How to Measure Digital Marketing Metrics and ROI

B2B Marketing


Research shows that email, social media, and websites are the top three channels for engaging with consumers. Whether they’re using mobile or desktop, the majority of your customers use these channels to learn and compare products and services. They are also best used for engaging with the customer before and after purchase. If executed correctly, all three can work together to form a smooth, positive experience. And after all of your hard work creating the campaign, you as a marketer are tasked with measuring the metrics and return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns. But measuring your digital campaigns’ ROI can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. With so many numbers out there to crunch, how do you know which ones to focus on?

You can use soft metrics like impressions, engagement, and visitors which are essential for shaping your marketing strategy into a winning game plan. Or you could focus on hard metrics, like spend and revenue, and are typically where your execs’ will focus. Both hard and soft metrics feed into calculating ROI

You can think of ROI metrics as three separate categories: front-end, middle, and back-end.

  • Front-end metrics, such as click-through-rate (CTR) and engagement ratio, tell you if your content is relatable enough to inspire action by your target audience.
  • Middle metrics note measures like conversion rate and bounce rate that show you the number of leads inching closer to client status.
  • Back-end metrics like pipeline and revenue show you not only how your marketing efforts have been hitting the company card but also how much revenue you’re receiving in return. These are the usual metrics for measuring your financial ROI.

In this blog, I’ll cover how to measure digital marketing metrics and ROI for email, social media, and website landing pages. 

Email

Email has come a long way since its inception—the year when Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff” swayed all of the hips—to where we see it today, and it continues to be a primary source for brands to engage with their consumers. Whether it’s through newsletters, inquiries, or purchase confirmations, email remains a quality avenue of information and communication between consumers and brands. Thanks to new advances in technology and email marketing services, we now have more efficient ways to carry out campaigns and access to various ROI metrics.

If you’ve run an email campaign before, then most of the following metrics should be familiar to you. But as email evolves, it’s important to keep an eye out for new updates and features—there just might be something new to add to your reports. Don’t forget! Incorporate tracking parameters in your emails, so you know where to attribute any leads and successes.

When measuring the initial success of your email campaign, especially when using A/B testing, pay attention to the following:

Bounce Rate. Are there any emails that failed to send? Remove false emails from your list, so you don’t continue paying for inactive addresses. Plus, a high bounce rate will count negatively towards your campaign and might even label you as SPAM.

Open Rate. Are your emails not getting opened? Test a new headline (or several) to catch their attention.

Unsubscribe Rate. Hello, darkness, my old friend. This metric is an easy way to determine something is wrong. If your consumers are getting turned off by your content, at any rate really, put on your Batman mask and investigate.

Clicks & Click-Through-Rate (CTR). How many clicks are your emails receiving? Are they clicking your links or images? Give your consumers a reason to engage with your email.

Conversions & Conversion Rate. How many people are following through to your email’s end goal? You can have a high open and click rate, but if you’re not converting, then there is room for improvement. You might need to make some adjustments to your email and/or your landing page.

Leads. Add up the number of conversions earned on your emails and note any replies and regularly engaged subscribers. These are your leads—follow up with them!

Though these are important metrics, they may not be your campaign’s sole reason for success. If your campaign’s goal is to bring in pipeline (expected future business) and revenue (dollar dollar bills), the success of these metrics depends on bringing in as many conversions as you can to generate a monetary return.

Ask yourself these questions once you have a fair amount of data from your campaign and/or tests:

  • How many of these conversions became quality leads that led to pipeline? What is my pipeline-to-cost ratio for this campaign? For this quarter, month, etc.?
  • How much revenue did this campaign generate? At what rate?
  • How much did each email, open, click and conversion cost? How much did it earn?
  • Where can this campaign improve to help these ROI metrics grow?

All of these metrics give you a solid summary of your email campaign with great detail to make adjustments and record ROI.

Social Media

Remember the early days of Facebook when you were so stoked the first time you hit double-digit likes? Triple-digit? For new brands and small business, likes were hard to come by at that time, and it’s probably not getting any easier. If it wasn’t already apparent that Facebook and other social media platforms are legitimate advertising spaces, Facebook recently announced that they are testing the removal of organic page posts in a few countries. Organic content reach has been running out of steam for years now, so this move essentially brings business pages to a “Go Paid or Go Home” mentality.

With Facebook ads, in particular, coming to a wild west shootout between brands, where bullets are replaced with four bits (look it up), it’s going to be very important that your marketing campaigns take precise aim rather than a good ol’ shotgun blast. Build on your strategy and take a deep look at what has or hasn’t been working in your previous campaigns. Facebook’s Insights tool offers a good amount of data from your page as a whole to an individual post.

Before you spend dinero (that’s money) on your next campaign, take a look at these metrics:

Engagement and engagement ratio. Are people reacting, commenting and sharing your boosted posts? The #1 obstacle to consumer engagement is irrelevant content, so find out what it is that gets them to act on your posts.

Clicks and click-through-rate. Engagement on your ad is fantastic, but are consumers actually clicking on your call to action? Choose the route that gets more people to your website over the one receiving plenty of blind-shares and likes.

Though Facebook Insights are great for front-end metrics like engagement ratio, clicks, and click-through-rate (CTR), you won’t have much data on conversions & conversion rate from your website. To really maximize the data—and your spend—out of Facebook, be sure to implement the Facebook pixel on your website for “conversion tracking, optimization, and remarketing.” The way your Facebook fans convert on your campaign depends on what goal you set. If the goal of your campaign is to fill out a form on your landing page, for example, the pixel will record that as a social conversion. These goals are triggered by actions on your Facebook page, and a follow through on a call to action (CTA).

To see how many leads you generate from your social marketing efforts, be sure to include tracking parameters in the URL you are advertising. From here you can see which campaign(s) bring in the best lead conversion rate. With this data and tracking in place you can determine how Facebook and other social platforms are contributing to your pipeline, therefore allowing you to gather more data on pipeline to cost and the cost/earning per click and post.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How many of these conversions became quality leads that led to pipeline? What is my pipeline-to-cost ratio for this campaign? For this quarter, month, etc.?
  • How much revenue did this campaign generate? At what rate?
  • How much did each impression, click and conversion cost? How much did it earn?
  • Where can this campaign improve to help these ROI metrics grow?

You’ll want to look and pull reports from both Facebook Insights and your web analytics platform to get the full picture of your paid social campaign’s success.

Website Landing Pages

Consider your website as a digital Disneyland: it’s where the magic happens. Though, instead of a shirtless giant mouse in short shorts selling you an overpriced funnel cake, it’s where you send your potential customers to find quality content and information on your products or services.

Be sure to take a look at these metrics on your website analytics using your tracking parameters:

Traffic. See how many visits your landing page received from your campaigns.

Unique & Returning visitors. This is the number of individuals who came to your page and how many kept coming back!

Total page views. Note any other pages visited on your website after your landing page.

Time spent on your page. Not only can you see how long people are on your website, but it also lets you know if your visits are engaged or immediate exits.

Conversions. Whether it’s an online purchase or signing up for an event, find the value generated from users that complete a goal on your website.

Use these initial metrics to gather details as you go further down the lead conversion funnel from campaigns, to website, and finally to revenue. Pulling consumers in through email and social is the first step, now you have to retain them. Pay attention to the bounce rate and exit rate on your landing page or website from these campaigns. Are people exiting at a high rate without converting? Might be a hint that you need to make some adjustments to your site. You could have a significant campaign that falls flat if your landing page doesn’t match your consumer’s expectations.

Is your website generating newsletter signups and email inquiries? These are leads! Perhaps a consumer came through a campaign and didn’t convert initially, but they came back to your website later for more information. Signing up for a newsletter or filling out your contact form can become a potential lead for you to continue your marketing.

Your website also has metrics that your social and emails may not: direct sales attribution. With transactions and revenue records on your site, you can see how much money your campaigns and website are generating. This gives you an immediate sense of ROI, but these are not the only two metrics to look at when it comes to money. If you operate through eCommerce, make sure to look at your cart retention rate. How many people are following through with their purchase after placing an item in their cart? Be sure to always test every function of your campaign, including following through on a purchase, to make sure that everything is working.

Take a look at the funnel visualization data to follow your buyer’s journey on your site. Your campaigns can bring you revenue outside of your initial promotion, so it’s a significant additional metric to see which campaigns and actions are contributing to conversions and sales. Here you can measure each channel’s contribution to your website’s success and compare it to your social metrics and email metrics.

Moving Forward

As marketers, it’s vital for us to pay attention to every detail to ensure that the customer journey is flawless, enjoyable, and shareworthy enough for them to recommend their experience. When presenting campaign data, create your reports using high-level reviews to provide knowledge on where the financial investment is going and how exactly it’s bringing a return. Email and social campaigns work directly with your website for a smooth customer experience—if you do it right. Not only do these metrics help you determine your overall ROI, but it also enables you to find room for improvement on each channel.

What metrics do you measure for your digital channels? How have you adjusted these as innovation happens in the digital space? I’d love to hear about your best practices in the comments.



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