If you engage in any sort of marketing, you need to measure how things are going. Hubspot offers some great advice on how to measure your inbound marketing results. Whether you use this advice or something else, you must have a plan for measuring your results for email and other marketing tools.
Know Your Goals:
Obviously, inbound marketing can have different purposes. Attracting inquiries about your accounting services is different from trying to get someone to download your new accounting software. In short, you need to spell out your inbound marketing goals if you haven’t done so yet. If your goal with an email marketing campaign is to get people registered for a free Webinar, then the conversion rate is naturally of critical importance.
Six Things You Should Be Measuring:
Any advertising channel and any individual campaign bears monitoring to see if the results justify the ongoing investment. There are six things that the market experts at HubSpot suggest you should measure, if you aren’t doing it now.
- Click-through rate – What percentage of your readers click a particular link, Google ad, or banner ad? What percentage of people click on your sponsored content?
- Conversion rate – What percentage of readers take the requested action, such as downloading an e-book or signing up for a new mailing list? Similar questions could be asked of Facebook ad campaigns, Google ads, and so on.
- Bounce rate – How many of your emails come back? The rate should be extremely low if you are using a reputable mailing list company. You also need this information to clean in-house lists over time.
- List growth rate – How big is your mailing list compared with previous quarters, months, or years? You should also track your unsubscribe rate.
- Email share/forwarding rate – Your main goal is to get someone to take direct action, but it also helps your cause when people forward or share a message. How many email recipients do that?
- Overall ROI – How much return are you getting for your investment? The exact measure of ROI varies with marketing method, and there are several email marketing measures you might use. How many e-book sales are you getting from a mailing list, versus how much the list cost?
If you have a blog, you also want to know how many people visit, how often they share posts, and how many visitors turn into leads. The goal is to find out how many people jump from the blog page to sign up for an offer or a newsletter. This takes a bit of digging using HubSpot or another Web analytics tool. Once you know how to do this you can find out how your blog works over time. Is it generating traffic to other pages? Open topic
You should dig into those blog metrics and figure out which posts get the best results. Company A may get killer results from mini case studies while Company B gets the best results from short how-to posts. You need to know this so you can plan future posts that will continue to deliver a decent return on investment.
How to Use the Numbers:
Calculate the ROI for your email campaign and each of your online marketing efforts. This is not exactly an arcane craft. As long as you know what you spend on X and how many people do Y because of it, you can calculate an ROI.
Going back to that blog, maybe you farm out your blogging and spend $200 a month on posts. The posts cost $2,400 over the previous twelve months and lead to 50 people requesting a free consultation about their Web copy. Now you know that the blog costs $48 per lead. Is it worth the money?
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