“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” –John Wanamaker
Nearly half a century ago John Wanamaker made this comment. Sadly many businesses still feel this way. However with today’s technology including Marketing Automation and visitor tracking, online marketers have the tools to “close the loop” so they can effectively tie every lead and sale back to the dollar amount to the marketing initiative that produced them.
As I often say, “Your website should be the central hub of your online universe.” All your online marketing efforts should be driving traffic to your website: social media, search engine traffic, paid advertising, even your offline campaigns should send visitors to your site. You can see this in an our Online Marketing Flowchart. Once someone has come to your website you can give them a cookie which will track their activity on your site.
As each visitor browses your website you’ll be able to see from which avenue they came. You can see where they entered the site, what pages they viewed as well as where they exited the site. With this knowledge you can begin to shape visitor’s experience on your website, including taking actions to keep visitors engaged with your site.
The next step is to turn visitors into leads and start to close the loop. This is where you begin to monetize website traffic and send qualified leads to your sales team. One way to do this is to drive traffic to landing pages where you make an exchange. An exchange that can be in the form of a piece of your knowledge (a whitepaper, a case study or some other form of information) for more insights about the visitor (name, contact information, company, etc.).
So, not only will you know where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site, but you’ll be able to tie this to actual people. Plus, you’ll be able to contact them!
The last step of the process is to track these leads to see who becomes a customer and how much they purchase. This will give you the ability to tie your sales all the way back to the individual marketing efforts. So now you’ll be able to determine which marketing channels contributed the most sales, which brought in the least and then make informed decisions for where to put your marketing dollars.