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!
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).
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:
- 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.)
- 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!
- Lead capture – creating place(s) on your website where visitors can fill out forms to become a lead.
- 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. continue reading »
‘Closet space to die for…trails right outside your door.’
Recently, I thought that I’d made up my mind about where I was going to live. That is, until my friend suggested another alternative…
‘The best restaurants steps away…organized events any time of day.’
Gulp…I was split between two living situations: stretching my arms beyond the city borders or getting that all-so-convenient city apartment. It was a pretty big life decision that I wasn’t prepared to make.
Working in marketing, you’re likely met with tough decisions like these all the time. Maybe not life-altering, but tough nonetheless. For instance, should you send your web traffic to a lofty, wide-open website? Or would it be better to send them to a smaller abode like a dedicated landing page?
As I make my housing checklist, here are 5 tips to help you evaluate your own landing page and website real estate and make the right choice:
1. Landing Pages Maintain Focus
Software buyers are busy people who are already inundated with lots of information, and, ultimately, they really care about their needs. By using concise design and copy on your landing pages, you can quickly emphasize how your software will make a prospect’s life easier. While newsletters, press releases, and brochures have their place in the marketing mix, they distract users from the goal of your landing page – generating leads. Because you can limit the navigation on a landing page, it’s easy to visually prompt a prospect to take the desired next step- like signing up for a demo, trial, or quote–with a capture form on the same page. Curious to see what that looks like? Check out Unbounce’s customer landing page gallery for some great examples. continue reading »
You’re walking down the street when a stranger stops you and tries to sell you a “real” Rolex for $200. Are you interested? No, because it’s probably fake or stolen. What if you’re in an official Rolex store and a sales person offers you that same deal. Are you interested now? I hope so!
Alright, what changed your mind? Credibility did.
So, let’s tie this back to you and your prospects. It’s important to build credibility for the buyers who visit your website so they trust you enough to give you their contact details. Only 58% of online web users believe online information to be credible. You can’t expect them to fill out a form on a website they don’t trust, the same way you wouldn’t hand over $200 to a random guy on the street.
Let’s start with the obvious credibility factors like having a phone number and address that are easily accessible. Most sites have this covered, but I’m surprised at the number of websites that don’t make more of an effort to build credibility and trust beyond this! Here are a few trust-building elements that should be on your website:
Having testimonials throughout your site is huge. Real names and real companies talking about how your product helped them is like a friend coming up to you and telling you about this amazing deal for a Rolex going on right now at the store. Put testimonials next to your call to action (Free Demo or Start Free Trial button) and on your form page. Seeing testimonials within the conversion path is similar to you bumping into a friend on their way out of the store…you’re right there, so why not just walk in and take a look (get a demo, do a trial, etc). continue reading »
As a Marketing Advisor at Capterra, I serve as an outside marketing consultant for nearly 300 B2B software companies. I’m basically their own personal “Dear Abby”—only instead of giving advice to scorned lovers and angry neighbors, I help with marketing. I consult on demand generation and lead funnels, advise on website optimization, share account recommendations and field questions regarding pay-per-click. The Dear Abby column is a success because people love to learn from others’ mistakes and (let’s be honest) people are nosey. So I had an idea—I will, like Abby, take client questions, and share my response and perspective with our blog readers. And don’t worry; the names are changed to protect the innocent…
Which will result in a higher volume of quality leads- long or short web lead capture forms? I’ve recently read a few articles that stress the importance of using short forms to generate leads, but my boss doesn’t agree. Our “Free Demo” lead form has 16(!) fields (including contact details, physical address, company information, and user size) but my boss believes that those who fill out the form are higher quality, more motivated prospects. I’d love to test a shorter form to see what impact it has on quality. But how can I convince her?
All the best,
Swooning for Short Forms
Your suspicion is correct. Short lead forms will generate a higher volume of quality leads. But you’re not the one who needs convincing.
I think we can all (your boss included) agree on one point: The goal of a website is to generate leads. But to capture the most leads, you need to make it as easy as possible for a prospect to convert. Using long forms to qualify will push away otherwise promising prospects.
There are two processes used to qualify leads; your form, and your follow up.
I’d suspect your boss’ love for the long form stems from past experiences with short forms generating junk leads. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. When you shorten your form, you will increase the volume of inbound leads—but that doesn’t mean the leads will all be a good fit. That’s where step 2 comes in: you’ll need to do some legwork to qualify the leads. continue reading »
It used to be that when you had a bad experience with a hotel or restaurant, you’d complain to the manager and maybe tell your friends about it, but that was about it. Well, not anymore. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and any other social sharing site gives customers instant gratification – they can make their complaint and share it (publicly) with no lag time.
But it works both ways, as evidenced by author Dave Kerpan’s personal experience with social sharing. One tweet about his frustration with a long line at a hotel check-in sent him packing (on his next trip) to a hotel down the road and recommending it to all of his friends. That second hotel made $10,000– all because they were “listening” and smart about social media.
Guests are judging you from the moment they check in to the moment they leave. Whether their experience is wonderful or terrible, they are going to spread the word, usually through the use of social media.
Hospitality Property Management Systems
If you haven’t already implemented a Hospitality Property Management System, then it’s time. Automating the marketing, booking, and billing for your hotels, motels, and resorts can lead to more positive experiences… leading to more social sharing… which leads to more business for you.
Whether you run a one unit, 12 bedroom bed & breakfast, or a 12 unit, 500 room hotel, hospitality property management can help improve your business.
We researched the HPMS industry to find the Top 20 Most Popular Hospitality Property Management Systems.
We used our popularity index to determine these 20 hospitality property management leaders. The index is based on the number of customers, number of users, and social presence of each of the property management companies. continue reading »