Marketing Campaign Anecdotes? Not Good Enough Anymore.

For far too long marketers have relied on phrases like “We’ve been pretty busy since our marketing campaign launched. It must be working!” In this day and age, there is no reason to not measure your marketing campaigns. With that being said, it’s intimidating. What are the marketing channels that I should measure? What tools do I use to measure those channels? In this article, we will give you practical advice for how to implement and measure your marketing campaigns, settling the measurement paralysis that marketers so often feel.

Types of Marketing Campaigns

Before we delve into measurement, we first need to talk about the different types of marketing campaigns as it will change the way we measure.

Outbound Marketing

This refers to the type of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends it’s message out to a pre-defined set of prospects. These prospects are typically chosen based on demographic attributes. Some examples of outbound marketing include:

  • Direct Mail
  • Cold Calling
  • Email Campaigns
  • Radio Ads

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a methodology that is designed to entice and draw potential customers in, rather than pushing a brand’s message outward, in hopes that a lead will be generated. Examples of this kind of marketing include:

  • Content marketing
  • Social Media
  • Google Ads

Once you figure out the type of marketing campaign you’d like to run, we move to planning the campaign.

Planning Your Marketing Campaign

Before we move on the nuts and bolts, it’s important to figure out a few things:

  • Target Audience – Who are you speaking to?
  • Messaging – How do you plan to speak to them where your message will be received?
  • Offer – What is the hook that your prospects are most likely to respond to?
  • Marketing Channels – Define the marketing channels that this campaign will be featured in.

Define The Metrics You Want To Measure

We will take a look at some of the most popular marketing channels and important metrics on each of those channels.

Direct Mail

Unfortunately, direct mail is the hardest channel to track and until we can put chips in a mail piece, it will remain that way. However, there are some crucial steps to take if you want to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.

Call Tracking – This allows you to see how many calls a certain mail campaign is generating by allowing you to create unique call tracking numbers on a mail piece.

UTM Links – UTM (urchin tracking module) links allow you to create a trackable link for your direct mail campaign. You have the ability to associate the campaign, channel and the source of the link. This will then attribute that link with the corresponding campaign when analyzing your web traffic.

Email

Email campaigns are relatively easy to measure, however, as technology gets more advanced, it also advances the measurement metrics available. Here are the 3 most important metrics to measure on your email campaigns.

Open Rate – The subject line is one of the most important aspects of your email. It is the first thing that a prospect sees and a bad subject line can be a roadblock for an otherwise good email campaign. This is what the open rate is essentially measuring; how good your subject line is.

Click Rate – This is a measure of how many people click a link in your email vs. how many people opened it. The higher the click rate the better. A higher click rate denotes more engaged prospects.

Unsubscribes – Believe it or not, I don’t believe unsubscribes to be a negative metric. These are people that are saying that your content is not relevant to them anymore and I don’t wish to see it. By unsubscribing, they give you the opportunity to focus your time and efforts on the prospects that do want to see your content. With that being said, if you have an unsubscribe rate that is continually trending upward, you will want to evaluate your content to ensure you’re offering the most relevant information to your prospects.

Facebook

Facebook metrics are where things can get a little complicated. Luckily, we have simplified it down to help you focus on the metrics that matters the most.

Click Through Rate – This is the number of people that clicked your ad vs. the total number of people that saw it. As we discussed in our last blog post, there are a few different factors that can effect this.

  • Focal Point – does your main image have one point for the the prospect to focus on?
  • Brand Link – does the ad have a strong association with the brand being advertised or is the ad more nondescript?
  • Brand Personality – does this ad fit the way you normally speak to your prospects?
  • Informational Reward – does the ad have interesting info for the prospect to engage with?
  • Emotional Reward – does that ad have emotionally appealing features?
  • Noticeability – does the ad stand out and grab your attention?
  • Call to Action – is this ads call to action clear?

Here is a great infographic on average CTRs by industry:

Conversions – Conversions tell us how many people carried through with the desired action on your ad, whether that be a phone call or a form fill. Here is another good infographic showing benchmark data by industry:

Google Ads

Click Through Rate – Click through rate on Google Ads is a measure of how many impressions your ad has vs. how many people have actually clicked on it. This is essentially a measure of how enticing your headline and description are. Pro Tip: Create multiple ad variations to measure the effectiveness of different headlines and descriptions.

Conversion Rate – A measure of how many people convert on your desired call to action. Here are the industry average conversion rates for Google Ads:

Website

Bounce Rate – The website bounce rate measures the users that “bounced off” your website within 10 seconds of entering. We want people to stay on and interact with our website, so a low bounce rate is highly important. Here are a couple of things that could be contributing to a high bounce rate:

  • Misleading meta data – Meta data is the description below a Google search result. If your meta data is misleading, you may get someone to click, but if the website page doesn’t match the meta data, the user will bounce.
  • Irrelevant landing page – If your landing page is irrelevant or doesn’t get to the point quick enough, the user will bounce. If you want to measure different page variations, try A/B testing your pages. Here is a great tool that makes it easy.

A good place to start when analyzing your bounce rate data is by sorting bounce rate by individual page. This way you can get a good idea of the pages that are performing poorly. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Behavior tab
  2. Click site content
  3. Sort the bounce rate column from high to low

Time on Page – Time on page is a primary website engagement metric. The higher the time on page, the more engaged the prospect. It is important to not look at this metric in a vacuum, however. You want to look at this metric with your conversions. Think about it this way; if you have a high time on page, but no conversions, maybe you need to set up some more CTAs. Or, maybe your website is confusing and needs to be simplified.

Acquisition – This will allow you to know exactly where your website traffic is coming from. Here is are the steps to get to this data:

  1. Click the acquisition tab
  2. Click overview

Please don’t allow your marketing decisions to be based on anecdotes anymore. From Facebook and Google to email and direct mail, there are a variety of ways that we can measure our marketing campaigns effectively. If you need any help implementing your reporting, don’t hesitate to reach out! We would be more than happy to have a quick call with you.