Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor

A lot has been discussed about setting marketing goals for your business. Now, let’s shift gears and look at the key metrics you should monitor to determine digital marketing campaigns’ performance accurately. 

For now, we will focus on the three main strategies used by brands to generate sales, namely;

Top 5 Email Marketing Performance Metrics

Email is one of the sure ways of connecting with customers at a personal level. In 2022, 4.3 billion people use email, which is expected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025. The average ROI for email marketing is $42 per $1 spent. 

Here are the top email marketing performance metrics to focus on to record such a high ROI.

  • Open Rate

Open rate refers to the number of people who open the emails. If you do not get much sales and traffic from the email campaign, there is a high likelihood that most of the recipients are not opening your emails.

A low open rate is an indication that the email subject is not grasping the audience’s attention. Also, a high open-rate but low conversion rate means that the email copy is not compelling the potential customers to visit your site and convert.

It’s also likely that the email clients are marking and filtering your emails as spam before the target audience reads them. A/B testing will help you know which subject line format or writing style resonates best with the audience. 

A survey can also help you know exactly what the users like or don’t like about the content. Ideally, personalised content is more effective in generating engagement and sales than generic content. So, take the time to craft compelling subject lines and resounding copy to support it.

Segment your audience in different groups and send out personalised emails. Research shows that non-segmented content results in more than an 18% open rate, while segmented content gets at least a 28% open rate.

  • Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of recipients who click on at least one of the ads or links in the email copy. Virtually all email service providers have a dedicated analytics page with reports on CTR and other important email marketing campaign metrics.

A high CTR means that the users find the content relevant to their needs, and the opposite is true. Most email service providers provide details of the total number of clicks and the specific ads or links that get the most clicks.

Such information will help you refine your email marketing campaign by incorporating ad formats and content that the audience enjoys reading and engaging with.

  • Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is another invaluable metric that you should continuously monitor when running an email marketing campaign. It refers to the number or percentage of potential customers who abandon the cart or fail to complete a purchase after adding products to the cart.

A high cart abandonment means friction points in the buyer’s journey need to be eliminated to make the process smooth and customer-oriented. It may have nothing to do with the email copy or links but the website itself.

However, it’s easier to sell a product or service to a prospect who is already interested in it than a brand-new prospect interacting with your website for the first time. Target this select group of customers with personalised cart abandonment emails.

The first cart abandonment email should be sent around 1 hour after the target customer leaves your store. The email should be a polite reminder that they added products to the cart but forgot to checkout. Ask them if they are still interested in the product.

If you don’t get a response, send a follow-up email, and this time spice it up with a discount coupon. Once you regain the customer’s attention, use the opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell related products to get maximum profit from the sale.

  • Conversion Rate

Conversion rate refers to the number of people who receive the email and respond positively to its content and CTA. This group will visit your website and purchase the marketed product or service. A high conversion rate is a good sign that your email marketing campaign is well structured and working. 

However, if the conversion rate is low, consider changing certain aspects of the campaign, such as the email copywriting style and subject line. It could be you are sending emails to people who are not interested in the products. Segment your target customers in groups based on factors such as past interactions with your brand, buying behaviour, age, social class, and location.

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It’s not easy to track sales as a majority of the email service providers don’t include this information in their reports. We recommend using Google Analytics to track the sales or other tools such as Omnisend.

  • Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscription is one of the harsh realities of email marketing that you should be prepared to deal with as you strive to expand your clientele base. Some users won’t be happy with the email you send and will opt to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

All eCommerce email marketing campaigns face this problem, with most experiencing a 0.17% unsubscribe rate on average. If it’s higher than this average, something is wrong with your campaign and must be resolved quickly. 

Investigate what’s turning off the customers or why they are not interested in buying the product or service. Writing better content can help reverse the trend, but the decision should be based on recent A/B tests and other experiments.

They could also be opting to leave because you’re sending too many emails. Give the audience the freedom of selecting how often they would like to receive an email from you. Also, ask them which kind of content they would like to receive. Use such information to refine your email marketing campaign for better results. 

Please get to know their pain points by requesting feedback more often. The email copy should address these pain points amicably. Check the reports provided by the email service provider for more insights on what could be wrong with your emails.

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Performance Metrics

Social media is a digital marketing powerhouse with the incredible potential to grow online businesses. There are more than 4.5 billion active social media users globally. With new emerging platforms such as TikTok having more than 1 billion users, the number is expected to continue steadily rising. 

Promoting your brand on social media platforms that the target audience frequent will give you an upper hand in the market.

Here are the key performance metrics you should monitor to know if the campaign is working.

  • Brand Awareness

Brand awareness refers to your brand’s attention across multiple social media platforms in a given reporting period. Attention can be gauged based on several factors such as shares, links, mentions, and impressions. 

It’s recommendable first to decide the attention metric you will use to gauge awareness and the reporting period to get the right data. Be consistent in posting and engaging with followers by responding to their comments and messages. 

Hootsuite is one of the best social media marketing tools you can use to track brand awareness. Learn how the tool works to interpret the reports correctly.

  • Audience Growth Rate

The audience growth rate is closely linked to brand awareness as it gives insight into the speed at which your brand increases its followers on different social media followers. 

The idea is not to be contented with the total number of followers accrued over time but the net number of people who started following your brand last month or the last two weeks. Divide the number of new followers by the total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get the average audience growth rate percentage.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 8

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While there, track the progress of your competitors to know which strategies they are using to speed past you and get more leads. Use the findings to restructure your strategy to get better results.

  • Post Reach

Post reach refers to the number of people who see your post when it goes live. Your goal should be to create engaging posts that reach as many people as possible in your business’s areas. 

This metric is dependent on the timing (is the audience online) and the type of content (is the content valuable to the audience). Consider changing the content and timing if you continuously record a low post reach percentage. 

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 6

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Facebook has one of the best analytics compared to other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. One of its valuable features is the “When your fans are online” that informs marketers of the best time to post. Use its recommendation to boost your post reach.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 7

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Potential reach is another metric you should consider alongside post reach. Simply put, potential reach refers to the estimated number of people who could realistically see the post if you posted at a different time or if the content was different. 

Usually, the potential reach ranges between 2% and 5% of the theoretical reach. If one of your followers decides to share your post on their profile, 2-5% of their followers will be factored in the post’s potential reach.

  • Average Engagement Rate

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The essence of running a social media campaign is to engage with the users and generate rates. The average engagement rate will help you know how well your post resonates with the audience based on the total number of comments, shares, and likes.

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A high engagement rate means that your content matches the audience’s needs. Twitter and Facebook posts record the lowest engagement rates from 0.5% to 1%. Instagram has the highest engagement rate of between 3% and 6%.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 4

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Two other essential engagement metrics you should factor in to make an informed decision are:

    • Amplification Rate: The ratio of shares every post gets to the total number of followers. A high amplification rate means more followers are willing to associate with your brand. 
    • Virality Rate: Total number of people who shared your post on either platform relative to the total number of unique views (impressions) in a given reporting period. 

The additional two engagement metrics will give you a deeper perspective of the performance of your posts. In a nutshell, the info will help you know whether you should change how you communicate with the customers.

  • Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of followers who click on the post link and take the desired action, such as registering for a webinar, downloading an eBook, or subscribing to your newsletter against the total number of page visitors.

Not everyone who clicks on the link will convert, so this metric will come in handy to help you gauge the quality and relevance of your content. A high conversion rate means that the content and offer resonate with the target customers. 

We recommend including a CTA link in the post to track this metric accurately. The link should be trackable or a cookie in the target audience machine. Use one of the many social media monitoring tools to monitor each post’s number of clicks and conversions. 

Other important social media performance metrics that you should also factor in when making decisions include:

    • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Number of clicks on links and CTA in the posts.
    • Bounce Rate: Number of page visitors who click on the post link and visit the website but leave soon after without interacting with the elements or browsing other pages.
    • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): Amount of money charged per click on sponsored ad or post.
    • Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): Total amount you pay for every one thousand people who view and scroll past the social media post or ad.
    • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measure/degree of customer loyalty
    • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSat): how satisfied a customer is with your service or product
    • Conversation Rate: Ratio of the total number of comments a post gets compared to the total number of followers you have on the platform. 

The reports from the social media monitoring tool may be too detailed and intricate to understand for novice marketers. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a reputable social media marketing agency to avoid misinterpreting the data. 

Top 5 Content Marketing Performance Metrics

Content marketing is the secret ingredient in the recipe for generating more organic traffic and sales from search engines. Here are the performance metrics you should focus on to grow your business.

  • SERP Ranking

SERP stands for search engine results page. SERP ranking measures how well search engines such as Google perceive your content to match the user’s search query and search intent. 

Google doesn’t index every form of content you might think of, from blog posts, product listing pages, sponsored Google ads, podcasts, forum questions, to YouTube videos. Therefore, it’s essential to optimise every form of content you publish on the site and other platforms.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 5

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The higher your rank for the target keywords, the better. Highly ranked websites enjoy massive organic traffic, resulting in more sales. Focus on creating high-quality evergreen and cornerstone content and optimise it using short-tail and long-tail keywords. Sprinkle question-based keywords to increase your site visibility in voice search results pages.

  • Unique Page Views

Unique page views are different from the total page views. It gives an insight into the total number of people who have either seen or visited a particular web page without factoring in repeat visits and views. 

That means if a visitor refreshes the page, the new page access will be considered as a unique view. This metric will help you know the quality of traffic you get from search engines.

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High unique page views mean that your content is excellent and appeals to the target audience. It also shows that the viewers are interested in the topic – and so you should probably focus on creating more such content to get even more results.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 2

Photo Credit: Google Analytics

Low unique page views but high total page views mean that most of the target audience visits your pages repeatedly. This information can be used for creating a retargeting ad campaign. Comparing the numbers with the conversion rate will enable you to gauge the effectiveness of your advertising and content marketing campaigns to convince website visitors to convert.

  • Pages Per Session

Pages per session refer to the average number of web pages visitors view in one session. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of page views by the total number of sessions recorded. 

How can pages per session help enhance content marketing strategies? Well, it shows how engaging or interactive your content is by measuring the amount of time the average web visitor spends on your website.

For example, a website with five average pages per session means that the average visitor browsers five pages before exiting. 

It would help if you strived to record a high page per session average as it means that the content is engaging and resonates with the needs of your target audience. Increasing the quality of content and researching topics that the audience is most interested in will enable you to achieve this goal. 

For eCommerce websites, this metric indicates the products that a majority of the customers are most interested in. Use it to know which products to create custom landing pages for to generate more sales from the traffic.

  • Backlinks

A backlink from an authority site related to your niche will crank up your site ranking. As mentioned earlier, a high-ranking result in more organic traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing.

Top-rated websites get four times more backlinks than ordinary websites. Their content is packed with valuable information such as statistics and case studies that other authors cite in their articles. It’s a sign of how other content creators and publishers value your content.

As a content marketer, you should check your backlink profile to know the number of new backlinks received within a given period. Also, confirm the quality of the links to avoid attracting a penalty from Google. Get rid of links from sites with a poor reputation, such as those flagged by Google for various malicious activities such as hacking.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 3

Photo Credit: Ahrefs Backlink Checker

Desist from creating a backlink profile using blackhat SEO strategies such as private blog networks. You are better off getting links legitimately through guest posting and collaboration with other industry leaders. 

  • Traffic Sources

It’s important to know where your website gets its traffic to optimise your content marketing strategies accordingly. There are three primary types of traffic sources, namely:

    • Direct traffic
    • Referral traffic
    • Search traffic

Note that traffic from banners and ads is not included in the list above, even though it impacts the total traffic.

Top Digital Marketing Performance Metrics to Monitor 1

Photo Credit: Google Analytics

Use Google Analytics to know the different sources of web traffic. With this report, you can come up with ways of increasing traffic from the sources that generate the most traffic. 

Go further and look at sources that channel the lowest amount of traffic to your website. Re-evaluate your content marketing strategies to start getting traffic from those sources also. 

Concisely, analysing the high and low traffic sources will enable you to create robust content marketing strategies. 

Bonus Metric: Conversion Rate

Content marketing conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the desired action after viewing your content. The desired action used to measure this metric is dependent on the primary goal of the campaign. 

The action doesn’t always have to be sales; it can increase sign-ups and subscriptions to newsletters or mailing lists. 

The conversion rate will give you a picture of the performance of your marketing efforts. If you recently created a landing page, the number of sales it gets will help you decide whether to retain the content or rehash it. A low conversion rate means that probably the copy is poor quality, page design needs to be improved, or you’re getting unqualified traffic. 

The decisions to restructure the content marketing campaigns should be based on results of split tests or A/B tests.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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