Skipping Out on Tracking? Why You Can’t Afford a Day Off

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I love math and numbers and looking at data and trying to figure out what it means, just like everyone else in the marketing world!

Right?

Right?!

Bueller?Skipping Out on Tracking

Okay, so maybe not everyone enjoys numbers as much as I do, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. These boring, complicated, overwhelming numbers are the key to knowing whether or not your marketing expenses are actually generating revenue for your company. That’s pretty important!

But are you even able to track which efforts are making you money? Recently, one of Capterra’s Marketing Advisors, Jennifer Bischoff, held a webinar all about the ins and outs of tracking and closed-loop marketing. Did you attend? If not, have no fear! I’m here to fill you in on what you missed (and provide a refresher to those who did attend).

Closed-loop Marketing

Let’s define closed-loop marketing: it’s linking what you spend on marketing all the way through to the revenue that those efforts generate i.e. closing the loop. We can divide the process into a series of steps:

  1. Inbound marketing – marketing tactics that bring people to your website, such as PPC advertising, search, social media, blogging, etc. (Typically, these are the campaigns you need to track most since you already know who you’re reaching with outbound methods like email, cold-calling, tradeshows, etc.)
  2. Visitor tracking – analyzing the overall traffic to your site and looking at aggregate patterns among all the anonymous web visitors. A lot of companies stop the tracking process here, but there’s so much more to be gained!
  3. Lead capture – creating place(s) on your website where visitors can fill out forms to become a lead.
  4. Lead conversion – when somebody completes one of your lead capture forms, then you have a lead! This is another step where many companies stop tracking (prematurely), and they just report how many leads each campaign drove…not how many of those leads actually became customers.
  5. Lead nurturing – moving the lead through the funnel so that it can become a sales-ready lead.
  6. Lead qualification – determining that the lead is sales-ready so that now you can move towards…
  7. New customer acquisition – Congratulations! You have a new customer and generated revenue!

Translating Numbers into Decisions

But what can you actually learn from all the data once you’re tracking is in place? Jen did a great job showing how to analyze your data with some simple examples. Here’s one below:

Sources Visitors Per Month Cost Per Month Conversion Rate Leads Cost Per Lead
Campaign 1 200 Clicks $1000 25% 50 $20
Campaign 2 500 Clicks $1000 2% 10 $100
Organic 300 Clicks Free 15% 40 Free
Total 1000 Clicks $2000 10% 100/mo $20

As you can see, there’s a lot of data from these two campaigns to consider before making any hasty decisions. If we just looked at the number of visitors per month, it seems like Campaign 2 is doing better than Campaign 1. However, looking at the conversion rate and number of leads, we can see that Campaign 1 is actually doing better than Campaign 2. And in the end, the cost per lead is much more expensive for Campaign 2.

What can we take away from this? Campaign 1 does the best in terms of converting visitors into leads, and at a cheaper rate than Campaign 2. So you should probably put more effort/money into Campaign 1. However, Campaign 2 did the best in terms of clicks, so something about your offer or messaging made people more likely to click on it. Potentially, you could test whatever made that campaign more successful in bringing in visitors, and then apply it to Campaign 1. These are just a couple of immediate takeaways from the data above, but you can slice and dice it in countless ways to help you answer all you nagging marketing questions. It’s important to use as much data as you can in order to make confident decisions.

Benefits of Tracking

I’ve touched just the tip of the iceberg of all the benefits you’ll get from tracking. Just in the example above, you’ve already learned which sources provide quality leads and the cost of generating those leads. From there, you could track which of those leads were sales qualified, which turned into customers, and ultimately, which sources provided the best quality customers for the cost. Or, you can find out which offers work best, how your lead nurturing emails perform, what stage your leads fall out of the sales process, and more! The possibilities are endless!

So hurry and get your tracking efforts set up! You can use cookies to see where your site visitors come from; you can use Google Analytics to see where on your site visitors go; Capterra can even provide you with conversion tracking for each of the directories your software is listed on. There are many different options, so be sure to find the combination of tools that fits your tracking needs.

Before you know it, you’ll be a crazy numbers-loving marketing professional like me!

How have you used tracking to assist your marketing campaigns? What have you gained from it?

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author

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Caroline Malamut

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Caroline is the Vendor Marketing Manager at Capterra. Her love of marketing began while growing up in Philadelphia and has only grown since attending the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and cheering on her Philly and Pitt sports teams.

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