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Responsible Email Marketing

"Tracking Your Online Marketing Results
The Key To Producing Results"

By Terry Williams

Too many times online marketers are so busy promoting their products, services or web site that they forget to take the time to "Track Their Marketing Results!" It's absolutely vital to the success of your online business to evaluate not only where you've been but what kind of results you're producing!

Email Marketing and Website Promotion

The only way I've found that provides me with this kind of valuable information is to have a tracking system in place to track your marketing and advertising efforts. Without some kind of tracking system in place, you won't have the foggiest idea of where you're marketing, what advertisements you're running, what kind of response rates you're getting and what is and isn't working for you. Without this data all your planning, marketing, advertising and testing is nothing more than wasted effort. More importantly, you won't be able to target your marketing efforts to create increased profits when your marketing is working or save your business when it begins to turn downward!

The system you decide on is relatively unimportant. What is important is that your tracking the right things in order to make the necessary changes and adjustments and to do so at the right times. You can track you efforts manually or use your computer and a word processor, database or spreadsheet. It doesn't have to be an elaborate system, just something that you can easily update and tally your figures. I personally like to use a spreadsheet as it provides the capability of a basic word processor, database and a means to get totals calculated for response rates.

Although every business and marketing plan are inherently different, I do recommend including the following sections into your tacking system:

The Marketing/Advertising Medium Used.
The Ad Headline Used.
The Advertising Code.
The Date Ad Was Posted.
The Cost Of The Advertisement.
A Listing Of Any Special Offers Used.
The Guarantee Offered.
The Number Of Ad Responses.
The Number Of Times A Follow Up Letter Was Sent.
The Number Of Detailed Information Requests.
The Number Of Orders.

This list is not all inclusive and you might want to add or delete items on this list. What is important, is that you have a system in place to track your marketing and advertising efforts so you can make intelligent decisions concerning your business. The majority of the items in this listing are pretty self explanatory except for the advertising code so let me take a few moments to explain what advertising codes are, why and how to use them.

Advertising Codes

In order to track your advertisements in terms of responses, inquiries and orders you have to mark or "code" your advertisements and any outgoing sales materials or follow up letters. In traditional direct mail advertising, this is usually accomplished by adding extensions or department numbers in all correspondence with prospects. This becomes rather difficult with online marketing as you'll be doing most of your communication with your prospects via email and your prospects don't always follow your directions for putting specific information in the subject area.

So how can you overcome this obstacle because you really want to track your marketing and advertising efforts to maximize your profits?

By Utilizing Autoresponders In Your Email Marketing

Autoresponders are one of the most powerful online marketing tools in your tool box. But how can you utilize them to code and track a specific advertisement's effectiveness? By utilizing the unique email address or name of the autoresponder. When you create your autoresponder you'll be required to name it. That name is unique do now you have a very effective code for your advertisement. So when your prospect responds to your ad, they are sending an email to your autoresponder with it's unique name. Now you can track that particular advertisement's response rate.

What About Tracking Your Follow Up?

Now you've tracked the responses for your particular advertisement and you want to follow up but you also want to track the responses from your follow up. Remember, almost always, your prospects are going to use their "Reply To" button on their email program to respond to you, so the "Subject" line will usually never change. The key here is to utilize your advertising code to let you track the specific advertisement's effectiveness all the way through the sales process.

Here's an effective way to do this.

Make The Subject Of Your Follow Up Email The Autoresponders Name
Let's say your autoresponder's name was profits4@intersuccess.com. Now for the follow up letter just incorporate the autoresponder's name into the subject.

For Example:
Subject: Re: Profits4 - Your Request About "Internet Profits"

Now you'll probably want to track the number of the follow up letters with your prospect, so all you do is add a number code to your subject line and you'll be able to track that prospect from start to finish with this code.

For Example:
Subject: 1Re: Profits4 - Your Request About "Internet Profits"
Subject: 2Re: Profits4 - Your Request About "Internet Profits"
Subject: 3Re: Profits4 - Your Request About "Internet Profits"

Coding Your Order Forms

Now to finish off your advertisement's tracking you'll need to code your order forms both in your email responses and web based order responses. This is easily accomplished by inserting any unique code you desire on the order for itself. Put the code somewhere on the order form where it'll be sent in with the customers order and you tracking system is complete.

Final Thoughts

Tracking your online marketing and advertising effectiveness by inserting unique codes or "keys" into your advertisements, sales letters, follow up letters and on your order forms allows the savvy online marketer a distinct advantage. Many of your competitors only advertise and respond to requests and can't tell you which marketing mediums they're using produce the best results. If you don't know how you got there, getting the order, how are you going to know how to duplicate your efforts to produce truly incredible profits and not just a few orders scattered all over the place. Duplicating successful efforts are the key to exploding your online profits!

Good luck and happy marketing!

Copyright 1998 By Terry Williams & Associates. All Rights Reserved


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