We're not making a shocking statement when we say that the ultimate measurement of your program marketing success is how many people signed up. If you've done a good job in generating awareness and making people want to attend, your attendance numbers will reflect that. But here's something a little less obvious: finding out where exactly those inquiries about and registrations for your program came from. Let's discuss the importance of tracking inquiries and how best to track them.
Why You Should Track Inquiries
If you're promoting a program, you're likely using more than one channel to do so. You may have an online listing on TeenLife, banner ads on external sites, an email going out to past participants, and print advertisements in local media. Meanwhile, past participants, parents or school counselors may know about your program and decide to spread the word to potential registrants. In short, inquiries can originate from an almost infinite amount of sources.
Wouldn't you want to know where exactly they came from? If you're spending money or effort on a social media campaign, but none of your actual leads or registrants mention it as the source of their interest, you may spend those resources elsewhere. If a great number of leads heard about the event from their guidance counselor, you may want to increase your efforts to let local counselors know about your programs and their details.
In other words, tracking inquiries can be invaluable in deciding where your time and money is spent most effectively in order to get the most registrants for your program.
Inquiry Tracking Best Practices
How exactly should you go about tracking these inquiries? Generally, a post-experience satisfaction survey – which we covered in our last post – should include a section about where participants learned about your program. However, asking potential registrants, or your leads, about where they heard about you can be immensely valuable as well.
In order to most effectively track your inquiries, begin by thinking about all the ways you use to actively promote your organization or program, and list them. Then think about the indirect ways – from past participants, guidance counselors, etc. – and add them to your list. Finally, always be sure to include an "other" with the ability to fill in the blank. The possible ways of people hearing about you are nearly endless, and including an open-ended option ensures that no information is lost. Even better, you can get an informed opinion about the options you should add next year.
Finally, make sure to allow your survey takers to check off more than one option. A registrant may first have heard about your event from their parents, but didn't take action until they saw your listing on TeenLife. Allowing your audience to check off more than one box ensures that you can gather all relevant information.
And in the end, that's what tracking inquiries is all about – gathering as much information about your leads and registrants as possible, so that you can use that information to better promote your program in the future. And before you know it, your time and marketing dollars will be spent more efficiently and your program will be attended in greater numbers.