How do you measure the ROI of inbound marketing programs? You can use a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs), but you want to apply benchmarks that are meaningful to your sales and marketing effort. Most importantly, the ROI of inbound marketing has to be measurable. We have found five specific metrics to assess the ROI of inbound marketing campaigns. The great thing about these KPIs is they offer measurable and provide empirical evidence that your program is working; evidence that you can share with your CEO and CFO.
Here are the ROI metrics we recommend to our clients:
- Database growth – How many new contacts is your inbound marketing campaign adding to the database? You are undoubtedly tracking this information anyway to measure campaign performance and which tactics yield the best results. Track the number of leads you add over time to check your progress.
- Conversion rates – Beyond bringing raw traffic to the website, how many visitors are willing to give you an email or phone number? Conversion rates are your means to gauge how effective your inbound marketing program is at capturing visitors’ interest.
- Qualified lead volume – Once you have lead conversions, you need to determine if those leads are qualified. Measuring qualified leads is a way of assessing your ability to sustain interest and promote engagement. If you use the right tools, incoming leads will become self-selecting and those ready to buy will step forward as qualified leads.
- Pipeline growth – This is a measurement of how your good your inbound marketing program is at delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL), i.e. your ability to deliver more qualified leads to the sales team. In other words, are you delivering the right audience with the right level of interest who are ready to become customers? Traditionally, sales blames marketing for delivering poor quality leads, so MQL is the proof of the ROI of inbound marketing, demonstrating that you are delivering highly qualified leads.
- Return on Marketing Income (ROMI) – This is the big metric for demonstrating the ROI of inbound marketing. ROMI measures how many dollars the marketing program actually contributes to the company’s bottom line. This is where your ability to measure the performance of specific campaigns and track qualified leads through the sales process will prove the ROI of inbound marketing programs.
We use HubSpot as our tool to measure the ROI of inbound marketing, largely because HubSpot provides detailed information about all five of these KPIs. By using a common measurement platform we can generate KPI reports regularly, measuring results on a monthly basis and refining campaigns as we go. Measuring the impact of inbound marketing campaigns over time is critical.
In addition to measuring the ROI of inbound marketing campaigns, it’s a good idea to compare your performance against the market. If you want to see what the ROI of inbound marketing campaigns should be, check out the Marketing Benchmarks from 7000+ Businesses. This survey of more than 7,000 companies shows what you can expect from your inbound marketing programs using blogs, landing pages, Twitter, and other tools.
If you want to measure the ROI of your inbound marketing programs against companies similar to yours, check out the case studies from HubSpot. These offer examples of other campaigns in various industries, and even though your results may vary, they should tell you if your inbound marketing program measures up to your peers. If you aren’t seeing the same level of return, it might be time to take a closer look at the KPIs that will tell you where your marketing program is weakest.