Radio, TV, banner ads, pay-per-click (PPC), magazine ads, billboards… There are dozens if not hundreds of marketing channels you can use to get your sales message across. We don’t expect you to use all of them all of the time – but you should know what your options are. Test different channels and different channel combinations, and roll out with what is most effective for you and your organization.

Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that if a specific channel does not meet the return on investment (ROI) goal for your overall multi-channel marketing campaign it should be disregarded.

Take a look at the chart below:

Channel Cost Revenue # of Orders ROI
Endorsed e-mail $10,000 $30,000 300 300 percent
Banner ads $10,000 $16,000 160 160 percent
PPC $10,000 $15,700 157 157 percent
Teleconference $5,000 $4,500 45 90 percent
Direct mail $50,000 40,000 400 80 percent
Total $85,000 $106,200 1,062 124.9 percent

In this example, you are selling your product for $100. You had $85,000 to spend and your goal was to make $1.25 for every dollar you spent, or a return on investment of 125 percent.

You had tremendous success with your online efforts (endorsed e-mails, banner ads, and PPC campaigns).

On your teleconference, your marketing efforts yielded a 90 percent ROI and lost $500.

And on your direct-mail campaign, you produced only an 80 percent ROI, losing a whopping $10,000.

Since two of your five channels lost a total of $10,500, are you going to cut them from your multi-channel campaign? Of course not. Those two channels brought in nearly 42 percent of your new customers. Customers you now have the opportunity to bond with and sell more products to. It has been our experience that customers who come in as a result of direct-mail efforts have a higher lifetime value. This means that the 400 new customers from your direct-mail campaign will most likely become your best customers. On top of all this, you’ve met your goal of 125 percent ROI on your overall campaign.

The idea is to subsidize some channels with the channels that have greater ROIs to produce incremental orders that can bring in additional revenues.

[Ed. Note: The above article was adapted from Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business, the brand-new best-seller by MaryEllen Tribby and Michael Masterson. This book combines 60+ years of marketing and business-building experience from two marketing superstars – and you can apply each and every strategy to the business you own or the company you work for.]

Mary Ellen Tribby

MaryEllen Tribby is a business consultant and coach to entrepreneurs in the information publishing and digital marketing arena. She led Early to Rise from May 2006 to January 2010 as Publisher & CEO. She has also served as President of Weiss Research, managing divisions of Forbes, Globe Communications, Times Mirror Magazines and Crain’s New York Business. She currently heads up The CEO’s Edge and WorkingMomsOnly.com.