small_businessAd budgets for small business owners have been going up recently, with much of the focus on digital advertising. Makes perfect sense considering how consumers have adapted to digital so quickly, but what’s surprising is how few business owners — 26 percent — use technology to measure the success of mobile marketing, online display or paid search campaigns. 

In fact, 59 percent of merchants ask their customers how they heard about them and then use that unscientific information to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing — even using it as a barometer to decrease future budgets or cut programs if they don’t like the results. Any business owner should use credible return on investment (ROI) tools to better understand how effective the campaign is and where to spend their advertising dollars.

There are countless tools to help business owners better understand their ROI, or even assist in setting up a campaign that has those types of analytics already built in. To help you get the ball rolling, we’re highlighting three of the top 50 ROI tools that can help you create more measurable advertising:

  • Zoho — Zoho is an all-encompassing solution for small businesses and has more than 50,000 companies around the globe using their services. They offer integrated sales and marketing trackers, among other things, that you can use to get a quick look at the health of your business. Visit their site to sign up for free.
  • Agile CRM — Agile allows you to build and monitor email campaigns in a matter of minutes. If you can drag-and-drop content, you can create amazingly effective campaigns in a short amount of time. You’ll get the information you need — tracking and reports — to make sure you’re maximizing your ROI. Get leads automatically based on opens, link clicks and more. Read more about their services and learn how you can get started for free.
  • Hubspot — Ease of use might be Hubspot’s biggest calling card. Whether you’re looking to get better results from your website or want to take a deep-dive into your sales data, Hubspot can help. You can try Hubspot for free for 30 days by visiting their website and clicking on the “Free Trial” button in the upper right corner.

Business owners that don’t have the budget for a big advertising campaign have turned to free social media platforms to get the word out about their businesses. Eighty percent of small- and medium-sized business owners have social pages for their business while only 60 percent of those same owners have a website for their business.

No matter if you’re running a pricey advertising campaign, or trying to do it without spending a dime, you must take the time to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. As they say, time is money, and there is no sense in continuing with a bad campaign and losing either money and/or customers as a result.