How to determine which marketing tactics are generating the highest-quality leads
In one small-business survey, 67.4% of respondents said that a limited marketing budget is the most important challenge they face today. If there’s no wiggle room to expand your budget, you can get more impact out of it by testing your marketing tactics to find what works best and generates the most leads.
Successful marketing is all about knowing which activities drive specific types of leads and which tactics are creating the most influential touch points along the customer journey. Uncover these insights by testing out your own tactics, gathering customer feedback, and tracking lead attribution to see what’s engaging your target audience.
Run campaigns with smaller budgets and scale up the top performers
One way to test out a new marketing channel or tactic for your business is to first run a pilot program to see how well it performs for your audience and how many quality leads it brings in. You’ll be able to see initial results and use them to decide whether you want to continue — without wasting valuable resources on an unproven tactic.
Potential pilot campaigns could be:
- Marketing on a new social channel, like LinkedIn or Pinterest
- Running paid promotions on a social channel for the first time
- Targeting a new keyword for your Google Ads
- Running an ad in a local print magazine
Set a small test budget when you’re running a new ad campaign or promoting content for the first time on a new social channel. For example, say you’re a local pool company that wants to explore Instagram for the first time. Instead of dedicating the maximum budget possible to a brand new channel, start with something smaller, and gauge what kind of performance you’re getting first.
If your new strategy doesn’t work, you’ll know early on and won’t waste money. If a new strategy does work, you can build it out.
Your own test budget will depend on the size of your business and the type of campaign you’re trying to test. Growth Collective recommends starting with $200-$300 when testing a new channel or strategy, like a social campaign. Test out your new campaign for a month and take note of how it performs with your audience.
Pay close attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rates for qualified leads and cost per click (CPC) on digital channels. Focus on KPIs that matter most to you and the quality of leads coming through to get a true idea of how impactful a new campaign really is for your business.
If your new strategy doesn’t work, you’ll know early on and won’t waste money running a fully-fledged campaign just for it to fall flat. If a new strategy does work, you can build it out and dedicate more budget to it, increase your ad spend, or start posting content more frequently.
A/B test variables in each of your channels
A/B testing is a great way to see which aspects of your existing marketing tactics are delivering a strong ROI and which can be improved. You begin an A/B test by isolating one very specific variable in your marketing and testing two different versions side by side. A/B testing helps you optimize each tactic and figure out what specific changes are going to resonate with your audience so you can bring in more qualified leads.
There’s practically no end to the list of variables you can A/B test. Some common ones include:
- Target audience filters for ads
- Email subject lines
- Call-to-action (CTA) button colors
- CTA button language
- Google Ad background images
A/B tests are a great method because they’re relatively low effort and can give you insights almost immediately. Here are four easy steps for running an A/B test yourself:
- Select one variable to change. Decide if you want to test CTA button colors in an email or different types of imagery in a brochure. Create two versions that reflect those changes.
- Split your audience in half and launch version A to one half and version B to the other. Launch your test with different audience groups, such as two separate email lists, or simply run two different ads side by side on Google or out-of-home (like a billboard).
- Measure relevant metrics. Use metrics like clickthrough rates and conversions to decide your winner. You can also use software like call tracking to determine which version in your A/B test is bringing in more qualified leads for both digital and traditional media.
- Implement changes. Based on those results, move forward with the version that’s creating more conversions and generating more leads for your business.
Run customer or audience surveys
Surveys are tools you can use to pose questions to your audience anonymously and receive feedback related to your business, marketing and sales tactics, and customer satisfaction. They can help you get a pulse on how familiar people are with your business and how loyal your customers are to figure out if your marketing strategy is making a tangible impact.
They also give you a chance to gather feedback on your customer experience or buyer’s journey to uncover which marketing touchpoints have the most value in terms of generating the highest-quality leads.
You can deploy surveys at various points along the customer journey to test your marketing. Send quarterly or yearly surveys to your email contacts asking which educational content pieces they find most helpful. Run a quick survey after booked services or appointments that asks customers what influenced their buying decisions to find out if your new marketing campaign is directly delivering those high-quality leads that convert to sales.
Apply insights from customer survey results to adjust marketing tactics so they’re more effective.
Run a survey using a tool like Google Surveys to test your business’s recognition and recall among your target audience. Your survey might ask respondents to name all of the brands they can think of in your particular industry or ask them to check off brands they recognize from a provided list.
Apply insights from survey results to adjust marketing tactics so they’re more effective. If you’ve been running product or brand promotions and results aren’t showing great recall, you know you need to adjust messaging or try different marketing channels.
Track and attribute leads to marketing tactics
The common goal for all of your testing — and your final marketing strategy — should be bringing in qualified leads that fit your target customer criteria. Find out which activities are bringing in the highest quality leads through marketing attribution.
Many SMBs have been inundated with phone calls since the start of the pandemic — CallRail’s research shows there’s been a 79% increase in call volume in the advertising and marketing industry, and call volume across the board is 27% higher than pre-pandemic levels. With so many more calls coming through, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to quickly qualify leads and focus on ones that are a good fit.
Use marketing attribution and call tracking software to directly uncover which marketing channels, tactics, campaigns, and ads are driving calls to your business. Pinpoint exactly what qualified leads are interacting with along your buyers’ journey to see which materials have the highest value for you. Amplify those tactics to bring in more quality leads, and steer away from tactics and channels that are not driving the same quality phone calls to your business.
You can also add software to CallRail Call Tracking that automatically surfaces insights from your conversations. That way, you can find out not only what sparked a customer to call you in the first place but also which calls are resulting in actual sales. Leverage Conversation Intelligence to understand which calls are the most valuable to your business and how you can drive more of them by optimizing the tactics that led them to pick up the phone.
Seventy-nine percent of SMB survey respondents stated that they’d gained better visibility into high-performing and low-performing tactics with CallRail. Use call tracking software like CallRail to find out which tactics are bringing in qualified leads for your business, improve lead quality, and drive a higher ROI for your marketing tactics.
Wondering if your marketing tactics and campaigns are working for your small business? Download the definitive guide to see how to create an effective marketing strategy on a limited budget with the help of call tracking — or start a free trial of CallRail today.