Where Are Your Customers Coming From?
If you want your business to succeed, you have to master two things: attracting customers and retaining customers. Obviously, attracting customers is critical to making sales and generating revenue, but getting those customers to keep coming back is just as important for your bottom line. According to Harvard Business Review, landing a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one!
Both attracting and retaining customers relies on your ability to offer an excellent customer experience—and that starts with reaching clients where they are. Once you know where your customers are coming from, you can use data-driven marketing efforts to focus on their preferred platforms, improve your customer experience, and keep customers coming back.
In digital marketing, we use the term “attribution” to describe the process of tracking where your customers come from. This is because you’ll be able to attribute how many customers come from social media, direct mail campaigns, pay per click ads, organic searches, email marketing, and much more.
You may already have an idea of how customers find you, but taking the time to look at your attribution data can have a major payoff—and it doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. Read on to learn how you can track where your customers are coming from, then apply this information to grow your company.
Why Attribution Data Matters
Attribution data offers immense value for businesses of all sizes. Tracking where your customers come from can help you with your data-driven marketing, customer experience, and sales process.
There are dozens of platforms you can use to attract and retain customers. If you try to do them all, you won’t do any of them well (unless you invest tons of money into paying a large team of people to cover all your bases). On the other hand, if you just guess at a few to focus on, you might miss out on the best opportunities to engage your target audience. That’s why data-driven marketing is so important.
By looking at attribution data to understand where your customers are coming from, you can determine which advertising opportunities are best for you. You can find out if the time and money you’re currently spending on marketing is a profitable investment, or if you should switch your focus to optimize the platforms proven to work for your business and customers.
Effective marketing is all about building relationships, and data-driving marketing tells you where to develop those relationships. For example, if you know customers come to you from social media, you can focus on producing quality content there to serve them well and keep them engaged. If you know customers often click and buy from links in your newsletter, you can make sure you stay on top of regular newsletters and build relationships that way. Serving your customers on their preferred platforms provides a better customer experience and keeps them coming back.
Whether your sales take place entirely online or you have full-time team members who meet with prospects and close sales, attribution can help you improve your sales process. Once you understand where leads are coming from and what led them to contact you, you can refine your sales process and presentations to better connect with your customers’ goals and guide them through your sales funnel.
How to Find Attribution Data
There are many ways to gather attribution data, and you can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. Here are a few options to get you started, but don’t feel like you need to do them all right away. Start with just one, or try a few different ways to see what works best.
- Simply Ask - You don’t need a fancy program or process to learn more about your customers. Instruct your sales and customer service teams to simply ask how customers found you and record the answers.
- Send a Survey - Send a survey via email or use a form on your website to learn more about your customers, including where they come from. We’ll even make it easy for you—click here for a free customer survey template that covers everything you need to ask your customers.
- Use Google Analytics - You may not know it, but you already have a lot of attribution data at your fingertips. Use Google analytics to see how many website visitors came from social media, organic searches, paid ads, and more.
- Insert UTM Codes - UTM codes are little bits of code you can add to any page’s URL to help you attribute traffic to specific campaigns, not just platforms. Use the Google URL builder to get started with this strategy.
- Track Calls - With call tracking systems, you can use a unique phone number for particular campaigns to track your response rates. Many systems even integrate with Google Analytics to give you a complete picture of your attribution data.
How to Apply Attribution Data to Attract New Customers (and Keep Current Ones Coming Back!)
Once you gather your attribution data, it’s time to put it to use. The strategy is simple: When you see a platform is working well, look for more ways to invest in that to build on your success. When you see a platform is not working well, decide whether you will invest in improving that platform or abandon it to focus your efforts on the top performers.
For example, if your customers respond well to social media campaigns but don’t respond to direct mail, it’s time to make a decision. Do you want to test and improve the direct mail campaigns or focus your time on keeping your social media profiles fresh and up to date?
If you see certain keywords are responsible for a lot of your success, make sure your content is always optimized for those keywords to continue reaching your customers. If you see prospective customers are most likely to call you from a particular landing page on your site, optimize that site for conversions with proven tactics like lead magnets and pop-up forms.
If you see you’re getting a lot of leads from clicks on someone else’s site, consider investing more in that relationship by providing them with more valuable content they can share with their audience as they link back to you.
We could go on with these examples all day, but you get the idea. Data-driven marketing is all about using your attribution data to create a better customer experience, reach new customers, and keep your current customers coming back for more.
When you take time to understand your customers, you can improve your customer experience, close more sales, and get the best possible ROI for your marketing dollar. This all starts with knowing where your customers come from.
Gathering your attribution data can take time, but in the long run, you’ll actually save time and money when you use that data to inform your digital strategy and drive your marketing efforts. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be complicated.
We’ve given you a number of different attribution methods to try, but a good way to begin is with a simple survey to learn more about your current customers. We’ve even designed a free resource to get you started!
This resource works for individuals and companies of any size and in any industry, and you can use it to survey your customers via email or a form on your website. Download it today, and you’ll soon know not only where your customers come from, but also their goals, motivations, and pain points—all valuable information as you attract new customers and retain current ones.
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