As marketing automation continues a hockey-stick adoption curve, the amount of data, metrics and response information are flooding MA systems and their connected CRM systems at unprecedented rates. Historically, sales and crm users have not exactly been enamored with some of the more basic, numeric data generated by email marketing systems. One of the many discussions I have with people (customers, partners, peers) centers on metrics. More specifically, these discussions always wind up at "which metrics really matter for b2b CRM users?" As a long time marketing automation user (and seller and marketer of it) I have the benefit of years of MA data on everything from email campaigns to PPC to social at my disposal. When people ask me what I care about the most, I state very clearly...post click web data.
As a classically trained direct marketer of 20+ years, I can tell you that the basic marketing metrics, be it retail or b2b, have not changed all that much. We care about the cost to acquire a lead relative to the revenue it generates post closure. That is universal. But digging deeper into the metrics of b2b marketing automation systems, do popular metrics like Click-through-rate on emails matter as much as they used to?
CTR will always matter at some basic level and I personally eyeball the CTR of every communication that goes out. The review of that data point is about 30 seconds to ensure that the emails are in an established and acceptable range of opens (8-15%). From there, what really matters is what people do post click over a time period. This is a new type of metric that many refer to as "prospect engagement". Engagement, which can be measured in a number of ways and while not as black and white as CTR, is a relatively easy metric to get your head around. Some examples of engagement metrics used in the SalesFUSION system are listed below:
Email click to form completions - how many people are clicking through the email and completing the form. Seems simple....unless you're using a email tool and a separate landing page/form solution.
Post-Click Through Page Views - this is my favorite metric and it really shows the interest level someone has in your product or service. The standard metric shows how many pages and in what order someone clicks on your website following an email click through. A beautiful metric that marries a solid email metric and web metric in a single value. This type of metric is enable by the cookie placed on the users machine when the email is clicked, enabling tools like WebForensics (SalesFUSION's website visitor tracking) to track web visits from individuals. This type of metric is not available when using simple bulk email tools
Social Advocate Tracking - this is a useful stat when social sharing widgets are applied to an email campaign, metrics, based on the cookie applied to the email/widget, can track who is sharing your content within the body of the email and in which networks. This is useful in that it identifies individuals who are most likely to share your content, which may lead to a more regular stream of communications targeting that individual.
These type of email metrics, which dig a bit deeper than standard email metrics, help in identifying who is most interested and engaged with your content. These metrics typically feed a lead scoring model and drive lead alerts for your sales team which attempt to encourage direct person-to-person engagement between buyer and seller. SalesFUSION has implemented these types of engagement metrics inside of Microsoft CRM for some time and the reaction by sales is wonderful. Sales personnel love to see the flow of a lead from the point of click (email) to post click web browsing, downloads, and overall engagement on the web. This helps sales understand what the person is interested in and what the follow up phone conversation should focus on, leading to better conversion rates from campaigns. A wonderful result for any email campaign that we may run!
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