I was thinking about the best way to achieve this and come to a conclusion that using a case study would be the best in my opinion.
I happened to see Marie France ads on my hotmail account and decided to use this as a case study since this is a brand that many Singaporean can associate with and they are relatively active online as well, at least in the local Singapore market.
- Examine (1) the ads and ad networks they used to drive traffic (from what I’ve seen so far), (2) tracking and the (3) landing page they employ.
- Identify what’s possibly wrong. i.e. What are the things that you can learn out of this campaign.
- Suggestions and tips. Namely, what are the things I would do and test if I’m managing this online campaign.
(1) Ads and Ad network
I have been seeing the Marie France ad featuring Christy Chung for a long time. They are using the MSDR (Microsoft Direct Response) network to drive traffic. This is a network that works on the CPC basis, ie. You only pay for clicks that they delivered. You can contact them for more information here: https://adcenter.microsoft.com/Customer/Signup.aspx
Generally each click cost $0.20 – $0.80 SGD depending on your industry and campaign flight date. You tend to pay more according to your industry “hot” sales period. As far as the sliming and weight loss industry is concern, my wild guess is that year start, (Jan-Feb) should be the hot period. That’s when people are making their New Year resolution (ie. to slim down) and making plans (ie. buying sliming packages) to achieve their goals.
What’s Possibly Wrong?
If I’m not mistaken, this is the only ad that I’ve seen from Marie France for the whole month of Feb 2011. The major issue with this would be Ad Fatigue – a situation whereby visitors are no longer consciously aware of the presence of the ad because they have seen it so many times. When this happens, your Click through rates (CTR) would be affected.
Disclaimer: I don’t think I have seen Marie France ads elsewhere. Having said that, I’m not their target audience. If I see their ads everywhere I go online, something is majorly wrong with their media planning or online advertising strategy.
1. Set a Frequency Cap – ie. the number of times your ad is shown to the visitor (Most ad network have this technology). However, in this instance, MNDR mostly operate on the CPC basis, capping frequency is not a major issue here. On the contrary, it gives Marie France good branding exposure.
2. Rotate your ad – It’s not rocket science. Simply design 2-4 more variation on your ads and rotate them. There’s another benefit to that. Only by rotating ad will you find out what type of ads appeal to your target audience so that you can tweak over time and keep improving.
There are many other ad networks in Singapore that you can explore even on a modest budget ($10,000 SGD). I’ll probably keep that for another post.
One of the most important aspects of direct response marketing is tracking and optimizing – Period. Before you can optimize, you need data and to get data, you need to set up your tracking correctly.
From the URL, you can see that they are tracking (ie. my click on the image below), probably through Google analytics.
There are many ad serving and click tracking companies out there that does the same thing; the more popular ones would be Doubleclick and Atlas Solution, used by most of the media agencies in Singapore.
Unless you have a big advertising budget with plenty of placements to track, Google analytics is more than enough for now.
From this string of URL, you can see that they are tracking:
Source = MSDR (Tell where the visitor is coming from. It could be Yahoo! or Asiaone)
Medium = S.banners (Most likely referring to skyscraper (banner type) or an internal reference to the Christy Chung ad)
Campaign = Feb Promo (Help recognize and organize click results)
Creative = Size of the banner: 160×600 (Identify what ad sizes are working well. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the size of the creative, the higher the CTR)
What’s Possibly Wrong?
1. Ad Placement Tracking
As far as tracking is concern, Marie France has done a pretty good job. They have basically covered most of the essential basic information needed to be able to optimize an online campaign.
However, I don’t see any ad placement tracking in their string of codes. This might be something you need to look out for. The same site, same creative banner on different ad placements (ie. above the fold or below the fold) can give you different results.
ALWAYS check your results and conversion. Scale up what is doing well and obviously reduce what is not working.
Here’s the URL to help you generate those tracking links for your Analytics account:
Remember to include the following into your tracking:
- Traffic Source
- Ad placement
- Creative Type
- Creative size
- Campaign (Internal reference)
Do note that you have to set up Analytics on your website before you can start tracking these URLs. You can visit here to start using this service for free: http://www.google.com/analytics/
2. Tracking the Phone number: 1800 7777 111
I have not seen their press ads recently. However, I have a gut feeling they are not tracking this number. If you are serious about expanding your advertising reach online. You have to track your online results.
Bear in mind that many people prefer to pick up the phone and call as compare to filling up an online form. Just get a new number and start tracking the number of leads generated from online. You can even compare the quality of the leads. Are they converting into paying customers more than offline leads? If yes, it’s time to start channeling more money into this medium. If no, how can you optimize to increase their conversion?
(3) Landing Page
Landing page is a critical part of any online campaigns optimization. A mere 5% improvement in conversion can have a huge impact.
Imagine the below scenario:
Spend $1000 to drive 1000 visitors to your landing page
Scenario 1: 5% conversion = 50 leads generated, Cost per lead = $1000/50 = $20
Scenario 2: Conversion improve by 5% to 10% = 100 leads generated, Cost per lead = $1000/100 = $10
As you can see, you almost double your leads (by 100%) with the same spent based on 5% increase in conversion. Therefore, optimization your landing page is vastly important.
What’s Possibly Wrong?
1. Distraction and Cluttered Landing Page
The first and most important principle about Direct Response Marketing is to make sure that you focus on the 1 and only thing you want your prospective customers to do.
In this case, Marie France wants to generate leads through giving away a free 1 hr consultation. You have to make this the main focus of the landing page.
- Reduce distraction. Get rid of cross selling on the right
- Move up the sign up form. (This is what you want the visitors to action on, why is it below the FOLD??)
2. Stale “Hook” or “Lure”
Do you know anything about fishing? I know nuts, but I do know one thing. Don’t expect to catch a lot of fishes with a stale “hook” or “lure”.
Use new “Hooks”. I have been seeing the same promo for the past few months -Free Consultation.
There are a couple of smart ways to execute this.
- Make the offers exclusive. People love the idea of exclusiveness. (Don’t give the idea that your offer runs forever.)
- Come out with different hooks and rotate your hooks on a monthly basis.
For example: Free Consultation (Jan, April), Free Tummy Wrap (Feb, May), Free Trial packages (Mar, June)
- Create Urgency: Limit the number of giveaways, or promotion end date (Mention this in your copy.)
This is the layout that would most probably (I’m quite confident would) increase conversion.
- Tell your customers what’s in it for them. Move up the HOOK!
- Make it easy for them to sign up – Move up your contact form and contact details.
- Remove distraction and messages that your potential customers are not keen.
Move down your “about us” stories and cross selling. They don’t care about your company mission and other products that your company might have.
Personal Opinion: Don’t know if it’s insulting to receive a recommendation from friends that I should check out the free Marie France one hour consultation. Wonder if the receiver would get cheese off. I doubt many people use that. (maybe to make fun of people??) Track how many people are using that form. If nobody is using it, DUMP it away.
3. Double check your copy
Why existing customers only? New customers can’t call in to book a free consultation?
I hope you have learned something out of this case study. If yes, drop me a comment below and let me know. Cheers!