Leads that turn into sales are certainly the most important conversions when evaluating the effectiveness of a search engine marketing campaign; or any marketing campaign for that matter. However, if you’re only focusing on closed deals as the yardstick for measuring these efforts, you might be missing other opportunities for defining value.
Here is a short-list of additional conversion opportunities marketers should consider when measuring value of a search engine marketing (online marketing) campaigns.
White Paper/Case Study Downloads
Prospects are not always interested in making immediate sales decisions, especially when it pertains to complex products and solutions that require multiple stakeholders. Offer alternatives by providing resources like white papers, case studies, or articles that showcase the solution in action or provide insight into how your organization solves a particular challenge in the industry.
Phone Number Tracking
While we live in an online world many decision makers who would still prefer picking up the phone when initiating contact. Unfortunately, its not uncommon for a website to only display a general set of contact phone numbers. Try using unique 800 numbers for tracking the number of inquires that are specifically tied to a particular campaign or landing page. Services like Voicestar and CallSource also offer solutions for advanced call tracking analytics.
General Contact Inquiries
We recently worked with a client who wanted to bid on a broad set of PPC keywords but had created a landing page with messaging that targeted one particular type of prospect issue. The risk was that the general market would bounce off the page; because the messaging failed to target the broader market and not because they were incapable of offering the solution.
This example illustrates how providing access to a more general contact form in addition to the specialized conversion request might make sense. Don’t deter potential customers by making it look like you can’t service their needs when you really can.
We’ve seen newsletters work time and again as a way to reach out to previous prospects and rekindle old business conversations. Consider making newsletter subscriptions an integral part of the form submission process or secondary call-to-action on every web page.
Social Networking Connections (Add to Facebook, Twitter, etc)
While we can debate the ROI of social media forever there must be a small amount of value in being able to remain in contact with a potential prospect. Social networking sites provide the opportunity for that future connection.
Like company newsletters, social networking sites become on “opt-in” way to stay in touch with your website visitors. In some cases visitors may even prefer to be contacted via their social networking channels, instead of email or phone call.
Finally, consider attaching quick surveys or evaluations, possibly as a mechanism triggered after the primary conversion is made or rejected. Don’t forget to include visibility to a newsletter or social networking channels as well.
Because these types of conversions have a less direct impact on revenue goals, the cost per conversion should also be less than what you would be willing to pay for revenue generating leads/sales. You should get more but spend less (at least on a per conversion basis).
What’s important to realize is that being able to acquire some form of action where future communication will be possible can ultimately lead to future leads and sales down the road.