When you're running a lead campaign as either a lead buyer or lead seller it's easy to get bogged down in the details and take your focus away from the handful of things that can really move for campaign (and thus your business forward). At First Impression, we've found that the following items make all the difference between our successes and our failures:

1) Improve Metric Monitoring

We all know to track Bounce rate, CTR, Conversion rates, and a handful of our other important metrics, but how often are you really focused on analyzing those numbers? Are you using proper statistical analysis to make your determinations? When we need a better dive into statistics or need a refresher on exactly what to look at and what is statistically significant typically turn to our copy of Statistics Unplugged.

As for the actual monitoring of those KPIs, how do you make them meaningful for the rest of your office? What we do internally is work to distill each piece of information down to its most basic level, display it in a simple and meaningful way, and offer a strong recommendation along with it.

Internally, we use a modified version "Action Dashboards" by Avinash Kaushik:

2) Focus on Things That Work

Growing your business as a lead buyer or a lead seller involves risk and balancing that risk can be a challenge. Your time can quickly vanish between testing new lead sources; trying to strength campaigns that just aren't performing as well as you had hoped; and adjusting to client changes, regulation changes, and other issues. While we are always eager to test new things--new verticals, new traffic sources, or even a new ranking algorithm--we found that the allure of the new can sometimes outshine the consistent promises of tried and true techniques. To combat this we modified the Google 80/20 rule. We try to focus 80% of our time improving, refining, and monitoring the things that already work while allocating twenty percent of our time to testing new options and ideas. After a week or two of testing we can track the upward or downward trends and determine if we have a technique or traffic source that has the potential to be a powerful addition to our arsenal.

3) Improve Your Testing Methods

At First Impression, we use a combination of A/B testing and multivariate testing methodologies for our landing pages, websites, and content creative as both concepts have their strengths and weaknesses but we've found that one of the biggest weaknesses in our testing methodology is the actual tools themselves.

To run a strong multivariate testing campaign you have to consider several factors:

  • the number of page aspects you want to test (headline, text, colors, images, calls to action)
  • the number of variations you want to test (headline 1, headline 2, text1, text2),
  • Most importantly, how much traffic you'll need to send through to get a statistically significant response from your testing.

We have seen that tools like Google Analytics Experiments tend to "call" the results of a test before proving significance. This is why we've been working on our own internal testing suite and it may be something you want to consider as well.

4. Multi-Channel Attribution

Multi-Screen Attribution is one of the biggest challenges for multi-channel attribution. If someone clicks on an ad in Google mobile but then finishes on their desktop how do we track it?

We are working with this challenge even now and First Impression is hoping 2014 brings new tools to answer the problem. Google, comScore, and dozens of startups are racing to find the solution, and we can't wait for that to happen. Once the problem is addressed on a technical level we still need to determine how to attribute values to each of those touch-points. Can we use the models we use for multi-channel attribution (First touch, last touch, etc.) for this new revolution or will we need to determine a unique value attribution model? Our bet is on the later.

So what steps are you taking to streamline and grow your business in 2014?

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