Measure your marketing success with these metrics {ideas that will NEVER help you sell your business}

Mommy Perks logoSubmitted by Bola (Slimy Bookworm) and Shara (Mommy Perks)

Bola’s Ideas

May I start with a disclaimer? This write up was Shara’s idea. I had turned in a guest post about the need to measure your marketing as a small business owner. Yes there is the tried and true Google analytics for measuring the return on investment of your online marketing campaigns but there are also what I refer to as the “crazy metrics” that will not be seen in marketing books or blogs.

I am talking about  metrics that you have up in your head tailored to your particular business and how you see things.

I actually remember one of Shara’s crazy metrics for her personalized book business; how frequently her puncher needed to be emptied.  It made perfect sense. When she was getting more orders for books, she filled up the puncher sooner.

I have one such metric that has served me well. I put a value of 50 cents on each new email subscriber. Say I paid $25 to sponsor  a giveaway to attract new email subscribers. Getting at least 50 new email subscribers for that marketing campaign means I hit a home run.

How do you determine if advertising on a website or blog is worth it? Sure the experts tell you ask for the traffic stats and all that. When I ask for unique monthly visitors from bloggers the response I always get is the number of page views and hits which does  not answer my question but that’s the number they prefer to put forward for some reason.  Here comes another crazy metric of mine – I try to get a guest post on the site if allowed and then monitor the clicks I get to my site. If I get an upwards of 50 clicks within the month of publication, then the site is worthy of consideration. If I make a sale through the guest post then the website/blog is going to get some ad spend from me – either through sponsored posts or newsletter sponsorship or giveaway sponsorship.

I have no scientific data to back any of this up but using the crazy metrics help me weigh marketing opportunities on the fly.

Do you have any “crazy metrics” for running your business? Love to hear them.

Shara’s Ideas

It makes me laugh that Bola wanted to give full disclosure that this post was my idea. I like to make people laugh and now and again my blog needs a little satire, eh? {Such as Dear Mr. Generous Pants} I can’t live without humor in my life!

We probably all have a few crazy ways of measuring our own metrics. Here are some of mine:

1. As Bola mentioned, when my hole puncher fills up faster, I know my book business has been doing well! That’s pretty much the only metric I have for this business. I never plan on selling it because no one in their right mind would work for 8 hours to create a book for someone for 30 bucks. So I’m stuck with my own idea and don’t really need to track my sales or marketing success for possible future sale.

2. I have never really done much research on ad sales and the technical side of selling ad space. I know there are metrics out there that would tell me exactly what my ads (on Mommy Perks) should sell for based on our traffic rates and page views and bounce rates and unique visitors and …….. etc. What I have done every year is tweak my ad rates and I wait to see if anyone buys them. If I get too many requests, I raise my rates. If I don’t get enough requests, I lower my rates. It’s pretty much based on the number of emails I receive which is a completely worthless metric really, I know. If I ever wish to sell this business I’ll need to turn over traffic stats, numbers, figures and everything else – to show the buyer what they could sell ads for. So basically, right now, I’d be up the river without a paddle.

3. Most of the things I sell on Mommy Perks are priced at lower rates than my competitor sites. In fact, some of my rates are so low that people ask me, “Is this legitimate?” LOL. For instance, the customer may have paid $250 for a newsletter ad while mine are $25. Or they paid $100 a month to list on another home page while my ads are $20 or $40 a month. One of the ways I price point these things is as follows: I think to myself, “How much money would I feel okay losing if NOTHING came from this? If I were the one buying this ad or listing or service, how much could I stand to lose and not feel angry or taken advantage of?” If I would feel okay losing 20 bucks, I price point at 20 bucks. If I would feel okay losing $75 for something, I price point at $75. This is basically a metric I created to benefit the business buying from me. Technically speaking, it’s completely useless. Emotionally speaking, it helps me sleep at night.

4. I rarely ever check my Google Analytics. By rarely ever I mean… maybe once or twice a year. Other businesses check often – even hourly. What’s working? What is not? Oh my gosh! Where did I go wrong? What needs to be done differently? I had more traffic last Tuesday but this Tuesday it’s down 20%! Living that way would drive me to stand on the edge of a tall building. Here’s how I track the effectiveness of my content: I do have a plug in installed so I can view how many reads each post gets, yes. I also track through Twitter. Did my post get re-tweeted a lot? If yes, I did well. That was a popular post. Good for me.

5. I also measure a lot of my marketing success by the “what goes around comes around” mentality. Are things going really well for me? Are people helping and offering and networking and asking and sharing and caring? If yes, I know that I’m on the right path. If that all slows down I assume, “I’m not giving enough of myself” so I step it up a notch and give more, help more, network more, etc. Then things balance out again, just as they should.

My business profits have steadily increased year after year and 2011-2012 has been terrific for me – for both of my businesses. So perhaps “crazy metrics” works for me. And for Bola, too. Ha.

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