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Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 at 7:30 am

What Actions, Besides a Lead or Sale, Make You Money?

By Melissa Burdon
October 24th, 2011

money-headWhenever we start an engagement with a new client at FutureNow, we begin our journey together with a kickoff call to get a better understanding of the client’s business, customers and the general climate of their industry. We also start by taking a look at their analytics account to gain initial insights into their traffic volume, conversion rate, goals, the marketing efforts they are investing in, etc.

In most cases when we ask the client what their goals are for their project, they respond with “increase sales” or “increase leads,” depending on their business model. When we ask how they measure success; what their key performance indicators are and how they are calculated, they usually respond with the same answer. Some may say they have secondary goals of increasing newsletter signups or getting prospects to download a whitepaper.  When we then ask them “Why? Do you know the value of a newsletter signup or a whitepaper download?” we can hear crickets on the other end of the line.

I’m not trying to throw our clients under the bus here. After all, they are the ones taking the initiative to invest in increasing their conversion rates and performance online. In fact, they are usually better versed than the majority of people in website optimization and they still don’t have a clear idea of what they should be tracking.  What I’m trying to demonstrate is that there is still a wide spread lack of knowledge on what drives sales and leads, how and what to track, and why you should track one thing over another, and how it all affects the bottom line!

Let’s first get a temperature on what you’re already doing. There may be a variety of things you consider as important goals to track on your site. Let’s touch on a few here to get you started:

1. Do you have a newsletter? Do you allow visitors to subscribe to your newsletter on your site?

2. Do you have any downloadable resources that you would consider to be educational or of interest to the visitor? Do you offer content that helps prospects gain confidence in your brand and give them reason to come back to your site?

3. Perhaps you have certain pages that prospects view on your site that you feel are a demonstration of high interest because they are a valuable step in your buying process?

4. Maybe you feel strongly that for your company and your industry, that if someone views more than 3 pages in a single visit, that they are more likely to convert?

Once you’ve identified some key secondary goals, you need to get tracking in place to determine how valuable these are to you today. Do your newsletters actually contribute to sales or leads? Once you have them tracked, you can actually calculate the value of your newsletters. The same goes with any of the things mentioned above. You can create the appropriate tracking for any of these secondary goals.  You need to know what the value is of your current goals if you are going to figure out the success of optimizing them.

We’re not just going to help you increase newsletter sign-ups because you think it’s a good idea. There may be much bigger fish to fry! Now, if we track newsletter signups and they demonstrate incredible value, then we absolutely will help you increase newsletter sign-ups! The whole idea is to let the data tell you where to focus and prioritize.

Conversion Rate Optimization isn’t just about looking for some broken data points and using best practice recommendations for improvement. At FutureNow, we help you learn more about how your customers are moving forward in their buying process, and we help you improve the experience for your visitors from the very first interaction to final conversion on your site. If you are looking to start improving your online performance, start by tracking all of your goals and assigning them a dollar value.  You can always contact us if you need any help.

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Comments (20)

  1. We are pretty clear about conversion tracking. All of our adwords campaigns have a unique phone number that is only set up to receive calls from that campaign. Phone logs help us track increases and slow-downs.

  2. I especially agree with your point on making a newsletter.

    For all the organic/social/paid traffic you receive to a site, you want to make sure that you are focused 100% on gaining a customer.

    Your list will provide valuable customers that you can market to forever.

  3. The most important thing we would have to do along with that, or besides that, is to create a stronger sense of social community itself so that young and well established entrepreneurs feel they are part of something. This will raise the chances of sales conversion rates.

  4. Great article! I agree 100% you need to have tracking as well as offer something to your visitor that gets them excited!

    We offer a newsletter that gives away free ebooks and graphics – it seems to work for us by looking at our various tracking measures.

    Thanks again for the great article and keep up the great work!

  5. Newsletters have helped us tremendously.

    Your contact list is invaluable to develop new client relationships on the future.

  6. Very good article.

    CRO is very important. Some good tools like Clickheat, CrazyEgg and
    ClickTale can help you in the process!

  7. @mike i like your idea. i will try something like yours. but a bit different. instead of using a unique phone for the compaigns i will try to show “compaing specialized” web page to each visiter. is ita good idea?

  8. I feel as though email newsletter is performing well for us. We send our newsletter once a month and we can see a dramatic increase in traffic on and around those days.

  9. Newsletters are great indeed.

    A short tutorials series also demonstrates to a prospect that you can get them results.

  10. Yeah, I personally think newsletters are great, I’m subscribed to quite a few. Although lately I seem to be receiving some I don’t even remember asking for…

  11. What gets tracked gets managed.

  12. I find that many overlook the importance of an email database and keeping in touch with would-be customers with regular communications, ie newsletters. In my experience, open rates fluctuate widely and without tracking you wouldn’t know what works, so that you can “repeat” it in the future. Kind of common sense.

  13. I completely agree with your comments on tracking. When I started internet marketing in 2002, I had no idea about what was working best, mainly because I didn’t track my results.

  14. customer can only be bought by attractive marketing

  15. I do like mike’s idea but resimliyemek solution is even better. I just need to work out how to track perfomance of individual pages.

  16. We have been pretty clear about conversion tracking. The whole adwords campaigns use a unique contact number that is only established to receive calls from that campaign. Phone logs allow us track increases and slow-downs.

  17. Our testimonial page gets high “hits”.. That tells me, people do value them and they can be worth their weight in gold!

  18. Im Very new to this but from a lot of research tracking is the way forward. Great article

  19. I have found that link exchange is as valuable as a lead. One meaningful exchange can generate a ton of leads.

    Sometimes you can just post a link to another blog and they will feel indebted. In fact there is another blog that speak about this. It seems like bloggers have this tendency to cross-promote and don’t ever seem to forget a debt.

  20. I fully agree here, i have spent lots of time trying to increase conversion rates as with simple maths the increase in conversion rates are much more profitable than just increasing traffic alone.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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