Five Ways to Get the Best Bang for Your Marketing Buck

According to award-winning marketing ROI researcher Rex Briggs, 40 percent of the average marketing budget is wasted each year. If your ads aren't generating leads or building brand awareness, you might need to change them up. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Figure out What's Working

We'd like to amend the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Our version is as follows: "Figure out what's broken, then fix it." We had a problem with more than just the grammar in the first version. If you don't know what's broken, you could waste valuable time and money fixing the wrong campaigns.

businessman frustrated with results on laptopWith an online analytics tool, you'll be able to see what path led a user to contact you. That information will allow you to determine what keywords and online ads are fine the way they are and which ones need fixing.

If a prospect calls in, there are an infinite number of places they could have seen your ad. To figure out which ads generate the most leads, you need a little something called call tracking.

Use Helpful Tools

Lots of detectives and crime-fighters like to fly solo. Marketers don't work that way; we've been working on teams our whole careers and we have a lot of tools as our sidekicks.

Toll-free numbers (TFNs) can be the Robin to your Batman if you let them. By assigning each of your online and offline ads a unique TFN, you'll be able to see which ads generate the most calls and revenue. Once you know what's working best, you can allocate more funds to those and toss out unsuccessful campaigns.

Beating the statistic of wasted marketing budgets will bring you more than just financial benefits. Allocating your budget more efficiently will ultimately save you time, because you won't have to blindly guess what's working best. You'll also have justification for throwing out the campaigns that are duds (nobody liked those anyway — good riddance!).

Respond to Leads Quickly

Over 50 percent of buyers say vendors can create a positive sales experience by responding quickly. That being said, it's a good idea to invest in an analytics tool that will update you the instant a lead responds to an ad so you can contact leads right away. Google AdWords is great, but it doesn't update you in real time, which can hurt your chances of landing a customer. Beat the odds and go with a tried-and-true dynamic call tracking tool.

Use Your Manners

Your grandmother was on to something when she constantly reminded you to use your manners. She knew that one day you would end up in a business where you constantly have to be polite to retain customers. Unfortunately, your grandmother isn't sitting at your desk to let you know to say "thank you."

Luckily you don't have to have a grandmother on your staff; you can just use a call scanning product. Intelligent speech-recognition technology will scan each of your inbound and outbound calls for words you specify. If you require your staff to say "thank you" at the end of a call, you can automatically be notified if it's not said.

You can also set your competitors' names as keywords, so you'll know how often you're being compared to another provider, allowing you to discover who your toughest competition is.

Keep Customers Happy

Even if you have top-of-the-line ads, you still need to put effort into converting leads and retaining them once they're customers. Three easy steps to maintaining leads effectively are to establish contact quickly, get to know your leads and add a personal touch. This will help you build relationships throughout the lead conversion process and will help them feel more satisfied as customers.

When it comes to improving your marketing ROI, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended). Check out our e-book to get the full picture.

Rules for Baking the Perfect Call Tracking

baked goods
Ever ruin a cake? It's probably not because you were cursed by the confection gods at birth. More than likely, you forgot to follow a few simple baking rules (which this post will fill you in on).

You may be asking yourself, "What does a call tracking company know about baking?" 

Well, skeptical reader, believe it or not, baking and call tracking have a lot in common. We'll show you what we mean.

standing mixerBoth Require the Use of Good Tools and Utensils

You can't expect good results without using the proper tools. In baking and in call tracking, the quality of your end product is a direct result of the tools you use. It's simple. Ordinary tools produce ordinary results. Extraordinary tools produce extraodinary results.

Baking Best Practice: A standing mixer (or a quality hand mixer) is a must in baking. The power that it provides makes for more thorough mixing, which produces better baked goods.

Call Tracking Best Practice: In business, your best tools are your staff and the customer service they provide. However, your staff can become liabilities if they're not engaging in high-quality phone service. Potential customers will very likely (78 percent of the time, according to an American Express survey) take their business elsewhere because of poor customer service. Check out our 8 Tips for Maintaining Customer Loyalty to help your business provide awesome service. Then, after training your staff on our tips, do some follow-up call recording.

Both Should Include Top-Quality Ingredients

cocoa powderEver heard the saying "You get what you pay for?" Well, when it comes to baking and call tracking, it's true. Whatever you put into your recipes, whether in your cake or in your lead management, people can tell if it's not high quality.

Baking Best Practice: Never skimp on the quality of your ingredients for the sake of price or convenience. For example, to properly bake a chocolate cake, you need high-quality cocoa powder (use the cheap stuff and your cake will suffer).

Call Tracking Best Practice: To properly track your calls, you should employ solutions that do more than just tell you the source of a call. Special features such as call recording software and RESCUE call review services can help you determine if  your staff is properly handling calls.

Both Need the Correct Measurement of Ingredients

measuring cupsNow that you have high-quality ingredients at your disposal, you should know it won't do you much good if you don't measure them out correctly. A "pinch of this and a pinch of that" mentality is great for an expert baker, but for our purposes, let's stick to getting it right a few times before we go off-road.

Baking Best Practice: You shouldn't just pour random amounts of flour, eggs and milk into a bowl and expect to get a beautiful cake. You have to correctly measure your ingredients using measuring cups.

Call Tracking Best Practice: Using various tracking solutions is pointless if you're not measuring the data. Using a reporting tool like MyDASH allows you to create a dashboard to view up to five reports at once. By measuring the solutions (or ingredients) your lead management (or baking) will be much more successful.

Ready to get cooking? You can learn more tips in our post about choosing the right call tracking provider. (For baking tips, please consult an actual chef.)