When you’re busy running a small business, it’s often difficult to slow down and figure out if your marketing efforts are working. Tracking your return on investment on marketing helps you determine which efforts best promote your business. If you’re not tracking ROI, you could be throwing money away on promotions that don’t work.
Five simple ways to track marketing ROI:
1. Ask all of your customers how they heard about you
A surprising number of small businesses overlook the easiest way to calculate ROI. Whenever someone walks through the door or gives you a call, ask politely how they found out about your business or organization. Get into the habit of doing this and remember to keep track of it.
2. Track and manage contacts
Keep track of information about your contacts (customers and potential customers) in one place. Web-based contact management systems like the one from zoho.com can help you organize how people hear about you and the business they’ve done with you. Look for patterns in the information to learn how customers find you. Then ramp up efforts in places that work and abandon efforts that don’t. That’ll help you save a lot of money and effort.
3. Code marketing materials and emails
Put a code on all of your marketing materials. When you place an ad in a local newspaper, send direct mail or hand out flyers, place a unique four-digit code or word in each message and ask customers to use it when they contact your business. Using a different code for each promotion will help you track which method reaches the most customers.
If you send an email blast, consider using an email marketing service like iContact which can track how many people open the email and how many people click through to your website. If you have a promotion on the web, set up a unique landing page on your website so you can track who’s visiting your site for that promotion.
4. Hand out coupons
If you give a speech or attend a seminar, give attendees a coupon that gives them a special offer on your products or services. When people come in with the coupon, you’ll know where it came from. Provide other businesspeople you meet with coupons they can give their customers. It’s an easy way to refer them to your company and see how many people are referred to your business.
5. Track phone calls
Use a unique phone extension for every marketing promotion to track how customers find you. Companies like Phone.com offer a virtual phone system that gives you a local or toll-free phone number (for a monthly fee) and an unlimited number of extensions. When customers call in and dial the extension, the call can transfer to the main phone line, but a call log tells you which extension the customer dialed.
These are just five of the easiest ways to track your marketing ROI on a daily basis. Which ones do you use or think would be helpful for your business?