44% of B2B marketers rate the effectiveness of their strategy as a three out of five.
If you’re like me, this statistic makes you think one thing and one thing only:
A lot of marketers are confused.
A three, being right in the middle, tells us almost nothing about what marketers actually think of their strategies. It only tells us that (1) many marketers don’t think their strategy is total trash, (2) many marketers don’t think their strategy is exceptional, and (3) many marketers are confused about how effective their current tactics actually are.
And the same can be said for B2C marketers.
Part of that confusion can be tied to the fact that marketers are unsure of which metrics to measure for different marketing campaigns.
After all, social media requires that marketers pay attention to engagement for the sake of retargeting. PPC lives and breathes on the click. And an SEO strategy revolves around domain authority and rankings.
But all of these are ‘leading indicators.’ Yes, they contribute toward driving revenue. However, you can’t tie any of them directly back to new cash on the bottom line.
So here’s why the metrics you measure should ultimately revolve around the goals you’ve set.
Every marketing campaign is different. That means the metrics you measure should be as well. Brand awareness, lead generation, engagement, and sales are typically toward the top of each marketer’s list.
I’m willing to bet that these top priorities are similar to your own marketing goals. After all, the whole purpose behind your marketing campaigns is to increase sales and revenue for the business you’re helping.
And that brings us to the golden rule of marketing metrics.
If a strategy isn’t accomplishing your end goal, stop. Period.
Many marketers fall victim to believing in vanity metrics that don’t actually help their bottom line or move toward their bottom-line goals. Things like traffic generation, click-through rate, and the number of impressions.
These metrics don’t directly increase your business’s revenue. So you don’t want to use them to determine how effective your marketing strategy is (or isn’t).
However, these ‘vanity metrics’ can also make great indicators of where people are entering and leaving your funnel. They’re helpful to spot micro-conversions as they unfold.
These are the little steps that people take toward actually accomplishing your marketing end goal. A conversion doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s the culmination of a lot of little commitments that add up over time.
And while they aren’t useful as a final determiner of the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, they are effective as guiding lights to tell you if you’re moving in the right direction.
Here’s how ‘macro’ conversions and ‘micro’ conversions differ:
Both of these metric types are useful. But they serve far different purposes.
Once you’ve determined what your end marketing goal is, you’re ready to dive into the specific marketing metrics that matter for each different strategy — from White Walker cold traffic to Dragon’s breath hot.
First, we’re going to discuss strategies and metrics that revolve around generating traffic to your website that’s cold as ice.
Creating ads for blog posts on your website is a great way to generate leads from the traffic you already have flowing in on a daily basis.
Your goal with blog posts isn’t so much to make sales. That’s a huge leap for someone reading a simple post to get a little information about a topic. Most likely, they’re not ready to buy just yet.
Instead, focus on top-of-the-funnel metrics like traffic generation and page engagement. Advertisements like this provide an excellent strategy for driving ice cold traffic to your website.
When running blog post ads, here are the metrics you should track.
Every keyword phrase is different.
Some keyword phrases indicate that the searcher is looking for advice. Others, how to do something. And others still, how to purchase.
In this section, we’re going to focus on low-commitment (or ice cold) keyword phrases. These searchers aren’t interested in buying yet, but they are exploring things within your niche to become more familiar with the topics, problems, and pain points.
These are often “how to” phrases, such as “how to generate leads online.”
They might be open to the prospect of working with you. But right now, they are just looking at their options.
When you’re targeting these keywords, here are the metrics you should pay attention to.
98% of consumers bring their mail inside the same day it's delivered, and 77% sort through it immediately.
Even if people throw your direct mailer away, they saw your brand name, logo, and message. And that means they’re more likely to think of you later on if they ever require your services. Before the direct mailer, that wouldn’t have been the case.
Of course, you can use direct mailers to only target your customers or clients. But here, we’re discussing high-level direct mail campaigns. In other words, sending direct mail to a lot of people who may or may not be interested in what you have to offer.
When Uber Eats and Airtasker were launching in Australia, they’d send these flyers straight to people’s mailbox.
Here are the metrics that matter most when sending high-level direct mail campaigns.
Unfortunately, display ads are easy to miss.
In fact, on Facebook, in-feed ads are viewed 130% longer than display ads on the right. And most display ads end up in sidebars or at the top or bottom of a website.
So what’s a marketer to do?
Sadly, most people are too used to ignoring display ads, which means that the only way to grab their attention is to use an image, color, or sales copy that immediately stands out.
Even though marketers like yourself can use these ads to retarget people who are interested in your product or service, this category still falls under ice-cold traffic. The main reason is that, with display ads, a lot of people will see your brand name, logo, and message, but won’t click.
And that’s okay, so long as you’re using the right metrics to measure your progress.
Here are those metrics.
Now, we’ll turn our attention to the strategies and corresponding metrics that generate lukewarm traffic and leads. This falls right in the middle, between Dragon hot and White Walker cold.
Sort of like the Mother of Dragons, for instance.
You can create a piece of content that serves as a lead magnet to generate leads for your business. This is content that visitors only receive once they opt-in. Usually, the content is gated and has a CTA that looks something like this.
There are two categories of people you should target with lead magnets.
First, people who know about your business but have never committed. And second, people who don’t know who you are.
While you can generate leads from both categories, you’ll want to focus on the first to get the best ROI since they’ve already shown a marginal degree of interest in your product or service.
When you use this strategy, here are the noteworthy metrics.
Certain keyword phrases indicate that people are interested in the service you offer, but haven’t yet decided to work with your company. If you target these keyword phrases that have a medium level of commitment, you can steal leads from competitors and increase your business’s bottom line.
These phrases often look something like this:
These searchers might not know about your company yet, but they’re familiar with companies similar to yours.
Ultimately, they are looking for someone to work with, but they haven’t decided who. That’s the most important point in the buying process for you to show your face. You can target these phrases by using PPC or SEO. Either way, doing so is a great way to generate additional leads.
Here are the metrics worth measuring when targeting medium-commitment keyword phrases.
Perhaps the best thing that social media has to offer marketers is the ability to target audiences with relentless focus.
Most people don’t immediately think of social media when they hear the word “retargeting.”
But on social media, you can target people who are interested in your product or service, retarget them, and even create audiences that are similar to your most successful audiences. Though human psychology is often confusing, social media makes it simple.
Here’s a Shopify ad that recently showed up on my Facebook news feed.
I was retargeted with this ad because I recently started a Shopify store and then closed it. This ad represents Shopify’s effort to reacquire me as a paying customer.
There are lots of ways to use social media advertisements, targeting cold traffic and warm traffic alike. That makes this strategy lukewarm.
Here are the metrics that matter most when you market on social media.
Finally, we’ll take a look at the metrics and strategies that work to generate traffic as hot as Dragon’s fire.
The rate of cart abandonment is absurdly high, sitting at 69.23%. So plan for it. Use it as a chance to regain a fleeing customer.
And most likely, they left for one of these reasons.
Costs that climbed too high, forced account creation, or a complicated checkout process are among the top reasons that people abandon their cart. So focus on those top reasons when trying to recapture cart abandoners. Offer a discount. Make the account creation process easy. Or simplify the checkout process.
I recently added items to my cart from Pura Vida Bracelets and then left. Immediately, they sent me this message on Facebook Messenger.
And they even added a discount.
One thing’s for sure: People who abandoned their cart are more interested in your product or service than brand new visitors or non-brand aware visitors. If you try to recapture cart abandoners with some additional incentive, your conversion rate will surge.
Here are the metrics to track when you do so.
Finally, we come to the high-commitment keywords.
These are the phrases that people type into Google when they’re ready to buy, try, or opt-in. In other words, they're ready to convert. And they are probably some of the most important keyword phrases for your business to rank for.
They are phrases like “lead generating service.”
These prospects aren’t looking for education or a “how to” article. They’re looking to buy. End of story.
And they are every marketer’s dream.
Here are the metrics worth listening to when targeting high-commitment keywords.
In many ways, your email list is the warmest audience of all. In fact, 80% of retail professionals claim that email marketing is their best resource for customer retention.
Why is that the case?
Because you have direct access to people who have either already bought from you or have already opted in. And I don’t need to tell you that existing customers are far more valuable than new customers.
When targeting customers as good as old friends with your email marketing, here are the metrics that matter most.
Many marketers are bad at measuring the effectiveness of their strategy. Is it working? Is it not working?
How can you tell?
The answer lies in metrics. Not just any metrics, but the right metrics at the right time. Metrics that tell a story and help you determine how your marketing tactics are impacting the business’s bottom line. Metrics that help you find, diagnose, and solve existing problems.
And if you want to easily remember which measurements matter most for different marketing.