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Lead Tracking - How to Track Lead Source

Inbound Marketing , Lead Generation | | 3 minute read

As a marketer, both in the agency setting and in the small business setting, one of the most beautiful things is quality lead tracking.

Good lead tracking measures the sources and the method your potential customer uses to engage your company.

Let’s look at three ingredients of lead tracking:

  • Message - This is your marketing message you use to entice people to call you or buy your product.
  • Method - The method of contact. Web form, online chat, phone call etc.
  • Source - The way the prospect found your marketing message, email blast, banner ad, organic search, smoke signals etc.

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In order to achieve quality lead tracking it is crucial to plan ahead. The goal is to link the Message, Method, and Source.

Let’s say you want to sell a car. You may create a marketing message, "Classic Corvette Buyer's Guide" (Yes we made this). That buyer’s guide is then used to grow a marketing list of people who are interested in your car. You create a landing page and set up a banner ad campaign on Google. You also run an ad promoting the guide in the program of a large auto show.

If you happened to click the link above and downloaded the guide, you would be a Referral from Pittsburgh Internet Consulting, Form Submission, Corvette Buyer’s Guide.

First, we need to know what method they will use to contact us:

  • Phone Call - This used to be a very daunting task. Today, there are services available that will allow you to track the source of inbound phone calls. You can see how many people are calling you from Organic Search, Paid Search, that center ad you spend $15,000.00 on. This data will show up right in your Google Analytics account. Some companies seem to want to discount phone calls from the internet lead pool for some reason, but you can expect that you are getting a fair share of leads that are direct calls.
  • Onsite Chat - Onsite chat used to be so annoying. Today though, it is my preferred method of interaction with a website. I don't have to sit through long call dialog and wait 20-30 minutes before I get someone on the phone. Chat allows me to interact with a company personally without any hassles. We can send all the referring source data to our Google Analytics account for tracking. Want to run some banner ads and see how effective they are? Develop a strong call to action, use a good UTM variable and see how effective it is in your Analytics account.
  • Web Form - This is the traditional website lead. You have your classic, fill out my form page. It may be time to dress this beast up. Offer them something for filling out that form. "Four ways you can learn to walk on water - Get your Illusionist's guide to street magic", is a pretty convincing title that I would give my information away for. Not only will this grow your inbound leads, but it will also allow you to test and see where your Market's interest lie.

Next, we need to link these methods to the source.

UTM Variables allow us to link almost every digital source to our Google analytics campaign. Just plan out your campaigns and you will have some great data that will allow you to measure ROI on all your marketing campaigns.

So why bother tracking my leads?

Lead tracking is cool on face value, but how useful is it? If you are like most of us, you are working with a budget. If you keep track of your spending, lead tracking is a great way to calculate an accurate ROI on your spending.

By analyzing an accurate cost/lead you see what messages work, how markets are performing and where to focus your marketing efforts.

If you are looking for an easy lead tracking spreadsheet, take a look at this excel lead tracking template that includes a lead cost/lead value calculator.  For further reading check out our MQL Lead Cost/Lead Value post.

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Robb Luther

A lifetime resident of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Robb joined PIC as an Internet Marketing Consultant in September 2007. Robb’s work experience covers a full range of website design and development, marketing (both online and off), and training responsibilities.

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