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Establishing Goals for Your Press Release

As I’ve said before: having the right expectations for your press release plays a huge role in setting it up for success. Part of those expectations involves knowing what goals to establish so you can measure the results of your distributed press release.

What are Reasonable Goals?Reading-Press-Releases

Naturally, you want your press release to attract people to it. The right people, in fact. Who are those people? Customers and journalists. You want to introduce potential customers to your product and get them to click to your site to learn more and maybe buy. You want journalists who haven’t heard about your brand to get turned onto it with your latest news release.

After you’ve published a few press releases,  the number of reads your press release gets should increase, if you’re working to write better and better press releases. Take your last three releases and average your number of reads, then add maybe 10% to that number to set your goal.

The more people who read your release, the bigger the percent you’ll have of people clicking to your website, which can be another goal. To be conservative, you should expect maybe 1-3% of the people who read your press release to click to your site. So you won’t start to see the numbers you want until you’ve got thousands of people reading a given press release.

You may see lower click rates if you include too many links in your press release. Keep it simple; if your release is about a single product, don’t link to others. Streamline where you want people to click, and that’s where they’ll click.

One of the biggest goals you can have (if you sell products online) is your conversion rate. This refers to the number of people who read your release, clicked a link, and ended up buying from your website. You can set up your Analytics platform to track a click to a sale directly from the various websites that published your press release.

In order for press releases to be an effective marketing tool for your brand, you want that conversion rate to rise over time. Now, realize, some press releases (such as new hire announcements, or event announcements) won’t do as good a job on that conversion goal as others that focus on specific product announcements. You might lower your goals for those releases, or look for an average across all releases.

What Happens When You Don’t Achieve Your Goals?

Question-Press-Release

Goals aren’t absolute. You aim a little bit higher than you think you can go, and you end up going further than you thought you could. But if you don’t hit your numbers with your press releases, assess why. If your number of reads is low, consider whether your headlines are engaging enough.

If your clicks from the links in the press releases to your site aren’t what you think you should be getting, consider first whether you have too many links, and then whether your calls to action are clear.

If conversion is low, look at your website and the checkout experience. If there are too many steps for a customer to buy a product, that might be the cause for low conversion.

By establishing goals for your press releases, you can assess how well they’re working in your overall strategy, and make changes to get better results.

Want to know how to pitch your press release to journalists? View our 2015 Social Journalism Study today!

Images: Yusmar Yahaya, freeparking 😐, desi (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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