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Optimization – the Beauty of Digital

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Optimization – the Beauty of Digital

I was reviewing a monthly digital report with a client when we reached the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) section. For this, we reported on the quantity of phone calls and form-fills generated from paid search ads. The numbers were positive on paper: increasing CTR (click through rate), increasing call volume, and increasing conversions. However, my client expressed a disconnect between the numbers and what they were seeing in terms of revenue.

The phone calls were recorded, so I listened to a sample set. After taking notes on over 200 calls, I identified the following:


9.55% were already a lead

30.57% were current customers (calling to ask a question or schedule an appointment)

4.46% were a potential lead (not an exact match, but a bit of selling could have moved them along)

19.11% were qualified leads (exact match for the services)

19.75% were junk

16.56% were not a lead (vendors, salespeople)


While it is difficult to avoid all waste in an SEM campaign (or any campaign, for that matter), we had identified that there was room for improvement and could now optimize against it.

This is the beauty of digital. We can review data and act on it. We can optimize in real-time.

I reviewed with the LEAD digital team who could make significant improvements in a short amount of time.

In the following 8-week period, qualified leads increased to 40% of the total calls, while the junk calls decreased by 5%. Junk calls decreased by another 10% in the 8-week period after that.

Additionally, I provided training points to my client to help their phone staff better position the company to win business. Their primary role was initial info gathering and routing (not sales), but they were also the first touch many prospects would make with the company. It was essential to equip them with tools to make that first touch a consistent and informed prospect experience.

Listening to these calls became a standard part of our service for this client and has become a standard recommendation for clients paying for SEM campaigns. It allows us to optimize the campaign continually and also helps our clients strengthen their house.

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About Christine Flodin

Christine began her marketing career in 2005, progressing from copywriter to marketing program manager to account manager. She has expertise in managing successful Marketing Automation campaigns, including developing strategy and utilizing various CRM tools, to nurture client leads. On the agency side, she has worked for clients like KitchenAid and HON, guiding their voice and integrated digital and print marketing efforts. On the client side, she led content development, global marketing programs, and agency management for a global forex and derivative trading provider. On both sides, she strives to help companies make meaningful, long-term connections with their consumers. She holds a degree in Advertising & Promotion from Western Michigan University and lives in Caledonia, MI with her husband and two kids.

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