to set up either internally or with the right partner. One reason businesses fail to do this is a lack of awareness – they just don’t know tracking options exist. A second issue is strategic: businesses don’t always organize a marketing program around their websites, even when their site generates a substantial number of leads. But that’s another post!
Over to You
Are you tracking leads now? What tips do you have for businesses that are ready to start?
Brad Shorr is Director of Content & Social Media for Straight North, a leading Chicago SEO firm. They work with small and midsize firms in a wide array of B2B niches, including truck tracking and machine knitted fingerless gloves.
[ Web Lead Tracking Explained: How to Get High Quality Leads with the Internet is a post written by Tamar Weinberg. ]
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“Should you have a formula for creating marketing programs?”
The answer should be relatively evident to anyone who’s ever tried to cook something: it depends.
If you’re cooking a dish for the first time, following a formula, following a recipe, is probably a good idea. After all, if someone says, make me a Beef Wellington and you have only a vague idea of what Beef Wellington is, the outcome is probably not going to be what your diner is expecting. So the first time, you follow the recipe religiously. You render the Duxelles, you braise and wrap the beef in the puff pastry, and you make the peppercorn sauce. The first few times you make the dish, you screw it up a lot. The beef gets too tough or the pastry gets soggy, but eventually you get the hang of it.
After a number of tries, you need the recipe less and less. You don’t need to remember what ingredients go in the Duxelles. You don’t need to remember how to render peppercorn sauce. You just do it.
After many, many tries, you can do it from memory entirely, and you even start to improvise on the dish. Maybe you add curry or garlic to it, maybe you try brining the beef or using a different cut than filet. Now not only are you not using the recipe, you’re slowly deriving a new twist on the recipe, a recipe that is different than you’ll find in most cookbooks or online. If people love it enough and ask for it enough, you may even publish your own take as a recipe of its own, and then someone else will take up your Beef Wellington recipe, starting the cycle over agian.
Should you have a recipe for creating marketing programs? It depends on how talented and experienced you are at creating marketing programs. Like the chef, you’ll want that recipe for the first bunch of times until you’re proficient at it. As you gain more and more experience, you’ll use the recipe less and less and begin adapting it more and more, until someday you publish your own marketing recipes.
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Driving traffic to your site is all well and good, but how do you turn that traffic into customers? To make your growing web traffic worth something (ahem, money?), the first step is to convert those visitors into leads, and landing pages are an efficient, low cost way to get that done.
But if you’re noticing that some of your landing pages perform better than others, there are some logical explanations behind your underperformers. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common reasons your site visitors click through to your landing page and then abandon it in a flash.
5 Reasonable Explanations for Landing Page Abandonment
1.) Your landing page didn’t pass the blink test. The blink test refers to the first three seconds a visitor spends on any page of your website during which they orient themselves and glean what they can do on that page. The user clicked to your landing page with a vague idea of what they might find there, but in the first three seconds, it is your duty to make it abundantly clear what they will find on that page. You can do so by crafting a clear headline, call-to-action, and providing a form above the fold.
2.) Your landing page had too many distractions. If you only have three seconds to orient a new visitor, you need to let them focus! Remove all visual distractions such as Flash or animation, a navigation that lets them click away, and large and intimidating blocks of text. Instead, include a pleasant (but reasonably sized) image that is relevant to your offer, and make use of all those wonderful formatting tools like bullets, numbers, and bolded headlines to break up text.
3.) You didn’t use actionable language. It’s not that your readers aren’t smart; just don’t make them think too hard while they’re on your landing page. Tell them exactly what to do by using verbs and explanatory language in your headlines and on your ‘submit’ button. Let’s do a little compare and contrast. Which headline do you think will result in more conversions on a landing page?
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If you guessed the second one, you’re right on the money! It tells visitors explicitly what they should do on the landing page, and what they’ll receive for doing it. Just be sure to explain the value of your offer with some brief copy after you write your awesomely actionable headline.
4.) Your form just wasn’t worth the work. There’s a delicate balance to strike between gathering enough qualifying information about your leads, and losing leads to excessively long forms. If you’re not sure how many form fields are too many, start small and build up. Through the magic of A/B testing, you’ll be able to find your sweet spot where neither leads nor information is compromised.
5.) Your offer didn’t match your call-to-action (CTA). If your call-to-action was enticing enough to get a visitor to click through to your landing page, make sure what you actually offer aligns with the original CTA. You can prevent visitor disappointment by being as specific as possible with your call-to-action. If you’re offering a how-to guide, mention what it’s about in both the call-to-action and on the landing page. Use the same language so continuity is maintained throughout the conversion process.
If you’re experiencing dismal conversion rates on your landing pages, do a quick check for these five common problems. Once all of your landing pages are in line with these best practices, you can fine-tune and A/B detailed aspects of your page like button color or page layout to get the best possible conversion rate from each landing page you produce.
Have you seen a lift in conversion rates from solving for landing page abandonment? What was your most common landing page offense?
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