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    29 July 2009

    ClickThe more that we learn about the ubiquitous click through rate the more we should realize that it is not a good measurement tool for our marketing efforts. Since the Internet emerged as a serious marketing medium, we have been bombarded with reports about click through rates and how we should pay attention to them as a symbol to quantify the effectiveness of our approach.

    More and more studies are pointing to the fact that a high click through rate is not necessarily a harbinger of great conversions to come. Even so, recent surveys tell us that a large number of online marketers rely on this metric in the decision-making process as opposed to any other metrics, such as brand awareness.

    Online brand marketers seem to be somewhat blinded by this measure and this appears to be largely a hangover from the early days of the net when the pure novelty and the potentially serious ramifications of the “click through” first dawned upon us.

    In the world of direct response marketing, it seems that more tangible measurements have greater importance. Instead of merely paying attention to clicks and impressions, it is far better to quantify the number of leads generated, especially if these are qualified.

    As the consumer is blinded by an ever-increasing assault from the marketing media encountered on a daily basis, so it seems that the click through is losing even more of its meaning. Could it be that the click through is becoming just a natural physical reaction for some people? Ironically, many studies have shown that campaigns with the highest click through rate generate the least number of conversions.

    With the emergence of social media marketing the waters are even more muddied, as studies by Forrester Research show that many top online marketers are very naive about social media measurement. Digital branding and branding specific metrics will become increasingly more important and it falls to system designers to come up with some robust and readily available analytic technologies. As this happens less emphasis will be placed on the pure analysis of click through rates as a measure of success within the marketing environment. Just as the click through has endured a significant decline in response rates since its introduction, so its elevated status in the online marketing business will recede.

    Do you click out of habit?

    Adam Toren

    4 Responses to Measuring Marketing Success With More Than Just Click Through Rates

    1. John Peden July 29, 2009 at 6:39 am #

      Interesting point. I recently ran a test/short PPC campaign to drive traffic to an affiliate offer. I had a CTR of about 5% but was paying about £1/click despite fairly well-targeted, low competition keywords (I thought) in MS Adcenter.

      Nobody bought from me and I chickened out after about £20 or so…

      Do you run any PPC campaigns?

    2. Sherryd July 31, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

      I find a lot of programs that track click through rates do not give you the ability to exclude clicks from your own system. Some, like Google’s Analytics, allow you to filter those clicks out, but others do not. You want to be aware of this and take it into consideration depending on which program you are using. If say you were doing a site update and checking it in various browsers, those clicks may skew the results.

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