Posted 21st March 2011 | By Nick Evans, Chairman

Unless you measure your marketing, how do you know how successful you have been? The secret is to build in measurement tools to everything you do - and that's something many people don't do.

Your business will stand or fall on the information it gathers about its customers, their preferences and aspirations. If you saw that people did not like or respond to a print advertisement that you put in a shop window - you'd change it. Similarly, you should ensure that your website and its associated email marketing speaks to the needs of people - we covered this recently here.
The only way you know whether what you publish is working, is to track people's interaction with your website or with your emails. How do you do that? It should be built in from the start. Every website should be built with analytics software embedded as standard - this way, you can check all of the following:
Total numbers of visitors - both new and returning
Where they came from - including search engines, email campaigns, referring sites and so on
How long they stayed on your site and whether they "bounced" out - i.e. looked at only one page and then went elsewhere
How many pages they viewed
Using this information you can work out whether pages that contain important information are being viewed, whether people are taking the opportunities you offer them or whether your site is not cutting the mustard as far as recruiting new business is concerned.
And the same applies to email marketing. Your provider should be able to give you access to statistics that tell you:
How many people opened the email
How many people clicked a link (and which links they clicked ... and who they were, incidentally)
How many addresses failed to deliver because they bounced, were blocked or otherwise failed
How many people unsubscribed or made a spam complaint
Your aggregate opens and clicks across a number of campaigns
This management information is gold dust and you will benefit from spending time in analysing your results. After all, it's going to change what you do for the better - and you can't do any of this with printed material. Who knows whether it's been delivered, read, binned or used as firelighters?
Nick from ExtraMile Communications Ltd in Eccleshall, Staffordshire
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Article by Nick Evans of ExtraMile Communications Ltd - marketing with commitment

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