Any smart marketer knows that creativity is just half of the job. The other half? Measuring the effectiveness of that creativity.
Marketing metrics are the ultimate way to analyze the results of your marketing objectives and prove to your managers that the efforts you and your team are putting into a campaign or project are worth both the company’s time and money. They’re also key for measuring which marketing efforts reach your desired audience and deliver the desired results.
Marketing metrics are measurable values that marketing teams use to prove the effectiveness of projects and campaigns across marketing channels. There are appropriate metrics for each marketing channel that a team uses, such as social media, email, and more.
Not all metrics are created equally; depending on what area of marketing you work in, some will mean more than others, especially when it comes to your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs evaluate the success of your marketing activities, or the success of an organization altogether.
Just about anything can be measured in one way or another, but marketing metrics aren’t meant to be broad. They should be designed to measure key aspects of every campaign you run.
Every campaign should be measured for success, but it’s a matter of measuring that success that sometimes gets marketers caught up.
It may bring some comfort to know that not all, if any, of these metrics need to be calculated by hand. With the help of marketing automation software, marketers can easily measure the impact of a campaign across segments and channels on their marketing dashboard.
Website traffic metrics are some of the most important metrics for your team to track. The more traffic you receive, the better chance you have to make a sale. Marketers tracking these metrics may create materials like landing pages, website copy, blog posts, and downloadables that provide value to prospects, leads, and new and existing customers.
Here’s a look at some metrics you can use to measure the success of these projects:
This documents the complete number of visits your website receives. This number should be growing steadily, and it’s important to pay attention to any trends you see over time. For example, if at around the same time you release a new campaign you notice your site visits plummet, it might be time to call a meeting and identify any problems.
If the time period around that campaign instead shows an extreme increase in visits, it could be helpful to take a look at what made that campaign different from others. This number should be reported on a monthly basis.
Example: 150,000 viewers/total views/total page visits.
This number documents the number of individuals who visit your website. A person who visits your site multiple times will only be counted once.
This number indicates overall awareness of your site, but beware of tracking this number as a hard metric; cookies are specific to browser and device, meaning that if someone visits your site on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and their mobile browser, they’ll be counted as a new unique visitor each time. This number should be reported on a monthly basis.
Example: 10,000 unique visitors on site.
This metric gives you and your team an idea of how popular a particular page is. The higher the number of views on a specific page, the more important it is to compare that page to others and note the differences so that you can continue to create more pages that will be equally as successful. This number should be reported on a monthly basis.
Example: 1,100 views/page impressions
Keeping an eye on this metric can give insight to quite a few things. Watching the number of returning visitors, for example, can indicate the interest that marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are taking in your product or service or the usability of your website. An MQL is someone who has indicated interest in your brand based on the marketing efforts of your team. Therefore, the number of new visitors can help your team determine brand awareness.
Example: 15% retention
Monitoring this number keeps you and your team in the know about how well your call-to-action buttons are working. CTAs should be designed to ask for the reader to take action, which can help you further determine who may be a marketing qualified lead and bring them further into the funnel.
Example: 5% conversion rate.
This is the length of all site visits combined on your domain. Tracking this metric helps contribute to the determination of how engaged a user is on your site. Because this number is an average, it’s important to note any extremes that take place that could skew your number.
Example: 3 minutes
Discovering how much time people are spending on a unique page can help your team gather information about how to move forward in creating other pages. If viewers aren’t staying on the page very long, it might be indicative of the quality of content on your page. If viewers are staying on a page for a long time, it could mean the same thing. Understanding the correlation between time spent on a page and the quality of content can help you and your team build better content in the future.
Example: 5 minutes
This metric gives your team an idea of how effectively you’re keeping your viewers engaged with your content. The better your content, design, and internal linking, the longer they’ll stick around. This should be reported on a weekly basis.
Example: 12 pages
Bounce rate refers to the number of people who immediately leave the first page they land on your website as a new visitor. This could be due to a number of things: poor user experience, slow load time, or simply uninteresting content. Taking the time to understand the cause of a high bounce rate could be tedious, but if you’re noticing it across multiple pieces, finding the answer to that question could be worth it in the long run. A page bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is considered excellent.
Example: 30% bounce rate
This number is used to measure the percentage of visitors that exit from your website after multiple sessions. Tracking this metric can lead you and your team to determine which pages have a high exit rate and, further, attempt to determine why that is and make the changes necessary to lower that number.
Example: 10% exit rate
The time your team invests in creating the gated assets may be well worth it, but you won’t know unless you measure this metric. Keeping track of the interest your viewers have in learning more about a topic can help you decide what kind of assets are most effective, if your content is engaging enough for readers to want more, or if your audience is looking for something different.
Example: 57 downloads
Although it would be nice for customers to remain loyal for an eternity, this doesn’t always happen. Over time, customers will eventually drop off, and it’s important to keep track of the rate at which they’re doing so. To find this number, divide customers lost in a given time period over your total number of customers, multiplied times one hundred. This should be reported on a quarterly basis.
Example: 2.5% loss/turnover
Great email content with the right call-to-actions can drive a high amount of traffic to your website. The success of your email marketing campaigns can be measured in the following ways:
While you may be sending your newsletter to hundreds, if not thousands of your subscribers, your open rate will tell you how many subscribers actually took the time to open that message. Open rates can help give email marketers an insight to how well their subject line copy is doing. A high open rate percentage means you’re doing something right.
Example: 25% open rate
Bounce rate will measure the amount of email addresses that didn’t receive your email.
Tracking bounce rates against open rates will give email marketers a better idea of the quality of their subscriber list.
The benchmark for bounced emails is less than 2%.
Your newsletters should have links that prompt readers to click through in order to read or learn more about a subject. The higher the click-through rate, the more enticing your copy is to your readers. Making your CTAs stand out with color or even a button can help increase this rate in order to bring more visitors to your website or blog.
Example: 2.5% CTR
A high number of unsubscribes can feel like harsh criticism, but it’s important to look at that number with optimism. Unsubscribes aren’t necessarily a bad thing – unsubscribes weed out the people that aren’t interested in your content, but that only helps shed light on those who are.
Example: 0.5% unsubscribe rate
Measuring your overall return on investment for your campaigns should be a no-brainer metric for email marketers. This can be measured by determining the money made from your campaign in sales, divided by what you spent, and then multiply by 100.
Tip: Interested in learning more? Check out these must-read email marketing statistics.
Tracking the percentage of new subscribers your newsletter gains can indicate the overall growth of your email list as well as display any significant trends or spikes that occurred. Noticing these trends can help email marketers take the next steps in analyzing the type of content they released those days, how they promoted their newsletter, and so on. This number should be measured on a daily basis.
Example: 5% subscription rate, week over week
Social media marketing is a matter of sharing ideas, articles, videos, and other types of content with a community of people who support your business. Below are some of the ways that you can measure social media marketing success.
Note that it’s important to check these metrics for as many platforms as your brand is present on, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Engagement is a broad umbrella term that essentially comes down to how much an audience is interacting with your account. The way an engagement metric is measured will vary by team, but it is often a sum of metrics such as likes, comments, and shares, as well as account mentions.
Example: 1,000 engagements
A measure of the total number of unique people who see your content. Reach should be used as the denominator in your social media measurement equations to contextualize the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
Example: 30,000 potential reach
This is the amount of times your content will appear in a social feed. This number grows regardless of whether viewers click, comment, or engage in any other way with your post. This metric should be tracked if you’re concerned with overwhelming or underwhelming your audience with your advertisement. Flooding their feed can put your brand in a negative light, while rarely appearing in their feed may not put your brand in any light at all.
Example: 50,000 impressions
This measures the amount of new followers your company’s social account accumulates in a given period of time. Keeping an eye on this as you release new marketing campaigns, use new hashtags, and participate in social media events like Twitter chats.
If you notice no growth, or even a loss in followers, action should be taken to improve the situation.
Note: While tracking your followers can be exciting, this metric is also sometimes considered a vanity metric.
Measuring the rate at which your followers grow can help your team better understand how successful some of your campaigns are. These are people who both can and have said they want to see what your company is posting.
Example: 3% follower growth rate
Social media is great for creating a brand presence, but it should also be working to drive traffic to your website. Measuring the amount of traffic that is coming from your social media accounts can be a great talking point when reporting to managers.
Related: Interested in diving deeper? Learn more about the social media metrics we covered in this section.
Building a list of these mentions and where they appear can help you determine the exposure your brand is getting. It’s not a bad idea to keep track of your competitors and where they’re being mentioned – if a source mentions them, they’re probably willing to mention you as well.
Your blog’s success can be measured in more than one way. While page visits and button clicks are nice, taking a look at how your pages are performing in comparison to others along the same line can help teams determine their future content marketing strategy and how to improve their already-existing content. Below are some of the ways that you can measure SEO:
Determining where your page ranks for the keyword it is attempting to rank for can give you insight into optimization opportunities for on-page SEO. Measuring this metric demonstrates the effectiveness and prominence of your website on Google. It’s well known that many people won’t go past page one of Google to find what they’re looking for.
Example: Position 9
Counting backlinks you earn from others helps you keep track of how valuable others are finding your content. Earning links from pages with a high domain authority will boost your SEO efforts, while those with low domain authority (like spam sites) may harm those efforts.
Example: 342 backlinks
Monitoring your domain’s authority measures the trustworthiness of your page. This number is measured on a scale of N/A to 100, and is influenced by the amount of external links that refer to your page and domain authority of those external links. The higher your authority, the more trusted your site is by Google.
Tip: The domain authority of your page can be found with the use of SEO software.
Traffic sources refer to how users are finding their way to your website or blog. A well-designed website and marketing strategy will have a mix of traffic sources, not just one channel. These sources are often broken down into four sections:
There are several things that someone in SEO can do to measure this metric, but regardless of the individual ways, this should be high on the priority list. Humans are impatient, and a slow load speed of your site can have a domino effect on the entire company. Keeping note of things like your web page size, time to first byte, and the time to full page load are imperative to your success with site speed optimization.
Example: 3 seconds
Banner ads, social media ads, and other advertising efforts need to be measured just as carefully as the organic results you’re getting. Below are some of the ways you can determine whether what you’re spending is worthwhile:
For those who partake in paid advertising, a CTR measures the amount of clicks your ad receives divided by the amount of views your ad receives. CTRs are generally low, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to prevent that. Using alternative ad copy, different designs, and providing better offers are all things that could improve that rate.
Example: 3% CTR
If you’re doing an ad campaign, measuring the cost per click (CPC) measures how much your company pays on average every time someone clicks on your ad. Doing further research to see what the average CPC is in your industry may give you a better idea of how to bid in the present, and how to shift in the future.
This will measure how cost-effective your campaigns are in regards to attaining new leads for your sales teams. This metric will help your team determine how much to spend on campaigns in the future as well as give insight to your return on marketing investment.
Example: 3 seconds
Just because you’re receiving thousands of views on an article doesn’t mean that each person is considered a marketing qualified lead (MQL). Determining this number can be done in several different ways.
Look at the number of people signing up for demos on your landing pages, who is subscribing to your email newsletter, taking one of your courses, or downloading an asset. Those are the people who are more likely to be interested in your product or service.Event marketing metrics
While digital marketing can pull quite a few leads for you, hosting events is just another way to pull in new leads, determine how interested those leads are, and how loyal your customers are. Below are some of the ways you can measure the success of your event marketing efforts.
Keeping track of the total amount of people registered for your event is a must. Comparing the event attendance to the total amount of registrants is an extremely important statistic, but this can’t be done without collecting the number of registrants first. Additionally, keeping track of the different types of tickets you sell and their amounts can help you get a better understanding of your audience for future events.
EXAMPLE: 300 registrants
Although you may have gotten 1000+ responses to your event, it’s important to measure the exact amount of people who checked in. Comparing those two numbers can help your team spot an unusual difference: why are people being lost between registration and check-in? If your event takes place over multiple days, be sure to measure this number by each individual date so that you can cross-check with other metrics accordingly.
Example: 276 attendees
Tracking mentions on social media means keeping note of when users directly call out your brand, either by handle or the unique hashtag you promote. Tracking these mentions will help you better understand how socially active your attendees are and how socially friendly your event was so that you can improve for next year.
Example: 456 mentions
Sending out a survey soon after your event takes place provides your team with the opportunity to collect information regarding their satisfaction with the event. When writing your post-event survey, know that the more questions with which you provide numeric response options, the better, as it will provide you and your team with more raw data to present to stakeholders.
Survey abandonment: In addition to measuring the satisfaction people experience from your event from a survey, it’s also important to measure the amount of people who took the time to complete the survey, versus those who began and never completed it. Taking a closer look at the length of your survey and the format of your questions may help you in the future if your abandonment rate is high.
Sending out a survey to those who attended your event to get a feel for how likely they are to recommend it to others. A net promoter score is based on a scale from 1-10, where scores of 9-10 are considered promoters, and scores of 0-6 are considered detractors. Subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters indicates the value your event brought to your attendees.
One of the most important key indicators of your event’s success is the amount of money you made from the event. Comparing this amount to your initial goals will help you set goals for future events.
Gross revenue won’t be very helpful until it’s compared to the cost of the event. Using this ratio helps teams understand the amount of profit or loss that was generated, and how to improve in the future.
Implementing promo codes with tracking links can help your team understand how people heard about your event and what type of people register. Creating promo codes can help you and your team gather more specific data for stakeholders to show what sorts of people registered for your event and from where.
Some events may be set up to encourage prospects to attend and engage with your sales team. If your event is set up for this, it’s important to actually track the number of qualified leads that walk through the door. Your company likely has specific criteria for what makes a lead, so be sure that the profiles you’re counting fit those criteria.
Example: 26 leads
After counting leads from your event, it makes the most sense to follow those leads along the funnel and determine how many of them become customers. Because of the many ways that a lead can move through the funnel, it’s important to state that the source of the lead is the event.
Example: 4 customers acquired
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of numbers in marketing to measure creativity, but it’s also important to apply that creativity to the numbers. Understanding that not all metrics are measured equally and that not all metrics carry the same weight as others is important when trying to present results accurately.
As your company grows and changes, the creativity your team has can be used to determine alternative metrics to measure that will show the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
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Daniella Alscher is a Brand Designer for G2. When she's not reading or writing, she's spending time with her dog, watching a true crime documentary on Netflix, or trying to learn something completely new. (she/her/hers)
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