Enquiries coming into your business will typically be received through one of three methods:
- Website enquiry form
Using A1WebStats you can usually link the enquiry back to the source, which will provide you with valuable information related to:
- What brought the enquirer to the website (e.g. PPC, organic click, email shot)?
- Had they been to the website before (i.e. were there previous visits that contributed towards the enquiry being gained?).
- What parts of the website did they look at (useful when responding to the enquiry, so that you see exactly what they were looking at beforehand)?
Ideally you will have an internal system that summarises all enquiries gained, so that you can gain an overview and history of what works (and what doesn’t). For example, you could gain a stronger understanding of what you gained from PPC expenditure each month.
Only when you have a complete picture of what led to each enquiry, are you able to refine your website and marketing activities. If you don’t link your enquiries back to their sources then you’ll never know where best to invest time and budget.
First you need to have a system that allows you to record incoming enquiries.
The methods you use to record enquiries will vary depending on your business and culture. Some options to consider are:
- Spreadsheet (e.g. Excel) – completed as enquiries come in. You can download an example one here that you can adapt to match your business.
- Shared document (e.g. via a Google Sheet) that everyone can access to record incoming enquiries.
- Your CRM system.
- Sheets of paper (e.g. an enquiries pad) that are completed and then someone takes responsibility to input them to another system once a week, including linking the enquiries back to their sources via A1WebStats data. This method may seem basic but we find that many businesses work better like this than expecting people to complete spreadsheets etc.
What’s vital to record about each incoming enquiry is the following information:
- Date of enquiry.
- Time of enquiry (as close as possible).
- Contact method (e.g. phone, email, enquiry form).
- Basic details about the enquirer (name, phone etc.).
- What the enquiry was about (e.g. red widgets).
- Whether the person was on the website at the time of enquiry (for enquiry form/email enquiries, this will be pretty obvious as being a ‘Yes’ but for phone enquiries it’s possible the people had been to the website previously but weren’t on there now. As long as it’s a natural part of the conversation it’s always worth asking “are you on our website at the moment?”.
- Perceived source of enquiry (e.g. PPC, organic search, email shot). This is completed when you link the enquiry via A1WebStats data.
Your enquiries log should be analysed after the end of each month, giving you a detailed view of where your enquiries came from.
Enquiry form enquiries
When an enquiry form is completed, the person that deals with that form would ideally be the person who adds the information into your enquiries log.
Enquiry form enquiries are easy to link back to sources IF your website enquiry form brings up a ‘thanks’ type url after someone completes the form. If your enquiry form brings up a thanks message but not a separate url then it’s recommended that you change this in order to gain full insights into those people who used the enquiry form.
The best method is to create an advanced report that automatically emails you each day, showing those who got to your ‘thanks’ type url page, having completed your enquiry form. This is created as follows …
From the Dashboard select a date range (using the date picker tool on the top right), within which you last received an enquiry via your website enquiry form (typically, a week is about right).
Select ‘Advanced Reports’ after hovering over ‘More Reports’ in the main navigation bar.
Raw data will be shown, based on the date range you have selected.
Scroll to the ‘Visited Page Options’ section of the page (near the bottom).
Click into the ‘Any Visited Page 1’ box and enter part of the url that comes up after someone fills in your enquiry form. In the example below we have used ‘thank’.
Now click on the ‘Apply Filter(s)’ button towards the bottom of the page.
You will be taken to the bottom of the screen where you will see a line of ‘Total Visitor Records’, showing you the number of records that have been extracted below, covering that date range you chose.
The example below shows two visitors who got to the url that contained ‘thank’ (i.e. they completed an enquiry form).
To create a daily email (showing you those who filled in your enquiry form the day before), click on the ‘Save/Schedule Report’ link towards the top of your data.
Create a name for the report (that’s meaningful). For example ‘Thanks page visitors yesterday’. This is the name of the report that will appear in the email inbox of the recipient each time it runs.
Type in the email address of the recipient. If wanting more than one recipient, use a comma between each email address. Recipients won’t have to log into the system to see the report data – they will just click on a link.
Select the email frequency (daily is recommended).
Then click on ‘Save’ and you will see your report appear within the ‘Advanced Reports’ column towards the left of the page.
The report will run each day if the parameters that you created are matched. It will then email the report to the recipients. If the parameters aren’t matched (i.e. no-one fills in your enquiry form) then the report doesn’t run.
If you want to edit the report at any time, click on the pencil icon.
This only lets you edit the name, recipients, and frequency. If you want to edit parameters you will need to create a new report.
If you want to stop the report emailing (but still retain it to run manually at any time you want to) then just remove the email addresses via the pencil icon.
If you no longer need a report then just click the X button.
When you receive your daily email you will click on the link and can then view the details of each person who got to your ‘thank’ type page. This will show you:
- What brought the enquirer to the website (e.g. PPC, organic click, email shot),
- Whether they had been to the website before (i.e. whether there were previous visits that contributed towards the enquiry being gained).
- What parts of the website they looked at (useful when responding to the enquiry, so that you see exactly what they were looking at beforehand).
Then you can take that information (typically just what brought them to your website) and add it to your enquiries log alongside the information that would have been recorded when the enquiry form was initially submitted.
When an email enquiry comes in, the person that deals with that email would ideally be the person who adds the information into your enquiries log.
You then need to identify what led to that enquiry. Although not as easy as identifying the source of visitors that completed enquiry forms (because someone may have been to the website at a different time, got the email address, and made contact without going back to the website), it’s worth trying to link them back wherever possible (although it’s not always possible).
For each email enquiry you receive, this is the recommended method to find the extra information that you need to add into your enquiry log (i.e. what brought the person to the website) …
Log into your A1WebStats account.
From the Dashboard select the date (using the date picker tool on the top right) when you received the emailed enquiry.
Click on ‘All Visitors’ from the main navigation bar and, depending on the time of day that you received the email, select either Ascending Order or Descending Order from the ‘Visitor Order’ option on the top left.
Scroll through the data, focusing on the ‘Visit Start Time’ in the dark blue bar of each visitor, until you get to around the time that you received the email enquiry.
If there were multiple visitors on your website around that time then it won’t be as easy to identify the visitor that contacted you by email. However, by looking at the pages each visitor looked at, you may be able to work it out. In some cases you may need to click on the ‘day(s) since last visit’ link to see if they have been to the website previously.
If you are not fully sure that you can identify the emailer within your visitors data around that time of the day then you would leave that part of the enquiries log blank or as N/A (to avoid creating inaccurate data).
Although it can sometimes be time-consuming to link emailed enquiries back to their source, if enquiry levels aren’t high then the task is less of a time drain.
When an incoming call is received, the call recipient needs to record (in the enquiries log or on paper, to then be updated in the enquiries log) the precise time the call started. With that information it’s easier to link the enquiry back to the data within A1WebStats. If the call recipient is inaccurate with their recording of information then it leads to wasted time and inaccurate data being recorded.
The most accurate method to link phone enquiries to A1WebStats data (and so get a definitive insight into what led to the enquiry) is as follows. This method is then followed by the retrospective approach …
When the call comes in, the call recipient needs to be logged into your A1WebStats account. There is no limit to how many people can be logged into the same account at the same time.
From the Dashboard select the current date (using the date picker tool on the top right).
Click on ‘All Visitors’ from the main navigation bar and it will show the most recent visitors at the top of the screen. It’s likely that the enquirer on the phone is one of the first few visits. However, if they came into the website much earlier in the day, or aren’t on the website at the time of the call, then they’re not so easy to identify. Nine times out of ten they will be currently on the website.
Based on what the phone enquirer is interested in, find a reason to get them to click on a certain page of your website, which will make it easier to identify them. When they have done that, refresh your browser and you will be able to identify which visitor they are because it will show their visit to that page at the current time.
In the example below, the telephone enquirer was asked to go to the Failure in risk assessment page, as you can see from the bottom of their visit path.
Looking at the screenshot above, we are confident that we can complete the information in the enquiries log, showing that the visitor came from organic SEO.
It won’t always feel natural to encourage the person to go to a certain page of the website but typically, the conversation could be engineered towards that. For example, if someone is asking about widgets and you think they may need red widgets, then you have the opportunity to say to them “could I just get you to click on our red widgets page?”, followed by natural dialogue from there.
The retrospective approach
The alternative method is used in cases where the phone call recipient is not in a position to be logged into A1WebStats. Typically they wouldn’t be logged into any electronic system and so may just make a note of the date and time of the enquiry, plus enough details for the enquiries log to be updated.
Having done that, it’s then the responsibility of someone to go through the enquiries log, identifying those that were recorded as phone enquiries, and try to link them back as follows …
From the Dashboard select the date of phone enquiry (using the date picker tool on the top right).
Click on ‘All Visitors’ from the main navigation bar and, depending on the time of day that the call was received, select either Ascending Order or Descending Order from the ‘Visitor Order’ option on the top left.
If there were multiple visitors on your website around that time then it won’t be as easy to identify the visitor that contacted you by phone. However, by looking at the pages each visitor looked at, you may be able to work it out.
If you are not fully sure that you can identify the phone enquirer within your visitors data around that time of the day then you would leave that part of the enquiries log blank or as N/A (to avoid creating inaccurate data).
Although it can sometimes be time-consuming to link phone enquiries back to their source, if phone enquiry levels aren’t high then the task is less of a time drain.