I want them to think beyond a request for info to a request for info that results in a sale. Otherwise, how can they determine what a click and filling out the request-for-info is really costing them? Is the sales funnel I've been trying to craft resulting in more requests for info resulting in sales, or just in requests for info that don't translate into sales? How are they doing this year, when I've put a more concerted effort into their PPC and actual conversion tracking, compared to last year or the last 8 years, when I wasn't?
I just got this from them: "Please understand that I am a very, very private person and would rather not say or remark about my sales. We're not interested in actual count, but filling motorcoaches. That's where the profit is."
But isn't actual count filling motorcoaches? How many motorcoaches do they want to fill?
They're doing what they've been doing for the last 25 years. They've complained over the last few years about how much harder it is to fill their tour buses for their once-a-year event, how much more competition they have from travel companies, and how much more they need to spend on their PPC vs even 3 years ago (although with my work, I've doubled the CTR to nearly 3%, and reduced their PPC expenses) (they think Google and Bing are out to rob them). They were even going to retire the business at the very beginning of this year, but then they wanted to continue the business. The pop is 80 years old, the mom is 75. They're nice people. I'm trying to help them out. And so much of this is way over their heads.
I recommended redesigning their site, because I built it in 2004, and it looks terribly dated and unprofessional, while they are competing with larger travel agencies who have better and more contemporary websites. Goes to credibility. They don't want me to touch the text for split testing, because they want to print out their home page as a flyer. Yes, a flyer.
Yet they don't want to get involved in social marketing at all (which their business would be a perfect fit for). They don't want to do newsletters or blogging. They go back and forth on display ads or not.
I'd like to be able to have enough information to tell them that yes, they are doing better this year. If they are not, then I need to look at if there's anything I can do within the constraints I have to help them do better. But if I don't know how many tour packages they're selling vs. the number of clicks, vs. the number for requests for info, then all this is a Hail Mary pass.
I'm their web person. I've been in graphic design and marketing for over 40 years. I've been doing the web stuff/SEO, plus a smidge of SEM for 9 years. Generally, if clients need major SEM, my statement to them is, "Here are some phone numbers of ethical marketers. It's going to cost at least a few thousand dollars to start."
I tried to keep my questions and responses biref, and got misunderstood. I hope this clarifies. I guess, based on this email I just got from them, that I'm just going to leave it alone and not expend any more effort. They're happy, so I will leave it at that. Nothing more I can do.
Thank you all for your help.