In today's economic climate, it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting the biggest possible bang for your advertising buck.
Smart advertisers track their advertising to find out exactly which ads are producing results and which ads are duds.
When money is tight, your competitors are dramatically reducing their advertising budgets. But the smart money is on continuing to advertise while tracking your results to maximize returns.
There are a number of tracking and testing methods that can be used by the wise marketer to track and improve results.
In my own online marketing and email marketing, the tool I like to use is what is known as an AdTrack URL. This is a unique URL that does two things:
1. Directs anyone clicking on that AdTrack URL to the target web site (The web site you want visitors to go to).
2. Counts the number of times someone clicks on it.
How is this helpful to you as an advertiser?
Let's say that you want to run two ads on two different web sites. You plan to advertise in an Ezine and you are looking at running a banner ad on your favorite discussion forum.
Let's assume that each ad is going to cost you $100. You're about to spend $200 on advertising and you don't really know which (if either) of these is going to produce any new leads or sales for you.
By creating two unique AdTrack URL's, you can use AdTrack URL 1 for the Ezine Ad and AdTrack URL 2 for the banner ad on your favorite discussion forum.
This allows you to track the number of times someone clicks on each of those links.
Over time, you can log in to your account and see that:
* AdTracker 1 ( the Ezine ad ) shows 15 clicks to your web site or capture page.
* AdTracker 2 ( the banner ad ) shows 35 clicks to your web site or capture page.
The Ezine Ad has cost you $6.67 per click.
The Banner Ad has cost you $2.86 per click.
So based strictly on a CTR (Click-Through-Rate), the Banner Ad is a better deal for your advertising dollar.
Note: There are other factors involved in determining whether either ad is truly profitable.
What is your actual profit per sale? If you realize a $6.00 profit on each sale, it may appear that the Ezine Ad isn't really profitable for you while the Banner Ad is.
But if you can use a back-end offer and sell more to the same customer, then your profits go up.
If you are selling a membership or subscription service, then your profits will actually be determined by the revenues generated by selling to that client over time.
A recurring sale that renews for 12 months will generate considerably more revenues than a single one-time sale.
One helpful way to approach Ad Tracking is to determine in advance how much you are willing to spend to generate a sale.
Technically, if a customer brings you $100 in profits over the life of that account, you could afford to spend up to $99 to generate that new customer.
Of course, the lower you keep your costs to acquire new customers, the less customers it takes to be profitable.
What are some of the other ways you can use Ad Tracking URL's to test your advertising?
1. Split-Run Testing: Which Subject Line gets more response?
2. AutoResponder Messages: Which of your messages are your readers responding to?
3. Banner Ads: Which banner ad design gets the most response?
4. Traffic Exchanges: By adding an Ad Track URL to your individual landing pages in Traffic Exchanges, you can see which of the TE's generate more actual visitors to your web site.
5. Long Sales Copy vs Short Copy. By using Ad Track URL's in a long sales letter and another in a short sales letter, you can see which produces more results.
6. How Long Should Your Copy Be?: Let's say you are using a Long Copy page. If you want to know where people are ordering from within the letter, create a unique Ad Track URL for the top of the letter, the middle of the letter, and the end of the letter. Your stats will show you where people are clicking on your order link.
If you start to see more clicks at the bottom of the message, it's a reasonable assumption that people are reading all the way through the copy (or possibly just scrolling down to the bottom of your copy to order). If visitors are clicking the top link more than any other, then you know you have written some very powerful opening copy! You may be able to create and run a short copy version of that sales letter and then compare those results.
There are many ways to track your advertising. And in today's economic climate, tracking your results is more important than ever. Tracking your online advertising and email marketing helps you know exactly where you are getting the biggest bang for your advertising buck and that will help you continue advertising profitably while your competitors are cutting back on an already ineffective advertising budget.
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