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Inbound Marketing ROI Explained

By John McTigueSep 16, 2010

InboundMarketingBlueprint LinkedInThe bottom line for any lead generation strategy is that it should result in a positive return on investment. One of the principal advantages of Internet marketing is that you can measure results easily. This is a big drawback of conventional marketing, since it is often difficult to isolate and measure the effects of marketing campaigns on sales. Inbound marketing drives sales leads to your lead capture forms and can directly measure:

  • Website traffic – the general interest level generated by your brand awareness and brand reputation efforts
  • Lead conversions – from a casual website visitor to a sales lead
  • Retention rate – from a one-time customer to a loyal, repeat customer
  • Best strategies and tactics – which content topics, offers, social media venues and landing pages generate the best results

If you sell directly online via e-commerce, then you have a direct measurement of sales performance to contribute to the calculation of ROI. Otherwise, you can associate sales lead conversions with sales performance, preferably using some form of sales force automation software. To compute costs, you should account for the personnel involved in inbound marketing plus any external costs such as software, website fees and any third party (outsourced) marketing costs. Thus for any period of time, you can measure ROI for your inbound marketing efforts.

This post is an excerpt from our Inbound Marketing Blueprint for Business Owners and CEO's. This free whitepaper defines the rationale for inbound marketing in today's economy and provides a detailed plan for implementing an inbound marketing strategy in 6 months or less. Download your free copy here.

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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