Using Analytics to Measure Inbound Marketing Success

Got data? Use what you have, gather what you don’t, and use it all to develop a killer inbound marketing strategy.

Using Analytics to Measure Inbound Marketing Success

Nearly every marketing professional is looking for ways to better incorporate marketing automation into their daily activities. Whether it is a repetitive task or to create customized marketing campaigns for prospective customers, Marketing Automation can help. However, to truly understand what is and isn’t working for your marketing automation efforts, it is very important to outline some metrics which can measure success. Here are a few marketing automation metrics that will help to measure the results of your automation efforts:

Open Rate, Click-Through Rate & Unsubscribes: Marketing automation is most commonly used to automate and personalize emails sent to prospective customers. After spending time to customize email marketing campaigns, it is important to measure the individual success of each campaign. Open rate, click-through rate & unsubscribes are some metrics that can effectively measure the success of email marketing automation.

Your open rate is the percentage of recipients who opened the email. An email is considered to be opened only when HTML and images have been displayed. This isn’t always a good indicator of actual engagement from prospective customers, though.

A more useful metric to view engagement with emails is your click-through rate (CTR). The CTR is the percentage of people who are clicking on the links included within the content of the emails you send. When combined, the open rate and CTR are important marketing automation metrics because they indicate that the email body and the subject line has been well crafted. The more interesting and relevant the content is to the prospective customers, the more they will interact with your email to learn more about the content. A higher open rate and CTR is a good indicator that email marketing campaigns are yielding positive results. 

Unsubscribes are defined as the number of people who are unsubscribing from your mailing list. The unsubscribe rate should always remain under 1%. Anything above 1% indicates that the email marketing content isn’t relevant and interesting to the prospective customers. In such a case, categorize the types of emails that should be sent to different customers using list segmentation. The world doesn’t end if you have a send that is above 1%… but you should definitely dive deeper if so.

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Site Traffic: The ultimate objective of every email marketing campaign is to drive traffic from the email to your company website for conversions and to ultimately generate sales. A well-designed and executed email will lead to an increase in site traffic. This marketing automation metric is an indicator of the effectiveness and efficiency of the emails sent to prospective customers. It is just as important to create custom landing page content as it is to create customized emails that will be relevant and interesting to customers. Your emails should contain links that help interested customers navigate to relevant parts of your website. A single call to action is recommended to increase your conversion rates.

Comparing site traffic metrics such as time on page, bounce rate and goal conversions is a good starting point to measure effectiveness. You should also utilize link tracking to determine your best channels, sources and mediums. The setup process will vary depending on the Marketing Automation platform that you are using.

Sales Accepted Leads: SALs refer to those leads which have been qualified by the marketing department before being passed along and accepted by the sales team. The criteria for a SAL should be agreed on by both marketing and sales. This marketing automation metric indicates the health of your lead scoring techniques. It also shows how well the sales and marketing teams are aligned with one another.

Both marketing and sales should regularly review reports in regards to SALs. If the number of SALs are increasing, this is a good indicator that your marketing automation techniques are working. More leads being accepted by the sales team also shows that marketing and sales goals and requirements are aligned, thus ensuring better efficiency and productivity within your organization. If they aren’t aligned, having tough conversations as to why can only improve your marketing automation efforts going forward. 

Conversion Rate: We briefly mentioned conversion rate above but let’s dive into this metric. The conversion rate is one of the most effective marketing automation metrics for both the sales and marketing teams in any organization. Your conversion rate is a metric that should be used to compare the total number of visitors to a website with the number of visitors that convert into paying customers. Every visitor that comes to your website or landing pages is a prospective lead. Once that lead goes from unknown to known you must nurture and score the lead, before handing over the lead to the sales teams. A high conversion rate shows that your lead nurturing and lead scoring models are working.

Set up conversion goals which are aligned with organizational objectives and values. Conversion goals can be anything – signing up to a newsletter, filling out a form, purchasing a product/service etc. Your conversion rate helps in understanding the return on investment (ROI) that you are getting from your marketing automation efforts.

Cost per customer: The cost per customer is the entire cost incurred in creating a lead. Leads can be created via various methods, which will create a database of leads that may, or may not, convert. When leads are not nurtured properly you greatly reduce the chances of conversion. Leads that have been created but do not convert after a period of time should be considered disqualified. It then becomes your choice to remove or keep these leads for future nurture programs. With marketing automation customization, efforts such as lead nurturing and lead scoring becomes easier and helps in identifying hot leads as well as assisting in the lead conversion process. Effective utilization of marketing automation techniques will ensure that this marketing automation metric is, at a minimum, increasing revenue and ROI.

Revenue generated: This by far is the most important metric for any business. However, it can be difficult to tie back marketing efforts to revenue. The amount of revenue generated by each customer indicates the quality of leads generated via marketing channels (and marketing automation). High-quality leads generate greater amounts of profits. Using revenue, or more directly the sales pipeline, is used to identify any inefficiencies in your marketing automation efforts and rectify them. Tracking becomes even more important as its implementation can be used to track how much revenue is being generated from different channels. The marketing strategy can be realigned if one channel or source drives higher converting leads than others.

Marketing automation allows marketers to measure and analyze every single step of the customer’s lifecycle in a single platform. When implementing automation or updating your strategy it is very important to keep in mind the above marketing automation metrics. Proper execution of marketing automation can help in saving a lot of time and money, thereby increasing revenue, efficiency, and driving growth.

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