The proverbial money making machine is something of a whimsical fantasy for business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Imagine a device where you could put in $1 and get out $2. Put $200 in the machine and get back $400. Throw your life savings in and walk away with enough for another life. If only this type of machine existed, how amazing would that be?
It already exists.
At TicketKick, we help people contest their California traffic tickets online. In my experience as owner of my web-based legal service; Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click models are nearly identical in operation to what a coveted money making machine would be. When my company puts in $500 worth of ad spending on a Wednesday, before the weekend arrives we have $3,000 in our bank account without breaking a sweat. Up to a point, every single dollar we put in yields us at least $5 in gross revenue.
The Pay-Per-Click model, which is available not just through Google, but also through Yahoo, Bing, and even social networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, is easily the most powerful tool in our arsenal of marketing firepower. The ability to get granular data and act in real time with a Pay-Per-Click program has never been available in advertising before and it’s revolutionized commerce as we know it. The platform itself is beautiful, but there are some perils to the program that every business owner needs to review before rolling out such a campaign.
Google makes its program very easy to use and targets small business owners directly. Google will even help a newbie set up a campaign and dial in everything from keywords to bidding amounts. This is great for really small volume users, for beginners, or for businesses that don’t rely heavily or exclusively on their paid search result listings. However, if the business phone rings almost entirely from paid ads, then you’ll really want to put the right people in control.
When we first launched TicketKick, I was in charge of Adwords. It was pretty easy to launch and use, but we were really leaving a lot of potential leads on the table. I could get our campaign up and running, but Adwords can be such a science that after a while, we had to hand it over to the professionals.
I contracted with an online marketing consulting agency, who took over control of the campaigns. Within just a few weeks our traffic surged and we were spending much less per click. Costs were going down and revenue was going up.
It’s so easy to justify doing something yourself. The cost savings are there and sometimes it may seem easier. However, this surely inhibits the growth of the company. Sometimes as a business owner you’ve got to bite the bullet, hand over the cash and hire qualified people to do what they do best. At first it was a hard pill to swallow to hand over $1,500/month to the agency who ran our campaign. However, after we brought in $15,000 more in sales that first month, it was money well spent.
So many business owners only look at the short-term picture and focus on cost savings rather than building their business. When you hire a consultant, new employee, contractor, etc., it’s a direct cut on your paycheck as an owner. Get over it. Don’t think about making your piece of the pie smaller, think about how to make the whole pie bigger. That’s surely a recipe for success!
Sara Schoonover is Vice President of of TicketKick, a California company that helps drivers get red light camera tickets and other traffic tickets dismissed by helping drivers through the trial by written declaration process. The company, which formally launched in 2010 after providing similar services since 2006, is the leading company in this space and growing rapidly.