I once worked in media relations. It was my job to land brands in news stories—and it was challenging. Really challenging. But I did it. And all the researching and planning was worth it when my clients appeared in the likes of The Washington Post and Golf Digest and saw immediate returns on leads and sales.
How did I do it?
I didn’t use software to blast out press releases or automated lists to cold call editors. I identified the right reporters, studied their beats, came up with creative pitches, and “nurtured” them a little at a time.
You can do the same thing when tracking your leads.
Even with all the advancements in marketing automation and analytics, sometimes your best tool for tracking leads is the human brain. If you’re willing to do some extra work, you can identify the holes left by software and fill in the gaps to keep your marketing campaigns running smoothly.
Hole #1: Where are your leads coming from?
The Fix: Trackable Links
Does your company send emails and engage on social media? Are you adding tracking code to the links you use in your newsletters and tweets?
No? You’re gonna love this one.
Special tracking code, usually referred to as UTM parameters, can be used to feed campaign-specific data to your Google Analytics account. When you tack on a few parameters to the end of your landing page URL, you can see not just how many people visited it but also where they came from. This can make it so much easier to measure social media marketing and show your boss how well your email marketing is working.
Yes, you have to create the parameters manually. But with Google’s free URL builder, it takes only a few seconds. Many third-party marketing tools include their own URL builders or will even generate them for you automatically.
Hole #2: Who are these leads?
The Fix: Social Streams
All marketers know to track hashtags to drive traffic and follow conversations that are relevant to your brand. You might also use Twitter lists to monitor competitors and Facebook Groups to help build brand awareness.
But are you using streams to track and nurture leads?
A number of tools (like Hootsuite, HubSpot, and many others) let you manually create social media “streams.” Used most often to monitor and listen to general conversations, these mini dashboards can also be set up to track leads with keywords, hashtags, and even contact lists based on actual leads.
For example, let’s say you’ve just segmented out a list of qualified leads. You could start with a stream to view all their Twitter conversations in one central place. You could then add your top keywords to see when their Facebook updates indicate interest in your products or services.
Spending some time in these customized social streams each day will provide all kinds of insights you won’t find anywhere else. Use them to make timely sales calls, create targeted content marketing, and more—the sky’s the limit!
Hole #3: What is pushing them toward a decision?
The Fix: More Accurate Attribution
Consider this common scenario:
A marketer pulls up data on leads that have been captured over the last quarter and sees a big portion of traffic is attributed to Facebook. He assumes prospects responded well to his paid social campaign and decides to invest more in it.
But he doesn’t really know how much Facebook ads influenced those conversions. This is “last-click attribution.” It leaves holes.
Most leads go through several nurture campaigns before making a final buying decision. And they’re usually exposed to multiple touchpoints—from social media ads to landing pages to emails—as part of the process. When you set up a separate “campaign” for each one, the customer journey becomes much clearer.
Most marketing tools (including many Formstack integrations) let you set up multiple campaigns to track how your leads are interacting with each one. For example, Insight Squared has put together an excellent overview of how this can be done in Salesforce.
Find and Fix Your Lead Tracking Holes for Optimal Campaign Performance
Today’s marketing tools offer some great features for tracking leads.
But if you want to get a real return on your investment, you have to spend some time finding and filling in the holes.
We’ve outlined three of our favorite strategies you can use to better track leads and keep campaigns running smoothly. There are many others, from AdWords attribution to Partial Submissions, but it’s up to you to find the ones that best suit your needs.
With Formstack, you can leverage our powerful analytics features to capture more leads and scale your most profitable marketing campaigns. Want to learn more? Sign up for a free trial below to get access to these exclusive features.