(This article is a 7-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. The most important thing to measure with email
2. The most important thing to measure on your website
3. What this information tells you
One of the great selling points for digital marketing is how measurable it is. But that's also one of the greatest problems with it. We have can get data on click rates, open rates, conversions, impressions, and the ratio of each to the other. But often, we don't know what those data sets can tell us.
The American department store magnate John Wanamaker famously said, “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half.” Even though we have a lot more information at our fingertips now, the same problem remains. Because it turns out that it's very hard to point to a patient and say, that individual was moved to book an appointment as a result of this piece of marketing.
If you have time, you can continue to measure everything you can about your marketing and look for deep recurring patterns. Unfortunately, your life as a working oral health professional will probably get in the way of that.
Or you can look at a couple of key metrics on your email and in your Google Analytics dashboard to work out if people are paying attention to your site, and ultimately booking as patients.
Many practices have email newsletters, and there is a good chance that you can access reports that tell you the open and click rate for each newsletter you send. Depending on what's in your newsletter, you may get between 20 and 30 percent open rate, and a 2 to 4 percent click rate.
That click rate can be improved if you send people regular content that addresses their questions about oral health, rather than spamming them with teeth whitening vouchers.
You should focus on the click rate alone for a couple of reasons. In research we've done into open and click rates for email, open rates can stay steady while click rates can vary dramatically depending on the content of the newsletter.
You should be able to download a report of who clicked on a link in your newsletter. That click is an indicator that the person is interested in what you have to say. That is meaningful data to hang on to. If you can't track that with marketing automation software, the very least you can do is set up an excel document which records the name and email of the reader, the date of the newsletter, and what stories they clicked on.
After a few months, you'll see a pattern start to emerge on your excel document of the type of content each individual is interacting with. It sounds like a bit of a hassle to do this, I know. But the reward is a list of individuals who you can personally target with marketing.
Think of it this way: if you offer a discount voucher to the general public, you are going to attract some people you don't want as patients. They will only be Interested in discounts. They won't know who you are, and probably won't care. They're just after a deal.
But if you send that same voucher only to people who are already listening to what you have to say, you won't only have a higher conversion rate. Those people will also be more loyal and committed patients.
Many dental practices have websites, and many of you have access to your Google Analytics dashboard. If you don't, you really should. Just take a minute and go and set that up now.
When you look at the front page of your dashboard, you'll see data on the number of visitors to your site, their dwell time, the bounce rate and so on. If you're like many dental practices, you’ll also have a row of zeroes where the dashboard tallies conversion rates and sales.
Unless you are an ecommerce site, very few people bother to set up conversion goals on their Analytics dashboard. It's a bit of a hassle, and if you're not organizing bookings through the site, there doesn't seem much point.
If you do have a bookings widget on your site, you can use Google Tag Manager to manage targeting pixels on the ‘thank you’ page once someone has made a booking, or on pages with booking forms. But all that will tell you is who booked online. What can be more enlightening is tracking who is clicking on your calls-to-action on your blog posts or on the cornerstone content on your site.
You can set up an event in Google Analytics that can track when people do something like follow a call-to-action to a landing page. This is similar to tracking your click rate on your emails. But while you can’t always tell exactly who it is who’s following that path, you can start to get an idea of what information and which services your website visitors are most interested in.
That kind of information can help you decide what to market to them through your ads and email newsletters.
While you can make a lot of educated assumptions based on lots of varied data, you don’t always need to. Simply tracking who is clicking on the content in your email, and how many people are clicking on the calls-to-action on your website, will give you enough good information to start doing some really smart and effective marketing.