As a means of information delivery, trend analysis, and measuring success, reporting can be a vital resource for client retention. Used strategically, reporting can help create buy-in and trust among clients by educating them about their business and showing the results you’re delivering.
Akvile DeFazio, president of social media advertising agency AKvertise, shares a few situations in which reporting helped them overcome various challenges to keep clients and grow their business.
Appearance vs. Reality
There’s perception and then there’s data – and all too often, choices are made based on the easier of the two. A client of ours wanted to take a break from Facebook advertising because they didn’t think it was converting well. On a surface level, they saw what appeared to be low engagement, but had they looked closer at the appropriate metrics, they would have seen a different story – CTR had increased, conversion volume was up, and CPA was down.
The audience targeting, landing page, copy, and creative testing we had been doing since working together was driving more relevant traffic to their ecommerce website. While it was true in some cases that engagement on ads was lower than in months prior, the ads were converting at much higher rates overall, a much more important metric than engagement. We greatly enjoyed working with this client and didn’t want to lose them, especially since we knew that return on ad spend (ROAS) had actually increased each week in the two months we had worked with them leading up to this point.
After receiving a surprising email from this client notifying us that they wanted to take a break, we shared a detailed report outlining all of the recent metrics in comparison to what they were before we took over the account. From link clicks, to CTR, CVR, time on site, bounce rate, and ROAS, everything saw an increase week over week. They were surprised, thrilled, and apologetic to have wanted to hit the pause button so quickly.
In situations such like this, it’s important to be transparent about changes in either direction regarding each metric and to educate the client on how to read the data and understand user behavior. Because the proof was in the data, we immediately resumed working together and have since then implemented more frequent client education conversations with every client we work with.
On more than one occasion, we’ve had clients want us to disable a channel – for us, that’s typically Facebook Ads because the conversion rates can be low, especially for some higher priced product or service clients that have longer conversion funnels. That’s understandable, however, Facebook Ads use the last-touch attribution model by default and it doesn’t paint the full picture.
Upon disabling Facebook Ads in response to client requests, conversion rates consistently decreased across all other traffic sources. Facebook Ads are an excellent introductory point for brands, great drivers of targeted traffic, and are usually the least expensive method of increasing reach and visibility online. While they may not convert well directly for some clients, they are a crucial touchpoint in the conversion funnel. If you take them away, as we’ve seen in a number of instances over the years, then other channels can be negatively impacted.
Bring your client back on board by showing them view through and click through conversion reports in Swydo and the multi-channel funnel and top conversion path reports in Google Analytics. These will help you show how much weight certain channels hold and how they impact the bottom line.
In addition, if you see that traffic dips across the board once you remove a channel, that too is a strong indicator and strong argument for continuing efforts on a particular channel. These days, users tend to view messaging from brands many times before converting so there’s really no one stop shop. Online marketing is just like a puzzle – we can’t remove one piece and expect it to be whole. By showing our clients these reports and educating them on conversion funnels, we’ve resumed working with important channels that drive overall growth, while increasing their revenue and ours.
As a marketer, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as sharing eye-opening performance results, especially to clients that may not be as well-versed in online marketing, user behavior, conversion funnels, reporting, and analytics. It’s a great feeling to help someone have an “ah-ha” moment by sharing data that’s meaningful to their business in a well-organized and easy to digest manner.
When you run into an issue with a client where you are on the verge of losing business and know you can resolve it and retain the work, use data as proof of success. Be transparent, create understandable, easy to read reports with both numerical and visual components as learning methods vary between people. Lastly, whether you are starting with a new client or if you aren’t yet doing so with pre-existing clients, educate them about conversion funnels, user behavior, and how to read the data so that you can improve retention rates for your business.
As someone who lives for connecting people, making the connection between consumers and brands is what Akvile DeFazio, President and Digital Advertising Specialist at AKvertise, Inc., a social media advertising agency, does best. Her areas of expertise are ecommerce, event marketing, mobile apps, and lead generation, by way of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn Ads. Connect with her on Twitter at @AkvileDeFazio and @AKvertise or on LinkedIn.