Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the Marketing Hero Podcast. For this episode, we are going to talk about marketing metrics, and specifically which ones do we look at on a systematic basis, both for our clients and for ourselves. It's very easy to get overwhelmed with the number of different metrics you can track. You can get pages and pages of metrics from Google Analytics and HubSpot and the ad platforms and other marketing automation platforms. You have to focus more on what not to pay attention to that what you should pay attention to. In this episode, we'll walk through what are the key metrics that we look at in our marketing reports and why we look at them.
First off, how do we do our marketing reports? We use a combination of HubSpot dashboards and Databox dashboards. We use HubSpot dashboards for a lot of the CRM metrics, like contacts and deals, and also usually the web analytics as well. And then we use Databox databoards for metrics from other platforms like CallRail ad platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and supplemental metrics here and there from different places like Google Analytics.
We break up the dashboards into, first, starting off with more of an overview dashboard with some of the most important top-level metrics and then we have more detailed dashboards getting into more details after that.
The very first metrics we look at on the overview dashboard, right up at the top are the sales metrics. And we usually look at them a little bit differently if it's a B2B company or a B2C company. If it's a B2B company (business to business company), we will run metrics based on the sales pipeline. We'll run the pipeline through HubSpot, and the contacts will come in and then the salespeople will create deals, associate with the contacts, and then work the deals through the pipeline. Versus with a lot of our business to consumer costumers, or the B2C costumers, a lot of times it's a very much more simple process. It's almost more of an order-taking process sometimes. So, we have their salespeople just track the sales directly on the contact records themselves rather than creating deals for them. So, two different ways of tracking the sales metrics.
For the B2B customers, we are tracking deals created by month by source. How many deals are coming into the pipeline and where are they coming from. We'll track deals won by source by month. How many deals are actually closing each month. And then we can compare how many deals are being created by source to how many are being won by source and we can then see the closed rates from there. Which sources bring in a lot of deals, but they don't close at a high rate? Which sources bring in deals that do close at a high rate? And what are the trends of that over time? So, deals created by source, deals won by source, and then also the dollar amount won by source as well.
It's great if you close lots of deals, of course, but if you have two very large deals and then 15 tiny little deals you want to track the dollar amounts, so you know, hey, these two deals here were actually way more valuable than the 15 over there. So, that's why we also will track dollar by source as well. Not just quantity of closed won, but the numerical value of each closed won deal.
And then finally, the main top level sales pipeline metrics we look at is loss reason. Win reason is fairly self-explanatory, you can ask them why they chose you and they might tell you, but tracking the loss reason is actually easily much more valuable than tracking the win reason.
So, tracking loss reasons like: are you losing a lot of deals because of price? That's a really valuable indication that maybe your price is mismatched.
Are you losing a lot of deals due to people choosing a competitor or another company or solution instead? That might be an indication that, you better dig into what they are doing better than you that is causing people to go to that company rather than yours.
If you are just getting a lot of deals going silent and they just stopped responding to you, that's probably an indication that you are not creating enough urgency in the sales process and the people you're talking to are kind of interested, they say with their words that they are interested, but their actions show that they're really fine with just sticking with the status quo. So, if you are getting a lot of deals that are lost because they just stopped responding to you, that might mean you need to work on building urgency in your messaging and your talks with them.
So, for B2B companies, those are the main sales pipeline metrics we track. Deals created by source, deals won by source, amount won by source and loss reason. And of course, you can dig into further supplemental details if and where needed to go in the things if you want to look at closed rate by sale rep or look at tasks and calls logged and things like that, you can create supplemental reports for those, but those usually are not the primary metrics.
And like I mentioned for B2C companies we usually just have, not always but oftentimes, we just have them track the sales status right on the contact itself. So, we'll have the contact lifecycle stage and HubSpot set to different stages in the sales process such as attempted to contact, first contact attempt, second contact attempt, contact made, consult booked, and closed won, things like that. Also, we track the loss reasons for the B2C customers as well.
So, that's the first place we start, looking at the sales pipeline metrics. Then we go on to some of the lead generation metrics from there.
The next metric we look at is the sales-qualified leads coming in by month. Sales-qualified leads or SQLs. And by the way, some people will define the terms a little bit differently. Some companies use the term marketing qualified leads, some use sales-qualified leads. We usually use the term sales-qualified leads, but we know some companies use different terms to refer to the same things.
But in any case, those do not count top of the funnel leads. So, if you go to a company site and you just signed up for the newsletter, you're not a sales-qualified lead for sure, you just signed up for the newsletter. Or if you just signed up for a webinar, that's not a sales qualified lead or a marketing qualified lead. If you download an eBook, that's still a top of the funnel lead. The main point is that when you track sales-qualified leads, we don't want to track those top of the funnel leads. We just want to track people who actually made an inquiry about possibly buying their product or hiring for their service.
In this report we call them SQLs+. And this is a little bit technical, but we usually use HubSpot, and a sales-qualified lead comes in and then we qualify it, make sure it's legit, create a deal for it and then the lead lifecycle stage becomes an opportunity. And then if they become a customer then the lifecycle stage becomes customer. So, we want to track sales-qualified leads, opportunities, and customers by month. Because otherwise, if we just track sales-qualified leads, as soon as we create an opportunity, it would disappear off that report. And if they became a customer, we disappear off their report too. So, we track the sales-qualified leads, opportunities, and customers altogether on that report. And we call it SQLs+. SQL for sales-qualified leads, and SQLs+ because it's the sales-qualified leads and the opportunities and customers that come from that as well.
And with the sales-qualified leads, we also track two other aspects of it. We track the source by the web analytics and then we track the source as a self-reported source as well. So, tracking them by source in the web analytics is the things like, how did they physically come to the site. Did they come from organic search, from Google or Bing (but usually Google)? Did they come from paid search? Did they come from social media? Where they a referral from another webpage? Or where they just direct traffic, which means traffic where the web analytics just couldn't detect where they come from? Or if they're offline sources which usually means they were manually created in the CRM by a salesperson, or imported from a list, or something like that.
So, that's the web analytics source. But we also want to cross-reference that against the self-reported reporting that they tell us as well, where on the form we ask them, how did you hear about us? And we make that a required field and then they filled it in and then we sort their responses into pre-defined buckets of self-reported sources too. And we do that because the web analytics can't track things like personal referrals and word-of-mouth, and things like foot traffic. So, we see a lot of companies get a lot of leads from word-of-mouth and from referrals from friends and families and stuff. But the web analytics don't know that. Like if someone's brother tells them about a company and recommends them and then they go and Google search the company, then they'll click into the company from the Google Search and web analytics will report it as organic search traffic, but in reality, they actually came from the recommendation from their friend.
So, that's an example of word-of-mouth, and then there's also foot traffic too, where, especially for a retail stores or services, someone is walking by or driving by, and they see the establishment and then maybe they just walk in or maybe from their phone or something they Google Search the name, look at the products, that's another case where the contact would show up and the web analytics has organic search, but they actually came from foot traffic. So that's why we track both of those things. The web analytics are very good at tracking the effectiveness of ad campaigns, like Google Ads or Facebook or LinkedIn Ads. But it has some blind spots for other things like word-of-mouth and foot traffic. So, that's why we also track the self-reported sources too. And then we can look at both of those sources together to see where they come from and get a much better idea of how people are finding the company.
So, that's the SQLs+ report that we look at. The sales-qualified leads by month, by source.
So then from there, we also want to look at total contacts by source as well. The most important thing is the sales-qualified leads coming in. But we also want to see where all of the contacts coming in are, including things like: how many people are signing up for the newsletter? How many people are downloading an eBook or a template or a guide or something like that? How many people are registering for an event? They might not be sales-qualified yet, they haven't actually requested anything from the company, but they're still a valuable contact. They might become a contact later on especially if you can nurture your relationship with them over time after that. So, we do want to track all contacts as well.
We set up a separate report for tracking all of the contacts: sales-qualified leads, newsletter sign-ups, events, e-books, downloads, all of that. And we track those by the web analytics source. We typically don't do self-reported attribution for the top of the funnel contacts because usually we're trying to keep those web forms just to as quick and painless as possible. So if they are just signing up for the newsletter, we usually just ask for their email address, maybe ask for their first name, make it as quick and easy as possible to sign up. So we usually skip the self-reported attribution for those top of the funnel leads. We figure, in the interest of making it easy for them, tracking web analytics is good enough and we'll limit the self-reported attribution to just the sales-qualified leads. So, that's all the contacts we track. Total contacts by month, by web analytics source.
And then, finally, one of the last overall numbers we track is total website sessions by source. And when I say sessions, it's basically a fancy word for visits. How many website visits did you get by month by source. We call it a session because it's just a little bit more of a technically accurate term. But a session generally is basically a visit. How many website visits by source are you getting per month, and what are the trends there?
Then from there, we'll go on into more detailed dashboards looking at more specific things from there. We'll go into a marketing details dashboard. Oftentimes we run a lot of ad campaigns for our clients. And so, we want to set up some reports to track on the specific ad campaigns we're running. A lot of time we're running Google Ads. And we want to look at the different campaigns that we're running for them in Google Ads and then look at the performance of the campaigns, which is usually starting with campaign impressions, to campaign clicks, to campaign conversions. And then sometimes we look at other metrics too, but those are usually the top-level ad campaign metrics.
So, say a client is running four different campaigns for four different products. We'll look at that as a table. Each row in the table will be one of the campaigns and then each column we'll be looking at the key metrics. And the key metrics, again, are usually the impressions to the clicks, to the conversions. Clicks are great, of course, but the most important thing there is conversions. And especially if you're getting a lot of clicks on an ad but you're not getting conversions, you might be better off maybe just turning off that campaign altogether. If you're spending money to get people to click on it, but nobody is actually converting, you can ask yourself, "Is it just the brand awareness good enough?" Maybe it is in some cases, or some cases maybe it's better to put the money somewhere else.
Social Media Ads
So we do that for Google Ads and then we run a lot of social media ads too. Usually, Meta Ads like Facebook and Instagram Ads, and then LinkedIn Ads as well. On the social media ads, we're usually tracking the same metrics: impressions, clicks and conversions. But sometimes there are some different ones too. On the Meta Ads we like to track the frequency. How often is an ad being shown to people and your audience on average. And we want to make sure we're not just using our budget showing that same ads to people over and over and over.
If their frequency is like four, five or so, that means the audience has seen the ad, on average, about four to five times per person. That might be pushing it a little bit high, so we might try to reduce the spend on that, or maybe rotate the ad to a different one. So that's a social media specific metric we track for things like Meta Ads. And then you can look at other things too, like if an objective is video views or page likes, sometimes we'll look at those too. But overall, usually the top-level metrics for those are the same as the Google Ads in terms of impressions, clicks and conversions.
Another report we'll look at in the marketing details dashboard is usually the top converting landing pages on the website. When we refer to landing pages, we generally mean conversion pages. Sometimes people define landing pages as the first page people land on the site. But in our case, when we say landing pages, we usually mean conversion pages. Pages where our people fill out a form or book a meeting or place a phone call from the page. That's our definition of landing pages. In our monthly reports, we'll track the top converting landing pages. Say, what are the top five or top ten or top three pages getting the most people filling out the forms or getting the most meeting booking links? We'll look at the total people coming to those pages, total number of submissions on the forms, and then the total number of unique contacts that are coming from that.
If we're getting lots of people visiting some landing page with an offer on it but very few people are filling out the form or calling the phone number on it, there might be an issue that the messaging or the offer just isn't really connecting with those people, and we need to rethink the offer or the messaging of the landing page.
We also want to track total submissions versus unique contacts separately too, because a lot of times you'll get existing contacts filling out multiple forms. And if you just look at total submissions, it could be an inaccurate count. If one contact fills out five forms, if you just look at submissions, you'd say, "Oh, wow! Look at this. We got five leads today from this." But in reality, it's just one lead. It's just one contact. They just converted multiple times.
We run everything through HubSpot on the backend. One of the really nice things about that is all the forms submissions will de-duplicate down to the single contact record in HubSpot and so that we can track the actual unique number of net new people converting. Not just total form submissions like you would get from tracking goals in Google Analytics or something, but how many unique people you are getting. That's why we track unique contacts as well.
Top Trafficked Pages
Then, we also want to look at the overall most traffic website content as well. Which content on your site is bringing in the most people in general? That will tell us a lot. Is it your services pages? Is one service page getting most of the traffic and interest and the other pages are not? Is it particular blog articles you've written that just really connected with what people are searching for and bringing in a lot of traffic? Is it things like case studies, or before and after galleries, or other kinds of proof or evidence of your services? Are those the things that are bringing in people the most? That's the value in tracking the top trafficked website content. Looking at which pages get the most interest and then talking through it and figuring out why and seeing what we can learn from that and how we can capitalize on it to publish more content that will also probably attract people that are good fit for you too.
The next one we look at is the marketing email performance. So, people are coming to your site and they're converting on your site. And then you are also building up an email list from all the people converting on your site as well. So, running regular email marketing is a super important part of that to nurture your relationship with those contacts.
That should usually be a combination of manually sent emails, oftentimes at least a minimum of one to two batch emails sent to your list per month. As well as a couple of automated workflows running as well, to auto-drip emails to people after they convert on your site. Most companies should be running both of those together.
The email performance report will usually look at the last 90 days or so, and we'll look at the email performance of all the emails over the last 90 days.
Honestly, one of the most important ones I think for email is open rate: looking at how many people are opening their emails. You can look at click through rate too, like how many people are clicking on your emails. Although, to be honest, I think, since the point of email marketing is growing your brand awareness with them and nurturing your relationship with them, I think if they're opening and reading your emails, even if they don't actually click on anything in their emails, the email still did its job of connecting with them and having them spend a little bit of time reading what you have to say. So, click rate is, is okay but I think looking at the open rate is the most important to see how many people are interacting with you at all.
Some people like to track reply rate as well. I think that can be a great metric as well. Not everyone tracks that. But some people do and if you want your emails to get replies and you're writing them in a way to ask for replies, you should probably track that. If you're not writing it like that, then tracking open rate is the most important.
And then the final metric we oftentimes regularly track in a marketing details dashboard is the website traffic by device type. This oftentimes usually doesn't change very much month to month, but it's still really important to know overall. And this is basically how many people are visiting you site on a desktop computer versus a mobile phone. And you'll get a little bit of traffic from people on tablets, but usually that's very small. It's usually less than 5%. It's there but really the most important thing to know is how many people are visiting your site on a computer versus how many are visiting on their phones. And the reason that's important is you need to make sure you're designing your website experience for them in a way that really works great for them on the device they're using.
For some clients, especially B2B clients, we'll usually see 60 to 70% of their website traffic coming from desktop, which is computers (also include laptops). For business-to-business sites, that makes sense, they're at their desk, they're on their work computer, and they're looking you up as part of their job. So, for cases like that, you'll want to focus most of your effort on making a great desktop user experience for your website.
But conversely, for a lot of our B2C clients, we'll see up to 70%, 80% of the traffic coming from phones. And only maybe 20% of the traffic coming from desktop. So in that case, we need to make sure that we're prioritizing the mobile phone user experience when we're designing the website. This can actually be really easily overlooked because when you're doing your job and marketing and designing and planning websites, you're doing it on a computer yourself because that's your workstation. So, it's really easy when you're doing all your marketing work to just default to building it to thinking of it all through a desktop layout because that's what you're looking at it. But if you're getting 80% of your traffic from mobile, you need to really intentionally design for mobile first. Maybe don't even look at your website in the desktop view. Maybe even if you're on your computer, maybe switch to a mobile emulator when you're working on your site, just so you can make sure you're always putting yourself in your user's shoes and making sure you're designing a great experience for them. Otherwise, I've seen it happen a lot where people just make the mobile experience an afterthought and they just look at everything designed for desktop first. You need to be aware of where your traffic is coming from so that you can put your emphasis in the user experience accordingly.
So those are the main metrics we track in our marketing reports. Depending on the situation, we'll add in other reports as needed, like contacts by type and companies by type. For tracking prospecting activities, we might track prospecting activities by month on the sale side. So, depending on the situation, there will be other sorts of additional reports that will vary from client to client. But in terms of the core dashboards and reports that we are making for people consistently across the board, those are the core reports and dashboards that we're making.
As a quick recap, that starts with the sales pipeline metrics, tracking deals for B2B or lead status for B2C, followed by tracking the SQLs+: sales-qualified leads, opportunities, and customers by source and by month, tracking that by the web analytics source as well as the self-reported source. Next up is the total contacts by web analytics including top of the funnel leads. Next one is website visits or website sessions by source, followed by more specific detailed views into ad campaign performance, top converting landing pages, top trafficked website content, email performance over the last 90 days, and traffic by device type such as desktop, laptop, maybe tablet, and mobile phone.
Those are the primary metrics that we track on a monthly basis, and I'd love to hear what metrics you track consistently month over month as well. And I'd also love to hear what you think about the metrics that we're tracking too. If you think we should add in ones ourselves, I'd love to hear that. Or if you disagree with some of the metrics we track and why, I'd love to hear that feedback too. So leave a comment. Subscribe to us for our next episode here. And in the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed this episode of the Marketing Hero Podcast. We'll see you later.
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