By Dany Ortiz, on 12 October 2022
Good marketers know that if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the results of your inbound marketing campaigns through periodic reports.
But the problem is that we live in an environment saturated with data, so it is often difficult to know what to measure and when to measure it. In this article we will discuss what an inbound marketing report is, what information a good results report should include, what metrics are important in an inbound marketing report, and what information we should monitor on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
What is an Inbound Marketing Performance Report?
An inbound marketing performance report is an organized collection of data about a brand or company's inbound actions, including the different channels of contact with the audience and relevant metrics for each of the phases of the conversion funnel.
The main objectives of inbound marketing performance reporting include the following:
Better understand the relationship between different channels and inbound marketing actions.
Communicate the results of inbound marketing actions to decision makers and other departments within the company.
Make strategic decisions about inbound marketing based on data.
What Information Should a Good Performance Report Include
Marketing reports include information about marketing actions, objectives, results, and recommendations for next steps. There are three key elements that every inbound marketing report should include: objectives, KPIs, and analytics.
Inbound marketing objectives help us focus our efforts in a specific direction. In order to serve this purpose, objectives should respond to the well-known acronym "SMART":
S for specific: what do we want to achieve? This question will help us to define the objective as narrowly as possible.
M for measurable: the objectives must be quantifiable, that is, they must be measurable with a number. Only in this way can we know objectively whether they are being achieved or not.
A for achievable: unrealistic objectives can only demotivate the team. It is always better to set several small objectives than one overly ambitious one, as this could generate frustration in the team.
R for relevant: objectives must be related to the company's business objectives and be important to the company.
T for time-bound: finally, the objectives must have a concrete completion date.
KPIs or key performance indicators are a series of metrics that allow us to assess whether we are getting closer to the company's business objectives. They should be able to measure whether we are reaching the right people, generating leads, and converting these leads into customers.
Here are some examples of inbound marketing KPIs for your reporting:
Unique visitors to your website.
Leads generated, distinguishing between marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads.
Conversions and new customers
Conversion rate to lead among visitors.
Conversion rate to sales among leads.
Marketing analytics help you determine whether your marketing actions are working. To do this, you can track metrics such as:
Conversions: this metric measures how many users you have convinced to take an action with your marketing. To increase conversions, it is advisable to do A/B tests, implement marketing automation solutions and test new channels such as social networks or pay-per-click.
Organic traffic: this metric is closely related to on-site and off-site SEO actions, such as optimizing your content or generating inbound links. The better your search engine rankings, the more organic traffic you will generate.
Paid traffic: this includes channels such as search engine ads, paid social media posts and display advertising.
Email open rate: the percentage of your email recipients who open the email, expressed as a percentage. Very low open rates indicate that something is going wrong in our database or in our communication.
Lead generation: the number of users who have left you their contact information to communicate with them about your brand.
Interaction rate on social networks: this indicator is used to measure the impact of our messages on this channel.
Cost per lead/conversion: fundamental to establish the ROI of our inbound marketing.
What Metrics Are Important in an Inbound Marketing Report?
With the analytics tools available to us today, we can track a myriad of metrics on the results of our campaigns in many different inbound channels. Therefore, it is important that we are able to determine which metrics we should include in our inbound marketing report. Below, let's take a look at the most important ones divided into categories.
Conversions: the goals of your inbound marketing plan should be specified in a series of actions you want users to perform, for example, downloading a piece of content or completing a purchase. Your inbound marketing report should include information on the fulfillment of these goals through conversions.
Click-through rate: percentage of users who click on a call-to-action button, for example, after reading a piece of content or seeing an ad on social media or search engines.
Best and worst performing content in terms of traffic and clicks: this metric will help you target your content strategy to achieve the best possible results.
Leads generated: the number of users who have left you their information to send them marketing communications.
Marketing qualified leads: number of leads that, after applying a lead scoring algorithm, are considered suitable for sending them promotional communications.
Sales qualified leads: number of leads that, after applying a lead scoring algorithm, are considered suitable to send their data to the sales team and close the final conversion.
Social Media Metrics
This section is one of the trickiest, as it is very tempting to fill it with vanity metrics such as the number of likes or clicks. Instead, we need to focus on how effective social networks are being in attracting quality traffic to your website. Specifically, it is advisable to track these metrics:
Traffic generated through social networks.
Leads generated through social networks.
Conversions generated through social networks.
Email Marketing Metrics
Open rate: percentage of users who open your emails after receiving them.
Click-through rate: percentage of users who click on a link in your emails after opening them.
A/B testing: email marketing is one of the most advisable channels for this type of testing, since variables that are relatively easy to modify, such as the subject line of an email, can have a great impact on the results.
Bounce rate: it is important to make sure that the bounce rate is not too high, as this could indicate problems with your database or your email provider.
ROI: the return on investment rate of your email marketing, calculated from the conversions generated.
What Information Should Be Included on a Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Basis
Finally, let's clear up another common question about inbound marketing performance reports: how often should we examine each metric?
In addition to producing in-depth reports every month, there are a number of metrics that we should take a look at more regularly to ensure that everything is in order. Let's take a look at what data we should review every day, every week and every month.
These metrics help you find out if you're on track, but without demanding too much of your time. They are as follows:
Unique visitors to your website.
Number of page views on your website and page views per user on average.
Searches on your website.
Average time spent on your website.
Traffic coming from social networks.
Setting up a weekly performance check allows you to see what is happening with your campaigns and if you are getting the results you are looking for. You can also see if you need to launch new campaigns or make changes to existing ones.
Here are the most important weekly metrics:
Traffic to your website. Tracking this metric weekly allows us to see broader trends and detect spikes or drops.
Traffic to your blog.
Finally, the monthly inbound marketing report will give us a more complete view of the progress of our campaigns. The metrics to be included will depend on the situation of each company, but in addition to those analyzed in the previous section, it is advisable to include the following:
Pages of your site with the best results.
Conversion rate of visitors to leads.
Cost per lead.
Conversions to customer.
Lead to customer conversion rate.
Cost per acquisition.