How to Choose the Right Marketing KPIs for Your Business


An effective marketing strategy starts with clear goals.

Tracking your progress towards those goals requires you to choose the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business. They’ll indicate whether you’re on the right track, and where you need to make improvements.

However, there are tons of different marketing metrics you could track. It’s important to know which ones you should focus on.

So, how do choose the right marketing KPIs?

While there isn’t a universal solution for selecting KPIs, there are a number of metrics that every marketer should be measuring.

In this post, you’ll find out what marketing KPIs are and the KPIs you should be tracking to drive your company towards success.

Let’s get into it.

What are marketing KPIs?

How to choose the right marketing KPIs for your business

In a nutshell, marketing KPIs are the metrics that determine how successful (or not) your strategy is for helping you achieve your goals.

Although there are tons of marketing metrics you could track, your KPIs will be the ones that are most important to you.

The right KPIs will inform your future marketing strategy, so you need to start by choosing indicators that will be most effective for measuring your performance. You should look at your current results, then look at what you want to achieve, and figure out how you can fill that gap.

How to choose the right marketing KPIs for your business

When setting goals for your marketing, it’s useful to structure your goals using the SMART target framework.

Your goals should be:

– Specific: To set a well-structured goal you need to decide exactly what you want to achieve. Goals need to have a definite intent. Before you begin creating a marketing campaign, you need to know exactly what it is that you want to gain from it. You can refine the campaign later if you feel like you need to add further details to your goal.

– Measurable: You should be able to measure your progress towards achieving a goal. This measure should be objective, not subjective. You can amend the amount that you want to achieve if you find that your campaign is more or less effective than you first thought.

– Achievable: Setting smaller goals which can be achieved regularly gives you the opportunity to build on your success. However, your goals still need to be ambitious. If you fail to achieve an ambitious goal but still make progress, you are likely to be in a better position than you were before.

– Relevant: Every goal that you set should be relevant to your overall purpose. Although a goal may seem achievable, if it’s not going to drive your business forward, there is little point in investing time and money to achieve it. Outline how each smaller goal will contribute to your overall performance.

– Time-based: Goals need to have a set deadline or time-frame after which they will have been completed.

The 8 marketing KPIs you should be tracking

So, now you know to effectively set goals, which marketing KPIs should you be tracking? Here are 8 marketing metrics that we recommend keeping a close eye on.

1. Conversion rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your page/site/email that complete the desired action. Conversions could include making a purchase, subscribing to your email list, downloading a resource, submitting a survey, and more.

The higher the conversion rate, the better. It means your marketing campaign is successful and people want what you’re offering.

Optimising your conversion rate enables you to maximise every penny of your marketing spend by defining what it is that makes your audience take action.

2. Email open rate

Your email open rate is the percentage of recipients that received your email actually opened it.

Your open rates are key for understanding how effective your email subject lines are. If your subscribers don’t open the emails that you’ve spent loads of time creating, then all that effort would have been for nothing.

If your email open rates are lower than 15%, that might indicate that you failed to catch your subscribers’ attention with your subject line, or maybe you didn’t send your email at the right time.

3. Email click-through rate

Your email click-through rate is the percentage of recipients who clicked a link in your email.

Click-through rate is an important measure of how effective your emails are at engaging your subscribers and encouraging them to take the desired action.

When you’re creating an email campaign, there are a few things you can do to increase your click-through rates. For instance, segment your contacts to deliver more relevant content, personalise your content, and include social proof. Click here for more tips on boosting your click-through rates.

Click-through rates are typically much lower than open rates, with the average click-through rate being between 2-3%.

4. Email unsubscribe rate

Your unsubscribe rate is how many recipients unsubscribed from your email marketing messages. 

It can be deflating to receive a high number of unsubscribes, but you have to remember that you’re never going to please everyone. You have to take the good with the bad. People opt-out of emails. You should expect a decrease in your email list every now again – it happens.

By giving your subscribers the chance to opt-out of your emails at any time, you can feel more confident in the quality of your email list which will contain good quality leads who genuinely want to engage with your brand.

However, if you email unsubscribe rates are above 2%, it might be a good idea to look into how to reduce your unsubscribe rates.

5. Email bounce rate

When analysing your email campaign reports, you should also monitor your email bounce rate.

Your email bounce rate is a metric that calculates the percentage of emails you sent that didn’t reach the inbox – they ‘bounced back’. This is because the recipient’s email server rejected your email, which can be caused by a variety of reasons.

Soft bounces are temporary delivery failures where redelivery will be attempted, and hard bounces are a little more serious because they’re a permanent delivery failure. 

Unfortunately, email bounces are an inevitable part of an email marketer’s life, but high bounce rates can harm your sender reputation and have a negative effect on your delivery rates. The closer your bounce rate is to zero, the better it is. Typically, a healthy email bounce rate is lower than 2%.

Read more in our post ‘5 Tips to Reduce Your Email Bounce Rates‘.

6. Cart abandonment rate

Your cart abandonment rate tells how many people added your product(s) to their online cart but didn’t complete the purchase.

The average cart abandonment rate is almost as high as 70%. It’s important to track this metric because it indicates whether there are any preventable issues you can overcome to ensure more shoppers complete their purchase.

There are a number of ways to help reduce high cart abandonment rates. One of them is to understand why it happens in the first place. The reasons could include unexpected costs (such as delivery fees), shopping around and finding a better price, or the check-out process being too long or complicated.

When you know why prospects are abandoning their carts, you can implement marketing strategies to encourage them to complete their purchase. For example, sending a cart abandonment email with a discount code inside.

7. Engagement over time

When is the best time to send your email marketing campaigns? Which days do you receive the highest engagement rates?

There’s no universal solution. Answers will vary from industry to industry. However, you can track engagement over time to determine when the best send times are for your industry and your audience.

Tracking this metric will give you information on the best days to send your emails, based on historical engagement levels.

Some email service providers such as Wired Plus will automate this feature and collate this data for you, so you can ensure that you’re always sending the right messages at the right times.

8. Return on investment (ROI)

Do you know if your marketing is actually working?

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, it’s all about the ROI. In basic terms, your marketing ROI, or return on investment, is a measure of how effective your marketing is. It compares the amount of money you spend on a campaign with the amount of revenue you gain from it.

Tracking your marketing ROI can help to inform business decisions and optimise marketing efforts. Typically, marketing ROI is used to justify marketing spend, distribute marketing budgets, and measure campaign success.

If you can’t show the value of your marketing strategy, you might need to re-think your approach and embrace marketing automation software that breaks down your results for you.

Conclusion: Track all of your metrics in one place with a KPI dashboard

A marketing dashboard gives you the answers you need so you can clearly establish your marketing ROI.

KPI dashboards give you an overall view of your performance, goals, and progress towards each target you have set. They make it easier to visualise your results, compare your data, and see trends.

The KPI dashboard in Wired Plus enables you to plot your KPIs vs. your actual results, so you can keep on top of your progress in real-time. You can select the KPIs that matter most to you and measure your performance against reaching those goals, and then display it for everyone to keep track.

Want to see it in action? Book a no-obligation demo.

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