People hire internet marketing firms and contractors for many different reasons. Some see competitors ranking highly and think they’re doing a ton of business online because of it. Others want more traffic. Others want to start selling products online.
The problem is that many companies don’t do the leg work up front to help a specialist be successful quickly.
Below is my list of 6 Things to Do Before Hiring an Internet Marketing Firm.
If you take these steps, you’re more likely to see success with the firm you choose.
1. Fire your Hit Counter & Install Google Analytics.
Sure there other analytics packages that more in depth. But, Google Analytics is free and will provide some much needed visitor data for your prospective vendors to analyze. It’s also easy to install — just copy and paste one line of pre-written code on each page.
2. Have a Ballpark Budget and Expected Results.
A good customer is forthcoming about how much they’re comfortable spending and what they expect in return.
It sets clear expectations for a proposal and allows an Internet Marketing Firm to provide a sound, reasonable action plan.
3. Figure out Your Break Even Point or Cost per Conversion Targets for Your Products.
If your products cost $50 and you make $25 per sale. Your break even point is $25. So, you can spend $25 per sale on marketing. Anything more, and you’re losing money. Anything less and you’re profiting.
This helps an internet marketer, such as myself, make accurate estimates about expected results by looking at industry data such as Cost Per Clicks and Conversion Rates. Also, it sets an reasonable benchmark for success.
4. Have Estimates on the Lifetime Values of Customers.
If your business is like most, a majority of your business comes from repeat customers. As such, you should have an idea on how much a new customer is worth over the long run. Customer retention rates, average transaction sizes and purchase frequency rates work well for this type of pre-project analysis.
This data can help justify losing a bit of money on initial transactions to acquire new customers, if you know they’ll be loyal and profitable in the future. I remember Robert Scoble saying a Kraft Foods executive spent about $40 per new customer.
5. Have a timeline.
Let the vendor know when you’re going to make your decision and when you want to see a return. Again, this provides clear expectations.
6. Have Future Plans in Mind.
If you have a vision for how you want to scale your internet marketing or web site functionality, an internet marketing firm can write code with that in mind, saving you time and money in the future.
If you have these six things in line, a good internet marketing firm should be able to create a successful plan of action for your company.
Do You Need an Internet Marketer?
If you’re interested in hiring an internet marketing firm, contact me to get an evaluation and proposal. I help small businesses get more traffic for leads, sales and customer loyalty.