The lead source for each sale your business makes is an important piece of information. It informs you where you are making good investments and where investment is not being returned. It also allows you to refine your marketing budgets to take advantage of opportunities and reduce funding for avenues that are proving less effective.
For instance, you could be spending $500 on two marketing channels, social media, and PPC. You find with lead tracking that PPC is making 80% of your sales and generating $8,000 per month compared to just $2,000 per month from social media. While both are making a profit, it is evident to see that there is a greater opportunity from PPC and the extra money could be funneled into that avenue to increase sales and grow the business.
The difficulty is in determining what your lead sources are. With the rise of the internet, the places that leads could be generated from has multiplied to an incomprehensible size. So you have to be smart in the way that you track your lead sources.
Here are some of your options with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
1. Ask The Customer
This is one tactic which nearly all businesses do, and for the most part, it is highly useful. Customers will often be willing to state where they heard of a business or a product.
However, there are a couple of problems with this technique. One, the customer might not be telling the truth. In some cases, they want to keep their purchasing habits private and therefore will put down a generic answer like a search engine or social media. These generally won’t incur additional questioning whereas stating “refer a friend” or “third party publication” might mean a business will ask the consumer further questions they don’t want to answer.
Secondly, users might not know what the actual lead source was. That often happens when there is a long time between first interaction and point of sale. The consumer might not have even realized that they interacted with you before. Therefore, this can be a highly ineffective method.
2. Web Tracking
Numerous technologies allow you to track where a visitor to your website has come from. One of the most common ways is to use a unique URL that identifies the referring website. It is commonly used when you use affiliate marketers so you can ensure all commissions are paid for accurately.
A URL might look like this for instance:
When the visitor comes to you, monitoring software will be able to tell you how many visitors this referrer has provided you with and the actions they have taken.
Not every website can comply with this tactic, so this could leave you with gaps in your understanding. If you generate links from third parties, like when they reference your blog posts or they review your products without your knowledge, then they won’t have been provided with a unique URL to use. Another example would be Google; they would use just your plain URL and therefore, search engine referrals would not be recorded.
This way also doesn’t allow for the recording and analysis of offline sales. Statistics from these could be highly useful and demonstrate critical consumer behavior.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is free and with a bit of technical knowledge, can help you determine where the best new clients are coming from. It can also help you establish the conversion rate, which will determine your cost effectiveness.
Google Analytics does require you to ensure that every page has a specific code installed in the header section of the website code so Google can track incoming traffic and there are some who question the tool’s accuracy. This solution also only works for online sales, which means that any offline sales won’t get recorded.
What Is The Best Solution?
The best thing to do is to use all three techniques. It will give you the most information which can be cross-referenced to gain greater accuracy.
How do you track sales on your website? How accurate is your system?
Let us know in the comments below.
- Add monitoring tools for your website and sales process.
- Analyze what your best-performing lead sources are.
Marketing Automation can make your lead process more efficient and productive. Contact Mann & Co. to get started today.