There’s a trick to conducting pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on a shoestring. Larger campaigns buy popular keyword phrases. They consequently generate a torrent of clicks. Smaller campaigns, on the other hand, must make similar decisions success using a comparative trickle of data. So how do small-time marketers know when they have enough information to make reliable decisions?
A good rule of thumb is to start trusting the results of a PPC landing page at about 200 clicks. That’s according to Tony Brewin, of SuperEvent in the U.K. His advice was part of a Wordtracker post on optimizing Google Adwords campaigns.
This is coincidentally similar to the rule of thumb I’ve used in direct mail campaigns. For smaller mailings, direct mail veterans have known that you could start to be confident about results once you’ve received roughly 20 of them.
A statistician friend once described these critical mass numbers as the thresholds where there is enough information to get simple yes / no answers about whether a campaign is succeeding. He compared them to when you watch a dot of light coming at you from a distance during an evening drive. This threshold is the point where you can first tell whether you’re seeing a single headline, from an approaching motorcycle, or from a car’s pair of headlights.
It’s still a limited amount of information, but knowing what’s coming at you quickly and definitively can be useful both in driving and in direct response.