If you’re not keeping a close eye on your business’ marketing metrics, you’re not getting the most out of your marketing campaigns, period.
Without measurement, not only will you not have a real idea of your return on investment (ROI), you also won’t know how to adjust current and future campaigns to make them more effective.
How to Measure
Measurement is much more than just counting the number of hits. The hit count is an important metric, to be sure, but it won’t tell you the whole story, nor is it the most important number.
Think about it: would you rather have 100 people visit your site and buy something or 10,000 people visit and leave without buying or even signing up?
Different metrics work together to paint a picture of your campaign’s effectiveness. Measurement isn’t as easy as counting clicks, but it’s invaluable — and it’s not so difficult that you can’t do it yourself.
The 8 Marketing Metrics to Gauge
If you’re ready to start measuring your marketing ROI yourself, familiarize yourself with these 8 metrics:
#1 Total Number of Visits
You probably look at these numbers already, and they are a quick and easy way to get an idea of how effective a campaign is.
The numbers, of course, should increase notably after a campaign launch. If they don’t, that’s red flag #1 that your campaign needs tweaking.
The page(s) you should focus on are the ones most relevant to the campaign — often that’s your landing page, but it may be a product page, article, or your home page.
#2 Repeat Visits
Your metrics will tell you the number of new sessions on your page, which, in comparison to the total number of visits, tells you how many hits are from repeat visitors.
The total number of visits minus repeat hits equals the number of unique visitors.
You may want to focus on new sessions — and pulling in new visitors is important. Don’t ignore the number of repeat visitors, however.
These recurring visitors show that people don’t just click once and forget about it — they come back. Sometimes repeatedly! That’s important. You want more of that.
If you can find a pattern in the metrics showing where most repeat visitors make their first visit from, it’s worth making a note of it and using that information for future campaigns.
#3 Channel Specific Visits
Use this metric to investigate just where your visitors (repeat or otherwise) are coming from. There are four primary channels: direct, organic (ie people who found you via a search of their own), referral (eg from a link in another site’s blog post), and social media.
These metric will help you see which areas are doing well, and which need improvement.
For example, if your social media numbers are high but your organic numbers are low, you should keep doing what you’re doing on social media — but your SEO needs work.
#4 Conversion Rate
This is probably the most import metric. No matter what kind of campaign you’re running, the goal is some kind of conversion.
With some campaigns, the conversion rate might be based on lead generation — the number of people sign up using a web form. In others, it may be sales, event registration, or article shares.
If your campaign isn’t bringing in a good conversion rate despite bringing a high number of visitors, you’ll need to look closely at what’s going wrong.
Is your ad misleading? Is it unclear what you want visitors to do when they click to your site? Do your prices need to be more competitive? Is your campaign locally-focused (such as a local event) but reaching people far away?
What’s a good conversion rate? For any given campaign, your goal should be no less than 10%. You may not hit 10% every time, but you should aim for that — or more — every time.
#5 Bounce rate
Here’s why your total number of visits doesn’t matter that much in the end: A number of visitors will leave within a short amount of time without clicking on anything. These visitors make up the bounce rate.
Bounce rate is usually defined as someone who comes and goes without taking any action, such as signing up for the newsletter or making a purchase.
Keep in mind, however, that if what you are offering is informational, such as blog posts, what may come up as a “bounce” may be a visitor who read your content and left satisfied.
Bounces like these may come back and/or tell others about you. So don’t worry too much about a high bounce rate in those cases.
If you’re running a lead generation or sales campaign, however, the bounce rate tells you how effective your landing page (or wherever your campaign leads people) is.
If visitors are being led right to your signup page and not signing up, you’ll need to rework your campaign.
#6 Customer Retention
Similar to repeat visitors, only this metric looks at the number of visitors who become customers and stay customers.
That could mean they subscribed to something without unsubscribing, come back to purchase from you more than once, or purchase/obtain updates to your product.
Some products will naturally have a lower customer retention rate, simply because they tend to be purchased once only, and/or have a long life before they need replacement.
In such cases, you would want to encourage customers to recommend your product to other people in addition to campaigns targeting new customers.
If you sell a variety of products, especially if the products need relatively frequent replacing such as food or beauty products, customer retention should be a major priority for your business.
#7 Lead to Close
The lead to close ratio takes a closer look at your conversion rate, especially as it pertains to lead generation.
Some campaigns are successful at generating a huge number of leads, but only very few convert. This can sometimes happen when you offer something a lot of people want for free in exchange for their contact information.
Free stuff — or lead magnets — can be effective, of course, but if you’re seeing that people have a strong tendency to sign up for the freebie and unsubscribe soon after, you need to reevaluate.
You may be either giving too much away (a comprehensive guidebook, as opposed to a useful guide that can be supplemented, for example) or you’re not focusing enough on your product (if you’re giving away a free e-cookbook, but your products are writing seminars, there’s a good chance a lot of people signing up for the recipes won’t sign up for your seminars).
In any event, your lead to close numbers are an important part of understanding your marketing ROI.
#8 Cost Per Lead
When you break down the approximate cost of each lead, it gives you a good sense of your marketing ROI.
To calculate your cost per lead, take your monthly campaign costs, including time and peripheral costs, and divide it by the number of leads generated.
So, if you spent $1,000 on a marketing campaign and generated 100 leads, each lead costs you $10.
That might be well worth it — or not, depending on your lead to close rate, as well as things like average amount spent per close.
If the average amount per lead (taking into account the number of leads that don’t close) is well more than $10 you’re getting a good ROI.
Taken together, these metrics will give you a pretty clear measurement of the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
If you haven’t used multiple metrics to measure before, you might find some unexpected results — including hidden problems that can be addressed.
Do you pay close attention your marketing metrics for your business? Share your measuring tips in the comments!
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