Lead generation is one of the top priorities for every business. But as the old saying goes,
“You won’t get anywhere without knowing where you are.”
That’s why metrics are important for businesses. With so many stats and signs to worry about, measure, analyze and glean meaningful information from, monitoring the right indicators is an uphill task.
Thankfully, there are innumerable, inexpensive tools available to make that part of the process easier. However, getting the best out of your metrics will require you to chase the right numbers, take what you must from a resulting sea of data, get organized and create a system (like you would with marketing, hiring and operations).
But how do you decide which dials and meters are important and club them together to form a dashboard that will be the lifeline of the direction your business is taking?
Here are the critical components from which you can try and build a growth monitoring system optimized for lead generation.
Setting the right goals gives you a firm direction for you to move toward. Your goal attainment metrics give you an overall view of what you need to make your business successful.
You need an excellent, passionate and hardworking team to get closer to your goals. So, ask yourself:
Knowing how much you spend on various aspects of lead generation helps you move closer to the ultimate goal of spending less to get more.
Blogging, social media, traffic to your website, outreach programs, email marketing and other types of lead generation material such as whitepapers, reports, guides, video tutorials and membership subscriptions will be your primary tools for lead generation:
Business blogging is one of the best ways to generate leads without any extra costs (bar those of producing and promoting every blog post).
According to HubSpot’s stats, marketers who embrace blogging are 13X more likely to benefit from positive ROI. In fact, at least 82 percent of marketers who blog daily have acquired customers from their blogs.
What metrics should you measure for your blog posts? Here are few that work for me:
By reaching out to other websites or third-party blogs to promote your content, you establish credibility and gain exposure. Guest posts, sponsored content, native ads, infographics and slide decks are the best forms of content to raise brand awareness. The metrics you’d do well to track are:
Although it’s hard to pinpoint leads generated from specific social posts or updates, it’s still possible to measure the effectiveness of your efforts in generating leads:
Email marketing is the best way to reach out to your subscribers—a captive audience waiting to hear from you. Some of the important metrics to measure for email marketing are:
You could build any number of microsites that exclusively target certain niches you service or sell to. Better yet (from a centralized or branding point of view), you could choose to build a resource hub on your site, which acts as a nucleus or starting point for everything your audience needs and wants. Shopify’s resource center for starting and running a retail business is a great example.
Further, your blog could have email subscription forms above and/or below the post. The sidebar could have graphics, newsletter opt-in forms or links to your resources or community forums.
All these elements help generate leads by helping you increase email subscriptions, direct downloads, social shares and, most of all, leads.
Leads by phase: Plotting all your conversion opportunities by stage allows you to get a holistic snapshot of your business.
Qualified leads: All leads are not created equal. Lead quality directly affects your conversions and marketing spend. Dividing your qualified leads into marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads will put you in a better position to nurture them accordingly.
Engagement rate: Focus on how effectively you are engaging your qualified leads through drip campaigns, retargeting or other methods.
Customer Conversions: This is when customers come buying and making those transactions. If you had to pick just one metric ever, this one fits the bill.
Retention: The story isn’t over with conversions. There’s that recurring effort of making your buyers come back to make purchases again and again—post-sale marketing, they call it. It makes even more sense if your business has recurring transactions such as membership fees, subscriptions or monthly bills.
HubSpot users will know most of these elements come together naturally right in their dashboards. Keeping a scorecard can help organize any additional elements.
But while every business calls for a meticulously customized approach to creating the right analytics dashboard, there are several ways to do so. If you are not utilizing HubSpot, here are a couple other options.
One tool I’ve used is Cyfe. You can pull in the numbers from various data sources, channels or campaigns (organic and paid), and maintain a single, centralized view for all your important analytics. Chris Abraham of Socialmedia.biz termed it as “one dashboard to rule them all.”
Cyfe integrates with social media networks, email marketing tools and all major web and mobile sources of traffic, sales and revenue. It also plugs into campaign data from ad networks owned by Google, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo.
Another above-average dashboard tool especially helpful in communicating critical lead data company-wide or across disparate teams is Geckoboard.
All said and done, make sure any tool or dashboard you use mitigates the inherent challenges that statistics carry: