These days, we’re suffering from data overload. Now that technology has opened the door to Big Data of all kinds, we’re drowning in information and aren’t sure what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
So what should your business pay attention to when it comes to marketing? What metrics help you grow your company and understand your customers?
1. Email Open and Clickthrough Rates
If you use email marketing to connect with customers (and you should), you must understand whether your marketing campaigns are doing their job or not. You can find out by looking at two metrics:
Email open rate: this tells you what percent of all people who received the email opened it. The average open rate across all industries is in the 25% – 32% range, though it may be higher or lower in your industry.
Email clickthrough rate: out of the people who open your email, this is the percent that clicked a link from within the email. The average click rate is said to be around 2.61% though it is often much higher for targeted email campaigns.
When you understand how many people are opening and then clicking links in your emails, you can understand how effective a given email marketing campaign was. If your open rate is low, it may be that your subject line was lackluster, or that the offer wasn’t all that appealing.
If your clickthrough rate is low, it may be because the offer isn’t enticing enough, or you had too many links and people didn’t know which one to click.
Change one factor before running another campaign and see if that improved results.
2. Traffic to Your Site
Naturally, you’re doing a lot of marketing to drive traffic to your website, so it’s imperative that you look at your site’s numbers. Don’t be intimidated by your website’s analytics dashboard; there’s a lot of information there, but just a few things you really need to focus on:
Traffic to site: over time, this number should increase, thanks to your marketing efforts.
Acquisition/Traffic/Source: where your traffic is coming from is important. This will tell you how many people came to your site from a given source, like Facebook or a blog where you’ve written a guest post.
Behavior/Site Content: just as important as where they come from is what visitors do on your site. This tells you which pages people are visiting.
Again, this is highly-informative data. You can discover which marketing channels are driving traffic to your site and put more resources in those while pulling back from those that aren’t sending you traffic. You can also maximize your marketing efforts based on which products people are visiting the most on your site, or write more content based on the most popular posts.
3. Abandoned Cart Rate
Another important marketing metric is the abandoned cart rate. More than half of the people who add items to their virtual shopping carts end up leaving the site before completing the transaction. That’s a lot of unfinished business! If you can reduce your abandoned cart rate, you can increase revenues.
The key is understanding what’s driving people to not complete a transaction. It may be that your checkout process is long and arduous. If so, work to simplify it; require only the necessary details like payment and shipping details. Minimize the number of pages people have to click to complete the transaction.
Another cause of abandoned shopping carts is unclear shipping information. If your shipping rates aren’t clearly posted on each product page, shoppers may add an item to their cart and then see that shipping is more than they want to pay. The simple fix is to make your shipping rate and policy clear and easy to find throughout your site.
4. Social Media Engagement
You might be surprised to see that the metric you should pay attention to on social media isn’t how many followers you have. While, yes, you want the maximum number of targeted followers (that is, people who are actually interested in your brand, not just idly following random businesses), it’s more about what your followers are doing.
In general, you want to see lots of comments, clicks, and likes on your business’ social updates. You can also compare these numbers to how much of your website traffic is coming from each social channel to ensure that you’re really reaching your audience on social media.
Don’t get mired in all the marketing metrics that are out there. Focus on these four key data points and use them to continually improve your marketing strategy for best results.