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Inbound Marketing

Measuring Inbound Marketing Success: Metrics that Matter

Important decisions are better made when based on facts, rather than opinions.  When it comes to marketing, how do you collect the “facts” you need?  
Answer: You measure your campaigns’ effectiveness with data we call “metrics”.  Metrics are simply measurements of use and other data points that can help pinpoint what’s working and what’s not.  
How do you know if Inbound Marketing is working?  The amount of qualified leads that come through the Inbound campaign, and are handed off to your Sales team, is the most important Inbound Marketing metric. (We’re saving the follow-up, “How do we measure ROI?” discussion for another post!)

Qualified leads are those leads that the Sales team can really work with, expecting to have a real shot at closing. These leads have been nurtured through the Inbound Marketing Funnel.  So, these leads know more about your ability to serve their needs, compared to “cold” prospects, and they should be more closeable.  

Metrics for Inbound Marketing come from a number of places, but most notably Hubspot’s Dashboard and company sales reports.  If you're not using HubSpot then a combination of Mailchimp reports, Google Analytics, SocialEars, Nimble, Highrise or Salesforce reports, plus company sales reports, will do the same job.

Your Inbound campaign is supported by other metrics including:

Landing pages/website

  • Bounce rate

  • Traffic/page views

  • Form submissions (compared with views)

Inbound workflow emails

  • Open rate

  • Click through rates on calls to action

  • Unsubscribe rates

Blog posts

  • Traffic/page views

  • Inbound links

  • Click through rates on calls to action

Social media

  • Click through rates on calls to action

  • Shares & retweets

  • Likes

Any call to action on your site

  • Traffic/page views

  • Click to submissions

Lead quality

  • Time to close

  • Number of leads required to close a new client

  • Deal size

  • Customer fit, indicated by the length of service

  • Overall sales coming through the Inbound Funnel

Establish Baseline Metrics

Establish baseline metrics that reflect your starting points. Then use the baselines to measure success after you launch your inbound campaign.  For example, if the Inbound campaign is expected to increase traffic to your website, state that as a goal of the Inbound campaign and watch for increased traffic post-launch.

Specific Metrics for Your Campaign

It is a good idea to keep track of the volume of content you publish for your Inbound program.  Keep count!  Then, keep your colleagues informed, as the volume of blog posts, articles, and e-mail messages increase.  They will want to know that the campaign is growing and that you have been a productive marketer, working on their behalf.

Monitor metrics like page views, downloads, shares, registrations, sign-ups and subscriptions, and clicks to subsequent calls to action that appear at the end of content you publish.  

Measure Amplification

Amplification is getting the word out and building buzz (and momentum) in your industry by leveraging interactions with business partners, excited customers, analysts, and influencers.  

Amplification means effective expansion of your brand name and messages beyond the channels you manage.  

Find out how brand advocates use their content to amplify your message.  Increased mentions and discussion of your products and services by third-parties should be counted and measured. They are also important indicators of amplification.

Obtain amplification metrics through social listening.  Social listening can be accomplished with great online tools like SocialEars, Social Inbox, HootSuite, and more.  If tools aren't your challenge, but, instead you need to know how to structure your company to listen well and respond, simply ask us. We can show you how to integrate social media amplification into your inbound marketing strategy.

Quality of Leads

A qualitative goal to measure is the quality of leads that emerge from the Inbound campaign.  Metrics for this type of analysis will vary by company and even by lead. The metrics could include time to close, size of the deal, or, customer fit, which may be indicated by the length of service.

Take It Easy

Keep in mind that the amount of available metrics runs deep - there are lots of data you could track!  But, there is no need to get overwhelmed. Instead, find out which metrics perform the best for you, and then drive campaign optimization based on those metrics.

Take Frequent Breaks

Don’t look at metrics too often.  You can definitely over-analyze!  For example, 1,000 clicks is a good sample size to measure for things like conversion rates.  At Lean Labs, we check some metrics every two weeks and other metrics only once a quarter or so.  

Take Credit

When your Inbound campaign is rocking and your company is growing, metrics give you the data to attribute the credit for the growth and success to Inbound Marketing.

The inbound marketing campaign may not be the only reason for growth -- but when your metrics show it’s a key reason, make sure sales and marketing departments (and your boss) knows it!

 

Written by Chris Leonard / October 2, 2013

is Content Marketer at Lean Labs, an expert in reaching audiences and developing engaging content. When not typing his fingers right off his hands, Chris puts to use his NCSAA coaching certificate as a semi-professional youth soccer coach.

Articles by Chris Leonard