Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three Tips for A/B Testing With Toll-Free Numbers

Young marketer testing out a theorySome people say there’s an art to successful marketing, but there’s also a good bit of science that plays into it. Let’s say you're a dealership with a theory that car buyers are currently more concerned with a vehicle’s safety features than gas economy.

Like any good scientist, you’ll want to test your theories about your consumers’ behavior by setting up an A/B test. For instance, you could create two ads, one focused on vehicle safety and the other praising the car’s efficient gas economy.

The goal of your test is… whatever you want it to be. It could measuring everything from web page impressions to phone calls. If you’re in the mood to discover which ads give you the best phone conversions, assign a toll-free number (TFN) to each one. When the calls pour in, you’ll be able to measure your response rates easily and accurately.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when A/B testing with TFNs.

An A/B Test Without a Goal Isn’t a Test

Always set your goals first. That way, you can create a test that accurately measures them. After setting your goals, stick to them! Many marketers fall into rabbit holes on the way to finding the results they’re looking for. Stay true to your initial experiment and make notes of the other ones you want to perform in the future.

Don’t Be Surprised If Your Test Affects Other Metrics

While you may be focused on measuring phone conversions for your experiment, you don’t want to disregard other metrics that are affected because of your changes (especially if they’re negative). For example, your ads may generate more quality phone leads but they may not be from the demographic you’re targeting. Take all of these factors into consideration when running your tests.

Sometimes a Third or Even Fourth Try Is the Charm

Just because you don’t see the results you’re looking for with your first A/B test doesn’t mean that A/B testing is just not for you. Instead of throwing in the towel, consider testing variants you didn’t consider during your first round. 

Have you had any success with A/B testing? Share them in the comments below so we can all learn from them!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Three Ways Picking a Lead Generation Provider Is Like Buying a New Car

woman dreaming of perfect car
Say you're in the market for a new car. But you don't want to run into the first dealership you pass by and make an instant decision; you want to do some research to make sure you find your dream car (at a dream price). 

Believe it or not, this process parallels picking a lead generation system. Here's how.

You Do a Lot of Research

Before making a big purchase such as a new car, 81 percent of people heavily research online.  

You should follow the same process when shopping for a lead generation solution.

Start out by researching which providers have the bare minimum solutions you want. Keep track of the solutions and features available so you can easily compare which provider offers the greatest value. Once you've narrowed your options down to the brands with the basics, such as an inbound lead tracker and a tool that'll let you record calls to review later, it's time to see which ones have some extra pizzazz.

You Build Your Dream Model

All cars have wheels and an engine. What really sets them apart is the features that give it some oomph. It could be anything from leather seats to a heated steering wheel. (Don't tell us you haven't ever wanted to try a heated steering wheel!)

It's those sort of extra features that make you feel like a million bucks (and take your business to the next level). Your lead generation's heated steering wheel could be CRM integration, so you'll know that each and every lead is in your system. The leather seats could be a tool that allows you to follow up with online leads quickly.

You Test Drive It

On the surface, your lead generation system has everything you want. But you still have to make sure it's going to perform up to your standards, so you take it for a test drive.

You can't know if a lead generation system will perform for your business until you "take a test drive." So request a demo. It's even a smart idea to request a demo from a few of your top lead generation provider choices just to get a side-by-side comparison. 

Have any other tips for finding your perfect lead generation provider? Let us know in the comments!