Measuring Your Effectiveness

You know that promoting your firm is important, but how do you know which marketing efforts are proving most profitable, or whether certain tactics are paying off at all?

The easiest and best way to find out is to ask. Whenever someone calls with a business inquiry, whether a prospective client or a vendor, ask them how they heard about you. If you receive a referral from a previous client, ask what the client said about you. Check with family members, friends and business associates whether they recall seeing your ad, your blogor the column you wrote for the local newspaper.

Be sure that you have a way to track the traffic to your Web site, either through the service provider or by setting up a separate tracking service, such as Google Analytics. E-mail blast services, like Constant Contact, provide reports on the number of recipients who opened your e-mail and who clicked on the link to your Web site.

For printed materials or ads, include a special code in your mailing address or a reference number for a promotionthat will let you know if an inquiryis in response to a particular piece. This will help you determine which marketing vehicles are working best for you. Similarly, you can set up a unique e-mail address to use on your Web site that will help you distinguish between Web inquiries and those that come from business cards or other collateral you have distributed.

When you've completed a project, ask the client if they would mind filling out a brief satisfaction survey. This will help you determine if you are living up to your brand promise and whether the client is likely to rehire or refer you in the future.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to know if you are being effective. With a little effort, you can figure out the best way to spend your marketing dollars.

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