Written by Jeffrey R. Armstrong – President/Owner of Armstrong Capital
Your favorite Master Note Buyer – Straightforward, Honest, Fair…
Those of you that know me at all know that I am a little bit, um let’s say “particular,” about marketing my note and cash flow business. Yet in reality if you are not as “particular” as me you could be doing your business a huge disservice. If you do not know where your closed transactions are coming from and why you are very likely hindering your business.
Tracking, keeping statistics and monitoring your marketing efforts will help you in allocating your marketing budget in the marketing methods that you know will work for you. Not every marketing method works for every person or every business. There is nothing more devastating to a note business than to spend money on marketing that produces no or little results. Tracking your marketing efforts can give you the knowledge that you need to have when it comes to knowing what worked for you and what didn’t. The result is an accurate measurement of what marketing efforts were effective and no longer having to depend on inaccurate guesswork to determine where you spend your marketing budget.
Tracking is crucial to any marketing plan; if you aren’t tracking you are not marketing. I’m often asked how to track offline campaigns such as direct mail and classified ads as well as online methods. It’s a great question and one I enjoy helping with, because ultimately it means helping note and cash flow businesses save money.
It does not matter whether you are launching a new note or cash flow business or if you are an established note business tracking will show you what marketing methods are working for you and which ones are not. This will help you in evaluating your marketing efforts and where you are spending your marketing budget. In the long run by tracking marketing efforts you can begin to create a more cost effective marketing plan that will get you the results you desire without wasting money. Enough of the why, let’s get started on some of the how.
Here are just some of the ways to track offline marketing methods, like print and direct mail marketing, online. When creating print or direct mail marketing pieces you want to track when the prospective note or cash flow holder visits your website to gain more information. Without getting too technical, one of the best ways to do this is to have designated domains. You can use the designated domains to track visitors using the log files. It’s crucial to have separate landing pages on each domain, however they can look exactly alike, and they just must reside on the domain to get accurate tracking results. In other words it would look like this:
Classified Ad 1 – Tracking Domain – http://www.TheYourCompany.com
Classified Ad 2 – Tracking Domain – http://www.YourCompanyOnline.com
Direct Mail Piece 1 – Tracking Domain – http://www.VisitYourCompany.com
Direct Mail Piece 2 – Tracking Domain – http://www.VisitTheYourCompany.com
As you can see each piece has a unique url. I know some of you will ask about branding, so let me go ahead and get that out of the way. Your marketing should be creating that visual of your brand, and you still use “your company name” as a portion of the url, but your goal here is really more about tracking than branding. Tip: You do not have to have separate sites for each domain, just separate landing pages. You can use subpages to direct the visitor to your “main” site.
How accurate is this type of tracking? It’s not 100%, but is one of the easiest ways to track your offline marketing online in order to see what is working. For example someone could just see your brand and type in http://www.yourcompany.com and end up on your main site. This would create an error in the tracking the effectiveness of that marketing method or test. Just realize there is some room for error.
Now let’s talk about some ways of tracking phone calls that are generated from your marketing methods. One way to track the effectiveness of your marketing methods and measure “call-in” volume is to use call tracking. You can use call tracking to determine your cost-per-sale and cost-per-call rate. This can help in determining which marketing methods are most effective. To effectively use call tracking each marketing method must have a designated telephone number. You can use this information to see what methods are working and which are not. Call Tracking can be used on many forms of marketing and with many different marketing methods.
There are many companies that provide call tracking solutions and you can also check with your current telephone company to see if that is something they offer. It’s important that you receive a report showing incoming calls in an itemized report that shows what number was called and what time that number was called as well as what region that call came from if you are doing national marketing.
To simplify it a bit here are some other ways you can start doing today to track your current marketing ROI (Return on Investment).
- Ask all of the people that contact you how they heard about you. While it might seem obvious to ask customers how they heard about your business, I believe that a surprising number of note and cash flow businesses overlook this. Whenever someone contacts you, you should politely ask how they found you. It’s just a matter of training yourself to get into the habit of asking all the time.
- Track and manage contacts by keeping track of information about your contacts — note holders and potential note holders — in one place. There are some web-based contact management systems that help you organize how people hear about you and the business they’ve done with you. Look for patterns in the information to learn how note holders find you. Then, ramp up efforts in places that work, and abandon efforts that aren’t working. This also helps with “nurture marketing,” or following up and touching base with them on a regular basis.
- Put a code on all of your marketing materials and emails. Whether you place an ad in a local paper, send direct mail or hand out flyers, place a unique four-digit code or word in each message and ask note holders to use it when they contact your business. Using a different code for each method or test will help you track which method reaches the most note holders.
If you send an email blast, consider using an email marketing service like Aweber, which can track how many people open the email and how many people click through to your website (called “click-throughs”). If you have a promotion on the web, set up a unique landing page on your website so you can track who’s visiting your site for that promotional marketing method.
- If you give a presentation or attend a seminar, give attendees a coupon that gives them a special offer on your services. When people contact you and mention the coupon or special offer, you’ll know where it came from. Provide other business people you meet with coupons they can give their customers—it’s an easy way to refer them to your company. Coupons are a great way to keep track of referrals.
- Track phone calls (in a slightly different way than mentioned above) by using a unique phone extension for every marketing method to track how note holders find you. There are companies that offer a virtual phone system that gives you a local or toll-free phone number (for a monthly fee) and an unlimited number of extensions. When note holders call in and dial the extension, the call can transfer to the main phone line, but a call log tells you which extension the customer dialed and thus help you go back and track exactly where it came from.
Marketing for notes or any other cash flow is a huge numbers game. The more you know about who contacted you, when they contacted you, what marketing method they responded to, where they contacted you from, how they contacted you and the all-important why they contacted you the much better you will be able to refine your marketing plan for maximum effectiveness and ROI. Remember success demands action, keep on marketing AND tracking your marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)