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Closed-Loop Analytics: How to Better Your Tracking

By Derek Gates, Online Marketing Manager for Modern Postcard

Tracking marketing results is vital to business, but quite often, it’s done incompletely. Closed-loop analytics enables you to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign from initial touch through goal completion, whether that goal is a website visit, phone call or purchase.

By analyzing conversion data back to the roots, this type of analytical reporting gives you the ability to accurately see what is or is not working. Instead of basing marketing or business decisions on hunches, closed-looped analytics gives you the real data needed to answer these types of questions:

  • What campaigns make the phone ring?
  • What searched keyword terms have the best conversion rate?
  • What print ad brings the most revenue?

While the devil is in the details, you don’t have to be a large corporation to know these answers. Here are some easy-to-implement ways to better your tracking, close the loop and better your business.

Learn Your Website Analytics Program: Everyone should have some sort of website traffic monitoring program in place like Google Analytics or Omniture, but it doesn’t end with just implementing the program. The key is learning everything it can do. Your analytical program should become the hub of your business. By properly initiating the analytical tools that are available, you have the ability to accurately measure both online and offline campaigns. Just by learning about URL string codes would enhance everyone’s reporting right off the bat.

Know Where You Are Starting: Once you understand your tracking systems completely, get in the habit of measuring key metrics before any changes are made. This way, after a change takes place, you have the ability to understand if it worked. How many times have you made a change to the SEO of your website, but have no idea what it actually did? Before you make the change, track your top 100 keywords on an SEO tool to determine rank. Once the change is completed, measure the results. You’re guaranteed to know if you’re moving forward or backward.

Multiply Your Phone Lines: To coincide with your online analytics, it is very easy to create multiple phone numbers for tracking purposes. There are various online programs that will actually let you create dynamic phone numbers by campaign. If you don’t have the resources, the good old phone company will do just fine. It’s important to understand what makes your phone ring or people visit your website, so take the time to create that understanding.

Ask Where They Came From and Write it Down: If you do not have the resources to ask how a visitor first heard about you by adding a question to your ordering process, try another way. Send an email survey, ask a customer over the phone or via social media. And once you get the answer, capture it in a way that can be easily exportable and sortable. Getting a general feeling for where customers are coming from and the actual answer can sometimes be way off, and this is crucial to your success.

Redirect Your Print Ads: Print ads are hard to measure unless you use some stealth but effective tricks. The dedicated phone number is a great start, but another measurement tool would be a dedicated URL with a redirect to the real page. The redirect will capture the visitor on the page of your choice with proper tracking (see point #1), but the shortened dedicated URL will make it easy for the user to input into their browser. Plus, internet users usually pay no attention to the actual URL once they’re on a page, which is why a lot of tracking takes place at the URL level.

By implementing these simple tricks, you should find your way to better tracking, more real data and a healthier business.

Good luck!

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I've been working with Modern Postcard for nearly ten years now. They are the perfect company to go to for my quarterly promotions. I recently had the pleasure of working with one particular rep, who not only helped solve an old issue regarding an order discount, but was strategic in getting my order through the system with great communication and responsiveness. It is this very sort of customer service which will keep me coming back! Thanks!
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