You've done your research. You know that investing in a variety of marketing channels is essential to building your brand and generating leads for your swimming pool business, and that relying exclusively on Yellow Pages simply isn't going to cut it these days. Maybe you've been advertising through a few different channels.
These are all good signs – but your work isn't done once you've made an investment in marketing your pool business. Unless you happen to be funded by an anonymous investor who sends blank checks every month (wouldn't that be fun), every expense needs to count. You need to see ROI. So how do you determine what marketing campaigns are working, what deserves more investment, and what should be cut as soon as possible? It all comes down to careful tracking and analytics. Here are some tips.
Ask new customers how they heard about you
This might sound like a no-brainer, but there are plenty of businesses who don't ask this question because they don't want to be annoying. The fact is it's highly unlikely that your new customer will mind answering this question; it's quick and – unless the call goes wildly wrong somehow – it's harmless. Some businesses will even include the "How did you hear about us?" field in their contact forms; this can help track your online contacts, but it's best to leave it as an optional field if it is included. The less required fields, the better.
Use Web Analytics
Google Analytics is an invaluable tool when it comes to tracking your marketing performances. (Note: Google Analytics is not the only available application for this, though it is the most widely used.) Your website is essentially the digital face of your pool business, and it's where you're trying to drive online traffic; utilize analytics to determine what marketing channels are getting visitors to your site and how successfully you are converting them.
Utilize a Tracking Phone Number
Whether you're testing a direct mail postcard, AdWords, Facebook ads or newspaper ads, using a tracking number that is dedicated to a specific channel will allow you to see how many calls that channel is generating. These services are typically inexpensive, and some even allow integration with Google Analytics.
Keep a Spreadsheet that Tracks Leads by Channel
With the tracking mechanisms in place, the last piece of the puzzle is to record the data and use it to parse your winners from your losers. Make a simple spreadsheet that includes the lead, the channel from which the lead was generated, and the outcome of the contact. Obviously, the more pertinent information you can track here, the better. From here, you're marketing decisions will become much clearer.
Establishing ROI for the various channels you use to market your pool business is no easy task. Even with a solid tracking system, you still have no guarantee for success in the future. However, an educated marketing decision is light years better than spending money somewhere because the next guy does or because you did before and you "think it might've helped." The more guesswork you can take out of the equation, the better line of sight you'll have to establishing profitability – or lack thereof – and the better chance you'll have of successfully growing your business.
What tracking tools have you used? Were they useful?
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