Did you miss part one & part two in this series? Start from the beginning here!

Our final post in this series will identify the Third Way to Measure Online Influence in Minutes – Sales. By tying your online influence directly to your business’ sales, you can verify the worth of your online social media and content marketing efforts and match revenue to your investments in time and dollars.

There are great subscription-based programs on the market that are dedicated to helping businesses track the impact online activities have on revenue. Examples include Marketo, SalesForce, Eloqua and Hubspot, among others. However, if your business is new to the online space or if you have a limited budget, several free and effective tips and tools are available.

Check out these simple but sound tips to get you started:

  • Compare revenue against online campaigns and web metrics.
    Go back to the business basics: identify trends and patterns around your revenue, online campaigns and web analytics. Compare data in a quick excel datasheet or graph and make assumptions for future business decisions. Data doesn’t lie, so don’t shy away from attributing positive (or negative!) online influence to business ROI. Look for any abnormal spikes, dips or outliers. You can even look back at historical data to determine seasonal comparisons and contrast for the results you uncover.
  • Embed one-step online sales plug-ins throughout your business’ web properties.

    The easier you can make it for your business’ prospects to conveniently purchase products or services from you, the more likely they will be complete your sales funnel from end-to-end. Shorten your online sales process whenever possible, and incorporate purchase widgets and plugins into all of your web resources from email and mobile to social media and your company blog. The evidence will shine in results. PCWorld reported a 40% increase in revenue for an online children’s accessories store – after just three months of incorporating ecommerce into the company’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on the revenue one-stop shopping can bring to your small business.
  • Use discount and promotional code fields in your campaigns.
    Track your marketing efforts by incorporating auto-populated discount and promotional code fields in your online shopping cart. Assign codes to each marketing activity and measure revenue your across each. Google analytics and other ecommerce plugins such as Paypal, Intuit, WorldPay and ProfitStars.com can help.
  • Drive customers and prospects to “landing pages.”
    A “landing page” is any webpage that you send your audience to in a marketing campaign. To increase your business’ likelihood of converting prospects to sales, tailor a webpage to your target audience’s specific needs. Keep your page simple; include only the most relevant information followed by a clear call to action. Google Analytics’ Conversion Suite or Crazy Egg are both tools that will show you where your visitors are clicking and where they fall in your sales funnel process.
  • Survey your consumers. Find out how online impacted purchase decisions.
    A short poll at the end of your shopping cart checkout will cost your customers a few extra seconds, but will provide you with important information to increase your business ROI. Ask customers which online campaign(s) influenced their purchase decision, and limit the response options to five our less to keep their attention. Also consider including a free response section for customers to offer additional details and/or suggestions.
  • Test online activity, analyze trends and measure against revenue.
    Another valuable way to prove a direct correlation between your business’ online influence and sales is by testing your online campaigns. Implement controls and variables, compare with your historical data and take note of corresponding revenue patterns. Learn more on best practices in testing from Destination CRM, or read case studies on the positive impact testing has on ecommerce conversions and revenue on ConversionsWork.co.

This concludes our series on 3 Ways to Measure Online Influence in Minutes. We hope you have learned some valuable takeaways to grow your business and attribute online influence to company dollars. Through measuring the direct influence and impact your online presence has on new business, customer loyalty and reputation – you can better manage and ensure your company’s long-term sustainability in today’s competitive markets.

Questions or comments? Contact us through the comments section below.