A large part––arguably the most important part––of evaluating your promotional activities is knowing what’s working amid all of your promotional efforts. 

The most obvious and easiest way to know is by asking your prospects and new customers how they heard about you. 

This is not complicated. Do not overthink this but be thorough. You’ll see what I mean as you keep reading. 

5 Ways to Ask

Here are some ways to aid your evaluation. Your IT person will be very familiar with many of these and can probably install them quickly. 

  1. An online pop-up form on your website. When a visitor logs on, a pop-up screen immediately (or after a few seconds) asks them how they knew to visit your site. This is totally optional, considered an opt-in technique. 
  2. Ask on the intake on registration forms. Once they’ve decided to commit to your services, asking people to identify how they heard about you is a natural question and people are forthcoming in offering this information if they remember. 
  3. Show of hands. If you invited people to attend an event of any kind, you take an impromptu poll to find out which of your efforts brought them to you. News story, social media post, ad, a friend, etc. This is not scientific, but it’s better than now knowing. 
  4. Conduct a survey with an incentive. Sometimes people need motivation to give you any information. When encouraged to earn a small reward or free PDF download, they might give you many details including demographic data, opinions, and definitely how they heard about you. 
  5. Pair the question with another opt-in. When people sign-up for your e-newsletter or rewards program, slip in a question about how they heard about you. 

In addition, here are two ways to track the results without specifically asking. 

  1. Promo codes. Use a promo code that tells you what ad or promotion moved them to action. Create a simple suffix that the customer hardly notices but means a great deal to you. If you sell pizza, your buy one get one (BOGO) promo code might be listed as BOGO2020-N for News in the press release, BOGO2020-F for a Facebook post, etc. Even if they catch on to this very sophisticated encryption (LOL), they don’t care and are happy to supply the code for free food. 
  2. Create unique emails for different activities. Many communications end with the statement “for more information, contact us at [email protected]/org.” Your IT professional can easily set-up multiple emails that all feed to your email inbox and you will be able to see what is resonating with your prospects. [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]/org will reveal the entry point of your prospects allowing you to funnel them in with an accurate understanding of why they sought you out to begin with. 

Thoroughness Aids Your Research

Most of the time you will supply a set of answers to narrow their choice and will include OTHER as a catchall. If you can, add a line for them to describe the OTHER to avoid that becoming the number one answer that will not help you in the end. 

For example, if your supplied answers are:

  • Doctor referral
  • Ad 
  • Online
  • Other

Many people will choose OTHER. If you have an ad running in three publications and it matters to you which one they saw, then list all three publications by name. The above choices are confusing in that some people might know they saw you online, but don’t know if it was an ad. In uncertainty, they will default to OTHER. If you receive referrals from many sources, then list those or group them all together like this: Referral (from a doctor, other professional, friend). 

Online can mean any digital marketing. If you are monitoring progress of three social media platforms and your website, and it’s important to you to know which one is performing best. You’ll want to partner this with your online analytics so you know what mechanism is drawing attention, and which one is converting prospects to clients. 

Promotion Works Together

When you are paying attention, you will notice how these myriad tactics braid together. You might see a spike in website visitors after a news story runs. Or sales increase after a celebrity was seen using your product on Instagram, and other triggers.

Evaluating this data is important to help you refine your activities for the best return on your investment

Thanks for visiting my blog. If this is your first time here, please send me an email and let me know how you heard about me [email protected]

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Sign-up on her website today to receive helpful insights like this one in your inbox.  See how easy your efforts can be here

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