Archives for December 2012

How Do Companies Know if Their Marketing Efforts are Working?

Contributed by Great Reach Communications editor, Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Many just look at response rate.  But here are four metrics they need to know. Notice that response rate is only one of them.

1. Response rates
This is a good first measure of the quality of your customer’s print campaign. If the response rate is high, they (and you) have done a good job with the mailing list, the design, and the incentive. Recipients liked it enough to take action.

2. Conversion rates
Once people respond, it’s up to your customer to convert those leads to sales. This is up to their sales team, website, or customer service people. If the conversion rate is low, this is an opportunity to help your customer identify and fix the problem.

3. Cost per sale
One thousand people can respond to a marketing campaign, but to make money, each sale must generate more money than it costs to generate.

4. Lifetime customer value
If you gain a new customer through a marketing campaign, that customer will generate more revenue than just one sale.  He or she will continue to bring in sales for years to come. Even if it costs more to acquire that customer (such as through personalization), if each customer has a high lifetime customer value, it’s worth it.

Understanding what these metrics are and how to use them is part of the value you can offer as a trusted marketing partner. Then you can use these metrics to improve their results and keep that customer relationship strong.

9 Tips to Improve Your Website’s Effectiveness

Your company website is the FIRST place prospects go to evaluate you. How does your site compare to those of your competitors? Are you putting your company at a competitive disadvantage right from the start? Here are some things to consider:

Don’t assume people WANT to be on your website. In fact, they are only there because they are seeking information—and they want it fast.

Predictive behavior. Navigation links should be on the top and/or left side. That’s where people expect them.

9-second rule. If a web page can’t deliver the intended message within 9 seconds, it won’t be effective.

People read images before they read text. Make sure your pages are graphically pleasing and aren’t overloaded with content.

View your website as a 1:1 conversation with your best customer. Too many sites read like an owner’s manual.

Make it personal. People do business with people. Name names and avoid using generic email addresses as your company contact (sales@, info@, etc.)

Build trust and credibility. Add testimonials, company history, and community involvement. These things matter.

Consider a “Customer Bill of Rights” that is attributed to your company’s president and includes their contact info. People are always impressed when they have the ability to contact the president of a company. It’s extremely reassuring.

Make customer resources, newsletters, and other content available. Relevant content not only makes your site engaging, but it’s critical for SEO.

I’m happy to offer a free phone consultation to any printer regarding their website and marketing challenges for 2013. Contact me!

Patrick Whelan
Patrick Whelan