In a world where we have so many distractions, headlines have become more and more sensational to catch our attention.  From a marketing standpoint, I find one of the most damaging tricks to be the idea that “I got ___ new leads in (insert number less than 5) days!”  We are led to believe that the writer is a veritable marketing genius, attracting numbers of leads, impressions, opens, or other wonderful things at a level that we only see in our dreams.

The danger of these types of headlines is that they start to impact how we perceive “success” in our stats.  AND, it skews our understanding of what is realistic for small business marketing.

Rather than compare ourselves against headlines – which we have no way to verify for accuracy or method – wouldn’t it be better to get some education around averages?  This lets us know what is reasonable within our industry or platform so we can set achievable goals.

Here is a smattering of a few baseline stats that could be surprising:

  • Word-of-mouth referral average conversion rate – 30-40% (generally higher than other methods and will be specific to industry and clientele)
  • General industry average for newsletter open rates – 25%
  • Average number of registered webinar attendees who actually attend the webinar – 30%
  • Facebook Business page reach for posts – 2-5% (this can go up if you get a lot of traction with the post in a short period of time)
  • Direct mail response rate (for non profits or other verified lists) – 2-3% is about right
  • Outreach to cold lists – .5-1%

It is wonderful to hear success stories of people who achieve much higher-than-average stats, but when small business owners consider a marketing plan and endeavor to plan a conservative marketing budget, it is important to understand what reality is likely to be.  We can then go into competition with our own stats for continued improvement.

Don’t let other people’s sensational marketing stats get you down!

And, put in other words, be patient with your marketing. For more tips on building patience into your marketing strategy, read here.