B2B marketing and sales teams that focus on critical tasks like campaign planning, strategy, and selling have a distinct advantage in digital marketing. That’s why many advertisers are relegating time-consuming, repetitive tactics like lead generation and email nurture to marketing automation platforms.
Still, while marketing automation increases efficiency, it doesn’t automate success. To ensure that your automated tactics work, it’s important to define “success” by setting specific goals for each tactic early in your campaign. Then, determine a set of metrics that can tell you whether you’re making progress toward those goals—or falling behind.
Here are some commonly automated tactics, along with metrics that can help you gauge and optimize their performance:
1. Impressions tell you the number of times your ads were displayed to a digital audience. This metric is crucial because no ad can succeed if no one sees it. Low impressions may indicate that your audience targeting parameters are too narrow, so broadening those parameters could help you reach more people.
2. Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions, clickthrough rate (CTR) tells you the percentage of people who saw, then clicked your ad. A high CTR suggests that your ad was compelling enough to spark action. If your CTR is low, consider ways to make your ad more enticing so audiences will deem it worthwhile to click. For benchmarking purposes, the 2020 average CTR was 0.47%.
3. Frequency tells you the number of times an audience member sees an ad within a specific time frame. People often need to be exposed to ads several times before they’re ready to act. But if you notice frequency rising without a corresponding rise in CTR, consider limiting the number of times an ad can be shown (called “frequency capping”) or launching new ads to avoid annoying your audience.
4. Cost per lead (CPL) helps you assess whether you’re spending your advertising budget efficiently. CPL benchmarks vary greatly by channel, audience, and campaign goals, among other factors, so it’s useful to think of CPL in the context of what you’re trying to achieve. Given that, a low CPL indicates that your offer is interesting enough for prospects to provide their contact information in exchange. If CPL is too high, consider swapping out the offer for something more enticing, or revisiting the promotional messaging to ensure the value is clear
5. In the context of email campaigns, bounce rate is the percentage of emails that are undeliverable, usually because the email address is incorrect. High bounce rates can result in senders being blocked by certain email servers, so if your bounce rates start to rise, consider auditing your contact list to ensure it’s accurate and up-to-date.
6. Open rate is the percentage of emails that recipients open. High open rates imply that your emails intrigue contacts and make them want to learn more. Low open rates might indicate that your subject lines need work, that you’re sending emails too often or at inconvenient times, or even that prospects didn’t expect you to contact them.
7. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are the percentage of overall leads that marketers deem likely to purchase, and ready to pass off to sales. If lots of people submit their contact information, but few meet MQL criteria, you’ll want to revisit your awareness and lead generation tactics to ensure that you’re attracting the right audience. Likewise, if your MQL percentage grows as prospects receive email and other nurture tactics, it tells you that you’re progressing leads through the funnel and getting them ready to connect with sales.
Ultimately, ensure that the metrics you choose accurately measure progress toward your marketing automation goals. These seven will give you a head-start to understand and optimize performance.
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Analisa is a Content Marketing Specialist for Oracle Advertising & CX. She works with the Modern Marketing Blog.