If your business is like most, you’ve invested substantial time, effort and resources into marketing your company. You’ve developed your strategy, created your materials and implemented your plan, but have you taken the next step? Can you track where your prospects and leads are coming from?
For your efforts to be truly successful, you need to tie every single lead, customer, and dollar back to the marketing initiative that created them. This is the only way to determine which efforts have been successful and which have fallen short. Sometimes, it pays to partner with a digital marketing company who can help you sort all of this out.
Today, the technology exists to “close the loop” between marketing and sales but few businesses are taking advantage of it. Many feel that setting up a closed-loop reporting system is difficult and confusing. Let’s take a look at how closed-loop marketing works, its value, and how with a few simple steps, you can close leads into paying customers using closed loop marketing techniques.
How Closed Loop Marketing Works
Closed-loop marketing consists of four distinct steps. The easiest way to begin implementing a closed-loop system is to make your website the hub of all your marketing efforts. Search engines, social media, email marketing, referral links, PPC, and your offline marketing should all be designed to drive traffic to your website.
When a visitor arrives on your website a cookie is set on the visitor and the source of the visit. For example, whether the visit originated from your email campaign, social media interactions, or PPC. This is the entry point of your closed-loop system. The cookie allows you to track the visitor directly from the original source of their visit whether it’s a social media interaction, your Facebook page, or a search term.
As the visitor browses your site, the cookie tracks their actions. By tracking their interactions with your content, like what pages they are viewing, you begin to collect valuable information that, down the road, will help you to optimize your site to streamline the conversion process.
This is the critical step of closed-loop reporting. The key is to make sure you can connect a visitor’s source with their lead information once they move to the conversion stage. This allows you to connect those converted visitors back to the marketing initiative that prompted their visit. There are online software solutions for gathering this crucial analytic data. HubSpot is a great source. They offer a complete closed-loop marketing solution.
Web traffic is only useful if your visitor becomes a qualified lead. The third step is where this happens. In order to monetize your visitors you must convert them into leads that can then be forwarded to your sales department.
Conversion happens by sending your visitors to landing pages on your website where you offer free information of high-perceived value in exchange for the their contact information. This is accomplished by creating submission forms to gather contact information.
Contact information is the most valuable commodity in inbound marketing. By connecting visitors to their source, then tracking their use of your site through the conversion process you can see which marketing channels and offers are working and which are not.
This is where you close leads into paying customers using closed-loop marketing techniques. Step four is where you determine which marketing channels are most and least effective. By looking at closed leads and attributing them to their original source, you can determine which channels brought in the most revenue and then work to optimize channels that were less effective.
If you’ve set-up the four steps properly, and closed the loop, it should be fairly easy to analyze your prospects actions from their entry point through the close. Keep track of each lead through your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
The Value of Closed-Loop Marketing
Closed-loop marketing is one of the most powerful online tools available. It allows you to qualify your leads and quantify your marketing efforts. Once you begin to analyze your data, you can determine which channels and efforts are producing leads, customers and sales. This allows you to increase efforts that are working and eliminate those that are not.
Once you’ve successfully closed the loop and launched your campaigns you’ll begin to see results. Live metrics can be gathered on an ongoing basis and compared to your original goals in almost real time. This gives you the flexibility to control your marketing channels, adjust your strategy more effectively than ever before and close leads into paying customers using closed loop marketing techniques.
Make your business more successful with closed-loop marketing.