5 Steps for “Turning Clicks Into Clients.”
Do you really care how many clicks your website gets? Well, the short answer is yes, but the long answers are probably no, especially if you are providing services versus products. What? That’s ridiculous!
How could a digital marketing company tell you that they don’t care about getting clicks to your website? Easy.
I am going to say that and more. I might even go further by saying who cares about conversions? What is a conversion? Another click? Some one filling out a form? Requesting a free download? And then there is a “key conversion”… And the jargon and digital babble go on and on and on. Looking for Acronyms? You won’t find many in this article.
It is our philosophy that we care about getting your clients or customers, (unless you are a branding client) and that these potential or prospective clients sign up for a service or buy your product, and then you get paid. To do that, we do need people to click on your website, so we sort of care about clicks. We want and need people to search deeper into your site learning more about your product or service line. These steps are all what I call “sort of conversions.” But what counts is people buying or signing up for your service and getting you paid. I call that a sale!
Does your agency only talk about conversions? Everyone in our organization actually cares about our clients getting paid, and when the client gets paid, we get paid. In fact, the better we are at generating more clients or customers for our clients, the more they spend with us meaning, the more we get paid. So for me to tell you we are better or different from most agencies means nothing! On the other hand, if I show you, let you see behind the curtain, you will learn how we “turn clicks into clients.” You may get the picture that we are not your ordinary digital advertising or marketing company. In fact, we are not ordinary, we even went to the United States Patent & Trademark Office and got the phrased “Turning Clicks Into Clients” trademarked. Why? Because that is what we love to do, it gets our clients paid, and then we get paid.
I haven’t run across anybody that employs all of the methods and procedures that we do, and I haven’t heard about anyone that provides the level of client access/service that we do. So, I am going to make an assumption that people just don’t do it. I think all agencies should do it, but I think companies like to rely on technology too much. Did I tell you that we harness our power by using many of the same systems and software(s) that our competitors use? We do. Our monthly software spend is incredibly high. I would imagine that many of our competitors spend a fair amount too. But a large part of what we do requires intelligent, bright human beings that can listen, interpret and then take action and feel satisfied that they helped their client succeed.
Today, technology can’t replace our people it only assists them in making the right decisions for our clients. I love to go to industry meetings and listen to industry peers and owners of agencies talking about their software. Rarely, do I hear someone rave about their people that use the software. Our Clients care about the “now” when it comes to getting them business. Our competitors forget that sometimes technology is not going to fix everything or do everything for the clients. So let me roll back the curtain and expose what we do. From this point on I’ll tell you exactly what we do and how we do it. You will be surprised that it isn’t rocket science! But man does it work…
Step One – Research
Research, research, research, and just when you think that that the research is enough research some more. What do I mean by research? We interview our clients and find out exactly what websites they like and why they like them. What do they like about the competition(s) websites? What don’t they like about their own website? I could spend a lot of time talking about this step/phase, but it is too time-consuming for this article. I will write another post just talking about research and software(s) that help. You will find that it is a lot more than just figuring out what ad words to string together. It is a crucial topic on its own. Especially the part about knowing the client’s industry.
Step Two – Get the campaign running
Behind the scene, technicians and analysts have developed a marketing plan for your digital campaign. Did they present that plan to you? Is it a written documented plan? If you are paying a lot of budget money to an agency and you haven’t seen a plan, then you need to become more involved. If you are only spending a little, you still deserve to know the plan. It will probably be short and concise, but you should see the plan. Let’s assume that you have been supplied with a plan.
That plan will most likely tell you where your advertising dollars are going to be spent and what type of ads will be run. Where are the ads going to run? On Google, Bing, Yahoo, LinkedIn or Facebook? What services will your budget dollars be extended too? SEO (search engine optimization), or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or Display, video, live-chat advertising? SMM (Social Media Marketing)? Is your budget covering all of these services or others that I haven’t even listed here? At this point let’s assume your campaign(s) are up and running.
At this point, most agencies will tell you that they need at least a few weeks to make sure that the campaigns are running well. And during this time they will be going in and making changes. Finding keywords that work, removing those that don’t work. Blocking out certain keywords so that your traffic appears to be within the parameters for success. Making sure that if your service area is geographic that towns with the same name from other states get excluded. We do all of this, and we do it as well or better than most other agencies.
STEP Three – The human factor
All of our campaigns are tracked using specialized software and phone numbers. We assign tracking phone numbers to your website so that when someone responds to an ad or search and then calls, we capture the data. We get the caller’s name, phone number and other information. We can tell you who answered the call from your firm and when. We monitor calls daily, for all clients. We watch for trends like calls going to voicemail and then the caller hangs up. Phones ringing endlessly. We can tell you if your answerers are courteous, empathetic, rude or whatever. We have even held phone training for various professionals like attorneys or accountants. We are true believers in the people factor at our business and our client’s businesses.
Here is one of my favorite phone problems; the answerer uses the wrong company name when answering calls. He or she is covering for the regular receptionist and doesn’t realize that the call is coming in for another company held by the parent company and answers with the wrong name? Nobody understood why there were so many hang-ups after the calls were answered. Could the using the wrong name be a confusing factor? You decide. Another favorite is the answering service that doesn’t pronounce the company name correctly or uses the wrong name altogether. It happens, and we get it fixed! We have had to have clients replace headsets because the microphones were not of a goof quality. We remove ads from certain cities and areas that maybe our clients don’t service regularly. If you only want to serve Pennsylvania and people from New York are calling then, the client just paid for a bad call.
We have developed a “top ten phone etiquette problems”. Most of our client’s employees make these mistakes daily until we intervene to ensure that problems are fixed. We run analytics regularly on our client’s website(s). The analytics allow us to have their site(s) performing at the optimal peak. The result is that the search engines respond better to the website.
Potential clients/customers respond better because the site(s) is fast. We make comparisons to their major competitor’s websites. We test the backend of the competitors’ website, and this data provides us with ideas that we use to better our client’s marketing results. This part is software driven, but a real person interprets the data and advances change in our systems.
We have a strategy team assigned to each account which reviews data and makes changes regularly. The team is like an orchestra, all following the “maestro” (Our account managers) direction. And then there is the daily phone call review.
Step Four – Confirming that all is well
Each day, the first thing that happens (after coffee) is that staffers log into each client’s telephone tracking system. They listen to the previous day’s call. They rate the calls and note any problems or distinctions. A log is kept for each client, and it is passed to the strategy team. Information is reviewed, problems noted, and clients are notified of problems. Client’s are also informed of outstanding service that may have been provided. These steps are taken every business day! Additionally, Step Three is repeated so that at on any given day we know our customer’s website, advertising and other valuable items are functioning well. Calls are coming in, and the advertiser is closing or booking business.
Step Five – Generating actual “Return on Investment” (ROI) Data
So everybody’s happy right? Our client, the software vendors, the search engines, just about everybody, except us. Why aren’t we happy? We haven’t completed the most important step in the process for the client. Which are the verifications and financial validations of the client’s “real” return on the digital investment strategy. So here is where I admit that while I pulled the curtain back, I didn’t open the small door behind the curtain. This door holds the key to making the client stay with you for a long time. That key unlocks the secret to our success, proving to the client, using their actual figures how much revenue that they generated. We show the client, in writing, that for every $1.00 spent with us, they received X dollars back. It is an easy process to start and a rewarding one for both our client and us. This data is shared and reviewed monthly with our client’s upper management.
Mike Bannan is a co-founder and the managing partner of Results Driven Marketing, LLC, a full-service digital marketing agency. Located in in the Philadelphia DMA (Designated Market Area) The client base is primarily attorney firms, medical services providers, home healthcare providers and other business-to-consumer companies. Mike can be reached at 215-393-8700 ext. 102