One of the digital age’s great promises has been greater and more accurate tracking of marketing campaigns’ effectiveness — a problem that long perplexed businesses, advertisers, and marketers throughout the past century. This isn’t difficult anymore; easy to use software makes it simple to track how many conversions, calls, visits, opens, and transactions that their emails, webpages, search campaigns, and social posts have generated.
But what about more “traditional” forms of marketing and channels of communication? The reality is that postcards can be held to the same standards as digital when it comes to tracking marketing attribution and ROI. Unfortunately the majority of small businesses are blindly spending money — without knowing the return of investment (ROI) of their marketing spend.
If you’re running a marketing campaign, you really should be tracking its effectiveness. How can you test for what’s working and what isn’t? How do you know you’re not wasting your money on an ineffective campaign?
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to track response from your marketing spend and hold vendors accountable. The arrival of cloud based point-of-sales has made it easier for small businesses to connect marketing campaigns to individual transactions and see exactly how much revenue is generated.
At Cardigent, we’re manically committed towards lowering marketers’ customer acquisition costs. That’s why we include two solutions in every marketing campaign: call tracking and landing pages. These enable any marketer to measure results from your postcard marketing campaigns, test conversion rates of ad creative, and give you the data to hold us or your marketing vendor accountable for results. And these days, if you’re not using them, you are almost certainly losing money on your marketing campaigns.
Imagine, for a second, that one of your prospects receives one of your postcard mailings. She’s interested in your services, so she calls your business number, which you’ve helpfully included on the postcard.
You’ve earned a lead as a direct result of your direct mail marketing campaign. But how would you know that? You could ask your customers, but not everyone is going to answer, or even remember (and if you’ve got a whole team fielding calls, they’re not going to ask that question every time, no matter how thorough they are).
In fact, you may even conclude that you’re not getting enough leads from your postcard campaign, or that you have no way of knowing. You may even decide to end your postcard campaign — which, in this case, would be a terrible mistake.
But with call tracking, you can avoid this uncertainty.
It’s simple — you use a different phone number for every campaign, mailing, or ad you put out. Call tracking services like CallRail, Convirza, and CallFire make this easy to do. And throughout the campaign, you can check which phone numbers got the most calls — and therefore, which campaigns or mailings worked the best.
Caridgent’s Reporting Dashboard is included in every campaign that we run. It tracks phone calls and text messages sent to your business. You can even listen to call recordings, rate the quality of the lead, and record how much the new customer spent at your business.
Most companies today have a website with multiple pages and links to everything to know about the business. There is plenty of content that is unrelated to your marketing campaign’s call-to-action. Too much information and options creates anxiety for a consumer and is likely to hurt conversion rates (that’s marketing-speak for “sales” or “lead generation,” depending on your objective).
Landing pages, though, are laser focused on simply converting a visitor into a lead or customer. You can think of a landing page as the online equivalent to call tracking.
Landing pages, unlike a homepage, “About Us” page, or a product page on your ecommerce platform, are tailored to a specific campaign. Unlike your other pages , which have a broader focus, landing pages are much more focused, more specific: they’re written for one audience, they promise one thing, they contain one offer, and they’re tied to one campaign.
If, as part of your call-to-action in your postcard campaigns, you’re directing people to a website, you really should direct them to a landing page, instead of a home page.
The main reason is because the landing page is the next destination in your prospects’ “buyer’s journey.” If the offer in your postcard mailing intrigued them enough to type the landing page URL in their browser, then the landing page — written specifically to speak to their needs — will convince them to purchase your product and “convert” from a lead to a customer.
For example, take a look at the difference between Wix’s Website and one of their landing pages for their marketing campaigns:
Wix's Landing Pages
The other — and just as important — reason to use landing pages is because, like call tracking, they can be used to track a campaign’s effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). Just like with call tracking, you use a different landing page for each campaign, mailing, or ad (or, at the very least, different URLs) — and in doing so, you can measure precisely which mailings, ads, or other marketing efforts are generating the most visits, leads, and conversions (purchases).
Too often, we see small and medium-sized businesses run marketing campaigns and simply link to their website — which makes them unable to track that these customers came from a specific campaign. If you’re doing this, you could be underestimating the performance of your postcard campaign — or spending too much on creative that isn’t delivering a response.
Here’s another tip: when creating a landing page, use a URL that’s easy to type and relates to your promotion. For example, if you’re offering a free trial of your product, and your main site is http://yourbusiness.com, the landing page URL should be something like http://yourbusiness.com/freetrial or http://yourbusiness.com/postcard.
We include landing pages which are tracked in Cardigent’s Reporting Dashboard so you can examine the results of your campaigns.
Bringing Your Campaign All Together
If your marketing campaigns are not earning you a return on the cash you’ve invested in them, then you are essentially flushing your money down the toilet. Knowing how well your marketing’s performing is critical to keeping your business afloat; by tweaking or scrapping what isn’t working, and doing more of what is working, you’ll attract more prospects, more leads, and ultimately more customers
And just because you’re using a so-called “traditional” marketing channel like direct mail doesn’t mean you can’t use technology to track performance just as precisely and effectively as you would with a digital marketing channel.
Tracking performance also provides Cardigent’s team with the necessary data to improve results by testing and improving on each campaign. We’re driven by continuous learning, research and metrics so that we can drive sales and find new customers for less money. Call Tracking and Landing Pages allow us to see how different designs, geographies, and frequencies affect your campaign so that we can ensure it is always getting better.
If your postcard marketing is directing people to call your business, or visit its website, you have to use call tracking and landing pages to be successful. So don’t spend a single dollar more on marketing until you’ve invested in a way to track response rates from your promotions. That way, you can find the most cost effective media to drive new leads and customers to your venture.