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Deciding your online marketing budget based on potential ROI

Digital marketing with pay per click or search engine optimization provides highly targeted traffic at a lower cost than traditional media. Determining the percentage of profit dedicated to marketing is an essential first step. Working backwards from a percentage of profit margin dedicated to marketing allows an online marketer to determine the value of each visitor, and the value of actions the visitor takes while onsite. The following case study provides a hypothetical example.

What percentage of profit is allocated for online marketing?

A landscaping company charges their commercial clients $10,000 per season for a large account and is willing to dedicate 10% ($1,000) to acquire each new account. In this case $1,000 worth of online marketing is allocated to bring in $10,000 worth of new business.

What percentage of actions results in a sale?

Based on prior sales and conversion data gained from testing it is determined that 10% of contact forms or phone calls turn in to a commercial account valued at $10,000.

What percentage of visitors takes action (contact form, download, phone call, etc)?

Using web site statistical tracking like Google Analytics we can determine the ratio of visitors to contact form submissions. In this case 5% of all visitors to the site fill out a contact form requesting more information or a price quote. Based on the 5% contact form conversion ratio we determine the target cost per acquisition (CPA) is $50. How much should you pay for each visitor?

The target CPA for a contact form submission at $50 and it is determined that 5% of all visitors result in a contact form conversion. Based on this data we deduce that each new visitor to the website has a value of $2.50. This value really translates to the cost you can pay for each visitor and still remain profitable.

Knowing how much a visitor is worth to your business, conversion ratios, and potential profit from a sale allows you to determine if your digital marketing dollars are being spent effectively and how to allocate your marketing budget for the highest return.

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