How to Measure the Success of Marketing Campaigns

min read
How to Measure the Success of Marketing Campaigns

Today’s marketers have access to a wealth of data that provides insight into how well their marketing campaigns are performing. Even better, there are plenty of tools available for tracking that data in real time and making it actionable. If a strategy is falling short of expectations, marketers can make adjustments on the fly. If a tactic is delivering exceptional results, they can move fast to amplify it. 

Lately, marketers are feeling even more pressure to demonstrate that their campaigns are hitting the mark and delivering value to the business. Economic uncertainty has many companies looking for ways to trim costs, and marketing budgets are often among the first in line for cuts. Clear metrics that show campaigns are, in fact, meeting their goals and doing so efficiently can save budgets from the chopping block — and perhaps, even help marketing teams secure more dollars to spend.

So, it’s vital for marketers to understand how to measure the success of marketing campaigns — and how to do it is exactly what we’ll explore in this article.

What Does It Mean to Measure a Marketing Campaign’s Success?

If you’re new to marketing campaign measurement, here’s a quick explanation: It is a structured process for determining whether your marketing efforts helped you to reach your campaign goals. It involves using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), like the ones we present later in this post, to make a comprehensive assessment of your campaign’s performance.

Why It’s Important to Measure Marketing Campaigns

You need to know how your marketing campaign is performing while it’s in motion — otherwise, how can you make timely improvements? You don’t want to wait until the end of a campaign to discover you’ve been using messaging that’s falling flat with your target audience or learn there was a prime opportunity to focus more on a specific tactic that would’ve helped you turn more clicks into conversions.

The information you collect from the marketing campaign measurement process can also be used to optimize future campaigns. Plus, you can be confident that you’re not wasting money, and you’ll have evidence to show stakeholders your marketing campaigns are indeed making a positive impact.

7 Steps to Follow to Measure Marketing Campaigns

How do you get started with marketing campaign measurement? These seven steps can help you develop a solid approach for how to measure marketing campaign effectiveness. 

Step 1. Set Clear Goals

To track marketing campaign performance, you need to know from the outset what specific goals you’re working to achieve. Do you want to bring in more revenue, increase subscriptions, surface more leads for the sales team, improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs), or just raise brand awareness

Whatever your aim, consider using a formal technique like objectives and key results (OKRs) or SMART goals to help guide your efforts:

  • OKRs: You can set OKRs on a quarterly basis or some other time interval, like monthly, depending on your needs. As this article on OKRs (which includes examples) explains, objectives are goals and intents, while key results are time-bound and measurable milestones under those objectives. 
  • SMART: This acronym stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.” SMART goals are essentially the key results you’d set when using the OKR framework. SMART goals center on the question, “What is our goal?” while OKRs focus on two related questions, “What is our goal, and how do we reach it?”

How do you decide which method to use? This article can help provide some guidance. 

Step 2. Define KPIs

A key performance indicator (KPI) in marketing is a metric with a numerical value that you can use to measure how your campaign is performing toward your set goals. Conversion rate and bounce rate are examples of KPIs. Later in this post, we’ll look at these and several other KPIs you may want to track, depending on the objectives of your campaign and the key results you’re driving toward.

Step 3. Set a Campaign Time Frame

With your goals and KPIs in mind, your next step is to define a starting point and an end point for tracking and measuring data related to your marketing campaign. Whether your time frame is days, weeks, or even months, establishing a set time frame for measurement will help you monitor progress toward your goals and make adjustments as needed along the way to help ensure you hit your desired milestones.

Step 4. Create a Measurement Schedule

Measurement should occur throughout a campaign’s life cycle, so you’ll want to develop a measurement schedule for detecting changes over time. As noted earlier, if you wait until after a campaign has finished to measure its performance against your goals, you can miss vital opportunities to make changes that will improve outcomes.

Step 5. Choose the Right Marketing Tools

Make sure to use the right tools for marketing campaign measurement. If the campaign includes social media, for example, look to use analytics tools provided by the relevant platform such as Twitter or Instagram. 

Another tool, Google Analytics, is free and widely used by marketers. It’s very effective for determining how, why, and from where people are coming to your website.  

You might also decide to use a dedicated URL for your campaign so you can track performance in Google Analytics more easily. In that case, you’ll want to consider adding Google Campaign URL Builder to your array of marketing campaign measurement tools. (This article helps explain why.)

If a significant portion of your customer base calls to schedule appointments or purchases from you over the phone, you may want to consider call tracking. This software allows you to quantify the phone call conversions you drive with the same precision you measure your online conversions.

Step 6. Create Benchmarks

As noted earlier, don’t just measure the end results of a campaign. Create benchmarks throughout the measurement process and build them into your measurement schedule (see Step #4) so that you can gauge progress throughout the campaign and set goals that will lead you to success. 

Step 7. Build a Dashboard to Present Results

You’re working hard to measure your campaign’s success, and you’re gathering a lot of data along the way. You want to share your results with stakeholders and other key decision-makers, but you need to make sure they can easily comprehend them — and ideally, view the data in real time. Building a KPI dashboard can help you achieve this. Check out this article — and this one, too — for examples, templates and tips for creating a marketing dashboard for tracking KPIs. 

19 KPIs to Measure the Success of Your Marketing Campaigns

There are many, many KPIs you can use to measure the success of marketing campaigns. But you do need to be discerning and choose KPIs that are most relevant to your campaign’s goals. Here are 19 examples of KPIs you can use to measure marketing campaign success. 

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is a ubiquitous business metric showing how much you make from a specific action. If you spend $2,500 on a paid search campaign that brings in $10,000 in sales, that’s a $7,500 return or 300%. The higher your ROI the better your campaign. 

2. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS is a metric that provides a picture of the amount of revenue earned for every dollar you spend on ads. ROAS equals the revenue attributed to ads divided by the cost of those same ads.

3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Here’s an example to help explain this metric: If a customer pays $1,000 a year to subscribe to your company’s service, and they’re expected to remain a subscriber for four years, the CLV of that customer is $4,000. 

4. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the number of visitors to a website who are either converted into leads or customers during a campaign. If a marketing campaign generates 1,000 new website visitors and 100 of those visitors are subsequently qualified as leads, because they completed a specific target action, that results in a 10% conversion rate. 

5. Average Session Duration

Average session duration is metric that measures the average amount of time visitors spend on your website from when they first land on a webpage to when they leave or are inactive for more than 30 minutes. It’s calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions on your site by the total number of sessions. 

6. Cost Per Lead (CPL)

Simply put, CPL is the total cost to your business or campaign of generating one lead. A low CPL is ideal, as it means your marketing campaigns are efficient at driving leads.

7. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA is the total cost spent by your business to gain one new customer. In short, you’re measuring how much it costs to get a customer from the initial outreach phase to a conversion.

8. Website Traffic

Did traffic to your website increase once you started running your ads? If yes, measure that increase against the website traffic prior to your campaign to determine the actual impact of your advertising on driving traffic to your website.

9. Bounce Rate

A website visitor “bounces” if they land on your webpage and click away without checking out at least one other page. A bounce rate of 25% to 40% is generally considered excellent.

10. Visits By Traffic Source

In addition to tracking website traffic, you can pinpoint where visitors originated in the marketing and sales funnels. This allows you to attribute leads to displays ads, email campaigns, paid search, social media, or referrals, providing a more granular picture of campaign success.   

11. New Versus Returning Visitors

You can also measure visitors by type. Is this the first time someone has visited the site? If so, there’s a new lead to attribute to the campaign? Or are they a returning customer?

12. Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

If you know how many potential buyers have clicked through your PPC ad, you can calculate CPC. How much did you pay for the ad? And how many clicks did the ad generate? A low CPC means you’re doing a good job of hitting your target audience with relevant content and messaging.

13. Exit Rate

Sometimes confused with bounce rate, the exit rate measures the number of visitors who exit from a particular page on the website. Unlike the bounce rate, though, the exit rate measures user activity during web visits involving multiple page views (see #15 for more about that metric). 

To calculate the exit rate, divide the total number of exits from a page by the total number of visitors to that page. A high exit rate may indicate a problem with a particular page on your website. For example, the page may not feature relevant content or offer a clear CTA. 

14. Impressions

Here’s a good metric for determining whether your ad campaign is targeting the right channels. 

Impressions are the number of times people saw your ad. The higher the number of impressions, the more people viewed your ad which, in turn, means the channels you’re using are working for you. 

15. Pageviews

Google Analytics defines page views — or “pageviews” — as the total number of pages that visitors to a website view on that site. It includes repeat views of pages. 

Pageviews in Google Analytics are a useful metric for measuring the popularity and reach of a particular page or social media post. A unique pageview tracks the number of sessions in which a page was viewed at least once.

16. Social Media Engagement

Generally, this metric relates to how your customers and targets interact with your social content through comments, likes, shares, and reposts. You can typically track engagement metrics on social media networks’ analytics dashboards. Many third-party social media managers also provide tools for measuring engagement across social platforms. 

17. Email Open Rate

This metric is calculated based on the number of emails sent, divided by the number of recipients who opened those emails. So, if you send 1,000 emails and 200 recipients open the emails, that means your campaign has a 20% email open rate. 

What’s a good email open rate? According to Mailchimp, the average is 21.33%. 

18. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This metric measures the number of customers who click through to your website or app following their exposure to a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign. 

Campaign Monitor suggests a good CTR is between 2% and 5%.

19. Phone Call Conversions

If your customers often engage with you over the phone, you may want to consider tracking phone call conversions as well. A call tracking tool like Invoca will allow you to understand not just the quantity of phone calls your marketing campaigns drive — but how many result in sales and revenue (more on this in the next section). 

Measure Marketing Success with Invoca

Invoca’s call tracking software and conversation intelligence can be valuable tools for measuring the success of digital marketing campaigns and maximizing your marketing investments. And again, in uncertain economic times, it’s only more critical for marketers to have the ability to accurately measure the success of their campaigns.

Invoca offers a full picture of marketing campaign success by allowing marketers to see online and offline conversions side-by-side and attribute conversions made in phone conversations with precision. Invoca’s call tracking software is also invaluable for tracking leads and their progression through the conversion funnel. The data Invoca’s call tracking software generates can help marketers more accurately calculate KPIs like ROAS, ROI, CPL, and CPA.

Another way Invoca can help marketers measure the success of their campaigns is by allowing them to track and optimize pay-per-call efforts. Pay-per-call is a type of performance marketing where an advertiser pays publishers — also known as affiliates or distribution partners — for quality calls generated on the advertiser’s behalf. 

Pay-per-call campaigns help marketers expand their distribution and inbound call volume across multiple channels without a heavy lift. And with Invoca working in the background to track and attribute these phone calls to the correct source using a unique tracking phone number, analyzing and measuring the success of phone-based sales is as easy as tracking online conversions.

Additional Reading

Want to learn more ways to measure marketing success with Invoca? Check out these resources:

Download our Ultimate Guide to Reducing Wasted Marketing Spend to learn how you can lower your CPA while improving marketing campaign performance.

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