What you will learn: How to accurately determine the ROI of your lead generation website.
Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership.
Why Most Companies Have No Idea, or the Wrong Idea,
About Website ROI
If you’re in the manufacturing business, you probably know exactly how much profit a given piece of production machinery generates.
If you’re in the distribution business, you probably know exactly how much profit a given category of merchandise generates.
However, while you should be able to tell with equal certainty how much profit your lead generation website is generating, this is unclear for many companies.
Why is this?
The website ROI problem always boils down to inaccurate tracking. To calculate ROI, all the sales leads that come through the website must be captured. While this sounds pretty straightforward, in practice it is fairly complicated to pull off. Here’s why:
Phone leads aren’t tracked through standard Web analytics programs, and are frequently overlooked completely. Phone leads are the best quality leads.
Website form submissions and phone calls (if phone calls are tracked) are comprised of sales leads and many other types of inquiries, such as sales solicitations, personal calls and spam. Without separating true sales leads from everything else — something standard Web analytics programs don’t do — you forever will be overestimating your website’s lead generation.
ROI Solution: Lead Validation
Once proper phone tracking is in place, the key to evaluating website ROI is adding a lead validation process to your marketing campaigns. Lead validation separates sales leads from non-sales lead inquiries — a task that involves listening to recorded phone calls and reading all form submissions.
Although lead validation is labor intensive, Straight North includes it as part of our Internet marketing campaigns, because it is so crucial to understanding the true value of our clients’ website ROI.
Our client data shows that, on average, 45 percent of website inquires are not sales leads.
If we were to lump all inquiries and call them “leads,” as is a common industry practice, we could be misleading clients to think their websites are 45 percent more productive in lead generation than in actuality. Instead, by reporting validated phone and form leads every month, clients can track them through their sales process and put hard sales and profit dollars to website-generated leads.
Review this lead validation infographic to see how the process works.
Validation Leads to Continuous ROI Improvement
Another big advantage of lead validation is it enables Internet marketing campaigns to continuously improve more efficiently and more quickly.
Without separating sales leads from other types of inquiries, a marketing agency cannot accurately tell which campaign — SEO, PPC, email, etc. — is generating the greatest number of high-quality sales leads, and therefore cannot accurately determine which campaigns to ramp up, ramp down or discontinue.
In contrast, if the marketing agency knows which campaigns are generating real leads, it will focus its attention and effort where the client stands to gain the most new business. Gray areas are eliminated.
Tired of gray areas in your website ROI calculations? Let’s talk!