One of the risks of so much technology being incorporated into our marketing and our businesses is that the potential for lots of little leaks is significant. Here's an example: I was recently doing some work on a small business website, and I noticed that one of the appointment scheduling forms did not appear to be working. The problem was that there were two different pieces of software working at odds with each other, effectively canceling each other out. That in turn meant that any customer wanting to set up an appointment on that particular page was unable to do so. The rest of the website checked out fine for the most part. There was just that one little leak, that one tiny break.
That little leak, however, represents an unknown but potentially significant loss of revenue and business. If you look at your own behavior on other websites, when something doesn't work, are you necessarily motivated to keep trying again or do you just give up and move onto the other things you need to do that day, especially if it's not terribly important to you?
When was the last time you checked for leaks in your own digital marketing? One of the simplest tools to try is a link checker for your website. How often do you run one? Two free ones I'd recommend are Xenu for the PC, Integrity for the Mac. If pages like your forms have broken links, then you've got leaks.
Another place that's important to check on a regular basis for leaks is Google's free Webmaster Tools. Look under Crawl Errors. If you see any of your landing pages/form pages in there, you've got a potential leak that you should immediately investigate.
How often do you test your forms, test your email subscribe mechanisms, test your processes as a secret shopper? This is the last and most important step for finding leaks. Go through the process of signing up for something or buying something as often as is practical and reasonable. If your website generates X dollars per day, then how often would you be willing to test the website to ensure it's generating those X dollars? If it's mission critical and you go out of business without it, then testing daily is not unreasonable.
Little leaks add up quickly to big losses. Be sure you're checking for them!
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