Why Service Companies Should Track Where Their Customers Come From

There an old adage that goes, “You waste half your advertising budget. The problem is you don’t know which half.” However, technology makes tracking each of your sales back to the ad that inspired it possible. And when you can attribute sales to advertisements and marketing programs you use, you can know which programs to expand and which to cut.

By paying attention to how your customers find you, you can track the revenue, profitability, and return on investment of your marketing and advertising efforts. By doing this, it is possible to get a strong understanding of the comparative effectiveness of all your marketing programs.

To start figuring out what ads are producing the most sales, you need to tag each person that calls you with how they found out about you. Sometimes the way they hear about you will be obvious, like when they bring in your newspaper ad or door hanger coupon. Most time, however, this will require you to ask how they heard about you. It should be part of the regular routine for each new person that calls.

Tagging your prospects and customers

Most customer managements systems have a place to mark a customer’s lead source.

Tag your customers with how they found you

These codes can track the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns if they are associated with the customer’s record or the dispatch. With that kind of association, the code of the way the customer found you can be applied to their dispatch or invoices so you can see how much revenue and profit came from each of your ad programs in a given time period.

Sales Sort Codes

It’s important to come up with specific codes with meaningful descriptions for your various marketing programs so that you can clearly identify which campaign to attribute revenue.

For example, if you had a monthly door hanger campaign, you could code the January campaign as DOOR1.

Enter Sales Sort Codes

These codes should not just be used and then discarded. Deleting codes will make it impossible to see how much revenue (or lack thereof) could be attributed to that marketing program.

Analyze the results

Another important component of identifying how customers found you is to analyze how much each lead source contributes in revenue for a given period of time. This information is vital to discovering opportunities to expand in certain areas of your marketing and advertising mix and what areas you should cut.

You should report on and compare the volume of sales attached to each of your marketing campaigns or advertisements. This is the only way to know which ones are effective and which are now.

With a detailed analysis you will be able to see the number of invoices attached to each code for the time period, and also shows the total sales dollars and percentage of total dollar sales for each code, allowing you to identify your most profitable types of sales.

Click on the image to see a larger version:

Sales Sort Analysis

This is one effective way to make decisions about which advertising programs to expand or retract.

How do you decide what advertising and marketing programs are working? What measurements do you use?

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