Do you know which channels your leads are coming from? If you aren’t using lead source data, you are probably unaware of which channels deliver the most qualified leads. With this data, you can also determine how much influence a particular channel is having on a campaign.

Unfortunately, many marketers either ignore lead source data or calculate it incorrectly. The confusion comes from having multiple leads with different sources. The CRM will assign the source based on various factors, not necessarily the most influential channel. To further complicate matters, there are multiple ways to measure lead source, causing inconsistent data.

Even though fully understanding your most effective channels can be confusing, there are ways to give credit to the appropriate channel. You need this information for building campaigns, allocating your budget, and predicting reasonable outcomes.

Let’s look at a few tips for understanding influential channels.

How are Customers Finding You?

The two main sources of inbound leads are telephone calls and online visits. Web visits are more frequent and commonplace, though telephone calls tend to be more valuable.

To help understand where leads are coming from, marketers often attach codes to them. This way, when a lead arrives through dialing a phone number or visiting a site, the marketer can give credit where it’s due. It’s important to be organized and keep a detailed record of all promotions so that you know which actions are prompting a surge in traffic.

Online Leads

There are plenty of analytic tools available, but many focus on basic actions such as clicks, hits, and bounce rate. However, these numbers don’t really tell you what you are achieving. Look deeper into your data to better understand the trends. What geographical regions are your visitors coming from? How many pageviews do you have? How long are visitors staying?

Here are more detailed stats to review.

  • Keywords. Most consumers start their search with generic keywords, which become more specific over time; this is how they find highly relevant results. Look at the paths to purchase and analyze keyword data. You can use specific words/phrases and target a niche audience, or use new keywords to appeal to a wider audience.

  • Page tracking. With page tracking, you can monitor which keywords or traffic sources encourage an action to be performed on your website. To do this, you need to place coding on your confirmation page that would be exclusive to this page only.

  • Ecommerce tracking. It’s also possible to install code to track the interactions a person has with your ecommerce site. This information helps you determine how much it costs to sell to a customer, the profit margin, and final keyword and traffic source that brought the person to your site.

Offline Leads

Offline sales should be followed as well. Years ago, a customer service rep would have asked the customer how he or she heard about them. Today, call tracking software is available. Marketers often use call tracking software to set up their campaigns. They apply unique numbers to their campaigns so that when a customer calls, the marketer knows which lead source they came from.

Amazingly, you can track the entire buyer journey. By analyzing the data, you can get a better idea of the effectiveness of your online and offline marketing efforts. Knowing which channels are most successful allows you to budget accordingly, set realistic expectations, and create effective campaigns.