The beauty of using online marketing to promote your telephone answering service is the ready availability of performance data to analyze a marketing campaign’s effectiveness. Don’t overlook this. Too many people do. A common online marketing opportunity is paid ads, such as Google AdWords or social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter. Don’t just place ads and hope for the best. Measure and track results. Then adjust campaigns as needed. Consider these key ad performance metrics: 1) Cost per Click: For each marketing campaign, look at the cost per lead, in this case the cost per click. In general, the lower the cost per lead, the more you should use a particular campaign. Some campaigns will have a prohibitively high cost per lead and should be discontinued. However, don’t make a final decision until you analyze the cost per sale for each marketing campaign. Also, know that a campaign could have a high cost per click but a low cost per sale. Don’t dismiss such opportunities. 2) Cost per Sale: Getting leads is the first step. Converting them is the second. A lead without a conversion provides no value. Low conversions result in a high cost per sale, which means you’re spending more but have less to show for it. If your conversion ratio is low, consider two possible explanations. The first is that the ad is misleading, enticing clicks from people who are not good candidates to buy. We’ve all seen click bait ads and have likely fallen for them on occasion. We end up disappointed and can’t leave the site fast enough. Make sure your ad isn’t attracting the wrong people or for the wrong reasons. A misleading offer will do that, as it drives up your cost per sale. The other reason for a low conversion ratio is a flawed sales process. No answering service wants to hear this, but a wise sales manager will be open to consider the possibility. If the cost per sale is high (that is, a low conversion rate) and the marketing is sound, then the problem of low sales resides with the sales staff. Correcting sales team deficiencies will automatically increase conversions and lower the cost per sale. 3) Value per Sale: Although harder to measure, also look at the value of each sale an individual marketing campaign generates. Three quantifiable areas are accounts receivables, customer service calls, and length of service. Clients who don’t pay their bills, are customer service nightmares, and have a short tenure are low value clients. They may be more bother than they’re worth. A marketing campaign with a low cost per click and low cost per sale may still not be a good one if the value of the clients it attracts is not good. Do your staff a favor and go after high value clients. Even if you must pay a bit more per click and per sale, the extra cost may be worth it. Your answering service staff will thank you. 4) Trend Analysis: Few ads produce well over the long term. A common mistake among busy marketing managers is doing a thorough analysis when a campaign first launches and then stopping. Instead they find a winning ad and keep running it week after week without further consideration. Most ads lose their cost-effectiveness over time. Perhaps market conditions change. Maybe competitive ads drive up the price. Possibly your target market has grown numb to your ads and simply ignores them. Regardless, track ads continually and watch for trends. When an ad loses its cost-effectiveness, either tweak the offer or move on to something else. Continually track your answering service’s marketing campaign effectiveness to decrease your costs and increase your results. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan and a longtime member of the TAS industry.