Trak4u Ad Tracking Service

Archive for November 2006

If you’ve ever used banner advertising, you know how important it is to track the ad campaigns you have running. You need to know things like:

How many times the banner was shown (impressions).
How many times the banner was clicked.
The percentage of clicks to impressions. (The higher the percentage the better for you because it means your banner is attracting visitors.)
Cost per impression, if any.
Cost per Click, if any.
Whether you are properly targeting your banner to the right audience.

The Slamhits Banner exchange is a free to join banner exchange that gives webmasters the opportunity to earn an unlimited number of banner impressions while targeting the audience they wish to have see their banners. If the administration of this exchange doesn’t have the targeting category that fits your needs, they’ll entertain the possibility of adding it for you. See what the Slamhits Banner Exchange looks like in action.

What you call your URL Tracking system doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you use either a free or paid system. Most of the free options have limitations on the statistics gathered and different paid options offer different statistics too. Decide what information you need before you implement and system. As a webmaster, I use a combination of different systems to meet my needs and you should too as you build your business, learn more about what statistics you need from your visitors and whether you want your ad tracker to also be an income stream.

One of the tools you might consider for your marketing arsenal is called The New Plan network (NPN). NPN is both an income opportunity and a source for some very useful tools for $10 a month.

URL Tracking System / URL Rotator!
Set-and-Forget Recruiting System!
NPN Browser Toolbar!
Unique Referral Distribution System!
Multi-Program Downline Builder!
Unlimited Banner Impressions!
NPN Internal Messaging System!
NPN Followup Autoresponder!
“Set and Forget” Autoresponder System!
NPN Leads Blaster! Monthly Downloads!
Internal Traffic Exchange System! (Coming Soon)
Autoresponder Lead Co-ops! (Coming Soon)

The URL Tracker / URL Rotator lets you put 5 of your URL’s into rotation so you can only promote the 1 URL that you create within NPN. This tracker records the IP address of your visitor, the date they visited and the time of their visit. You can get trackers that provide the above statistics for less but they often require you to have your own domain, web hosting account and ad tracking script. NPN gives you and me the opportunity to have a tracker and rotator combined in a single tool plus the ability to advertise NPN while promoting our current business. The NPN lead capture pages are tied into the responder system so it’s not necessary to think about the messages being sent to prospects. You can place several banners in your NPN Member’s Area so anyone that joins NPN from your referral link sees the businesses you are promoting and you can buy very reasonably priced leads and place them in the NPN responders to promote NPN or any other business you’re in. Don’t you think $10 a month is a very reasonable price to pay for a URL Tracker, additional tools and a chance to create multiple income streams with minimal effort?

You decide if the NPN URL Tracker fits into your budget and overall business plan.

I’ve been talking about different ad tracking methods the last few weeks and even reviewed a piece of software to help track your advertising.

This short post is to remind you of the reason you should be tracking every ad, every component of the ad, every piece of your advertising literature and every step of the entire promotional process, sale and customer retention system.

Customer retention is as, if not more, important than customer acquisition because it is much easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers than generate new ones but many marketers either don’t have a customer retention plan or fail to track the effectiveness of the plan they do have.

You could be wasting time or money in acquiring new customers if you aren’t tracking every element of your marketing campaign.

Never forget you are marketing to build a business and the more information you have on every aspect of that business helps you adapt and improve it which helps put money in your pocket.

Using Ad Tracking Script built into Safelists

Many of the safelists found online today have ad tracking systems built into the scripts. The ad tracking feature is often reserved for upgraded membership levels but a few allow free members to create at least one ad tracking URL. If you’re just starting out and have a tight budget, join some safelists as a free member to see if they offer an ad tracking service as part of the membership.

Note: Safelist advertising generates a lot of email so be prepared to receive hundreds if not thousands of ads per day. Check the new messages that arrive to both your contact email address and your safelist subscribe email addresses for any offers of free Platinum or Executive memberships. These membership levels will allow you to send your ads every 12 to 24 hours and they often include the ability to create 10 or more ad tracking URL’s.

Most of the ad tracking systems built into safelists just give you a raw hit count but they give you some idea of the effectiveness of the ad. I’ve used both the tracking scripts built into safelists and scripts dedicated to ad tracking and found the dedicated to provide a more accurate hit count.

Please remember that there is a wide variety of ad tracking systems and they range in price from free to paid and from the basic number of click-thrus to full statistics that tell you where the hit came from, when and much more. The success of your business partly depends on your ability and willingness to track everything to see what works, what doesn’t and how changing any single element either improves or reduces the response rate. Ad tracking with a safelist script is just one of many ways to start tracking your business advertising for free or inexpensively.

Free Ad Tracking with Email Addresses

Ad tracking with email addresses is another great way to see how effective your promotions are for free. I used this method once in awhile in the past but I find the response rate does drop some because of several factors:

People are often reluctant to give a real email address.

Respondents often use a junk email address they don’t check very often.

They forget why they requested more information from you before your email arrives. (Most people want instant gratification and the Internet is a way to get it.)

Some people won’t read text based messages and some won’t read HTML based messages so you need your messages in both formats for the widest possible audience.

Many email messages are never delivered because of the aggressive SPAM filters that have been implemented by ISP’s.

You can use email addresses in two different ways to test your ads:

  1. Create 2 ads that have only one component that’s different. i.e. Different Headlines. Use a different email address for each ad. Example addresses: freeemailadtracking@yoururl.com and the 2nd might be freemailtracking@yoururl.com
  2. Create 2 ads that have only one component that’s different. i.e. Different Headlines. Use a different subject for each ad. Example: adtracking@yoururl.com?Subject=Free_Email_adtracking or adtracking@yoururl.com?Subject=free_adtracking_by_email

Either method works sometimes. Things that can go wrong:

Some email clients will not automatically pick up the subject and place it in the message so you know which ad is being responded to.

Your mail client may not filter the responses into the correct folder so you can quickly respond.

The auto-responder you have attached to the email address has a technical glitch and doesn’t reply.

Your computer gets invested with a virus or worm and your prospect receives a virus or worse when you reply.

You will have to compile your own statistics when using this tracking method. This can be done by counting the number of responses and recording the time each message came in will let you know when your prospects are seeing and responding to your messages. Using email addresses as a free ad tracking method gives you some raw data and it also serves as a filter because the merely curious are less likely to take the time to respond. Have you had experiences with ad tracking by email that you wish to share?

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