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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

How to Measure Your Landing Page’s Success

For the past two weeks, FEI marketing guru Marka has provided marketing greenhorn Lucy tips on writing and designing landing pages for FEI’s marketing campaigns. This week, Marka gives Lucy some pointers on how to measure their landing page’s success. Remember, fire = print.

Lucy arrived in Marka’s office to find her watering a couple of potted plants on her window ledge. The plants were big, tall and as colorful as an Olympian sunset.

 “Wow, these are enormous!” Lucy exclaimed.

“Thank you,” Marka said. “I’ve figured out exactly how much to water them for optimal growth.”

“How?” Lucy asked.

Marka shrugged. “Trial-and-error. When these plants were just sprouts, I gave them four ounces of water daily. Then, after a week, I measured how much they’d grown. They weren’t growing fast, so I doubled their dose. But eight ounces was too much water, which also inhibited their growth. Eventually, I arrived at the perfect amount: 6.5 ounces.”

“By measuring these plants each week, I could determine what was working and what wasn’t,” Marka continued. “This allowed me to modify my future behavior. Hopefully, the lesson is clear.

“Soon prospects will receive our postcard and arrive at our landing page,” she explained, “but we’re not finished with this campaign. We still have to measure its effectiveness. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

“How can we measure success?” Lucy asked. “And what metrics should we use?”

“You’re asking the right questions,” Marka said. “We can use Oogle Analytics to track our campaign’s performance. It’s a simple process. First, we place Oogle Analytics code on our landing and order pages. Then, we view the analytics reports and observe how prospects are behaving.
  • How many scanned the QR code and arrived at the landing page?
  • How long did they stay on average?
  • How many move from the landing page to the order page?

“We can also use Google Analytics to track our campaign’s conversion rate,” Marka continued. “In other words, we can determine how many prospects who reach our landing page end up taking the action we want—purchasing a ZX-10 torch. Which leads into your second question. We’ll use three metrics to measure this campaign’s success.”

Marka grabbed a piece of coal and begin scribbling on her whiteboard.

1) Conversion Rate.

“This is obviously an important metric,” Marka explained. “We can easily calculate our campaign’s conversion rate using this formula:

(unique visitors) / (sales transactions) = Conversion Rate

“First, we set a conversion rate goal,” Marka continued. “If we meet this goal, we consider the campaign a success by this measurement. If 2 or 3 precent of prospects buy a torch, we’re doing pretty well. But if our goal was to obtain qualified leads, we might expect a higher conversion rate—perhaps 5 or 6 percent.”

2) Landing Page Abandonment Rate.

“If a lot of prospects who visit our landing page drop out before reaching the order page, the page itself may be flawed,” Marka said. “Calculating the abandonment rate will help us determine if our page design or layout need to be changed for later campaigns. Here’s how we do that:”

(unique visitors to landing page) - (visitors to order page) / (unique visitors) = Abandonment Rate

“Again, our measure of success derives from our goal,” Marka said. “It’s important to stay realistic. Remember, for instance, that unqualified buyers will usually account for at least 10 percent of dropouts.”

3) Cost Per Sale.

“Numo will be most interested in this figure,” Marka said. “Its importance is self-explanatory. Calculating it could hardly be simpler.”

(Cost of campaign) / (Amount of sales) =  Cost Per Sale.

“The goal we set depends on how much a customer is worth to us,” Marka added. “A frequent customer is valuable. Of course, only a small percentage of first-time buyers will buy again, and only a percentage of those will turn into ongoing customers. First, we arrive at this figure. Then, we calculate the cost per sale of this campaign to see if we met our goal.”

“If a campaign performs well on all three metrics, we can reasonably say it’s a success,” Marka noted. “If it underperforms on one or more metric, we’ll want to look closer at the campaign and identify what we might want to change next time around. For instance, if we find our landing page abandonment rate is high, we might want to focus more on getting prospects to click ‘Buy.’ ”

“Eventually, our sales will, well...grow,” Lucy said, gesturing to Marka’s plants.

“Exactly,” Marka replied with a grin.

FIRE! Point
Make it measurable. Put in code that will allow you to track your landing page’s performance. Set goals ahead of time and compare these goals to the page’s actual performance. Conversion rate, abandonment rate, and cost per sale are three of the most important metrics to consider when measuring your landing page’s success.

FIRE! in Action: SEOMoz Optimizes Landing Page, Improves Sales
The search-engine optimization tools provider enlisted an outside source to help improve landing page conversion rates. Its first campaign generated a 52-percent improvement in sales compared to the previous one.

Next week: Tips on getting more subscribers for your broadcast email list.

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