As a marketer, you work your butt off to generate awesome leads for your company. You do this by leveraging a number of different inbound channels such as business blogging, email marketing, and social media. And if you’re like us, you lose sleep over how you will hit your ever-increasing monthly leads goal. I bet there are times when you felt like you’ve exhausted your creative marketing juices and are stuck trying to figure out what to offer next. Fear not, a simple solution to your problems is to use the intelligence you can collect from closed-loop marketing.
Closed-loop marketing allows you to identify which of your leads turned into customers. And by understanding the behaviors of your most qualified leads and most loyal customers, you can use this intelligence to continue to iterate and improve your marketing efforts. With closed-loop marketing, you can effectively measure the results of specific marketing offers to continually improve your bottom line, hit those high goals, and show the finance department your marketing ROI. Below are 3 steps to leverage closed-loop marketing to improve your marketing offers.
Step 1: Track Your Individual Marketing Offers
In order to determine the performance of your individual marketing offers (i.e. ebooks, webinars, free trials, etc.), you need to start tracking them. When you connect your marketing system with a CRM system like Salesforce, you can actually track which offers converted the most traffic into leads, and which of those leads became paying customers.
To set up tracking, create a unique campaign code for each of your offers in your CRM system; then add that campaign code to your landing page form in your marketing system. When a lead converts on the form for the offer, the data will then get passed through to your CRM system, where it will be stored in the lead record as a conversion event. This tracking system will not only help you better analyze the performance of your marketing offers, but it will also give your sales team better insight into their leads' behaviors.
Step 2: Analyze the Performance of Your Offers
Once you've set up tracking on your marketing offers and have taken the necessary steps to promote them using channels like your business blog, social media accounts, and email marketing, you can start to analyze their performance. Remember to give your offers some time to bake and generate conversions (typically 1-2 months) before you start analyzing their performance.
When you're analyzing your offers, you want to look at the conversion rates of traffic (visitors) to leads, leads to customers, and finally, revenue brought in from those customers. These conversion rates will give you a view of the performance of your offers for the top and middle of your sales funnel as well as the type of customers they attract. For example, an offer with a high visitor-to-lead conversion rate is a great top-of-the-funnel offer that helps draw people into your sales process initially, and an offer with a high lead-to-customer conversion rate is a great middle-of-the funnel offer that pushes leads further down the sales process. Once you understand the value of your offers, you can start to classify which types of offers and topics are best used to achieve specific marketing goals.
Step 3: Iterate and Perfect Your Future Offers
After you've conducted your analysis, you can start to improve and brainstorm new ideas for better future offers. First, you want to think about your business goals and how you can align your offers with these goals. Are you looking to push leads further down the funnel, do you need more new leads, or are you looking for more loyal customers?
Once you've selected your goal, your analysis from step 2 should give you clear insights about where to start. If you want to push more leads down the funnel, identify the types of offers or topics that had the highest lead-to-customer conversion rates. At HubSpot, for example, we've found that webinars typically have higher lead-to-customer conversion rates than ebooks, so if we're looking to nurture leads further down the funnel, we'll offer a webinar over an ebook. You can also use your analysis as inspiration for your next offer. If you’re banging your head against the wall for a new idea, update and repurpose an old offer that performed well in the past. And if anyone at your company questions the direction you're taking with your marketing offers, you'll have the hard data to support your decisions. It doesn't get any better than that!
Are you using closed-loop marketing to its fullest potential? When was the last time you analyzed the performance of your marketing offers?
Originally published Nov 22, 2011 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016