Measuring your return on investment (ROI) from marketing is no easy task, especially in the digital space. Measuring digital marketing is as much about monitoring, testing, and tweaking as it is about researching and planning. That’s why identifying a specific set of digital marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) is vital. While these will vary a bit depending on your objectives, the core KPIs remain the same for any business focusing on inbound marketing through digital channels.
Here are the three most important digital marketing KPIs to measure for your inbound marketing campaigns:
1. Acquisition & Customer Journey Data
It’s tempting to measure success by website visits and conversions. But looking at a landing page’s visitor count only tells a chapter of the story. How did the visitor arrive there? From an email, blog post, an organic search engine listing, or social media referral? What happened when the visitor landed on the page? Did they bounce away, or did they click on a call-to-action? Did they return to the site after their first visit?
Uncovering your customer conversion path means isolating events to see how customers are interacting with the channels that lead to your site, and how they’re engaging with the content you’ve put in place to generate a lead, such as premium offers.
For example, maybe your site has a popular landing page and it has a 25% conversion rate. Prospects are finding that page through SEO, social media, and paid advertising (retargeting). 75% of those conversions are coming from the SEO channel, another 20% are coming from paid ads, and only a handful are coming from social media. What that tells you is the call-to-action or content offer for the page is a keeper, but the cost of the social media promotion and paid advertising campaigns aren’t worth it.
2. Customer Value
If you have marketing automation software in place that tracks LTV (life-time value of a customer), it will show you which customers generate the highest ROI on your marketing investment. Adjusting underperforming campaigns that focus on channels that deliver customers with the highest LTV is a tactical move; it will generate more ROI over the long term. Digging deeper with digital marketing KPIs that ties customer value with inbound campaigns lets you evaluate the value of the lead being created vs. looking at traffic and conversion numbers alone.
If you don’t have software in place that calculates lead quality, there are various tools available. HubSpot's Lead Scoring tool, which gives each lead a score and adds or subtracts points as they move along your carefully planned out user journey. Lead Forensics also empowers your sales team to identify high-value leads.
3. Conversion KPIs
This one ties in with both of the above KPIs. If your content is ranking or your ads and emails are gaining clicks, that’s great, but are they resulting in conversions? Perhaps your blog posts drive over 50% of your website traffic, but can you tell if they’re generating conversions?
There are a variety of tools to help you track conversion KPIs, but these are a must-have for digital marketing KPI measurement:
- Google Analytics Goals. There are templates available and Google Support provides an entire library of helpful information.
- Call Tracking. Service providers like CallRail, CallTrackingMetrics, and RingDNA can help you include phone calls in your conversion KPI data.
- Email Conversion Tracking. Email marketing as the highest ROI of ALL marketing channels. While most CRMs and automation tools integrate email services and tracking, many companies don’t test and measure email marketing to make improvements.
Setting up goals in Google Analytics can be a bit overwhelming; should you use tag manager, smart analytics, or another option? Use this simple guide from Search Engine Journal if you’re just getting started with Google Analytics. If you’re a seasoned Google Analytics user and want to step up your game with conversion tracking, check out the latest Databox integration.
The purpose of call tracking is so much more than tracking the number of leads coming in through the phone lines; a sophisticated system can tell you which channels are driving the most calls. Look for a tool that uses DNI (dynamic phone number insertion) and allows you to see revenue or lead quality as it relates to every ad, search engine, or social media channel.
Email Conversion Tracking
Email conversion tracking has come a long way over the past several years. Not only can you analyze open rate, click-through-rate, and bounce rate, but marketing automation tools give you a glimpse into “unengaged subscribers,” lead-to-customer conversion rate data, and more. By using email conversion tracking to identify high-value segments, you can define the stages that match the typical flow of prospects who take action toward your desired outcome once the email lands in their inbox. Once these segments are identified, campaigns and content can be developed to target conversions within those segments. Aligning email marketing campaigns with inbound marketing will deliver far more ROI than a blanket approach.
Marketers who use these three core digital marketing KPIs to identify high performing channels, high-value conversion points and the best online opportunities for high-value customers can eliminate low performing marketing expenses. Using these KPIs to identify granular data such as the best channel, the conversion stage, the amount of time in that stage, and the number of touchpoints required for a conversion, marketing teams can cut unnecessary expenses and maintain budgets for high-performing campaigns that lead to a growing, thriving business.
Diona is a managing partner at Knowmad. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing strategy, project management, brand management, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and website design.