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Measuring your marketing: 4 key metrics to keep an eye on

How do you judge the success of your marketing, whether it’s aimed at new or existing clients? It’s not all about sales, suggests Jon Pittham, managing director of ClientsFirst

If marketing is difficult then measuring marketing can be even harder. How can you be certain, for example, which one of your finely crafted blogs prompted your new best prospect to pick up the phone? If your aim is to increase client engagement, rather than generate a lot of new clients, then how can you make sure you’re still getting the best return on your marketing inputs?

Here are four methods of analysis which we find useful.

1. Leads or new clients

Hardly a revolutionary first suggestion but pause to give it some thought. Firstly, you need to be careful about judging marketing based on ‘sales’. There can be all sorts of reasons why someone does not come on board as a client. For example: Is your proposition right for them? What about your fee structure? If there is a problem with either in the client’s eyes then it is hardly the fault of your marketing. Don’t change something that won you the opportunity in the first place.

Secondly, even if your goal is increasing client engagement, rather than generating huge numbers of potentially unsuitable new prospects, then don’t discount ‘leads’ as a metric. After all, if the phone is ringing, it’s usually a sign that something about your marketing is working.

2. Website lead to traffic ratio

We often ask clients what they’re doing with all of their web traffic. After all, you can have the highest traffic in the world and it matters not a jot if none of that traffic places an enquiry with your firm. Your lead to traffic ratio gives you some indication at how effective your website is at converting casual visitors to interested enquirers. This isn’t about a hard sell. It’s about telling visitors what you want them to do next with strong Calls To Action (CTA).

A really good lead to traffic ratio is perhaps anywhere north of 2%, but this isn’t about spending a large amount of time and money to make big changes straight away. Even well-established sites with thousands to spend on marketing can struggle to achieve that figure. Professional services firms, in particular, can have very low metrics in this area. Set a benchmark of where your site is now and work to make improvements and implement value-driven CTAs. The goal should be to see your ratio increase too.

3. Social media reach and engagement

It’s still not unknown for social media reports to focus on follows and likes and whilst there is some value in those figures, a more accurate representation of how well you are doing is to look at engagement and reach metrics. How far are your posts going? Who is actually seeing them and what are they doing then?

It’s also important to have a plan behind your social media that underpins your entire marketing approach and allows you to analyse another metric. For instance, if your goal is to get people to download content from you so that you can market to them further, then how many of these downloaders come from your social media? If the answer is ‘not many’ then it’s time to take a look at your social strategy… and your reach and engagement metrics.

4. Email open rates

It may feel a little ‘old’ to mention email, but in a recent survey we carried out of North West marketers, 66% picked ‘email’ or ‘company website’ as their most lucrative marketing options. It still has a place, mainly because it’s a direct, fairly unobtrusive line to clients and prospects, with low initial and ongoing spend.

Make sure, though, that your emails are doing everything they can for you. Our figures show that mailers to existing clients receive between a 28% and 35% unique open rate and prospect mailers tend to be more towards 20% – 25%. If you are not achieving those figures then experiment with your subject line, which is really your only chance to influence whether your email is opened or not. Also, try A/B testing, personalisation, using questions or even a teaser-style subject line. Compare your results and keep going with the option that connects with your database the most!

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