8 Warning Signs Your Measurement is Not Measuring Up

OK so your campaign is out the door and everyone wants to know how it is doing.  Before you go and report on the performance of the program, take a moment and think about these red flags.  It will save you a lot of grief later on. 

1)     There are responses where you did not expect them.  This happens when old promotion codes are pulled or data is misdirected.  For example you get responses attributed to an inactive 800 number or a there are spikes in response when media is not running

2)     Orders or registrations exceed clicks or calls.  Causes for this can range from double counting results or clicks from an email vendor not matching what Google analytics is reporting.  Sometime this is caused by a bad code – other times it’s as simple as not understanding the tracking methodology of the vendors you are using.

3)     Customers or prospects can not be tied back to your database. Check to see if the correct responders are being matched to your program.  Another cause is incorrect customer IDs being used.

4)     There is a significant decrease in the results of the control population.  Unless you are spinning gold from lead silk, your control package should never turn into a dog in one campaign.  Check to make sure that codes are not reversed or if there were deliver issues with the program or non-function links.

5)     Results are only attributed to a single cell.  See #4 for causes.  Again it is illogical for all results to come from a single cell/tactic.

6)     It is taking a long time to get results from your vendor.  If seemingly simple reporting (such as clicks and opens) is taking days to obtain or are partial, there is probably a problem with the vendor providing the reporting.  In these cases, it’s best to be direct and either ask for reports by a given data or ask what the problem is.  Quite often you will have to take this ‘problem’ data and do some back-end work-arounds to get resolution and it is better to be proactive than wait for the bad news.

7)     The numbers keep changing.  If you have fewer sales than the day before, stop all reporting and see what the cause is.  Here are a few simple things to check – has the date range of the reporting changed, were clicks/quotes counted as sales and then changed but you were not told, was it the end of the month/quarter and someone fudged the numbers to look good for financial reporting (I’ve see all this happened at one time or another).

8)     Results are far better then industry (and internal) norms.  The days of 15% response rates for DM or 50% click rates for email are long long long since over.  Question anything that appears to be too good to be true.  I worked on a project a few years back where the roll-out of 50,000 mail pieces were sent with a test of 10,000.  For a few days everyone was ecstatic with an 8% response rate – until the lettershop called to tell us about their mistake.

Do you have other warning signs or experiences you want to share?  Post them to this blog entry.

And as always if you need help fixing a broken marketing program, give us shot.  Remember, we fix broken marketing programs so you do not have to.

Happy Marketing

 Jon the Marketing Guy

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