Marketing automation, like any other automation, brings in the amplifying effect of any small change or deviation in the processes. A small correction in right direction can achieve big results. Similarly, a small error can lead to large impact on your customer base.
As a CMO or someone who is responsible for the overall marketing and marketing automation of your organization, you need to constantly monitor the effect of your automation output to ensure that you are on the right course and are getting the maximum benefit from your investment in marketing automation. At the same time, you need to monitor various metrics to identify the areas of improvement of your team as well as your software setup. There are some metrics that are relevant to all implementations however, not all are monitored despite their ample relevance. Say for example, metrics such as adoption of tools by the team or the adoption of automation by your team, though are important but may not need monitoring if your team is small. However, for a large spread out team, even this metrics could play a significant role and thus it would make a lot of sense to monitor it regularly.
Below, we list a few essential metrics that are incorporated in automation dashboards and should be monitored by you regularly to ensure positive automation results.
Number of Emails sent. This is a no brainer. This is the simplest metric to look at. This is also a very important metric than holds a lot of information in it. This metric tells you if your automation setup is getting used or not. Automation should allow you to reach more customers than you could, before the automation. If that is not happening, then either you are not generating enough leads and you need to look into the matter or your team is not using the automation software. In the latter case, you need to look if it’s the issue with your setup or is it with your team and take steps accordingly.
Behavioural Event Triggers. If your team is using the software to send emails and connect with customers, that’s great. But it is still a basic level of automation activity. Your team should set up behavioural triggers to connect with customers. For example, connect with the customers about their abandoned journey (on your store site) and induce them to follow through, send a campaign mailer to the customer, based on the content of their abandoned shopping cart. That’s an insight based campaign. That is the reason you invested in automation software.
Click through rate. This is one of the key response metric. Once you have sent out the connect to customer, how does he feel about receiving your communication. Did he open the email? Did he click through the links to bring him to your landing page? This metric indicates how well your communication was drafted. Was the subject enticing enough to the customer to open your email? Did the content of your email motivate him to act? If your click through rates are low, you may need to relook at your content and perform some A/B testing to get better results.
Site traffic. If your emails are going through and appealing to the customers or your campaigns are effective, they should translate into higher site visits. You should be able to see your traffic by the traffic source. You should be able to measure how much traffic is being driven by your automation efforts, as compared to pre-automation days.
Unsubscribe rate. Some of the customers/leads would always unsubscribe, due to factors not related to automation. Your ‘unsubscribe’ rate is a fairly good indicator of how well your customers are responding to your marketing automation. If there is a significant increase in the ‘unsubscribe’ rate after your marketing automation implementation, then there’s something wrong with the way you have set it up. You need to re look at it. Generally, unsubscription rates tend to be around 1%. This is typical rate, not a hard and fast rule. If your unsubscription rate is higher, you need to look if you are targeting the right audience and sending relevant information or do you need to re look at the segmentation of your list.
Reconversions. Anytime your lead converts, it affirms the lead intelligence that you have. The more number of times the same lead reconverts, the more affirmation you have about your lead intelligence. This is what your marketing automation should be driving. If your leads aren’t reconverting, then there is a problem either in the way you trigger the communication or in the content mapping. You need to relook at both.
Cost per Customer. With a good marketing automation solution, your marketing funnel should not remain very top heavy. With automation, many more leads can be nurtured than what could have been possible without automation in place. These leads progress and convert into customers. With less wastage at the top, the eventual cost per customer should reduce. However, be watchful that if the only decrease in this cost is due to reduced labour due to automation, then you are not really getting the benefit of automation and you need to take a deeper look into the matter. Decrease in cost due to automation is an ancillary benefit. The primary benefit is increased reach, which should reduce your eventual cost.
Qualified Leads. These are the leads that have higher possibility of converting into customers, based on their activity. If you have nurtured the leads effectively, with your marketing automation tools, the number of qualified leads available to your sales team to close, should be higher.
Revenue Generated. There may not be a better performance indicator of any system or any tool, than how much revenue can be attributed to it. If your business was already growing, then with the use automation, the rate of growth should increase. With automation, you are targeting the customer with better knowledge about him and thus should be able to position a higher value product to customer. When looking at the growth, you should monitor not just the increased number of closed deals, but also the increase in average price per sale. With automation done right, these both should be pointing north.
Cost Vs benefit analysis. With the knowledge of how much revenue can be attributed to marketing automation, and knowing your total cost of ownership (capital cost plus operating cost), you can now determine, what is the actual benefit that marketing automation is giving you. If the cost of automation software and staff to operate it, is higher than the additional revenue generated, then you need to relook at your marketing automation strategy.
Marketing automation helps you gain more customers that translate into higher total revenue and higher revenue per sale. At the very least you need to monitor these two parameters to determine if your marketing automation program is headed in the right direction. You can dig further into metrics to determine, which aspect of automation needs re-calibration to generate higher returns. Designed with right metrics, you can monitor and leverage the power of automation and if done right, generate substantial return on investment on Marketing Automation.