You can’t expect what you don’t inspect, and you can’t inspect what you don’t measure and track!
Measuring the results of your campaigns is fundamental in successful direct marketing. To optimize your campaign performance, you must understand which media is driving response, which creative is most responsive and whether new offers and call-to-actions increase response better than previous offers.
Without tracking and measuring the results of your campaign metrics you’ll never know which areas of the campaign are under performing or generate those invaluable performance learnings. Tracking allows you to optimize campaigns by applying your learnings – to increase response rates, reduce your cost per response to find that sweet spot for a better ROI.
By following 3 simple steps you’ll set up the framework to properly monitor your campaigns to act quickly to adjust your campaign for a better ROI through the learnings acquired:
Step 1: Identify and prioritize key metrics and test elements
Firstly, you need to identify the key performance metrics that will be driving response and sales; things like creative executions, offers and media selection. You might also need to test a couple of offers or call to actions.
Work with your IT team to ensure that all the elements you need to measure and track can be captured through whatever Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system you’re using.
If you don’t have a CRM in place (and you really should step up and get one if you don’t!), simply set up a ‘tick sheet’ for your staff to mark each call they receive and the outcome of these calls, so you can later manually update your campaign spreadsheet with all these key elements.
In either case, be sure you also have a percentage column next to them to allow you to easily see the different results achieved more easily.
Another thing you might consider if you don’t have a CRM in place is to have a separate phone number for each campaign code. At least this way you can see how many inbound calls came through that phone number to cross reference with those recorded by your staff.
Not an ideal way of tracking, but what else can you do without a CRM – see any benefits in a CRM now?
When directing your call-to-action to a web site you might consider setting up a different URL or landing page for each campaign. This would help you understand and more easily track the key metrics more easily.
Step 2: Make sure you can track all the elements correctly in a timely manner
Setting campaign codes for any direct marketing campaign is important especially when you’re conducting tests. One of the major challenges though, particularly if you’re driving your customers to respond by calling you, is that quite often your team receiving the calls are more focused on selling, rather than making sure they capturing the right campaign code and call dispositions.
Be sure that all call dispositions are properly set up within the CRM interface and that your staff are properly trained to understand which call dispositions they need to employ for each likely scenario. Most dispositions are fairly simple – Sale or No Sale; but other metrics such as Not Interested or Not Qualified may not be so simple.
If someone took the time to respond to an offer and when they called, the outcome of their call was disposed by your staff as ‘Not Interested’; don’t you want to know why they weren’t interested? Or if they were disposed by your staff as ‘Not Qualified’, wouldn’t you want to know why they weren’t qualified?
Maybe these learnings are suggesting that you may have a problem with the list you selected or calls aren’t be disposed properly.
It’s hard to fault your staff when they’re working hard to make sales, but with the proper systems in place together with proper training and discipline, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to do their job properly.
Often direct markets will set up a series of phone numbers or URLs that they use exclusively for testing purposes and one number or URL that they use for their Control. This allows them to keep their test and control campaigns separate and easy to track to get information as quickly as possible.
Step 3: Keep improving your campaigns based on new performance learnings
Direct marketing isn’t a sprint to the finish line – it’s a marathon!
You need to work together with your team to discuss all the options for measuring, tracking and testing performance, as well as, the appropriate timing and evaluation of your campaigns. You need to agree on your options for rolling out your Control, based on the performance learnings obtained through the testing phases.
And, once you’ve run your test cells and established your Control, you need to continually test against your Control to find a better way.