I wanted to start this article with a metaphor: you should get annual screening tests as they are an important part of your preventive health care allowing you to detect illnesses at early stages. The same goes for marketing: you need to check your channels and platforms to put things in order and prevent silly mistakes that might cost you data/clients/reputation.
Still, early detection of a tumor is not the same thing as spotting an error in your "thank you" message on a website. But I'm an expert in marketing, not healthcare, so I recommend you check your settings, content, and website once or twice a year.
To make the process easier, I've compiled a list of online customer touchpoints that you should take care of regularly. These are mostly "blind spots" - the things that you've set up, tested, launched, and forgotten about: e.g., you don't fill in web forms, you don't receive welcome emails, and you don't track IP addresses in Google Analytics.
Well, here's what you should check to keep your marketing strategies healthy.
"About Us" Page on the Website
- Your team photo: maybe you'll need to delete or add someone. It would be perfect to do a photoshoot once a year and take photos of new employees or those who missed the previous photoshoot.
- The number of employees, if you mention this on your website. Our team has grown to more than 100 employees already, but until recently we had only half of them on our team page.
- Your contact info: check out whether you've provided the relevant postal and registered addresses, telephone numbers, street directions, a contact person, etc.
Your Clients' Logos
Maybe you've got new clients to add to your portfolio.
- Whether the "thank you" message works;
- Whether the integrations work and your data are sent where they should be;
- Whether a form submission is followed by an auto-reply;
- Whether the events are tracked in the analytics.
The last point is tricky. On one hand, we don't want to track test events that will make statistics unreliable. On the other hand, we still want to be sure that the events are tracked. A partial solution is a widget in a customized dashboard that shows the daily number of requests. If you get no requests for several days, it may be a red flag.
Another option is to create two views. The first view should have an IP address filter excluding the office IP and your team members' IPs if they work remotely and often visit your website. This view will filter out all internal traffic and test requests. As for the second view, set up all the same events there, but don't create an IP addresses filter. In this view, you'll track the hits sent and the filled-in forms. However, I've never used this method.
An Auto-Reply to a Form Submission
- Maybe you need to update the links if there are any;
- Your response time may have changed: perhaps, your email says you'll answer tomorrow, but as of late you've started to process the submissions within two hours;
- Check whether you should change the employees' photos in newsletters if there are any.
- Whether the number of the clients is relevant, in case you mention it in the newsletter;
- Think whether you've got new content (presentations, articles, products) that might be interesting to your new clients.
Welcome Email Series for New Subscribers
- If you have a selection of the best articles in your newsletters, maybe it's time to refresh it.
- The links to your social media should be relevant. Keep your social media updated, otherwise, the users will follow the links to find nothing.
- If your email features the editor's photo and signature, make sure that this photo is relevant and the person still works in your team.
- Check whether the design is relevant. Maybe the email has been designed carelessly and now it makes your eyes bleed.
- Think of whether you need this welcome series at all: do the subscribers open the emails? Do they click the links? Perhaps, you might make the series shorter or even cut it to a single email.
- Check the validity of all the lists of contacts. Maybe you don't send them anything and even don't plan to do so. In this case, ask the users to resubscribe and start sending them something. Those who ignored your message should be deleted from the base.
- Delete everything unnecessary: drafts, old campaigns, newsletter templates you never use, etc.
- Make the namings clear. E.g., the name of a list of contacts should clarify where they came from and what updates they get; the name of the campaign should denote its audience and content.
- Check the staff newsletters: whether you have all the names and if there are any needless addresses left.
Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
- Check whether all the tracked events are relevant;
- Whether all the tracked events work properly;
- Whether all the tags and triggers in GTM are relevant;
- Whether an IP address filter works correctly to exclude the traffic from your team members;
- Whether the team members and contractors who left the company don't have access to the account. Check this more often - for example, once every three months.
Interpretation of Analytics
It's great if you have a document compiling all the events and describing what they mean and how they work. If you don't, you'd better make one.
What should be checked regularly:
- Whether all the tracked events are described;
- Whether all the described events are really tracked: maybe some events are no longer relevant;
- Add a list of contacts from the IP address filter I've mentioned twice in this article now. Just write an IP address and the name of the owner. This way it's easier to keep them relevant in your GA account. Of course, you'll have to update this list in the document compiling all your analytics.
Make sure that the articles having the highest traffic are relevant. For instance, some data might have become outdated, the external links are invalid, or the brand's communication style doesn't suit the one you use now.
The articles that have driven traffic for several years should be updated regularly. They create the first impression your company makes on readers. You should feel proud of these articles.
Check your articles once a year.
It should also be updated: maybe, you've started using new platforms that need to be kept in order, or you've created new pages on your website that should be refreshed.