Have you ever wondered what separates the top 1% of businesses from the rest of the pack? Why some companies continue to grow and generate predictable profits… While others operate like they’re running in sand? We boil it down to two words: marketing metrics.
Or in simpler terms, these companies know what is working and what isn’t working within their business…
They meticulously track, measure, and record every marketing metric possible.
Whether that’s online (website), email, in print, or sales…
They obsessively look to optimize and improve upon existing controls in place, and never lose sight of what is working and what isn’t.
The best part?
Once you have it set up correctly, it’s easy!
Now, the problem is that most businesses don’t take the time do this…
And if that’s you, you’re not alone.
As leaders in business and marketing, we’re often asked to help entrepreneurs find more ways to create predictable, ever-increasing sources of profits in their business.
But before we can help, we have to thoroughly understand the companies we are working with.
We start by asking a few questions…
Our first question will often look like this:
“What is working in your business and what isn’t?”
The response is varied…
Some might know what is working, while others might have an “idea” of what is working…
And more commonly still, many haven’t even considered the question before!.
They have NO idea what is working and what isn’t.
Look, let’s be clear on one thing – this isn’t just for the top 1% or the big tech company…
This is critical for every business. From a local restaurant here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to the hot new tech startup in San Francisco – this applies to everyone.
(Many also don’t know where to start… Don’t worry; we’ll get to that later.)
In fact, it’s natural for most entrepreneurs to believe the most important thing for their company to grow is to:
- Get more NEW leads
- Convert more of those leads into customers
…But there is a problem with this thinking, especially if you’re not tracking anything within your business.
Think of it this way:
Your company is a boat and you’re floating along, everything seemingly going well…
And while you may not notice it right away, there could be holes in your boat – and you’re taking on water.
By not tracking your metrics, you’re making everything you do less efficient than it otherwise could be…
So, instead of filling the holes in the boat…
You “add more weight” by spending time and money acquiring new leads and customers…
More weight on the boat that’s loaded with holes…
Now, this may sound dramatic and harsh, and you may be able to float along for awhile…
But even so, imagine trying to grow your business with these holes, constantly holding you back and “leaving money on the table.”
It simply won’t work as a strategy to generate predictable profits (or dominate your market).
At Predictable Profits, one of our guiding principles is:
“There are reasons and results –
and the only thing that matters is results.”
Pretty simple, right?
We don’t allow our assumptions or biases to cloud our judgment. We rigorously test everything.
Over the years, our team has worked tirelessly to provide our clients with timely advice to grow their businesses… and we’re damn good at it too.
That’s why we’ve been paid as much as 7 figures – by one client alone!
Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes time…
It takes testing…
It takes a lot of failures to reach success…
But over time, we’ve learned from our mistakes and triumphs.
And what did we find?
Well, you’re in luck…
We’ve pulled from our experiences to provide you with a comprehensive list of tools, resources, and tips to help YOU track, measure, and record marketing metrics in your company.
Along with listing resources, we’ll try to provide real-life examples to make it crystal clear on how this stuff relates to your business.
We’ve broken it down to four categories, hopefully making it easier to scroll through and find actionable advice and tools to put to use in your business.
Without further ado:
Why this is important: As mentioned above, it’s difficult to tell where the “holes in the boat” are if you aren’t tracking or measuring the various marketing metrics on your website.
This is where the New Consumer does their research – including 94% of B2B customers. Plus you have cart abandonment, lost leads, potential for broken links, sales pages not converting at levels they should, etc.
A few questions you should be asking yourself:
- How many total visits?
- How many new sessions?
- How are these visitors getting to your site?
- What percentage is coming from one source?
- What pages are people buying from?
- Are people leaving the shopping cart?
Once you are able to see your strengths and your weaknesses, you can set out to improve.
By testing and tracking, opportunities will start to present themselves where a small change can result in a significant improvement.
For example, Hawk Host decided to A/B split test it’s homepage by making a subtle change to one image.
Here’s the control:
And the test with a padlock:
The difference? Conversions improved 3x…
While many would agree that testimonials are important, have you stopped to test the placement? Or have you tested the various testimonials and how they’re attributed?
WikiJob had testimonials, but it wasn’t clear they were customers’ testimonials – and they were placed at the bottom of their page.
They made subtle changes to the testimonials and placed them at the top of the page. The difference?
They experienced a 34% increase in conversions, simply by giving their testimonials a facelift and spending a few minutes on it…
Here are some tools to assist you in tracking, testing, and improving your website:
“Shows you what’s working, from start to finish through your funnels, across all devices”
Why Kissmetrics is important for your business:
Kissmetrics provides a full suite of features to empower you to optimize your marketing efforts online.
Whether you’re looking for your ideal customer, where that ideal customer is coming from, or you want to build your site to improve your relationship with your customers… Kissmetrics has you covered.
They provides all the necessary tools to build your funnels, ensure they’re optimized, and more.
An industry heavyweight, Kissmetrics was founded by Neil Patel and Hiten Shah, and continues to provide value to thousands of customers across the globe.
Our favorite Kissmetrics resource: The 8 Most Important Conversion Metrics You Should Be Tracking
2. Crazy Egg
“Heatmap software that helps you visualize your visitors”
Why Crazy Egg is important for your business:
Crazy Egg provides you with a heat map of all your visitors. With their tools, you can see:
- Where people are clicking – and where they aren’t
- How many people scroll down your pages and where most are stopping
- Where those people are coming from to begin with, and what they click on most
Okay, so… why is all of this important?
Well, as we mentioned above, it’s important (critical) that businesses operate with a clear vision of what they are doing, how it’s working, and why.
If you had Crazy Egg, you might notice that visitors are clicking areas that are not links. This isn’t good. How could you redesign your site to optimize conversions?
Well, you won’t know if you keep “guessing.”
Our favorite Crazy Egg resource: Are You Guilty of These 6 Split Testing Mistakes?
Marketing automation tool that allows you to score leads, based on their activity, to determine how sales ready they are
Why Marketo is important for your business:
Have we mentioned just how powerful these tools are? If you haven’t grasped that yet, you will soon…
Marketo is no exception. They provide complete marketing automation that allows you to track your prospects each step of the way, leading them up an ascension ladder.
Upon prospects reaching certain levels of warming up to the offer, you can take action to ensure they continue down that path.
You can create email, email lists, workflows, and funnels – all complete with data to let you know how well you are performing.
So, if you’re searching for a solution to handle a number of automation tasks, Marketo deserves a long, hard look.
Our favorite Marketo resource: 6 Ways to Make Social Measurable
Combines a wide range of features that is needed to understand your audience
Why Hotjar is important for your business:
Hotjar is very similar to Crazy Egg in providing heat maps to let you know where your visitors are clicking, not clicking, etc.
That’s not all Hotjar does though… In fact, they have a number of solutions with a wide array of features such as:
- Heat maps
- Visitor recordings
All of which allow you to better understand your visitors, prospects, and customers. These tools dive in deeper, leaving nothing to chance and removing the guesswork.
Our favorite Hotjar resource: Hotjar’s Poll Question Bank
5. Google Analytics
Godfather of web analytics – tracks and reports website traffic
Why Google Analytics is important for your business:
Typically, most articles that discuss tracking, testing, and measuring anything online start with Google Analytics.
Simply put, if you’re not using Google Analytics right now… Stop what you’re doing and install it right away.
What should you be monitoring and/or paying close attention to?
Here are a few to start with:
- Unique Visitors
- Page Views
- Bounce Rate
- Traffic Sources
Google Analytics is a FREE analysis service that measures your website activity and performance. At the very least, you want Google Analytics so you’re not completely flying in the dark.
Our favorite Google Analytics resource: Google Analytics Blog – Beginner Topics… Start here!
Why this is important: Depending on which article you read about email marketing, you will see conflicting reports about the current state of email marketing
Some will say it’s already dead!
Some say it’s on its way out!
Yet others claim it’s alive and well…
Let’s let the data speak. The statistics paint a clearer picture of email still being alive and well… In fact, by many accounts, email is KING.
A recent Adobe Study found that 63% of consumers still prefer to get marketing offers via email.
This number remains consistent with a lot of efforts we have done with our clients. There is no substitute for email.
So, that said, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your email marketing efforts are optimized and performing to the best of their abilities:
- Which emails are generating buzz? – By understanding what is working and what isn’t with your targeted audience, you can begin to better understand your prospects and customers. Like a bear lured in by honey, you want to be sure you have the correct bait for your customers.
- Go a step further. Which ones are generating profits? – Like the above question, you want to drill down and see which emails are generating profits. What sort of structure or template did you use within the email? How can you replicate that success in future emails?
- Was it a specific subject line that got people to open and take action? – Like many things in marketing, it’s the nuanced details that can make a significant impact. Again, we want to identify the trends that are working – and those that are not.
- Are you using an autoresponder? – This is an important angle that not many companies are using. By using the tools below, you can build sequences and emails to deliver value and move your prospects/customers up an ascension ladder. However, if left to chance or when you “have time” to send emails, it will likely be forgotten.
- If so, if you’re losing prospects down the funnel? Where? – So you’ve put in the time and effort to build out the sequence and establish a nurturing relationship with your customers. Problem is, you’re losing them… Where? Why? What can you do to improve here?
- How can you improve the existing sequence to better provide value and convert prospects into loyal customers? – If you’re not familiar with our Growth Factor™ Question, this is a question that should be asked throughout your business, not just here in email. The Growth Factor™ challenges you to answer this question: “What can I do today to provide my clients with a greater advantage or benefit, to get them closer to the ultimate result they desire?”
Like I mentioned before, many people still believe getting new customers is the only way to grow their business…
This is not true… And if done correctly, you can build long-lasting relationships with existing loyal customers through email, ensuring repeat business.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have 50 loyal customers, foaming at the mouth for my next offer, than 200 new “customers” who don’t really have a connection with me.
Many of the tools below are similar – and very good at what they do.
We have our preferences, but if you’re not currently using one of these solutions… I suggest you check them out and find one that fits your company best.
1. Constant Contact
“Create professional emails that bring customers to your door”
Why Constant Contact is important for your business:
Constant Contact allows you to do so much for your business… wherever you are.
Feel like sending an email broadcast to your loyal customers to let them know about a recent discount in your store?
Constant Contact can handle all of this, and provides you with templates to choose from. Want to use an existing template that was successful last time? No problem.
The service is here to help YOU with your business by testing, tracking, and recording all of your email campaigns, newsletters, surveys, etc.
Our favorite Constant Contact Resource: How to Be Sure You’re Doing Everything You Can to Build Your Email List
Email Marketing Automation and CRM, Infusionsoft is a powerful resource
Why Infusionsoft is important for your business:
Okay, I gotta be honest here… this is going to slightly biased.
We LOVE Infusionsoft at Predictable Profits… We use their software for so many purposes!
Infusionsoft handles a majority of our marketing needs, such as email marketing, building funnels, and growing our business.
We use Infusionsoft to meticulously test, track, and measure everything.
Not only that, but because of the marketing automation features, we’re able to spend more time working “on” the business and providing value to those we care about – instead of working “in” the business.
Big difference, my friends. Check out Infusionsoft – you won’t be disappointed.
Our favorite Infusionsoft resource: How to Create Lead Magnets: A Step-by-Step Guide
More than just email marketing, HubSpot is industry favorite for inbound marketing
Why Hubspot is important for your business:
Just as the headline reads, HubSpot does SO much more than just email marketing. In fact, we could have listed them above in the Website section, or below in the Sales section… but this will do.
Much like Infusionsoft, HubSpot is a super powerful tool that owns the inbound marketing space.
Let’s look at the email side of things.
Hubspot provides you with the necessary tools to grow your list, test/track your email (integrated analytics), and further tailor your message to your customers (segment your list).
Better yet, you can A/B split test all of your email and keep tabs on everything in your email dashboard (such as open rate, click through rate, conversions, etc.).
Our favorite Hubspot resource: Email Analytics: The 6 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs You Should Be Tracking
“Send Better Email”
Why MailChimp is important for your business:
First and foremost, MailChimp provides all the tools necessary to send beautiful email, and that is important for a number of reasons…
But since this article is about metrics, we’ll focus on how well they do that in that arena.
MailChimp offers a lot of the same metrics as listed above with Hubspot, such as open rate, click through rate, and what exactly your list is doing when they receive your emails.
Throughout your business, there will be times when you lose someone. Why? What happened?
MailChimp offers you tools to re-engage and reconnect, better understanding why and where the roadblocks lie.
MailChimp’s simplicity and beautiful design make it very simple and easy to use.
I recommend MailChimp to anyone just starting out and looking to get insights into their email list/business.
Our favorite MailChimp resource: Increasing Revenue Through Abandoned Cart Messaging and Incentives
Grow your business by staying in touch with your customers, brought to you by the folks who pioneered email automation.
Why AWeber is important for your business:
If you ask most marketers or small business owners why they use AWeber, most will say because of their autoresponder feature.
Simply put, AWeber offers one of the industry’s best when it comes to email marketing and autoresponders.
Why is this important?
Not only do these campaigns provide a wealth of data from your list subscribers, you’re also able to load up emails ahead of time, test and track them as they go out, and focus on other parts of your business because of the time saved.
We have seen many businesses load up several emails into an automated sequence (autoresponder), place it on autopilot (making subtle tweaks here and there), and reap serious profits…
Sidenote: It’s important to maintain the personalization and pay attention to your list’s needs. Just because you can automate certain portions, that doesn’t mean you can forget about it entirely.
Our favorite AWeber resource: How to Get Started with Email Automation
Why this is important:
Tracking offline initiatives can be difficult if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Worse yet, many companies spend a lot of money – and aren’t ever clear on what the ROI is.
Hopefully this section will clear that up a little and provide you with some actionable advice to better understand your offline initiatives. They’re equally as important as your online efforts.
We may not post software examples for all like the other sections, but the advice is helpful and needed nonetheless.
- Special Offers – While it may not be the most advanced way to make such an offer, sometimes keeping things simple is best. For example, when rolling out a special offer offline, you can open a spreadsheet (Excel or Google) and track any time your customers call or mail in with the offer code assigned to a specific initiative.Let’s say you have something with the code “EarlySpring.” Each time someone calls in and says they are calling in regards to this – you would obviously mark it down.I know, I know. Not rocket science, but it’s imperative to be able to see how each initiative is doing.
- Coupon codes – Same as above… However, you can also add an identifier at the bottom of a coupon or order form so you know what initiative it came from. Again, this is to track how effective your offers are working. If it isn’t working, then you need to make changes.
- Phone Tracking Metrics – We actually use software called CallTrackingMetrics, and I suggest you do the same. It’s very helpful. This software uses a unique phone number for tracking phone sales.In combination with the CRMs below, you can dive deep to know how well your process is performing each step of the way.
- Print/Direct Mail – Contrary to what you might think, there are many variables to test and track, much like your website or email marketing efforts.You can track using the info listed above with something as simple as a spreadsheet. However, the important thing to remember when testing is to only test one variable at a time.For example, let’s say you want to A/B split test two headlines to see which compels the reader to move to the next sentence. Don’t further complicate your efforts by tweaking the headline AND the offer. Go one variable at a time, progressively testing and tracking results.Remember, these things take time, but the end result is worth it.
Why this is important: You might see some overlap, as we will be talking about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools here.
CRM programs offer versatility in measuring and tracking not only marketing efforts, but sales processes as well.
It’s important that you are tracking both.
And it should be said that this applies to ALL companies.
Remember that restaurant I mentioned in Portsmouth, New Hampshire?
They too should be tracking all of their processes… Everyone should be.
A great example would be Hudson News, the little bookstore found in airport terminals across the country. We’re all familiar with the chain, and have probably stopped in from time to time for a couple items – and ended up buying a bottled water.
Well, this was by design… This is one of the sales processes Hudson News used to double their revenue.
After realizing their cashiers sold a lot of Dasani bottled water, they implemented the process that all cashiers ask customers checking out, “Would you like a water with that?”
Since they were tracking, they were able to implement such a simple step and boost their sales significantly.
Here are some key metrics to track so you can boost your sales:
- Total sales by time period – Simple enough, by tracking sales by time period, you know just how well you are performing.
- Sales by product or service – Much like Hudson News, if you are able to identify areas of momentum (where sales are already occurring), you can implement processes to boost revenue in these “hot spots.”
- Sales by lead source – As we touched on above with online marketing, you want to be able to identify your strong and weak areas. Double down on the strong areas and look to improve processes for the weak ones!For example, maybe a certain sales process is missing a step, and this is why the sale is lost. You cannot begin to go about implementing new steps if you’re not tracking close enough to be aware of roadblocks.
- Revenue Per Sale – As we mentioned above with “the holes in the boat” example… If you’re missing opportunities to increase the average revenue per sale, this is a majorIn fact, it’s said that McDonald’s doubled its profits when it started asking, “would you like fries with that?” Then doubled profits again when it asked, “would you like to supersize that?”If you’re not tracking your revenue per sale, then you cannot improve over time – and are undoubtedly missing opportunities to grow your business!
- Renewals – While this isn’t a specific metric, this refers to companies with contracts and renewals. If you do not have a tracking system or process in place, you are bound to lose customers (revenue) slipping through the cracks.We had a client that did not track this sort of thing, and assumed his sales people were following up on “renewals.” Unfortunately, he was wrong. His company had been bleeding money for months and he had no idea…
Here are some tools to help you with your sales efforts:
Massive CRM with tons of features, bells and whistles
Why Salesforce is important for your business:
Any and every detail you can possibly hope to obtain from your sales deals can be found within Salesforce. This platform is incredibly useful and powerful.
Now, not all companies have the same needs, so you may not need all the bells and whistles…
However, if you’re looking to:
Keep all your customer info in one place
- Accelerate productivity and automate processes
- See the health of your deals and what stage they’re at
- Better forecast for the future
…Salesforce can do all this and more. They’re the industry leader for good reason.
Our favorite Salesforce resource: 5 Actions for Sales Managers to Crush Their Quarter
Sales CRM, better fit for some small teams
Why Pipedrive is important for your business:
So, you’re looking for a Sales CRM but don’t like Salesforce – or don’t feel like it’s a great fit for your team…
That’s fine! Check out Pipedrive – they have all the necessary features a small business needs to test, track, and grow their sales operations.
Personally, I’ve used Pipedrive before and really enjoyed it. A very simple and easy-to-use layout that allows you to manage your pipeline, see your processes, and track how you can improve.
Tracking and testing important, but so is implementing processes for you to build on. Pipedrive enables the small business owner to do just that.
Our favorite Pipedrive Resource: 4 Tips for Maintaining Sales Momentum
“Close more deals in less time.”
Why Zoho is important for your business:
A lot like the other solutions provided above, Zoho is very powerful and acts as a complete sales and marketing CRM.
So, not only can this help you build and improve your Sales processes… Zoho can handle your online & email marketing efforts.
Looking for the one stop shop to do all of the above? Zoho might be the right choice for you.
(We recommend looking at all of these options to determine if they’re a fit for your business before committing to one.)
Our favorite Zoho resource: Work smarter with these productivity tools in Zoho CRM
We hope you find these tools useful, and that they empower you to better test, track, and measure within your business.
Remember: without the proper tools, you’re flying blind. It’s important to gain insights into your company whenever you can, and look to patch any “holes in the boat.”
Once you can start to identify these “holes,” you can often remedy the problems and grow your bottom line without spending more on new initiatives.
If you have any questions or think we missed something, please contact us here.