According to the emailmonday blog, marketers believe the biggest benefits of marketing automation are saving time (74%), increasing customer engagement (68%), and delivering more timely communications (58%).
This sounds like positive feedback from the companies that have already embraced the power of an automation platform.
But what about the bottom line impact of marketing automation; something our team is fiercely committed to achieving for clients large and small?
Benchmarking Report Marketing Automation revealed that, in the wider industry, only 8% of companies see increased revenues within six months of adopting marketing automation. This doesn’t tally up with the vast proportion of clients using the Force24 platform, who start to reap returns very quickly.
We prioritise ROI because we know it’s within reach. But it all boils down to understanding which marketing automation metrics to hone in on, in order to boost that all-important return on investment.
So, as a logical follow on to our recent metrics blog, we thought it made sense to share which stats we think are most important, within your marketing automation dashboard.
Before you start analysing your stats it’s important to make sure your marketing automation software is being used effectively, by the team you’ve empowered to run it. This doesn’t just mean they’re pressing send on email campaigns. It means they’ve thought carefully about customer journeys, have started to create relevant campaigns, and have thoroughly segmented and cleansed the data to ensure robust meaningful reporting.
Your first metric to therefore keep an eye on, is how many campaigns have been generated and the number of behavioural triggers that are being used to kick-start personalised, efficient communications thereafter. If these numbers are low, your marketing automation software isn’t even being used, so an ROI will never be attainable.
Next, make sure you understand the true ‘cost’ of your marketing automation. Otherwise, how will you ever calculate true ROI? The ‘cost’ isn’t just the amount you’ve paid to invest in the solution. It should also include the allocation of time within your marketing and/or IT department and the ongoing ease of use of the platform.
We’ve worked hard to ensure the cost of our system is low. The ‘price tag’ alone is very competitive, but we’ve also introduced a number of intuitive features to constantly save time and ensure the software is quick and easy to use. When support is required, one of our marketing experts will be on hand to proactively guide you through what you need to do next, and they’ll help you optimise the success of every activity, along the way. It’s difficult to reap such ‘savings’ from SaaS marketing automation solutions, particularly those that aren’t UK built and owned.
The next step is focusing on response metrics, i.e. signs that customers, prospects or other categorised leads are engaging with the communications you’re sending out.
Of course you need to look at email open and click through rates, as healthy figures will suggest the subject line, content and aesthetics are ‘on point’. If they’re low, don’t just ‘stick to what you know’. Make tweaks and conduct some A/B split testing to compare performance and validate the improvements.
Analyse conversions too, which, depending on your campaign goals, could be the number of inbound calls, appointment requests, referrals, brochure downloads, form completions, or, quite simply, website traffic. Set, measure and monitor reconversion goals too, as it should be easier to drive repeat business/actions among highly-engaged and satisfied customers.
Finally, whilst it may seem like a negative metric to check, you should also keep an eye on the unsubscribe rate. List depreciation is expected, especially among cold data, as not all contacts will be relevant to your business and people’s needs naturally change. However, continued unsubscribe rates may indicate that the frequency and content of your communications need immediate attention, as might your data segmentation.
Your ROI will naturally be higher if you can improve on the efficiency metrics generated with the help of marketing automation. That’s why we recommend that clients monitor everything from the cost per customer through to the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that are generated through your lead nurturing programme. Strong stats in these respects, are signs that your automation platform is working hard and achieving the type of results it is capable of.
Some clients often have very specific objectives for a campaign powered by marketing automation, e.g. to help cleanse and update a legacy database, or to drive the switch from paper to electronic statements. In these instances, ROI may be difficult to calculate. However, largely, clients invest in marketing automation to help retain existing clients, attract new ones and, ultimately, make money. That’s why step 5 is to concentrate on value metrics.
Whilst every scenario is different, steps should therefore be taken to analyse stats such as the close rate on marketing sourced leads, and, quite simply, revenue generated.
We’re quite happy to put our money where our mouth is. If you tell us your objectives, we’ll let you know how quickly you could expect to achieve an ROI from marketing automation. So why not get in touch?