Whether your marketing department is a startup or well established, you should routinely assess which key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re tracking — and if you’re not tracking any, decide where to start.
Every marketing team should have specific KPIs that align with their department’s goals and the organization’s goals at large. Picking the right marketing KPIs to monitor over time gives you a bird’s-eye view of how your program is performing and where to make improvements. KPIs should also hold each team member accountable for hitting their number and doing their part.
While there are countless KPIs you could track, we’re laying out the ones specifically tailored for demand generation marketers.
How To Track Marketing KPIs
The following types of tools are used to track, measure, and share KPIs:
- Web analytics
- CRM systems
- Data dashboards
- Data visualization
- Business intelligence software
Whichever solution you use, make sure you’re able to share insights in a digestible way across your marketing department, and with other departments, too.
Performance Metrics by Channel
Choosing B2B marketing KPIs for your team starts with analyzing your active campaigns. Let’s take a look at the primary channels to generate demand: email, paid social, content syndication, webinars and direct mail — and which KPIs you should track for each channel.
Email Marketing KPIs
Email marketing comes in many forms, including nurture programs, acceleration tracks, and go-to-market one-offs, to name a few. You can monitor your email program holistically or segment by type of email.
Deliverability rate: The percentage of total emails delivered in relation to the total sent. For example, if you send an email to 10,000 people and 9,900 receive the email in their inbox, the deliverability rate is 99%. If your rate dips under 95% — that is reason for concern.
Unique open rate: Percentage of opens out of total delivered.
Unique click rate: Percentage of clicks out of total delivered.
Click to open rate: Percentage of clicks out of unique opens.
Unsubscribe rate: Percentage of unsubscribes out of total delivered.
Leads sent to nurture: Number of cold leads you engaged and added to your nurture program.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): Number of leads that an email converts from engaged to marketing-qualified.
Demos: Number of MQLs that sign up for a scheduled demo. This is a good indicator of whether leads have been warmed up properly.
MQL to demo rate: Percentage of MQLs that turn into scheduled demos.
Lead to MQL rate: Percentage of leads that enter the nurture program and convert to MQLs. It answers the question, “If this nurture program gives me X amount of leads over Y period of time, how many MQLs should I expect?”
Opportunities: Number of times a salesperson marks a lead as an opportunity and attributes that opportunity to an email campaign.
Pipeline: How much revenue your emails have sourced through bookings.
Paid Social KPIs
This refers to putting dollars behind advertisements on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social channels.
Lead to MQL rate: The goal is to achieve a zero-waste approach, meaning every lead is marketing-qualified (100% lead to MQL rate).
Cost per MQL: The higher your lead to MQL rate, the lower your cost per MQL. When your cost per MQL is low, more of your spend can go toward creating MQLs rather than nurturing leads that may not work out. A good cost per MQL will depend on the platform and the average selling price of your product.
“Set your own benchmarks,” says Mitchell Hanson, director of demand generation at ZoomInfo. “Understand where you relate to your competitors, but focus on constantly trying to one-up yourself.”
Intent lift. Run two variations of a campaign — one with intent data layered in and one without. Compare how the two perform. Then ask yourself: if the conversion rate increases by X amount with intent, how much more could I pay to box out the competition for audiences, while still being as efficient or more efficient than my non-intent audiences?
Account penetration percentage. From an account-based marketing perspective, this metric tells you if you’re targeting the right people. What percentage of accounts are you reaching, and how many members of that account’s potential buying unit are you engaging?
Content Syndication KPIs
Content syndication is the practice of promoting your own content through relevant vendors, such as trade publications, to expand your audience and get in front of your ideal customers.
There are two ways to syndicate content. The first is to not target anyone specifically, which is cheaper but results in lower conversion rates. The second is to take an account-based approach where you give the vendor a list of accounts and targeting criteria, such as sales directors at small and medium-sized businesses. This is much more expensive, but results in higher conversion rates.
Cost-per-lead: If you take the first approach, you can typically expect high volume and low conversion rates, meaning costs per lead will be low.
MQL to demo/meeting: The percentage of MQLs that show up to the demo or meeting.
You can influence the volume and conversion rate by adding an intent profiling question to your program. Try asking, “Would you like to learn more about X product?” Pass along those who say yes to sales and those who say no to your nurture program.
Webinars are a great source of warm inbound leads. There are three primary types of webinars: thought leadership, general topics, and product-specific discussions and demos.
Registrations: The number of people who registered for the event.
Attendance rate: The percentage of people who registered and also showed up. Fifty percent and above is a good mark to aim for.
Conversion rates: Webinars can be high-volume, high conversion-rate channels. Of those who attend, measure how many took the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Focus on those who ask questions and participate during the webinar. Those are the hottest leads and they tend to convert very well. Consider targeting them separately afterward with an urgent call to action.
“Don’t discount the impact of promoting the on-demand recording to the same level you promote the live event, because on-demand can convert just as well, or better, than the live version,” Hanson says.
Direct Mail KPIs
Otherwise known as gifting, direct mail entails sending emails with gifts (typically gift cards) or actual physical gifts to high-value prospects to persuade them to take a meeting. The dollar value of the gift depends on the importance of the prospect. For example, a cold lead will likely receive a smaller gift than a stalled opportunity.
Claim rate: Percentage of those who opened their mail and claimed their gift.
Claimed to meetings booked: Percentage of those who claimed their gift and booked a meeting (if the recipient had to accept a meeting in order to claim a gift).
The biggest KPI of all? Return on investment. Every month and quarter you should be re-evaluating if your team is spending its budget appropriately. Frequently monitor where there are inefficiencies and how you should reallocate your budget.
If you’re not sure how frequently to report, match it to how your sales team is forecasting. If they’re forecasting weekly, you should be reporting weekly. Make sure you are closely aligned with your sales team on metrics, as there will be plenty of overlap.
You should also compare and contrast the effectiveness of your marketing efforts across channels. For example, if you’re paying three times more for paid social than for content syndication, you should be getting three times the amount of conversion rates. If not, re-evaluate your distribution strategy.
“Don’t forget to constantly update your suppression file to achieve as close to a ‘zero waste’ approach as you can. For example, if you’re running a new business evergreen campaign, make sure you are suppressing customers so you don’t unwittingly put money toward the wrong audience,” Hanson says.