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Discussion Starter #21
If you are buying leads from a lead generator over the internet I would classify those as Primary lead Source: Internet, and a Secondary Lead Source of: Referral Service, and lump them all together. If you want to track each one individually make another column.

I'm not sure what Yelp is, if you're paying for leads it would be a Referral Service, if you're paying for clicks it is Pay Per Click

I lump Repeat & Referral together as a primary lead source, Secondary lead sources are Past Customer, Potential Customer, Friend etc. I also have a field where I record the name of the person that gave me the referral.
Yelp is nothing at the moment other than a setup profile. I haven't decided if I want to go PPC or lead purchasing. I don't want to waste funds and know very little about the effectiveness of PPC advertising.

Would you go with the generic setup I have or scrap it for a more detailed monthly setup?
 

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Would you go with the generic setup I have or scrap it for a more detailed monthly setup?
I'm not sure what you are referring to but it is advisable to keep the number of primary and secondary lead sources to a minimum in order to simplify.

That's why for referrals i would not make a column for the name of the person giving the referral, i would record a secondary lead source of "past customer" or "friend".
 

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Current spreadsheet as it stands before adding any of your suggestions. I would also like opinions on making each month its own tab to reduce the clutter feel and add lots more information.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtS5hYPjYWEAdF9meFNVdC1jQ25yanFOem42NkdKRnc&usp=sharing

I think the two Feb referrals will convert to sales but I don't have a check in hand so technically I'm at 20%, not 40%

There is a 2nd tab at the bottom for Dead leads as well.
Are you paying for craigslist and facebook?

I would put it those under internet.
 

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Current spreadsheet as it stands before adding any of your suggestions. I would also like opinions on making each month its own tab to reduce the clutter feel and add lots more information.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtS5hYPjYWEAdF9meFNVdC1jQ25yanFOem42NkdKRnc&usp=sharing

I think the two Feb referrals will convert to sales but I don't have a check in hand so technically I'm at 20%, not 40%

There is a 2nd tab at the bottom for Dead leads as well.
About craigslist, You don’t necessarily need to track individual ads in this spreadsheet, it’s too much detail. You could make another spreadsheet for that.
 

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Current spreadsheet as it stands before adding any of your suggestions. I would also like opinions on making each month its own tab to reduce the clutter feel and add lots more information.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtS5hYPjYWEAdF9meFNVdC1jQ25yanFOem42NkdKRnc&usp=sharing

I think the two Feb referrals will convert to sales but I don't have a check in hand so technically I'm at 20%, not 40%

There is a 2nd tab at the bottom for Dead leads as well.
I’m not sure what you want this spreadsheet to do for you. You could make it more simple or you could make it extremely complicated, it all depends on what out want to get out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Are you paying for craigslist and facebook?

I would put it those under internet.
Both are free forms of advertising.


About craigslist, You don’t necessarily need to track individual ads in this spreadsheet, it’s too much detail. You could make another spreadsheet for that.
I see. I do want to track those as well but maybe in a seperate tab.


I’m not sure what you want this spreadsheet to do for you. You could make it more simple or you could make it extremely complicated, it all depends on what out want to get out of it.
I would like to make it as detailed as I can handle without it being a pain in the ass updating it.
 
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MattK said:
So this will be the first year I track ALL leads to determine where my paid/unpaid advertising needs improvement/advancement and where I need to sever the dead ends. I created a basic spreadsheet to start and hopefully I can get some help with what else needs to be there.

I have a vertical list of all categories and sub-categories. For ex: "Craigslist" and underneath it my 4 varying ad titles to track each one. I have 2 columns per month titles Leads and Awarded. This will help me track what my close % is. At the bottom I total out the months and the YTD.

In addition to tracking each of my 4 Craigslist ads, I also total those out into the generic Craigslist row, to see specifically and in general how Craigslist is doing. I do the same for the paid advertisements, facebook, referrals, internet sites(yelp, findingPROs.com, etc.). I'm going to ad another area for truck lettering and yard signs. Might be harder to equate to leads and converts but it's an attempt.

My strategy is asking when the customer first calls "How they heard about us?" If I need more specifics, I'll wait to the consultation to ask again and get a better answer. IMO, customers can have there guard up during the phone call and I'm not looking to pester them about specifics.

Finally, I have a 2nd page on the spreadsheet thats titled Dead Leads. It contains the same monthly tracking of all leads that were not pursued for whatever the reason. For ex. I had a young kid call to get his chimney re-leaded. He said 4 other guys come in at and he wanted to pay under $200. Knowing I don't re-lead chimneys for anywhere near that, it was obvious he was gonna call 10 guys till he hit his PT. No thanks... The dead list is broken down as follows: Jobs to large to handle, jobs to small to handle, Money is a direct issue, Location issue and Outside our expertise. That example would go under Money is a direct issue.

I know a lot of you hate CL but I've found a strong % of Rhode Island relys on it and we get a fair amount of calls from it. Ok, any advice on what needs to be changed or added is appreciated.
I went on a lead Friday in Barrington your right about CL, my quote was $2500 for the work, they said we have two quotes form painters on CL for $1350 and $1050
! I know it's winter but damm that's low pricing right there. Anyway I use a excel spread sheet I got at a seminar from Len Fife many moons ago works great. I use it for all kinds of marketing related tasks and where my advertising dollars best spent etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I went on a lead Friday in Barrington your right about CL, my quote was $2500 for the work, they said we have two quotes form painters on CL for $1350 and $1050
! I know it's winter but damm that's low pricing right there. Anyway I use a excel spread sheet I got at a seminar from Len Fife many moons ago works great. I use it for all kinds of marketing related tasks and where my advertising dollars best spent etc.
I try like hell to qualify CL customers as best as I can over the phone when my BS sensor is up. I still find people want you to come out and still check out the job even when you know it's not for you. I try to be nice at first but if they push I'll tell them straight that I simply can't help them but I appreciate their phone call.


--MEL, what would you classify a newspaper ad under? or a hospital newsletter? Would that be WRITTEN PUBLICATIONS as the primary?
 
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MattK said:
I try like hell to qualify CL customers as best as I can over the phone when my BS sensor is up. I still find people want you to come out and still check out the job even when you know it's not for you. I try to be nice at first but if they push I'll tell them straight that I simply can't help them but I appreciate their phone call.

--MEL, what would you classify a newspaper ad under? or a hospital newsletter? Would that be WRITTEN PUBLICATIONS as the primary?
This was a referral he just wasn't happy with my number so he searched till he found the painter willing to work for his price. It's winter the economy especially in RI is crap so guys will work for food.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
This was a referral he just wasn't happy with my number so he searched till he found the painter willing to work for his price. It's winter the economy especially in RI is crap so guys will work for food.
Thats tough. Especially where you want to do right by the customer who sent you over there. RI is tough right now, getting very competitive and contractor's are smelling blood in the water. My attitude is I try to squirrel away money and let the dark times thin the herd for the future.
 
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MattK said:
Thats tough. Especially where you want to do right by the customer who sent you over there. RI is tough right now, getting very competitive and contractor's are smelling blood in the water. My attitude is I try to squirrel away money and let the dark times thin the herd for the future.
Best advice I ever got well over thirty years ago from a fellow PC. Save money for the winter kid tends to get real slow . What happened was we got spoiled for about ten years when times were booming everyone thought this was the norm...not. Yep sadly most are working for 1990 wages if not less.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
One more question for you MEL, I need a classification for this:

Wife's aunt work's at local hospital, which provides a free ad section for all the connected RI hospital employees. She let me post in there which will show up on their online hospital homepages as well as the circulars.

Thanks
 

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One more question for you MEL, I need a classification for this:

Wife's aunt work's at local hospital, which provides a free ad section for all the connected RI hospital employees. She let me post in there which will show up on their online hospital homepages as well as the circulars.

Thanks
If they find you through the internet it would be an Internet Referral, the circulars I guess you would have to make another lead source for flyers or something like that.

If the internet ad has a link to your site you might be able to track were they came from.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
If they find you through the internet it would be an Internet Referral, the circulars I guess you would have to make another lead source for flyers or something like that.

If the internet ad has a link to your site you might be able to track were they came from.
The ad does have a link to my site so I would just have to specifically ask all calls which of the two they found me on.
 

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The ad does have a link to my site so I would just have to specifically ask all calls which of the two they found me on.
You could but I usually try not to go to deep with the questions because they might get confused. If are using Google Analytics it can tell were visitors came from. It's free, you just have to install the code on your site.
 

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So this will be the first year I track ALL leads to determine where my paid/unpaid advertising needs improvement/advancement and where I need to sever the dead ends. I created a basic spreadsheet to start and hopefully I can get some help with what else needs to be there.

I have a vertical list of all categories and sub-categories. For ex: "Craigslist" and underneath it my 4 varying ad titles to track each one. I have 2 columns per month titles Leads and Awarded. This will help me track what my close % is. At the bottom I total out the months and the YTD.

In addition to tracking each of my 4 Craigslist ads, I also total those out into the generic Craigslist row, to see specifically and in general how Craigslist is doing. I do the same for the paid advertisements, facebook, referrals, internet sites(yelp, findingPROs.com, etc.). I'm going to ad another area for truck lettering and yard signs. Might be harder to equate to leads and converts but it's an attempt.

My strategy is asking when the customer first calls "How they heard about us?" If I need more specifics, I'll wait to the consultation to ask again and get a better answer. IMO, customers can have there guard up during the phone call and I'm not looking to pester them about specifics.

Finally, I have a 2nd page on the spreadsheet thats titled Dead Leads. It contains the same monthly tracking of all leads that were not pursued for whatever the reason. For ex. I had a young kid call to get his chimney re-leaded. He said 4 other guys come in at and he wanted to pay under $200. Knowing I don't re-lead chimneys for anywhere near that, it was obvious he was gonna call 10 guys till he hit his PT. No thanks... The dead list is broken down as follows: Jobs to large to handle, jobs to small to handle, Money is a direct issue, Location issue and Outside our expertise. That example would go under Money is a direct issue.

I know a lot of you hate CL but I've found a strong % of Rhode Island relys on it and we get a fair amount of calls from it. Ok, any advice on what needs to be changed or added is appreciated.
Just charge for estimates and you won't have to do all this
 
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