How To Measure Success of a Marketing Campaign With Metrics

Updated February 3, 2023

A person seated at a table studies printed graphs and tablet information.

Marketing campaigns help businesses and companies attract new customers, get sales and generate more profits. To determine whether a marketing campaign is successful, you need to measure more than just the number of sales and amount of profit brought in. If you're responsible for improving your company's marketing campaigns, it's important to understand what metrics you can use and how to measure them.

In this article, we list 21 different marketing metrics and explain how to use them to measure the success of a marketing campaign.

Related: A Guide To Effective Marketing Techniques

What metrics can you use to measure a marketing campaign?

Establishing and measuring the success of a marketing campaign involves using key performance metrics (KPIs). Here is a list of 21 KPIs that can help you measure the success of any campaign, no matter the type, medium or channel you use:

1. Return on investment (ROI)

ROI is a common metric that measures how much you invested and spent on your marketing versus how much you earned back. For example, if a social media marketing campaign for sneakers costs $1,000 and brings in $5,000 worth of sales, the ROI is $4,000 or 400%. The higher your ROI, the more successful the investment.

Read more: ROI: Definition and Calculation

2. Cost per win

Cost per win measures the expense of each sale against the overall cost of marketing, and you can use it to compare campaigns against each other to see which performs better. For example:

  • A $1,000 social media campaign for a hair product generated five sales, so the cost per win is $200.

  • A $1,000 direct email marking campaign for the same hair product generated 20 sales, so the cost per win is $50.

3. Cost per lead

Cost per lead measures the effectiveness of marketing campaigns from a financial perspective, focusing on the number of leads rather than sales or wins. For example, a $1,000 marketing campaign for organic coffee that generated five sales from 10 leads would have a $100 cost per lead.

Related: What Is Cost Per Lead? How To Calculate CPL

4. Cost per conversion

This metric matters most for companies working with online sales directly, particularly where a customer can place an item in their digital cart. The cost per conversion metric measures how much it costs to convert a website visitor into a buying customer.

Related: What are Conversion Costs? Definition, Formula and How To Calculate

5. Customer lifetime value

This metric measures the lifetime value of a customer by calculating the customer's average sale amount by how many times they buy each year by the average amount of years they remain a customer. For example, let's say a customer spends $100 on average per sale and buys four times per year with the expectancy of staying a customer for five years. Their customer lifetime value would be $2,000.

Related: Guide To Understanding Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

6. Cost per acquisition

This metric relates to new customers, and it calculates how much it costs to gain one through marketing and advertising. Knowing the lifetime value of your customers overall can help you determine the right amount you should spend to gain new ones.

Related: Cost Per Acquisition Formula: How To Calculate CPA

7. Conversion rate

The conversion rate, or goal completion rate, measures how many visitors to your website become leads or buying customers during a specific time frame of a campaign. For example, if 1,000 people visit your website during one week of a marketing campaign and generate 100 leads, that calculates to a 10% conversion rate.

Related: How To Calculate and Optimize Your Conversion Rate

8. Website traffic

Many marketing campaigns involve advertising on a company website. You can use total traffic figures to determine how successful your website is overall and compare traffic numbers to other time frames outside of the marketing campaign. Measuring your website traffic regularly helps you better understand what campaigns are working and when. You can even track traffic from mobile device visitors compared to computer users.

If you see a drop in the number of people visiting your website during a marketing campaign, consider troubleshooting. Check for broken or inactive links or other technical issues to fix.

Related: 8 Ways To Increase Your Targeted Website Traffic

9. Traffic by source

The traffic by source metric shows you where your website visitors come from, like organic visitors, direct visitors, referral links or social media links. Watching this metric can help you determine where to spend more effort or money to attract more visitors from that source.

Related: What Are UTM Codes? (And How To Use Them To Track Website Traffic)

10. New versus returning visitors

This metric helps show how relevant your website is in the long term. A high number of returning visitors shows that people think your site is valuable enough to keep revisiting. Consider reviewing this metric as you add content to your website to further measure how certain content, campaigns or advertisements perform.

Related: Page Views vs. Visits: What’s the Difference?

11. Sessions

This metric measures the number of total visits your website gets, even if several are from the same visitor. For example, a customer may shop in the morning and return to the site in the evening, and you count both as unique and individual sessions.

12. Average session duration

An average session duration metric applies to some industries more than others and measures the amount of time a visitor spends on your website in total. For example, the real estate industry often sees higher session duration times as people browse home listings. This metric can help you answer the following questions:

  • Is your site user-friendly?

  • Can customers find what they want or need easily?

  • Is the content considered valuable to spend time with?

Related: How To Calculate Average Time on Page (With Examples)

13. Bounce rate

Bounce rate calculates how many people leave your website after only viewing the landing page. This can help you determine:

  • Disinterest

  • Lack of content match

  • Loading errors or long loading times

Consider adding visual content and interesting calls to action to keep visitors on your page and including links to relevant material that applies to what you offer. For example, a marketing campaign about a new product launch that leads to a website homepage showcasing the new item is more likely to have a lower bounce rate than one not featuring the new item at all.

Related: What Is a Good Bounce Rate? (With Tips To Improve It)

14. Exit rate

The exit rate varies from the bounce rate because it measures exactly where a consumer left the website, even if they click on more than one page. This helps indicate where a reader lost interest and can help you strengthen your overall content.

Related: Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate: What's the Difference? (With Examples)

15. Page views

This metric is the total number of pages viewed, though it is important to know that repeat site visitors count each time. The value of this metric is it can help you determine if all of your website pages are gaining traffic or if certain ones perform better than others, which may help you decide where to place certain marketing ads.

Related: Guide to Unique Visitors

16. Impressions

An important marketing campaign metric is impressions, which is the total number of views your content and advertisements get. It measures every time someone views your ad, even if one person looks more than once across digital platforms.

Related: What Is a Page Impression? Definition, Importance and Tips

17. Social reach

This metric tells you how many people on social media saw your content and only counts individual users, unlike impressions. A high number in your social reach metric is good, though not everyone who sees your content will engage, so the broader the reach, the better for more engagement. You can grow your social reach by:

  • Branding all of your social profiles

  • Engaging with people who post

  • Sharing curated content frequently

Related: What Social Media Reach Is and How It Can Help Your Marketing Strategy

18. Social engagement

Social engagement is the number of people within the social reach metric who interact with an element of your marketing campaign. This may include:

  • Clicks

  • Shares

  • Likes

  • Comments

Related: How To Calculate Social Media Engagement Rate

19. Email open rate

A staple of any marketing campaign is an email advertisement, and this metric measures the number of people who open the email compared to the total number of people you send it to. The top reasons consumers open emails include:

  • Sender name

  • Subject line

  • Offer described

  • Email preview

  • Expected length

You can increase your open rates by creating an attractive subject line, emailing at an appropriate time and having a strongly segmented recipient list to ensure relevancy.

Related: Average Email Open Rate Benchmarks (and How To Improve Yours)

20. Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rates measure how many people click on the content within an advertisement compared to the full number of impressions the ad made. This metric can help you assess how relevant your ads are to viewers.

Related: What Is Click-Through Rate and Why Does It Matter?

21. Cost per click

The cost-per-click metric is important in your overall marketing budget and references how much you pay for each time a consumer clicks on your ad. Overall, the lower your cost per click, the better.

Read more: What Is Cost per Click (CPC)? Definition and How To Calculate

How to measure success of a marketing campaign

Measuring the success of a marketing campaign factors in many of the metrics mentioned above and requires a plan to best determine what KPIs apply to what you're measuring. Here are five steps you can take to measure the success of a marketing campaign:

1. Create a goal to achieve

A marketing campaign strategy begins by setting a goal to measure with initial metrics to compare. Consider using the SMART goal technique:

  • Specific: Give a clear and detailed description of what you need to achieve.

  • Measurable: Include metrics and target numbers that show success.

  • Achievable: Ensure your goal is challenging but realistic enough to reach.

  • Relevant: Make sure the goal you set is relevant to the company's overarching objectives.

  • Time-bound: Set milestones and dates to meet your goal.

Read more: How To Write a SMART Goal (and How They Work)

2. Set a firm time frame

Establishing a solid time frame, whether 14 days or 14 months, provides the parameters around which to measure your success and helps create a sense of urgency. Time frames allow you to make year-over-year or month-over-month comparisons to track and measure data.

3. Select success factors

Select which success factors you want to measure for your marketing campaigns, such as sales, new users, social impressions, newsletter sign-ups or loyalty purchases. Outlining specific and quantifiable results helps you measure success later. Here are a few examples of goals that involve specific, measurable factors:

  • Gain 100,000 social media impressions within the first week of the marketing campaign.

  • Secure sales from 15% of the loyal customer base.

  • Drive traffic to the company's website with the goal of 10,000 views per day.

4. Give specific details

Providing as much detail as possible around your KPIs helps teams know what to focus on and how to achieve the goal you set. For example, "Grow target audience followers" is vague and doesn't explain what to measure specifically. In comparison, "Grow target audience followers on all four social media channels by 30% within three months" includes more details to explain the goal in a more specific way.

5. Draft a marketing measurement template

Once you decide which metrics match the goal of your marketing campaign and what time frame you want to measure the results within, consider creating a template with all of the KPIs you intend to track and measure. Include items like:

  • Initial goals

  • Time frames for the marketing campaign

  • KPI metrics at the beginning, middle and end of the campaign or other milestones

  • Expectations or known potential issues

  • What worked well and what didn't

  • A summary of any unplanned events or effects

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