Track Your Ads

March 1, 2006

Testing Ads and Tracking Responses
By: Adams Hudson

You can’t get any idea of how well any ad or promotion works – especially direct response – unless you track it.

Remember that you probably won’t get incoming leads on TOMA ads, or many image ads, or even newsletters, so those will be held to a lower accountability. Regardless, without a tracking system, you’ll just be guessing on the return.

There are many methods for ad tracking. One of the easiest is to assign an “extension” after the phone number in each ad. Here’s how…

Use an “extension” number with the first digit being the publication or the piece you use (be sure to keep a master list of assigned numbers.) The second number (and third if needed) can be the month. Ask your receptionist that all incoming calls be logged for identification of source – no excuses.

You can also merely ask, “And how did you hear about us today?” or “Did you see our ad in the ?” to get the “source” of the lead.

Log each entry on a lead sheet or in your contact manager so you’ll know what ads and lead sources are working. You’d never make an investment where the returns were going to be a “guess”, so don’t do it with your media dollars either.

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink “Creative Marketing that Works.” His company creates a full line of marketing tools for contractors including Customer Retention newsletters, Yellow Page ads, “turn-key” Marketing PowerPacks and custom copywriting. You can get a free subscription to his “Sales & Marketing Insider” by faxing your letterhead to 334-262-1115 with the request. Also check out on the web for free marketing tips or call 1-800-489-9099 for more info.

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