It can be easy to get overwhelmed by marketing data. After all, most marketing teams work with at least a dozen apps and accounts, each one filled with its own set of marketing analytics.
But while the potential for insights is significant, you only have so much time. And you need to be able to act—not just analyze.
The question is, how many of those data points do you really need?
While the answer will depend on your specific industry and goals, there are several important areas virtually every marketer should evaluate on a regular basis. By honing in on some essential metrics, you can make that all-important marketing data analysis much simpler.
1. Email Engagement
Every popular email marketing and marketing automation platform provides a wealth of options for tracking activity. While you could look at every single one of them, a few key metrics will give you some of the most important insights:
Open rates clue you in to how receptive your subscribers are to your messages. This metric tracks how many people open each email, allowing you to see which subject lines are most effective at getting recipients to read your messaging. This information can be especially valuable when you're looking for inspiration to help guide additional campaigns.
The click-through rate (CTR) lets you know how many people clicked on the links in your email, so you can understand how well your campaigns are performing. So if you include a “Register Now” button for an important event, the CTR will show you what percentage of recipients clicked that link. This metric can help you understand what types of email content will most likely entice people to learn more.
Conversion rates show how many people are inspired by your email to take action. It goes one step beyond your CTR to see how many people not only clicked a link but also completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar. This metric is important because it helps you determine if the money you're spending on a campaign is paying off.
2. Form Engagement
Online form metrics, while often overlooked, are actually a highly important part of marketing data analysis. In fact, with today’s advanced form builder technology, you can see a lot more than just how many people filled out (or abandoned) a particular form. Key form engagement metrics to review in weekly or monthly reports include:
Field bottlenecks, which alert you to fields that could be preventing people from completing your forms. For example, if you see a high percentage of visitors make it to the required phone number field but no further, you’d know to eliminate that field and see if submissions increase. Regularly evaluating form bottleneck data can make it easier to improve conversion rates, and they’re relatively quick and easy to review.
Partial submissions to collect real-time data from users who abandoned your form before hitting the “submit” button. While field bottlenecks show you why people may decide not to complete a form, this marketing metric tells you who started to fill out a few fields before abandoning it. Whether it’s names and email addresses or industries and titles, aggregating this data can be a great way to identify new opportunities to reach out to (and recapture) warm leads.
UTM tracking that makes it possible to get a quick-but-comprehensive view of your form submissions. This marketing metric is especially important if you want to show exactly how many form conversions resulted from a specific marketing campaign or activity. So if you write a blog post that includes a call to action to fill out your form, you can use UTM tracking to see how many people do just that.
Pro Tip: A/B testing your forms is an excellent way to increase conversions and capture more data. Check out 11 Conversion-Crucial Web Form Elements to A/B Test to see what factors may be impacting your form conversion rate.
3. Website Engagement
When it comes to your website and landing pages, there’s a seemingly endless array of metrics to review—Google Analytics alone offers more than 200 options. But if you’re like most time-strapped marketers, you probably can’t devote the hours it would take to track much more than a handful of those on a regular basis. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can gain by keeping a close watch on even just a couple of key areas:
Traffic by channel tells you which sources are bringing in the most visitors. If you notice a large chunk of your website traffic is coming from one or two sources, such as email and social media, you can use this information to take action. You might decide to increase investments in those channels and see if you can attract even more leads. Or, if you have other metrics that indicate your target audience spends time elsewhere, you’ll know to focus on making your presence known within those channels.
Average time on page can clue you in to how much time people are spending on important pages of your website. For example, after directing people to a particular landing page through email and social media, you can see just how well the content on that page is resonating.
While your email CTR will tell you how many people clicked a link, average time on page shows you if they were interested enough to stick around. Did most people abandon the page after a couple of seconds, or was a percentage inclined to consume your content for a minute or two? This can help you see when a campaign is working well—and when it might be time to change things up.
The Power of Marketing Analytics
Bottom line: When it comes to marketing analytics, there’s a lot you can track. But each additional metric means yet another item to evaluate. And unless you’re a full-time data scientist, the resulting pages-long reports can get unwieldy to manage.
Instead, focus first on identifying the handful of the metrics that matter most. Then, as you get comfortable with reviewing those on a weekly basis, you can make adjustments as needed. The marketing metrics in this list are some of the simplest, most actionable options available to most marketers today—and they can be a great place to start.
Looking for more ways you can simplify your life—and make your marketing more effective? See how Formstack’s marketing tools can help you create highly effective campaigns even when you only have minutes to spare.