Having grown up in the subscription and later the catalog marketing worlds, one basic concept permeated everything we did. Every effort, every offer, every list and every test is assigned a key code, an alpha-numeric code that enable results to be tracked, measured, and attributed to the source from which the customer acquisition or sale came.


This practice of using key codes can and should be used to measure social media marketing efforts. If it sounds too complicated, its really not. Its more about discipline than it is sophistication, and measuring ROI is all about discipline.

How do you create key codes?

Depending on how expansive your marketing programs are, youll probably want to think about a 5 to 6-digit coding system. Consider this as a possible structure:

Digit 1: Alpha or numeric character to identify source of conversion. A simple example would be T=Twitter, F=Facebook, E=Email.

Digit 2: Year of campaign/effort.

Digit 3: Month or season of campaign/effort.

Digit 4: Type of effort. Examples: coupon, contest, special promo.

Digit 5-6: Specific identifiers for the effort.

How do you capture key codes?

1. Create a code to attach to your special coupon or offer.

2. Publish the codes from Twitter, Facebook or whatever social network where a majority of your customers reside.

3. Create a field on the input screen that the customer will use to redeem the coupon or offer.

4. Refine a system for ensuring the codes are added to your customer database.

If you follow these instructions, you will create for yourself a vehicle for measuring results and the opportunity to approach your social media marketing as the fascinating science it can be. Whats stopping you?

Susan Hanshaw

Susan Hanshaw is the Founder and CEO of Inner Architect a direct marketing firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her focus is the integration of social media with direct marketing.


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4 Responses to “Measure Your Marketing Efforts: Capture and Create Keycodes”

  1. Aaron says:

    Good idea Susan. One of my companies has already been doing this, even via direct snail mail. We ask them to call an extension # (coded) to respond, or to visit a certain domain name, also coded per the marketing material. It allows for easy A-B or even A-B-C testing. Good ideas on cataloging it to. Thanks for the insight.
    .-= Aaron recently posted: Free Blogs =-.

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Aaron. The world of snail mail is where this kind of ROI measurement originated. With high investments in paper, printing, creative and postage, it forces companies to be meticulous in understanding what works and what doesn't. When the media itself is considered low cost, companies tend to get more lax in their analysis. I see this all the time with the "batch and blast" tendencies of many email marketers.
      .-= Susan Hanshaw recently posted: Is Your Facebook Copy Working For You =-.

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