Sunday, March 09, 2008

Evaluating Your Internet Marketing

Once you have chosen your product, built your website, if necessary, and started an Internet marketing campaign, you have taken only the first step in the battle for profit. I assume, dangerous I know, that members of your target audience are likely to use the Internet to research or purchase the products or the services you offer. These marketing efforts may turn out to be a complete waste of time if you are not diligent about evaluating the response to your Internet marketing. This means testing each change to your marketing strategy. You should evaluate the results of the change to determine whether or not it generated a greater profit for you. If it did, you should keep it, and test another change. If it didn't, you should trash the change.

Split Testing

The best way, in my opinion, to test your changes is by a method called “Split Testing”. In this process, you test your original marketing against a hopefully improved version. To “Split Test”, you offer your old campaign materials to one visitor, and your improved materials to the next one. Once you have had a goodly number of presentations of each material, 100 each is a minimum, you evaluate the two campaigns. You keep the most successful campaign and immediately begin testing this one against your next “improved” campaign. This is important because it will help you determine what is working for you and what is not working.

If “Split Testing” doesn't appeal to you, you can evaluating the response of your Internet marketing in a number of different ways. Customer surveys and embedded HTML code are two of the most popular methods of evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet marketing campaign.

Other Methods for Evaluation

Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like depending on the amount of feedback you would like to receive. However, one of the most effective ways to find out how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking the consumer where they first learned about your products or services. This is important because if you find a great deal of your customers are learning about your products or services through a particular venue, it is a good indication that this method of advertising is working for you.

Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so that you receive feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is useful for letting you know which advertisements are attracting the most attention. If you are using two or more different designs for advertisements you may discover that one design is attracting more attention than the others. This may lead you to make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style.

Similarly, if you are running the same advertisement on several different websites, you may discover that you are receiving more traffic from one website than the others. You may also discover some websites are not attracting much attention at all. This should give you an indication of which advertisements to cancel and which ones to keep running.

Evaluating Your Test Results

Finally, the response to an Internet marketing campaign should be evaluated by carefully by reviewing website traffic statistics after implementing any changes to your marketing strategy. An unusual spike or decrease in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a new stage of the marketing campaign can provide feedback on how that the change was received by potential customers.

Regardless of which method of evaluating the response to an Internet marketing campaign you use, it is important to note that implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore if you plan to use website traffic as feedback for how well your marketing strategy is working it is important to only implement one major change at a time so that each change can be evaluated separately.

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