July 2009

How To Track Your Phone Sales By Referring Source

Old Telephone

Anyone who runs an ecommerce business will tell you that it extremely hard to track where their phone sales are coming from. Some online retailers have upwards of 35% of their sales coming in over the phone. How do you keep track os these sales from an advertising perspective? What campaigns/keywords are not performing well? Here are two ways to track telephone sales properly.

Multiple Phone Numbers

High Level Tracking

The easy way to track phone sales on a high level is to get multiple phone numbers and set you website to display a different phone number based on the refering source. For example if  someone came from Google, show them one number — when someone come sfrom Yahoo, show another number etc… Now everytime someone calls you know where they originally came from.

Depending on your phone system, you should be able to display which line the calls come in from and then have your sales people enter a referring source into your system as they put the order through for the customer. As your system aggregates this info, you will know what your ROI is. Keep in mind that this can get as granular as you’d like, but it will be a pain to manage this for very many keywords/phone numbers. This solution works best at a very high level of tracking.

Tracking ID

Granular Tracking

If you have an in-house developer and would like more granular tracking, this is for you. Every time a unique visitor comes to your site generate a unique session ID and store their referring source in your database. You will then want to display this session ID on all pages of your site. The ID number should be short and easy to tell your sales representative over the phone.

When your sales reps take an order over the phone they should ask the customer to read them the session ID (call it Phone Tracking ID or something easy) which they will then input into your system with the order. Once your sales screen has this number it should mimic the customers cookie and send the relevant order info to your tracking pixels. When it does this, the customers original referring source as well as keywords or any other data that you track with the session ID will pass through and your will be able to see your ROI on a very granular level.

Bottom Line

If you just want tracking by channel or have very few campaigns, the first option is easy to set up and will work well for you. If you like granular data and have the development resources to go crazy, go for the second option.

Measure Your Campaign Performance With Impression Share Report

Impression Share Report

Impression Share Report

Are you getting the most out of your keywords? Of the 100 people a day who search for Blueberry Pie, how many see your ad? There is an easy way to find out.

Under the reports section in Google AdWords, when you run a Campaign Performance report, it gives you the ability to select additional columns to add to the report. One of those columns is Impression Share (IS) Percentage Report. Just check of the option and run the report, you will now see a column showing what percent market share you are reaching. Additional columns are Lost IS (Rank), Lost IS (Budget) and Exact Match IS. More info on these columns can be found here.

Using Google AdWords Accelerated Ad Delivery Will Boost Clicks

Accelerate

When you set a campaign’s daily budget to $100 with the default settings, Google will automatically calculate how many times your ad can be displayed for that budget. It will then proceed to display your ad throughout the day based on that number of clicks. In order to ensure that your ad will be displayed at all hours they will not show your ad every time someone does a search but will pick and choose when to show your ad throughout the day.

Get More Clicks

If you’re willing to raise your budget to get more clicks, the best thing to do is change the Ad Delivery option under settings to Accelerated Ad Delivery. Your ad will now show every time someone does a search for your desired terms. One thing to keep in mind is that with this option you can go through your budget before breakfast, so make sure to set your budget appropriately. I found that my campaigns were getting 30-40% more clicks with Accelerated Ad Delivery.

Is The Google AdWords Content Network Right For You?

Content Network

Google’s Content Network is huge. In minutes you can get thousands of impressions and clicks. Does it work? Here is an easy way to measure your ROI.

If you already have a campaign running for Brand A or Category A, change the targeting option under Settings to be Search only. This will only show your ad to Google’s search network which includes searches done on google.com as well as Google’s search partners (i.e. CableVision or other ISPs). Now create an exact copy of your previous campaign and check off the opposite settings, choose only the Content Network. When the campaign is only tageting the Content Network you will be able to effectively monitor the performance from just this channel.

Keep in mind that as a general rule the Content Network does not perform too well for eCommerce websites. I’ve had better results from display ads in the content network, but your best bet is to test text ads as well.

Image Courtesy: PROFITAPOLIS

7 Tips To Maximize Your Results From Google Product Search

Google-Product-Search

Being that Google Product Search (Base) is free you want to spend some extra time to make sure that you are getting the most out of it. There are several things you can do to optimize your feed.

Content Is King

The Google Base datafeed specs are fairly simple. aside from the required fields there are many optional columns that you can include. Your best bet is to include all that you can. There is a neat tool by Tom The Developer that allows you enter a search term and analyze the data fields that your competition is using. Google loves data, the more data you use, the better your products rank.

Title & Description

The product title and description are the most important parts of your datafeed. You will want to include pertinent info such as Brand Name, Model Number & Product Name in the title column. The description should include all the same information as the title as well as a more thorough description and product details.

Historic Performance

Google’s ranking algorithm also takes your feed’s historical performance into account. As long as your account is live, Google collects information such as Click Through Rate and Bounce Rate and analyzes it to see if it is in the consumers best interests to show your product with higher placement.

Fresh Feeds

Google likes to keep it’s content fresh, you should try to upload a feed on a daily or weekly basis for best results.

Google Checkout

Google allows merchants who accept Google Checkout to display the Google Checkout logo next to your products in Google Product Search. You can goto your account settings and link the two accounts. This helps your products stick out from the masses.

Reviews

Google aggregates your merchant reviews from many different rating websites and displays a star ranking of one through five next to your merchant name. Customers have the ability to sort and filter the results by the number of stars a merchant has.

Prices

Since Google Product Search is a Price Comparison Shopping Engine, you will want to see that your prices are always competitive for the best performance.

Advertise Your Brick & Mortar Business With AdWords Ad Extensions

Google Local Ads -- Enter Address Or Link Local Business Center Account

Google Local Ads -- Enter Address Or Link Local Business Center Account

What Is This?

In the new Google AdWords interface, you will notice that the option to add a new Local Ad is no longer a available. Instead, Google has released a new feature called Local Ad Extensions. This gives you the ability to show a PlusBox in your ad that pops out with your business address and location on a map.

What To Do

You can either enter the business address by each campaign or you can connect your campaign to your Google Local Business Center account and it will automatically pull in your business info. With this new feature you can select from preset icons or upload your own. This icon will be shown next to your business address on your ad.

Making The Most Of Email Marketing

Email Marketing

If you are not actively engaging your customers to signup for your site’s newsletter, then your missing out. If you don’t even have a newsletter, then you better get started.

Email Marketing is often overlooked as a marketing channel. If you have a smaller ecommerce site, you may think that you don’t have so many people signed up anyway. If that’s the case, promote your newsletter on your site by offering to send out shopping tips, coupons codes, special sales etc…

Branding

You should try to send out an email campaign once or twice a month. This helps consumers become familiar with your brand and they will be more likely to open your email and less likely to hit the ‘Spam’ button.

When sending out your email you should always send from them same email address and try to include your brand name in the beginning of the subject. Again, this helps familiarise the consumer with your brand.

Compelling Call To Action

First and foremost your goal is to get the consumer to actually open the email. The way to do this is by using a great subject. Something that will make someone click. Skip the boring ‘Bob’s Bi-Weekly Newsletter’ and go with ‘Save $10 Off All Orders – 3 Days Only’.

Aside from a great subject you should make the body of the email as compelling as you can. Offer discounts, instant rebates, rewards. The better the incentive the higher your conversion rates will be.

Great Customer Service Will Lower Cost Per Acquisition

Customer-Service

Be good to your customers and they will be good to you. Going the extra mile to make a customer happy can have great long term benefits.

Branding

Say your customer ordered the wrong item accidentally, even though you usually charge a restocking fee to recoup your costs of operation, what would happen is you waive that fee? Think of the small dollar loss as marketing dollars. When you make a customer happy, they want to talk about you. That’s the best kind of marketing.

Word Of Mouth

Now that your customer was impressed with your service, they will want to tell their friends about their shopping experience. If you can keep those friends happy, in no time you’ll have a domino effect of happiness.

CPA

A happy cutomer is the best customer. When your customer is satisfied with their purchase, next time they need something they will check with you. This will bring down your overall cost per acquisition.

Any article on the subject of Customer Service is not complete unless it mentions the king of wow: Zappos. Zappos went where no company went before, they worked hard and lost money short term, but that money was really money well spent. There are many consumers that will not shop elsewhere, they are Zappos customers for life. That’s the way it should be.

I’m sure that a $920,000,000 payout was good for Zappos too.

Accepting Alternate Payment Types

Credit-Cart-Payments

Customers like options. Aside from that some customers prefer one payment type over another. Some customers only use PayPal while others only use Google Checkout. With this in mind you will want to integrate with as many Third Party Payment (TPP) providers as you can.

Some of the more popular ones are:

PayPal

With PayPal you can offer standard PayPal payments with the customer sending you money via email with their PayPal account.

Another option is to utilize PayPal’s Checkout Express, where the customer does not need to enter any payment info on your site and they can just login to their PayPal account and checkout in 2-3 clicks.

In addition PayPal offers full credit card processing services (a la Authorize.net) where the customer does not even know that you use PayPal and it is fully integrated into your site.

Link: http://www.paypal.com/

Google Checkout

Google Checkout is very similar to PayPal Checkout Express. It is pretty much the same easy checkout process which is done by logging into your Google account and going through 2-3 clicks to finalize your order. Google Checkout is popular amongst a small set of consumers specifically because of the ease of use.

Link: http://checkout.google.com/

BillMeLater

BillMeLater, by CyberSource offers consumers the ability to checkout by providing their address as well as birthday and last four digits of their social security number. They do an instantaneous credit check and provide the customer with numerous options to pay for their purchase at a later date.

Link: http://www.billmelater.com/

eCheck

There are several companies that allow consumers to checkout via eCheck. What they do is ask for bank account holder information as well as routing and account numbers. One good thing about eChecks is that the consumer doesn’t have to wait the time it would take to mail in a check and have it clear as most companies that provide this service do a credit check and guarantee the funds.

Links:

http://www.echeck.net/ — by Authorize.NET
http://www.cross-check.com/

Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments is similar to Google Checkout and PayPal Checkout Express. The consumer goes through Amazon’s checkout process and does not need to provide the merchant with payment info.

Link: http://payments.amazon.com/

eBillme

Not sure how useful this would be to many consumers, but eBillme offer the ability to pay via your bank’s online bill pay option. The consumer pays eBillme and they route the money to the merchant.

Link: http://www.ebillme.com/

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