5 Lists to Audit Internet Marketing Strategies

Use this simple process to make your Internet marketing system a continuous improvement machine that produces ever-increasing revenue and profit

About 80 to 100 times a year, I get hired to audit or review the Internet marketing strategy for a publisher who has a website that is making money. The goal of the review is to find five to ten changes to their current Internet marketing system that will make more money.

As I find Internet marketing to be pretty complex, I focus my review on five lists. If the client becomes one I see on a regular consulting schedule (4 to 6 times per year), the first two lists don’t change much from visit to visit, although there are occasional breakthroughs. The other 3 lists change with some regularity and often very rapidly. They get longer and shorter based on the results of split tests and other marketing feedback, like sales, visits or some other observable consumer behavior.

To illustrate my five lists (which you can use with or without an Internet marketing consultant like myself) let me share the lists of my favorite fictional client Rosemary Gardner, CEO of Gardens Media Group or GMG.

Internet Marketing List #1: Our Online Target Audience

  • Gardeners (who spend $1000 or more per year on plants, supplies and landscaping)
  • Landscapers
  • Growers
  • Nurseries

Internet Marketing List #2: Our Online Editorial Purpose and Goals

  • Help gardeners save time and money on the pursuit of creating beautiful gardens
  • Provide gardeners with a creative outlet for their tips, successes and failures
  • Host a community of like minded individuals that is fun and fulfilling

Internet Marketing List #3: Products We Sell Online (30 possible answers)

  • Books
  • Newsletters
  • Online Membership
  • Garden Tours

Internet Marketing List #4: How We Drive The Right Visitors to Our Website (31 possible answers)

  • Search Engines
  • Other Gardening Periodical Websites
  • Other Periodical Websites
  • Online Directories
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books

Internet Marketing List #5: How We Convert Visitors into Buyers (16 possible answers below)

  • Navigational Text Links
  • Embedded Text Links
  • Banner Advertising
  • Order Forms in Navigation (OFINs)
  • Order Forms in Editorial (OFIEs)
  • Interstitial Floaters
  • Exit and Entry Pop-Overs
  • Exit and Entry Pop-Unders
  • Rapid Conversion Landing Pages
  • Sales Letters Landing Pages
  • Up Sell Landing Pages
  • Email Newsletters
  • Email Promotions
  • Direct Mail
  • Inbound Telemarketing
  • Outbound Telemarketing

As you can see, Rosemary gets 16 out of 16 for List 5: Converting Visitors into Buyers. Every time we meet, we plan a quarterly set of A/B split tests for each of her 16 conversion programs. “If its worth doing, its worth testing,” Rosemary says. I could not agree more.

The Consumer Marketing Manager in charge of all the conversion testing works closely with the Audience Development Manager who manages List #4: Driving Targeted Website Traffic.

Both managers collaborate closely with the editors and product managers that manage List #3: Products We Sell Online.

Rosemary makes a lot of money online and spends a lot of time traveling because her Internet marketing system is run by her team. The testing process and metric driven decision making drive continuous improvement in customer satisfaction, revenue and profit.

Another handy tip: after you’ve made the five lists, ask your accounting folks to add a column that shows the annual revenue and profit produced by each list item. Then sort the lists by profit and use the ranking as a guide to where to spend your testing dollars first.

All the best,

Don

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