Regardless of what marketing strategy you're measuring, there are some basic metrics to look to. However, in this blog, we're going to establish not only the basics, but also what the industry experts are looking at.
What is data? What does your data mean?
- Open Rate
Pretty straightforward for email marketing campaigns, but is, nonetheless, imperative. This is possibly the most basic metric to look at. Simply, how many people are actually opening (and reading!) your email blast? This is your starting point for any further data you're going to collect.
- Click Thru Rate
Embedded into your email, SMS or MMS marketing campaigns are, ideally, links to your website, social media and any other relevant online information. How many of your subscribers click on these links? Are they useful? Have you changed the type of links and seen any changes in subscriber behavior?
- Bounce Rate
What exactly is "bounce rate?" If you take the steps after the click thru rate, then it leads you to the bounce rate. Your subscriber clicks on one your links, and the "bounce" is how long your subscriber remains on your directed page. However, this also applies to general website analytics. If a "surfer" finds your company page, the bounce rate also determines how long they stay there before "bouncing" to something else. The lower your bounce rate is, the most effective and intriguing your pages are.
- Return on Investment
Ideally, this is the final data point to look at when considering metrics, but we find it that if you keep it in the forefront of your mind, you'll be able to look at the rest of the advanced analytics through this imperative lens. Return on investment (ROI) is simply what is getting back for the time, money and attention you're spending on your marketing channels.
- Searched Keywords
With any online marketing presence, you've already determined what your individual and industry keywords are. But, in this case, you may have to revisit their validity. How are people finding you? What are they Googling or Binging? With any awesome analytical tools, you'll be able to look at the basic keyword searches and then, dig a little deeper. This represents how thorough and vast your embedded keywords are, including how people find your website, social media and news-related items.
If your company sells, say, shoes and your basic keywords are "shoes" and "footwear," among others. To be advanced, include keywords that reflect your mission and ideals, like "organic footwear" or "haute couture shoes."
- Landing or Exit Page Activity
Though it seems pretty self-explanatory, understanding how people connect to your website and where they leave is incredibly valuable.
Essentially, what to look for is where did they come from? Which page did they land on after their internet search?
Further, which page did they exit from? Meaning, after they've looked at and judged your website, which page made them want to leave?
This data is critical to understanding not only how to engage potential customers and vendors, but how they interact with what you have. If the landing page, say, is your home page, then you have that great information. If the exit page is the same (home page), then you know that changes are inevitable.
The Bottom Line
Data is useless unless you know how to look at it. One of the tricks about data analysis is to look at it objectively. In short, if you want to see something positive (or negative), you'll find it. Compare your data. Reverse the way you look at it. Put fresh eyes on your data.
Essentially, if you don't do the work on your data, you'll see what you want to see.
As an old adage says, "Everyone massages data." Don't do that. Don't massage your data to meet your preset goals or to make your CEO happy.
Be brave. Seriously. This sort of data is critical to how your business grows, adapts and evolves. You learn however painful (or wonderful) it may be.
Watch for more tips on email marketing, Twitter, autoresponders and other online strategies in future blogs.