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Written by Emma Astroth
on March 29, 2018

Measuring Marketing ROI is meaningless if you don’t keep an eye on important KPIs along the way. Simply subtracting your investment in marketing efforts from your revenue gives you only a short-sighted comprehension of the business’s performance.

It doesn’t tell you where the problems lie. It doesn’t show where there might be a gap in your lead generation campaign. It doesn’t shed light on what works, what doesn’t or where you are wasting precious resources, human and financial. So which Marketing KPIs should you track to determine your true Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI)?

Here are 15 Marketing Key Performance Indicators to measure against your business goals

 

  1. Marketing cost per lead generated
  2. Leads vs monthly visitors
  3. Bounce rate
  4. Number of leads per channel
  5. Number of leads per asset
  6. Overall trend emerging from KPIs 1 to 5
  7. Conversion rate of landing pages
  8. Number of pages read
  9. Page flow before conversion
  10. Social engagement
  11. Lead scoring
  12. Leads in active vs inactive in campaigns
  13. Email open rate
  14. Click-through rate
  15. Content Performance

 

1. Marketing Cost per Lead Generated

 

Your Cost of Lead Acquisition is different from your Cost of Customer Acquisition, so your ROI at the end of the day will also factor in the investment at the bottom of the funnel, where your Marketing team hands over beautifully qualified leads to Sales. (COLA vs COCA; you may crack a smile here).

Your COLA could be low (dollar-wise, not calories), but don’t be overjoyed just yet. In HubSpot Academy’s course for Sales Enablement certification, Dan McDade, President & CEO of PointClear and lead generator extraordinaire, tells the chilling story of a company that believed the cost per lead was $23.15 when in reality QUALIFIED leads cost about $2,660 each.

I’ll let you read that again and give you a few seconds to digest. Bad marketing leads cost dearly.

On the other hand, if your COLA is too high for comfort, you are likely missing the mark somewhere in the funnel. Are you focusing too much on awareness efforts and neglecting to (gently) push leads toward the next step? Is your marketing team possessive and reluctant to hand over prospects to sales?

 

2. Leads vs Monthly Visitors

 

Your website is getting thousands of visitors? Congratulations! A big chunk of that traffic is organic? Excellent work.

Or not.

How many direct or indirect leads your company’s site generates is a telltale sign of how healthy your lead generation strategies are. 

The lead vs visitors rate indicates:

  • How relevant your web content is.
  • How effective the conversion path is.
  • How your solution directly and clearly fits specific needs.
  • How well you know your buyer personas.

 

3. Bounce Rate

 

Directly tied with marketing KPI #2, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who view only one page per session. As Google puts it

If the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then, yes, a high bounce rate is bad. […] On the other hand, if you have a single-page site like a blog or offer other types of content for which single-page sessions are expected, then a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.

Not to say that you should obsess over your bounce rate, but keep in mind that visitors come to your site for a reason. They need something that they expect they will get from you. Trust your analytics and rather than occasionally glance at sessions and bounces, create a dashboard that tracks data over time.

 marketing KPIs, traffic analytics

4. Number of Leads per Channel

 

“Our campaign was a success, we generated 230 leads through social only”.

“Email is dead, we haven’t captured a single lead in months.”

Those statements are tainted by a misconception of what success is. Again, I’ll point to quality, not quantity. I will also point to goals and intents. Are your emails merely a way to keep the conversation going? And I encourage you to dig deeper. Have you spent hours crafting social posts for LinkedIn only to realize (at some point, hopefully) that all 230 leads came from Twitter? What about nurturing? Or paid advertising?

Here is a breakdown of the marketing channels that can help you generate leads:

  • Email
  • Inbound campaigns
  • PPC
  • Events
  • Special content offers (webinars, ebooks, etc.)
  • Nurturing
  • Referral
  • Social media (to break down further)

 

5. Number of Leads per Asset

 

We all know traditional (outbound) marketing is past its glorious days of “there-is-no-other-way-but-to-cold-call”. If you have started to embrace inbound marketing, you already know that lead generation is a lot of work. Even more so in the case of B2B marketing.

Despite numerous posts on the topic to help you figure out what type of content is appropriate for which type of business AND for which stage of the buyer’s journey, not all tactics are created equal to the eyes of your target. Religiously track the leads you capture for each asset launched, so you can learn more about your audience and focus future efforts on what works.

Typical inbound marketing assets include:

  • Whitepapers and ebooks
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Various downloadables
  • Free trials
  • Free consultations

 

6. Overall Trends Emerging from KPI #1 to #5

 

By now, you have a holistic view of your lead gen performance. The 5 marketing KPIs you are watching like a hawk are telling you a lot about your market and your work, and how well the two agree.

Don’t analyze these numbers separately. They only make sense as a whole to help you identify patterns that will feed your predictive analytics.

A high bounce rate will increase your soda, sorry your COLA. So will a poorly distributed asset, and so will high website traffic but low conversion to leads and opportunities.

 

7. Conversion Rate of Landing Pages

 

Creating landing pages that convert is a challenge for many marketers. Between best practices to follow, crafting engaging copy and inserting THE ultimate CTA, we try to do our best, which in the case of getting leads is not enough. Your landing pages convert when the visitor volunteers information in exchange for something of value (content, webinar, free trial, video, you name it).

A low LPCR could mean a few things:

  • Wrong timing, if the offer doesn’t match the buyer’s journey map
  • Wrong audience, if the buyer personas are not accurate
  • Wrong offer, if the visitors conclude you mislead them and don’t think you address their needs

Asking too much, telling too little. You need to find balance between arousing their curiosity and not look like an interrogator.

A/B testing will help you figure out what works better. A/B testing stands for Awful or Average/Better or Boum.

 

8. Number of Pages Read

 

Geez, you think, number of pages read is a KPI? You bet.

via GIPHY

Why? Because it will draw a pretty picture of how your visitors (and if you did well, your target audience) consume your content, how invested they are in finding out more about what you sell, and it will directly map the buying process. After a while, you will have enough data to add this info to your buyer persona profiles.

Now… Pay attention.

If your site has a dozen pages and the average number of pages visitors spend time on is 27, you have a bigger problem. In a few words, your content may be so confusing that people need to read it several times.

 

9. Page Flow before Conversion

 

Possibly the Marketing KPI that will become your favorite since it gives you the exact path from stranger to lead. Follow the crumbs. From Home Page directly to Request a Quote is ideal, and happens…never... unless the user is on their 10th visit.

This indicator is bang on the data-driven web design you need to achieve (you don’t have to go as far as Growth-Driven Design, but use the metrics so you work where it matters). When you know the sequence of pages viewed before conversion, you know where your priorities are in terms of optimization. And if the page flow looks complex and seems to lack logic, trim down and help visitors to shortcuts.

marketing KPIs, website page flow

KPI #8 and #9 are where a tool like HubSpot comes in particularly handy, in conjunction with your Google Analytics Dashboards. With data and the ability to drill down to specific contacts, you are better equipped to PERSONALIZE communication.

 

10. Social Engagement

 

As Marketer, you spend a lot of time on Social Media. Or at least, you spend time on strategizing and implementing social content:

  • Blog distribution
  • Content offers promotion
  • Curation
  • Standalone posts like statistics or quotes
  • Videos and the occasional Friday GIF

Hopefully, your company is not an island and you also interact, retweet, share, comment.

Don’t do that, then just leave, hopping on to the next group or hashtag.

Listen. Connect your tools to social channels so you can get an alert when a target engages with your post. Thank followers. Do your homework: what triggers responses, what doesn’t.

 

11. Lead Scoring

 

We published a blog on the topic, and you can see the KPIs we discuss here help determine how good a fit leads may be and how they align with your company’s goals.

When you automate lead scoring (e.g. lead gains 3 points when registering for a webinar), you can check the lead gen pulse.

The leads’ score keeps lowering? Back to the drawing board. Start with your buyer personas.

It keeps lowering yet they convert into Sales Qualified? Either your Sales Director is going to barge in your office and yell at you, or… back to the drawing board. Start with your buyer personas…

 

12. Leads in Active vs Inactive Campaigns

 

Although technically campaigns should never really go stale, they have a shelf life. Your offers evolve, improve; you refine your tone, shift strategies to better fit your objectives.

It’s easy to focus on new lead generation campaigns and forget “oldies”. Yet, there are contacts in that funnel. If you have leads stuck in inactive campaigns, you have to unstuck them.

 

13. Email Open Rate

 

Email is not dead. Far from it. And if you’re serious about nurturing hard earned leads (and later retaining loyal clients), you need a strong Email marketing plan. Start with email best practices, naturally.

Although not an indicator of great performance, the open rate establishes the relevance of your subject line and preview content, and how excited people are to see you pop in their inbox. To be taken with a grain of salt, as many of us just open emails so “you have 3,000 unread emails” would go down to 2,999.

One way to obtain a more accurate (and higher) open rate, is to stop sending to unengaged contacts. If they have ignored you for months, chances are they never bothered to unsubscribe. They may have just put you in the Unroll.me list and need not even know you’re writing witty emails and newsletters.

 

14. Email Click-through Rate

 

Now, we’re talking. Step 1, or #13 in our case, was to get them to open the email. Next, click. There are a few metrics that fall into the click-thru category:

  • A CTA (to a landing page, a blog, etc)
  • A logo/info click, to your website
  • Social and email sharing (isn’t it just perfect when Mr. Target CMO forwards your email to Ms. Target CEO?)

You can dig deeper and analyze your recipients’ behavior. Create yourself a quick workflow so you receive alerts and set up tasks: say Ms. CEO has opened your emails every single time for the past 3 weeks. SCORE (lead score, for that matter). SQL in all her glory.

 

15. Content Performance

 

Last, but not least. Content performance is the ultimate Marketing KPI. In fact, it’s the sum of all its 14 parts. Everything you put out there for your target to act upon is content.

  • Blogs: measure views, comments, shares
  • Social: measure engagement, comments, likes, rethis rethat
  • Content offers: measure downloads, engagement through nurturing
  • Emails: measure opens, clicks, forwards, replies
  • Landing pages: conversions up because of superbly optimized content
  • Web pages: content
  • Webinars: content
  • Videos: content
  • Pictures: content

Content. Content. Content is your Marketing team’s weapon to hit SQLs quotas and ultimately help Sales close deals. (Yes, we will publish the Sales KPIs that matter).

You don’t need 15 tools to track all those KPIs. I hope you are aware you can easily consolidate and aggregate data in 1, 2 platforms at most and create filtered dashboards. Your CRM and Google Analytics are a good place to start.

BUT… What matters most is what you do with the data. How you derive intelligent insights from rates and percent and up/down trends.

Decrease your COCA/COLA by making the most of your PEPSI (Prime Efficiency Performance Score Indicators).

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