Raise your hand if you’ve spent hours planning a marketing or holiday campaign but are never REALLY sure how it went. Most of us are flying by the seat of our pants and when we get through a major sale or holiday we’re right onto the next one. But what if I told you there was a better way?
In this week’s episode, I’m sharing my favorite tool for recapping your efforts so you know the best way to move forward.
What You’ll Learn:
- The 3 most important questions you should ask yourself after every big campaign
- The numbers you want to look at to determine if your campaign was a success
- How to keep track of of all your efforts so you can easily reference past performance and do better next time.
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Read the Full Episode Transcript
Let’s talk about a tool I like to use after every campaign in my eCommerce business, even if it’s as small as a Memorial Day Weekend promo or as big as Black Friday.
The Campaign Recap Template
My Campaign Recap Template is the perfect tool for you to assess where you’re at and what to do moving forward. It is a Google Doc that you can copy and then continue to use over and over again for all the different campaigns in your business.
Think about all the marketing activities you do in your business—from the holiday campaigns to social posts to paid ads to any discounts you run. You spend so much time planning, creating content, setting up promos, and running ads, but then what happens? What do you do after that campaign or promotional period is over? Often we just move on to the next one and give little thought to what you did before.
As the CEO of your business, make time to look back and audit what you did. Understand all the time, energy and effort that you put into marketing your store is time well spent, and that you’re getting a return on your investment and the time of your team.
Use the Campaign Recap data to inform future campaigns
The Campaign Recap Template, or the Campaign Post-Mortem, will allow you to gather the data, reflect and figure out what you want to do (or not do) moving forward.
You can collect data for a small amount of time, such as a Memorial Day weekend sale, or a large amount of time, such as the holiday season. You can also create one for the whole first six months of 2022.
This template allows you to record the dates of the campaign and any promotional details that you ran, such as a 25% off sale or a buy one, get one half off deal. Whatever you did that was special during the campaign that differs from your normal day-to-day business.
The numbers you will record:
- Total revenue
- Total traffic
- Conversion rate
- Total transactions
- Average order value
- Units per transaction
- Return customer rate
The Campaign Recap records the high-level numbers as well as the results for each individual promo that you ran.
If it was a brand or category specific campaign, it’s important to compare to the previous period. For example, if you’re featuring a specific brand and you put them on your home page, feature them in an email and talk about them on social media, you want to know if all that extra effort actually helped you sell more units or make more revenue from that brand.
To know if there was an increase in numbers, note last year’s number. If the campaign ran for two weeks, compare the campaign period with how much of that brand you sold the two weeks prior.
If you’re selling the same number of units as the previous two weeks, but you’re giving a discount on them, was it really worth all that extra effort? Sure, it’s fun to feature a brand or collaboration, but perhaps there was something else you could have spent your time on instead.
Dig deep into the data
Get as granular as you can based on the specific promotions and features that you did. Look at the traffic from all of your different channels:
- Social media
- Paid media
- Organic traffic
- Direct traffic
Record your results during this specific timeframe so you can see whether your email drove most traffic and sales and whether you made money on your paid advertising. That way you can know whether to put more effort into optimizing your email and do the bare minimum for paid advertising.
Double down on what works and pull back on what doesn’t
Did you work with influencers or bloggers? Look at your referral traffic, look at your social traffic, did you see a lift in numbers during that time? Did you see more revenue?
When you’re working with influencers, it’s not necessarily always about that monetary ROI. Sometimes it’s just about visibility and awareness. Make sure that you’re actually getting something out of it by sitting down and analyzing the results.
Use campaign recap’s on top of your regular reporting
The Campaign Recap is done outside of your regular weekly reporting. It’s specific and may include slightly different measures based on your business.
This is designed to give you a handle on how all the moving parts of your business affect the bottom line. It makes it much easier to visualize what is moving the needle in your business, and where to spend more of your time.
Three questions to ask yourself every time you do a campaign recap
In addition to all the numbers, there are three open-ended questions to answer every time you create a campaign recap. I recommend you talk to everyone in your team—from the people in customer service people to fulfillment, because everyone in your business is going to have a slightly different perspective than you.
Question 1: What went well that we can repeat?
This is where you get to celebrate your wins. What was super awesome? What did your customers love that drove increases in your business?
That can be anything from a specific promotion, social posts, certain kinds of emails. If it worked out well, you totally want to do it again.
Question 2: What went wrong that we should avoid?
Think about what went wrong. Did your emails not trigger? Did you forget to set them up? Did you set up a discount code wrong? All of those little human error screw-ups that happened because you didn’t plan or didn’t double check.
When you record those mistakes, it makes it really hard to screw it up again, because now you’re going to check three or four times instead of just once or twice real quick. We all screw up and nobody wants to put that shit in writing, but record it so it doesn’t happen again.
I have very fresh examples in my mind of running out of bubble wrap on Black Friday weekend and having to go to the office supply store on Black Friday to ship orders out. Not great. That will never happen again because we’re always going to be prepared for that.
Question 3: What should we do differently/what did we miss?
This is where customer feedback comes into play. Consider the following:
- Were customers confused about the promo you ran?
- Did they ask a lot of questions about it?
- Did you communicate your shipping cut-offs well enough?
- Was there something that a competitor did that was really awesome?
- Was there a trend that you didn’t capitalize on?
- Was there a specific item a lot of your customers were asking for and you didn’t have it?
Reflect on all of those questions and decide what to do differently. The trick to making this work is to keep them all in a safe place. Keep them all in a folder together and make sure you’re reflecting on them for each of your new campaigns.
Don’t just wait until the next holiday promo before you look at the previous holiday promo, make sure you’re looking at it during the next campaign that you create, and start tweaking and making adjustments to what you did before so that you can do better the next time around.
Make notes directly in Google Analytics
Did you know you can make notes on the source and medium acquisition report in Google Analytics. The timeline graph allows you to add annotations on the date that you want to reference later down the track when you’re comparing data.
Make notes regarding anything that has a significant effect on your traffic or revenue. These things are really clear in your mind right now, but you’re not always going to remember the exact dates. Later down the track, if you have a big drop in traffic or revenue compared to last year, you can reference really quickly and see whether there was any outside influence coming into play.
Use campaign data to adapt and innovate
This is even more important right now when there’s so much happening in our world. So many things are changing and I hate to use the word new normal, but there’s definitely going to be some new normals happening in a lot of different aspects of the world that we live in.
Customer behavior is going to change and we need to adapt and innovate along the way. It’s important to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world around you by keeping your finger on the pulse of your business.