Implementing KPIs into your marketing strategy transforms data from multiple platforms into valuable insights.
A company’s digital channels — like websites, apps, online stores, and social media — churn out diverse stats to track, like the number of visitors on your site or the return on the last five years’ investments. With so many moving parts, businesses need meticulous tracking and analyzing systems. Otherwise, they might miss valuable information and lose opportunities.
Luckily, excellent data tracking strategies exist that can help you make sense of these statistics and use them to your advantage, such as revamping your website’s content to increase the visitor count or using past learnings to build a new five-year plan. In these situations, marketing KPIs help you break the data down and put it to good use.
Here’s how to set your team up for success and maximize marketing efforts using crucial numerical benchmarks and performance metrics.
What are KPIs in marketing?
Key performance indicators — KPIs — are quantitative values for measuring marketing performance. They help organizations analyze and gauge success in achieving specific objectives across various channels, including websites, apps, and social media. KPIs are crucial metrics for decision-making because they allow you to track progress, identify improvement areas, and align marketing activities with your company’s overarching goals.
How to choose the best KPIs to track
There are dozens of KPIs that you could track. So how do you know which ones are actually valuable for your business to measure? Here are a few key points to consider.
Align your KPIs with SMART goals
SMART goals stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Each KPI should correspond to a specific goal that’s clearly defined, quantifiable, feasible, directly tied to your organization’s broader strategy, and bound by a particular time frame. Aligning your KPIs with these five pillars ensures your metrics provide value and offer a foundation for analysis and a road map for more focused marketing efforts.
Say your objective (specific goal) is to increase online sales by 20% (measurable) in the upcoming quarter (time-bound). You can use website traffic as a KPI to measure the number of visitors and assess how feasible (achievable) it is to increase revenue (relevant to your broader strategy).
Prioritize value over vanity metrics
Vanity metrics are measurable data that don’t represent an actual return on investment (ROI). They may look appealing or create an illusion of achievement, but they often lack value in assessing true impact on the business. It’s essential to first differentiate between vanity and value-adding metrics. Then, prioritize value-adding metrics, which offer actionable insights.
For instance, social media likes, shares, and impressions may exaggerate a sense of success without providing meaningful data on engagement or conversion rates. Instead, analyzing how many viewers turn into paying customers or become followers reflects the efficacy of your marketing efforts and provides actual value to your strategizing and decision-making.
Study the customer journey
Different stages in the customer journey require tracking various sets of marketing metrics. Whether you’re focusing on brand awareness, conversion, or retention, tailoring KPIs to specific funnel stages lets you understand where each indicator is most useful, therefore guiding your approach to applying the data for optimization.
For example, the cost of acquiring and converting a customer is relevant in the conversion stage, while customer satisfaction and retention rates hold value post-purchase. By aligning KPIs with the appropriate stages of the customer lifecycle, you gain a holistic perspective of the entire funnel and can maximize your marketing efforts.
The 16 marketing KPIs you should be measuring
KPIs support data-driven decision-making, and grouping them by specific categories helps you comprehensively and continuously improve all areas across your marketing efforts. Here are 16 essential marketing KPI examples, organized into three primary categories, to quantify insights and optimize your business.
Sales and customer-related KPIs
1. Sales growth
Sales growth measures your company’s revenue increase over a specific period and shows how effective your marketing efforts are in generating more sales. Consistent growth is a positive sign that indicates market competition and customer demand. So if your sales increased by 20% over the last year, your offerings are well-received in the market.
Leads are potential customers who show an active interest in your product or service. There are two types: marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). These types differ based on their level of engagement with your site. MQLs are leads that have engaged with your site’s content, like downloading an ebook or attending a webinar. An SQL is a lead that has been qualified by the sales team as having a strong intent to purchase. The process of moving an MQL to become sales qualified often involves lead scoring to determine how ready they are to purchase.
3. Return on investment (ROI)
Return on investment measures the profit received from an investment. ROI shows you the value gained from spending on resources, capital, and marketing campaigns and helps you assess whether these investments yield positive returns.
4. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
CAC is the average cost of acquiring a new customer. This marketing KPI helps you understand the cost-effectiveness of securing a new client versus retaining one. By investing in customers whose purchases outgrow your expenses, you’ll promote a healthy CAC and maintain your profit margins.
5. Customer retention rate (CRR)
Customer retention rate is the percentage of customers your organization retains over a given period. CRR measures how well you keep customers engaged with your brand and prevent them from seeking alternatives. Retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring one, making this benchmark a crucial factor in increasing your bottom line. And this metric reflects customer loyalty and illustrates how effective your post-purchase marketing strategies are.
6. Churn rate
Unlike CRR, churn rate represents the number of customers disengaging from your brand over a specified time frame. This KPI helps you understand customer dissatisfaction and spot challenges in maintaining long-term engagement with your products and services. A high churn rate indicates issues like poor service quality or pricing concerns, and this can help you identify where and how to improve consumer satisfaction.
7. Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value measures the total revenue you earn from a customer over the course of their relationship with your brand. Whether a consumer repeatedly buys products from your brick-and-mortar store or has them home delivered through your ecommerce site, the CLV showcases a customer’s value over time. So if a customer spends an average of $1,000 annually over five years, the CLV would be $5,000.
8. Conversion rate
Conversion rate refers to the potential customers — including website and store visitors, social media users, and email recipients — who take action, such as buying a product or completing a sign-up. It measures how effective your marketing is at converting visitors into buyers. A high conversion rate suggests your offerings are engaging and appealing.
9. Customer satisfaction
This marketing KPI reflects how satisfied and fulfilled customers are with your company’s products, services, content, and interactions. Happy customers will likely become repeat buyers and recommend your business to friends and family, and this word-of-mouth marketing improves your reputation and brand loyalty.
10. Net promoter score (NPS)
Net promoter score measures the likelihood of customers recommending your offerings to others. The NPS survey asks a question such as: How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend? Respondents answer with a score from 0–10, and the scores you collect provide insight into general customer loyalty and advocacy. This metric also helps marketing teams modify strategies to improve customer relationships and attract new consumers.
Website and content marketing KPIs
11. Website traffic
Website traffic measures the total number of visitors your company’s website receives in a given period. It demonstrates your site’s popularity and how effectively various channels, campaigns, and content attract potential customers. The channels you study with this KPI might include social media, email, or search engine results.
12. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the number of visitors who leave your site after viewing a single webpage without taking any action. A high bounce rate indicates your site’s lack of engaging offerings or relevant content. And a low bounce rate suggests that visitors find the content valuable and are willing to explore further.
13. Time on page
Time on page is the average time website visitors spend on a page before leaving or moving to another. A longer value indicates visitors find your content engaging and relevant. Suppose the average reading time on a blog article is six minutes — a time on page considered relatively high. This suggests readers are interested and engaged with that specific page, revealing it as a positive example of quality content for retaining visitors.
14. Open rate
Open rate measures the number of recipients who open an email relative to the number of emails delivered. If you send 1,000 subscribers the same email as part of an email marketing campaign and 400 of them open the email, the open rate would be 40%. This KPI shows how effective and relevant email subject lines are. A higher open rate indicates that recipients found the subject line appealing enough to open the email and explore its contents.
15. Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate measures the percentage of recipients who click on one or more links in an email. CTR is a crucial marketing metric to understand the appeal of a call to action (CTA) and measure the level of engagement and interest beyond open rates. A high CTR implies that recipients opened the email and took the desired action.
16. Unsubscribe rate
This indicator shows the number of recipients who opt out of receiving your emails. Like churn rate, it reflects dissatisfaction or disinterest in your email campaign content. A sudden spike in unsubscribe rates signals that you should reconsider your subject lines, content, and frequency of emails to keep your audience engaged.
From analytics to action with Webflow
Unlocking the full potential of your online presence requires seamless integration with data visualization and analytics tools. With Webflow Enterprise, you can connect multiple tools to gather valuable data on customer behavior, website performance, and other business metrics.
Whether it’s adding Google Analytics to your site or optimizing your ecommerce store, Webflow’s versatile, feature-rich tools help you create a digital ecosystem to take your business to the next level.