I am always surprised by the number of businesses out there that invest heavily in the acquisition of new potential customers, yet have nothing in place to convert their prospects into clients or (once converted) retain and grow their business. While investing in attracting customers can yield enough sales to keep a business “ticking over”, it is important to invest in conversion, retention and growth to optimise your success.
While I could quite easily write enough on how Digital Marketing can optimise your success to make War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy look like a tweet, I thought it would be best to start with a few ideas of what is possible.
Converting prospects into customers
Look beyond visitor numbers and give focus to increasing what you want the visitor to do (herein referred to as “goals”) once they have reached your website.
- On-site tracking – if your goals are based on actions carried out via your website, Google Analytics (a free service provided by Google) can help. Once installed, Google Analytics will provide you with a wealth of information on where visitors to your site are coming from, what they do when they get there and, with a bit of customisation, specific insight based on the goals you have set. For example, if your web site is an online store you can see where customers enter and exit the checkout process and how much revenue is being driven from specific campaigns.
- Split testing – once a visitor has arrived at your website, it’s important to ensure that it is as easy as possible for them to find the information they are looking for. Split testing allows you to experiment with variations of site content in order to determine which provide the most successful outcome.
- Call tracking – online call tracking solutions can provide statistics on how many of your website visitors picked up the phone and called you. Unique numbers on different campaigns will enable you to determine which get the phone ringing more, with advanced call tracking solutions allowing you to attribute a sale value to each call.
Consider this for a moment: The 2012 Econsultancy/RedEye Conversion Rate Optimization Report stated that for every $92 spent acquiring customers just $1 is spent converting them.
Retaining and growing your business
Once you’ve converted a prospect into a customer, it’s important to invest time and money into retaining and growing their custom.
- Social media – if your customers are using Social Media, chances are they are logging into their social networks (like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, to name but a few) on a regular (if not daily) basis. Establish profiles on the most appropriate social media channels for your customers as a medium to keep them engaged and, ultimately, buying from you.
- Email marketing – despite what some will tell you, email marketing is not dead. In fact, 70% of respondents to the 2012 Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Census ranked Email Marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in terms of return on investment. For success, personalise and target your emails, don’t “batch and blast”.
- Online loyalty programmes – reward your customers for repeat purchases. Not only will it encourage them to spend more with you, it can also provide insight into how much they are spending on average and what products your customers are most interested in. Used correctly, this insight should make it easier to up and cross sell your products and services. In addition to rewarding purchases, consider acknowledging referrals.
There you have it – a few ideas on how Digital Marketing can help you optimise your success.
It’s important that you take a holistic view and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy which incorporates both on and off line marketing. Many of the businesses I have spoken to over the past 7 years have attributed a lack of time or money to not investing in anything other than acquisition. If only they did not have to spend so much time or money attracting new prospects that are not likely to ever become customers and were instead able to drive revenue from existing customers, huh? Thanks to Digital Marketing it has never been easier or more cost effective to do just that.
Kristen Sousa is a Key Account Manager at a full-service Digital Marketing Agency based in Exeter.