“Shoot first, ask questions later.”

I have to admit, I’ve done that too many times.  At least, when it comes to my marketing campaigns.

And in most cases, those are the campaigns that are most likely to fail.

There are at least three questions — explained below — that you should be asking prior to launching any marketing campaign.

And this applies no matter what your role is — business owner, marketer, copywriter, traffic buyer, other team member…

Every single person working on the campaign should have a clear understanding of the answers to these three questions prior to launching the campaign — even prior to creating it.

What’s the goal of your campaign?

Every campaign you run should have a clear goal that serves the greater mission of the business.  And usually it comes down to one of two things: either getting more new customers in the door, or selling more to the current customer base.

That is, your goal may be to build your list.  It may be to get more leads.  It might be to sell more of an entry-level, welcome-mat product.  Maybe it’s to get more first-time customers in through the door on a sale.  Or perhaps to get trial sign-ups.

Or if you’re looking to maximize your current relationships, it’s going to be to make sales of a high-end product or service.

Whatever it is, you should be crystal-clear on the goal.  And it should be more specific than “make sales” or “make money.”

The goal should reflect who you’re speaking to, and what response you’re looking for.

How will you measure success?

This comes down to one metric.  Is it sales?  Is it email sign-ups?   Is it downloads of a piece of software?  Is it trial registrations?  Or for sales to your current customer base, maybe it’s ROI of the campaign, or total revenue.

You should have a clear idea of what number represents success.

This gives you something to work towards, and something to measure.

What are you willing to risk?

In other words, what’s your failure threshold?  What represents NOT meeting your goal?

How long are you willing to go without your advertising spend being profitable?  What’s your total testing budget before you pull the campaign?

For example: maybe you have a $5,000 campaign testing budget, and will only proceed beyond that if you’re getting conversions that reach 100% ROI within 30 days.

It’s very easy to get into things without an exit plan — because we want to assume success.  When the reality is that failure is common and actually expected in marketing, so you have to know what to do when it happens.  (Even great marketers launching NEW campaigns have up to an 80% failure rate — it’s about adapting, optimizing, or cutting losses to create the truly spectacular successes.)

Answer these questions FIRST…

When you answer these questions first, and then make them guiding principles for your campaign, you will be more focused, and more likely to achieve success out of the gate.

Plus, you’ll have clear metrics to help you define success.

And, you’ll know when to either revamp or scrap a campaign that’s just not getting the results you want.

Done with discipline, this will lead to far more marketing success.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr