Metrics matter, but are you looking at the right ones? That's the question that Mark Feldman, VP-marketing at NetProspex, a sales and marketing database company, is asking his customers.
The majority of email marketers look to traditional metrics such as open and click-through rates to help shape campaigns and strategies. While this is smart, Feldman said, marketers must also follow conversion rates from leads into sales. “This metric shows you how effectively leads are being processed by the sales team,” he said. “Sales pipeline metrics help you get a picture of your overall ROI, as well as the effectiveness of your targeting.”
Marketers can look at the cost of campaigns and, with the right information, show how every dollar spent translates into "X' dollars earned. This puts a true value on email marketing and the employees who support email marketing efforts. It can also help marketers get a better idea of whom to target, Feldman said.
“Marketers need a clear understanding of what's going to be accepted as a lead by the sales team,” he said. “Just because someone is in your database doesn't mean sales wants to spend their time talking to them.”
Feldman suggested that email marketers go out on sales calls with the sales team. “You should be listening for the qualifying questions that a salesperson asks to determine if a lead is a worthwhile lead,” he said. That information can be used to shape email content and targeting, Feldman said.
Metrics that track conversion can also help marketers understand if their lead cadence—the number of leads coming through the pipeline—is too few or too many. Plus, if leads are sitting for too long, it may indicate that were not qualified appropriately. “It's critical for marketing to get real-time feedback on its leads generated; but, if they sit too long, they may need to be requalified,” Feldman said.
Finally, leads-to-sales metrics can help marketers determine where the best leads come from. If you know 10% of the leads generated from a trade show became customers but only 5% of leads from a purchased list made it through to the sales team, you may want to put more money behind trade show-generation, Feldman said. These data should be easily uncovered in your marketing automation tool and can help when it's time to ask for an increase in the marketing budget, he said. “Marketers who can show ROI and a deep knowledge of the quality of leads can use this data to support marketing efforts,” Feldman said. “It's a really exciting time to be a marketer.”