Why are our clients so enthusiastic about online marketing?  Our clients are in one of two places with online marketing- they are just getting started and see the opportunity and visibility associated with strategies like search engine marketing, web analytics and email marketing.  Or- they have been working with us for some period of time and are experiencing increased revenue and profitability through an online marketing strategy.

In each case, the model works in a similar fashion.

1. Identify an efficient customer acquisition model and test for the best results.


2. Use web analytics to better understand your visitor and provide them with a website that meets their expectation.


3. Use email to build a relationship with the new website visitor or customer to increase the odds of them doing business with us in the future.

Sound too simple?  Sound like I am leaving something out?

While the above steps do have a level of complexity associated with them based on each client’s situation, we’ve found that focusing on Acquisition, Optimization and Nurturing is the basis for any online marketing campaign.

Back to the promise in the title of the blog post- Continuous Improvement.

Continuous improvement is what makes good online marketing plans, great.  How do you apply continuous improvement to online marketing?

One word: Segmentation.

One of the behaviors and disciplines of a good online marketing company is their ability to ignore the “broad strokes” of data.  Instead, they immediately start the process of slicing the data into segments.  For example:

Rather than asking “Is paid search working?” They ask “Which segments (search terms, search engines, time of day, ad position, ad copy, etc.) produce a higher result than others?”

Rather than asking “Why is bounce rate is 60%.” They ask “What is the bounce rate by source (direct traffic, paid search, organic search, etc.)?  What is the bounce rate by search term?

Rather than sending the same email to an entire database, they say “Let’s segment the database by customer behaviors (recent purchases, frequent purchases, rarely purchases, purchasers of certain products, etc.) and communicate with them in a relevant, timely manner.

This approach gives you increased visibility into your online marketing campaigns and allows for continuous improvement.  Continuous improvement comes from identifying unique behaviors of segments and creating structured marketing experiments to increase the good behavior and decrease the bad.

Don’t believe me?  Try it this week.  Slice the data, understand behavior by segment and run an experiment to change that behavior.