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Tracking Advertising Programs

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com

As a business owner, you have been running some ads in various places. You may or may not have seen an increase in business from this advertising, and are not sure if you should run anymore.

Hang on, how do you know if those ads have worked? Especially if you placed more than one, how do you know which ads bought in new customers and which didn’t?

Unless you are keeping track of your ads and their results, you are just stabbing in the dark and could be wasting your advertising budget. Who wants to keep paying for ads that are doing no good? Or, worse, stop paying for ads that were bringing in lots of business?

So how do you keep track of your advertising results?

Firstly, you need to know how people are finding you. So ask each new enquiry or customer where they heard of you – and take note of their responses. Get as much detail as you can, such as ‘the ad in the local newspaper’ not just ‘the ad’ or ‘the flyer in my letterbox’ not just ‘a flyer’.

To make it easy, make each ad different enough that people will be able to explain where they found you. For instance, if you ran an ad in the Daily and the Weekly people may not recall which paper they read. But if you used different special offers in each you will be able to determine it for yourself.

If doing business on the internet, you can even track ads by using different links. You may be able to set up duplicate front pages and use a different url in each ad. Page stats will then tell you which ads are most effective at bringing in customers.

Alternatively, there is software available that will actually track your online ads for you.

What do I do with the answers?

You will need to record and make sense of the answers people give you. A single answer doesn’t tell you much; it is a group of answers that will enable you to make informed decisions about your advertising program.

If you are working in a shop, a piece of paper beside the till can keep a simple tally of how people found you. You can include options such as ‘walking past’, ‘word of mouth’, ‘newspaper ad’ and ‘letterbox drop’.

If you are collecting answers via page stats or web form responses, you can collect the data together at one time.

Using a piece of paper or a program such as excel, list all of the options for hearing about your business and record the daily figures for each method. A software program that tracks for you will automatically do this to save you time.

At the end of a fortnight, month or quarter, total up the daily figures and see where your best results are coming from. This information is the basis of future advertising decisions.


Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and is available to solve all your business writing problems! From letters to policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions writes all business documents to your style and satisfaction.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.



© 2003, Tash Hughes