The measure of a successful marketing campaign is an increase in sales and, ultimately, revenues. Right? Well, yes, those are important and surely the desired outcome for any business owner but getting there is a journey, not a sprint, and there are some important checkpoints along the way.
Since numerous marketing activities and endeavors have moved into the highly demanding and dynamic online environment, there is no shortage of things to be measured.
However, if you are an entrepreneur looking for the best way to expand your brand, there are only a few of these KPIs that truly matter. Keeping an eye on these will help you tweak and upgrade your campaigns to get superior results.
1. Engagement on social media
Having strong social media profiles is an essential factor in marketing success. Especially at the present time, with the (compulsory) rise of all things online, you need to be where the customers are and have a message important and enticing enough that they respond to it.
Merely counting the number of views of a Facebook post or a Tweet is hardly sufficient. You should see how many people reacted, shared, and commented on your content.
The key to getting reactions (online and in real life) is to be able to evoke emotions in the target audience. You can find out what makes your followers tick by building a comprehensive persona, doing a little research, and preparing several versions of messages to test.
Count actions and reactions instead of plain views, and you’ll get a much more relevant number.
2. Conversion of visitors into leads
The conversion of visitors into leads measures the number of people who go on from your social media posts or your ads to your landing pages. They are not the ones who complete the transaction but are interested enough to want to find out more about what you are selling.
One way to drive these numbers up is to always include calls to action in your communication – ask them to go to your product page, leave a comment, sign up for your newsletter, leave their information with you in order to receive a free sample or a whitepaper.
It greatly helps to have a good idea about your customer persona and what drives that particular segment to action.
Keep in mind that different web hosting companies use different tracking information, and you’ll need to familiarize yourself with it before you can trust the numbers you are getting.
3. Returning visitors
People who visit your online course website or landing page more than once are also a good indicator of how well your marketing campaign is doing. Today’s customers are used to weighing their options quite a lot before they decide to make a purchase. That’s why your website must be ‘return friendly’, giving visitors reasons (and incentives) to come back.
There are several ways of interacting with your website guests, from pop-ups that ask for an e-mail in return for some interesting and free piece of content or for a discount code to live chat. If you chose this option is best to do the chatting with an actual person instead of a bot (unless you can afford a high-end, flawlessly performing one).
Whatever you chose, it’s essential that you are able to reach out to them after that initial visit, so gear all your creativity into that direction.
4. Conversion of leads into customers
This type of conversion refers to the transformation of an individual from a potential client into a buying customer.
You are undoubtedly familiar with the concept and mechanics of a sales funnel. While some argue that the key is in having immense numbers of leads to start with, others say that it’s best to focus more on those who have a real potential of buying instead of randomly targeting everybody.
I adhere to this latter opinion. It’s better to focus your efforts on giving special attention to the needs and preferences of your intended audience.
You’ll have a much better chance of selling an online course to those who are genuinely interested in the subject or have a need for that skill. If you have to start by building up the need, it will take longer and it’s not quite sure you’ll manage it anyway.
5. Revenue per visitor
This type of revenue is very easy to calculate (simply by dividing your revenue by your number of visitors) and it’s an important KPI because, as I have said before, the ultimate goal of marketing endeavors is to make money.
The current health crisis makes for a difficult time for sales, and people may be somewhat reluctant to part with very hefty chunks of their funds at the moment. However, this is not reason enough to stop focusing on driving this metric up.
You can use special discounts if they opt for more than one product, offer early-bird specials, or give better prices to those who not only purchase but convince a friend to do so as well.
Again, creativity can run wild on this one, and a lot of times, bringing down prices will lead to increased revenues.
Instead of going down the rabbit hole of calculating every possible metric known to marketers, focus on the ones that really have a bearing on your results. It will not only mean less effort on your part, but it will also be highly beneficial to your online course business.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.