Thursday, 9 June 2011

Forget Traffic Generation, Track Your Leads!

Focusing on lead tracking is better than focusing on traffic generation. Most organisations seem to focus only on the latter. Alas, I made the same mistake, when I was running PPC campaigns, and was optimising the organic results of a web shop. Focusing on traffic generation exclusively, made me literally lose track of lead sources.

So why is focusing on lead tracking better? In order to understand the economics of your business you must be able to track your traffic all the way through your business by lead source (where the leads come from). Leads might come from 

advertisements, on- and offline campaigns, ppc, direct mails, word of mouth, or a simple online form.
If you know which lead comes from which source, start tracking cost per lead! Information about how much a lead source is going to cost you is crucial for your ROI. If, for instance, your investments in leads through PPC are higher than the conversion rate of those leads, you might want to consider investing PPC budgets in other sources such as affiliates or social media. 

Negative ROI
Obviously, having this insight would not be possible if you don’t keep track of the source from which your lead enters your sales process. Nor would it be possible to adjust your strategy and shift budgets accordingly to avoid a negative ROI.

Where the f#~-* did they come from?
The idea is, that if you focus exclusively on traffic generation, you will eventually lose track of the source where that traffic came from. This way, you end up with a lot of traffic (hopefully) of which you can’t tell if it will lead to conversion. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, you can’t track back anymore which source belongs to which part of your traffic because you haven’t been focusing on lead tracking. You’ll end up clueless about which converts the least, and which does the best

The Matrix
Next, it’s essential to connect your lead source with your data. Connect costs, leads, CPL, prospects, CPP, costumer, CPC in a matrix. You won’t only have an overview of accessible data, it will also provide you with insights to which investments are profitable, and which aren’t. Based on this insight you will be better equipped to stream line your online marketing strategy (which sources are profitable, which need to be thrown out) and eventually reach a ROI that is not negative.

Obviously, I left out aspects such as Customer Lifecycle Value and its necessary steps at the end of that cycle (after conversion) such as deliverance, referrals, and upselling. I did this to stress the importance of lead tracking. Know your sources, otherwise getting better traffic and conversion rates will be too random, leaving you with little control over dropping results.

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