Every visitor follows a unique path to your front door. Determining where your customers are coming from will help you to continually refine your marketing programs to target the proper audience. This identification will prevent you from spending money in places where your services aren't acknowledged or appreciated.
Tracking is a general term that encompasses many different online activities but some of the best actions to track are any type of advertising, marketing and promotion. By instituting simple and unique coding in all of your ads, coupons and incentives, you can determine which methods are the most effective. The tracking codes can be as simple as a reference number or as complex as additional HTML or script.
It's important to keep a log or database of every promotional campaign - whether it's e-mail marketing, an online coupon, affiliate program or registration with some type of incentive service. Each particular promotion should have some sort of method for identification that respondents can reference upon redemption.
As your e-business grows and you start incorporating more and more advertising campaigns into your marketing plan, it might be wise to outsource the tracking functions to an outside agency. If you are using an online advertising agency, they should already have tracking and reporting programs in place to monitor your banners, newsletter advertising and various promotions.
To learn more about the value of learning the most effective ways to advertise, read these articles:
Banner Strategy: Tracking The Efficiency of Your Ads
Tracking Your Hits (and Misses)
Have Your Tracked Your Ads Today?
Reprinted from ECommerce Guide