CategoryPerformance Marketing

What is closed loop marketing? (and how to implement it)

Definition: Closed loop marketing is a “holistic marketing funnel where marketing and sales data are connected, allowing you to determine the exact ROI of each and every marketing action”.

John Wanamaker was a 19th century businessman who is considered to be the father of modern advertising. And for many businesses, his quote still rings true today. In fact, this Forbes article cites a study by marketing professor Peter Fader which claims that much MORE than half of all marketing dollars are still being wasted.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

The solution to the problem expressed in the quote is known formally as “Closed Loop Marketing”.

Closed-Loop Marketing

And thanks to closed loop marketing, it’s now a simple matter to connect your marketing and sales data, allowing you to calculate the exact ROI of every marketing action and every dollar spent

In this article, I’ll walk you through the concept of closed loop marketing and show you how to quickly implement it in your business using your existing CRM and analytics utilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWyYzjXNnYk

Closed loop marketing: What problem does it solve?

In most businesses, the sales and marketing teams are disconnected. They both have the same end goal of generating sales and revenue. But each one can only see half of the sales funnel.

The marketing team knows which online marketing efforts got people to visit the website.

And the sales team knows which leads converted into sales.

But no one on the team has enough data to connect those dots, and and understand which specific marketing efforts actually lead to specific customer sales.

To better understand closed loop marketing, it helps to visualize the sales funnel in 5 stages:

  1. Traffic generation. Here, your marketing team engages in a variety of activities designed to bring traffic to the site.This probably includes various ad campaigns on different PPC networks like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Bing Ads etc… As well as content marketing, SEO optimization, email blasts etc.
  2. Visitors arrive at your website. Internet users click your ads, your listings in the search engines, links on other sites etc, and arrive at your website.
  3. Visitors become leads.
    A subset of your website visitors submit out a web form on your site, and become leads.
  4. Leads are added to your CRM.
    In this step, information entered submitted via the web form is ported over to your CRM (Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics etc), and the visitors officially become “leads” for your sales team.
  5. Leads become customers.
    Your sales team follows up with those leads, and a subset of them make a purchase, becoming customers.

For most businesses who haven’t implemented closed loop marketing, the problem lies in the fact that the data on the traffic sources that resulted in specific leads (Steps 1-3) is walled off in your PPC and Analytics systems; most commonly Google Ads and Google Analytics. And that’s the only data that the marketing team can access.

Meanwhile, the data on which leads converted into customers (Steps 3-4) is walled off in the CRM, where typically only the Sales team is looking at it.

Even if you were to grant your marketing team access to the CRM, the data is still disconnected.

There’s no way to see which ad, keyword, or piece of content sent each individual customer through the funnel.

It may seem harmless, but it’s the exact situation that Wanamaker described in his quote, and it leads to two problem behaviors on the behalf of your marketing team that harm the entire business:

  1. Focusing on channels that bring lots of traffic but few sales.
  2. Overlooking channels with less than impressive traffic stats but that have sky high conversions rates and ROI.

So without a proper implementation of closed loop marketing, your marketing team can end up doubling down on traffic sources that bring a lot of unqualified, time wasting leads that never convert…

…and turning off traffic sources that bring low traffic levels, but that convert like crazy and lead to high ROI customers.

When you implement closed loop marketing, the marketing team is able to see exactly which marketing efforts resulted in Sales.

They have enough data to calculate the value of those sales, to create a breakdown of revenue and ROI by marketing campaign and, better still…

…to take action on that data – increasing spend on the exact marketing campaigns that are generating not just leads, but SALES.

So how exactly do you implement closed loop marketing in your business?

At a high level, the solution is closed loop analytics. Closed loop analytics allows you to create reports with sales funnel data flowing from your PPC and Analytics tools to your CRM, and vice versa. We’ll talk about specific steps for configuring closed loop marketing and closed loop analytics in a moment.

What reports are available with closed loop analytics?

Before we talk about specific steps and tools for setting this up, let’s cover the type of reporting and data that closed loop analytics offers.

Using Google Analytics and Salesforce as examples, you can create reports like this one that combine marketing stats like sessions and users with Salesforce data like leads, opportunities, and amount from closed won deals.

Closed loop reporting in Google Analytics

This lets the marketing department see exactly which marketing campaigns and activities actually resulted in sales, and then lets them optimize accordingly.

In the CRM, you can see granular marketing data on each individual lead, like the ad campaign that drove them to the site, the first and last keyword clicked, the pages visited on the website, and more.

Facebook ads information in Salesforce

This is crucial business intelligence data that your sales team can use to optimize their sales pitches, track the entire user journey for each lead, and ultimately, close more sales.

Configure closed loop analytics in 3 steps:

Ok, this is probably the part that you’ve been waiting for!

At a more granular level, the solution to implementing closed loop marketing by way of closed loop analytics is to install an app that bridges the gap between Google Analytics and your CRM.

So let’s go ahead and run through the instructions for actually setting up closed loop analytics for your sales funnel in just 3 easy steps using our app, called GA Connector.

  1. Navigate to GAConnector.com and sign up for a free 30-day trial.This step should only take you about 20 seconds, and there’s no commitment or credit card required to get this set up.
  2. Begin the actual setup process for the GA Connector app.Select your CRM, and follow the simple instructions. This will get the data flowing between your CRM and your Google Analytics account.
  3. Start building reports and viewing your closed loop analytics data

This is the fun part!

At this point, you’ll have your CRM data by default in most standard Google Analytics reports, and you’ll be able to build custom reports like this example that shows how much revenue was generated from each PPC campaign.

Google Analytics with Adwords and Salesforce information combined

Google Analytics with Adwords and Salesforce information combined

In your CRM, you’ll be able to analyze the specific google ads campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, pages viewed, and more for each individual lead, and to build reports like this one where you can see how many closed won Salesforce opportunities originated from each Adwords campaign.

And once you’ve followed those 3 steps, you’ve effectively “closed the loop” between your marketing and sales teams.

The marketing team generates more high quality leads for less money.

The sales team has the data that it needs to close more deals and generate more revenue.

And , since most business still see closed loop marketing as some kind of Enterprise-only “big data” voodoo, your competitors will probably be scratching their heads, wondering how your team has suddenly cornered the market in your niche.

YOU get to show your CEO the business-wide improvement in ROI that can be attributed to YOUR decision to implement closed loop analytics.

Everyone wins.

Except, of course, your competitors.

Get started right now and close the loop in your business by signing up for a free trial at GAConnector.com

Questions? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, or reach out to our team at support@gaconnector.com

5 Simple A/B Tests That Can Increase Conversions by 25% or More

In this article, we collected 5 proven A/B tests that you can easily implement and increase your conversions:

1. How Hubspot Increased Their Email CTR by 32%

This super-simple 2-minute tweak has helped Hubspot to increase their email their Click-Through-Rates by 32%

Getting people into your email newsletter takes a lot of energy and money.
You created opt-in pages, wrote blog posts, drove paid traffic and did lots of other things.
All that just to get these users into your email list.

And now that you got them, your email marketing software tells you that only a relatively small percentage of users actually open your emails.
Let alone click them.
I don‘t know about you, but I hate all that list building work go to waste.

That‘s why every little hack and trick to improve email open rates and click-through-rates matters.
Because it allows you to actually monetize all that hard work and marketing budget.

One of such hacks was described by Hubspot, and it‘s super easy to implement:
Make your emails come from a real person (e.g. “Maggie Georgieva, Hubspot”), not just a company (e.g. “Hubspot”).

After implementing this change, Hubspot saw the following improvements:

  • Their open rate increased by 8%,
  • Their Click-Through-Rate increased by 32%.All that by changing the sender name! (~2 minutes of work).

Source: blog.hubspot.com

2. Increase Your Cold Emails Reply Rate by 56%

This mind-blowing trick helped karmaCRM increase their cold emails reply rate by 56% (without changing the copy)

Cold emails can be a great tool if used properly.
Unfortunately though, cold emails have an obvious problem:
Your prospects don’t know you and don’t trust you yet.

They haven’t seen you anywhere before – why should they trust you, right?
Imagine it for yourself.
If some company you saw at some conference a year ago reaches out to you, they have a higher chances of getting a reply than some random company you don’t know, right?
Or if you saw their ad somewhere before…

If only there was a way to make it so that your cold email prospect see your ad somewhere, before you reach out to them…

Wait…
We live in 2017, and it is possible!
You can do it by pre-targeting your cold email prospects using Facebook Ads or Adwords.
These services allow you to import the list of emails, and create ads that only target these people.
It’s extremely cheap and highly effective.

karmaCRM implemented this in their business, and their reply rate changed from 13.5% to 21%!

Source: www.karmacrm.com

3. These Two Words Increased Conversions by 28%

How Soocial.com increased conversions by 28% with these two simple words stating the obvious

Before I reveal today’s insight…, can you please reply to this email and answer this short question: What’s the #1 biggest marketing challenge you’re struggling with right now? Your answer will help me deliver more relevant content.

Call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important parts of the landing page (if not the most).
So it’s important to get the CTA right.

Soocial.com ran an experiment to test the call-to-action on their website.
All they did was they added two simple words.

Can you guess what these words were?

Call-to-action

“It’s free!”
It may be obvious to you that the signup/call/consultation/trial/etc you’re offering is free.
It may not be obvious to your users.

That’s why adding these two simple works:
“It’s free” makes it crystal clear for your users that they don’t need to open their wallet (at least not yet).

Source: vwo.com

4. Increase Conversions by 25-40% (experiment)

This weird forms design helped Huffduffer consistently increase their conversions by 25-40%

Have you ever seen forms like this one on websites?

Example-form

In such forms, you need to fill in the blanks instead of filling out a list of fields aligned in one column.

I don’t know about you, but they used to look weird to me. 🙂
Little did I know that these forms actually consistently produce impressive results.

Perhaps because they look unusual.
Or maybe because filling out such forms feels more personal – kind of like you’re writing a letter to a company.

Huffduffer, a popular audio sharing website, added these forms and increased conversion across the board by 25-40%.

Source: www.lukew.com

5. Do This Before Asking for Sale to Double ROI

By doing this, Russell Brunson doubled his ROI

After Russell Brunson did what I’m about to share, he went from making about $30k a year online to seven figures in less than eighteen months.

Russell’s tweak was inspired by a study from Dan Arielly’s book Predictably Irrational.
The experiment shows that:
If a cookie from one brand is offered for $.26, and another for $.01, then 40% of people will choose the $.01 cookie.
But if people have to choose between $.25 and free cookies, a whopping 90% will opt for the cheaper cookies (even though the price difference is the same – $.25)

This research shows the power of FREE!, which Russell Brunson used in his One-Hundred-Visitor Test.
Here is how it worked: Russell created two sales funnels and sent the same traffic to it:

  • Funnel #1 was just one page that was offering a $197 product;
  • Funnel #2 offered a free product (they only had to pay shipping), and only showed the $197 offer to those who opted for the free product.

Funnel #2 generated almost double the revenue as funnel #1.

Bonus (how to optimize for sales, not form submissions)

In some cases, traditional A/B testing doesn’t make sense…

Do you market online, but the actual sales are closed “offline” by sales reps?

In this case, if you’re only optimizing your landing page for conversions like form submissions, you might end up choosing the page that attracts many low-quality leads. Instead of attracting a handful of affluent customers who will spend a fortune.

To solve this, you can import sales data from your CRM (such as Salesforce) to Google Analytics – manually, or using the tool we created GA Connector.

GA Connector Custom Report