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Inbound Marketing: 7 metrics to track and optimize

Renan Andrade
Renan Andrade

Aug 10, 2023

Inbound Marketing

For an Inbound Marketing campaign to be truly effective, it needs to be measurable. This means that it must be based on metrics that can be constantly monitored and improved. Otherwise, all the effort put into the work ends up being a shot in the dark.

One of the biggest advantages of Inbound Marketing in relation to outbound marketing is the possibility of choosing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that convey a real idea of how the campaign is going. By monitoring the metrics, it is possible to quantify the performance and change the strategy in time, if necessary.

However, there are many KPIs in marketing and not all of them are useful for measurement. Certain indications are nothing more than empty numbers, if they are not placed in a context.

An example of this is the number of followers on social media. What's the advantage of having an Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of fans, but an engagement rate that's almost non-existent? The metrics that really matter are those that directly influence the decision-making process.

What are the metrics that guarantee a clearer view of the success of a campaign? We have prepared a list of 7 of them:

  1. Paid Traffic;
  2. ROI (Return on Investment);
  3. CAC (Customer acquisition cost);
  4. LTV (Lifetime value);
  5. CPL (Cost per lead);
  6. Conversion rate;
  7. E-mail marketing rate.

Keep reading our post to check out the KPIs that should always be closely monitored.


The educational institution's website is one of the central points of the Inbound Marketing strategy. Therefore, it is essential to know how the traffic is and how the campaigns influence the number of visits. After all, the more visitors, the greater the chances of qualifying and converting leads into customers.

It is also equally important to find out which are the main sources of traffic and the representation of each of them. This means realizing which are the most significant channels in terms of access generated to the site and how ongoing campaigns are somehow influencing this count.

For this monitoring to be even more effective, goals must be defined for each of the sources. So, if the results fall short of what was established, it is easier to identify where the problem is and test other possibilities.

Monitoring traffic frequently also allows you to identify a sudden drop in the number of accesses, which can indicate problems with certain pages or even with the entire server.

ROI (Return on investment)

All investments made in a campaign need to be justified and generate a financial return, otherwise, the result is a loss. ROI points out exactly what percentage was billed and whether it is rewarding or not. Therefore, it is one of the most important indicators for companies when it comes to digital marketing.

You can evaluate the index relative to all campaigns applied or only to some of them, or even to a specific channel. There are different ways to calculate ROI and each company adopts the one that makes the most sense for their business, but the most common formula is the following: revenue – investment/investment.

The ROI is only obtained at the end of each action, in this way, it is possible to have a global view of it, considering the costs with possible tools, for example, and the revenue obtained. These numbers, monitored together with the other metrics, will bring more clarity about the channels that really deserve investment.

CAC (Customer acquisition cost)

As the name explains and explains in a very simple way, CAC is how much the company spends to win a customer. This is an extremely important and strategic metric, as it indicates whether the investments made are achieving their main goal.

The CAC calculation is based on the total investment made in customer acquisition initiatives divided by the number of customers obtained. The costs and results of the same period must be considered into account so that the value is reliable.

The formula includes all investments that are linked to the marketing and sales sectors, such as salaries, expenses with paid media and even events. Customers, for CAC purposes, are only those obtained by the channels that received such investments, otherwise, the index obtained is not accurate.

Knowing the importance of this KPI to indicate if the company's marketing plan is successful, it is essential that the CAC is as low as possible. In this way, and also depending on other metrics, everything indicates that the business is financially balanced.

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LTV (Lifetime value)

Like CAC, life value also refers to the customer, but, in this case, it is how much he earns financially during his lifetime as a consumer. That is, if for a year he attended a course for six months with a monthly fee of $500, or LTV is $3,000.

It is not at all practical to consider the index of each customer individually, therefore, the calculation is done in a global way. With a view on the average total spent and the duration of the relationship with the company, important issues regarding the expectation of revenue for the following months are evaluated.

It is not at all practical to consider the index of each customer individually, therefore, the calculation is done in a global way. With a view on the average total spent and the duration of the relationship with the company, important issues regarding the expectation of revenue for the following months are evaluated.

CPL (Cost per lead)

All the metrics mentioned throughout this article are important, but the cost per lead undoubtedly stands out. This indicator requires a CPL with no margin for error, as otherwise it can convey conflicting information about the direction of a campaign and even about the company's financial health in general.

The CPL represents the amount spent on each person who showed interest in the service offered by the company during the campaign. To obtain this average, the investment made is divided by the number of leads generated during the defined period.

It is worth remembering that, even if the deal has not been closed, what counts for this index is the interest shown, either by filling out a form or requesting more information by email.

The best solution is the one that has a lower CPL, as the company is thus generating a greater number of leads at the lowest possible cost. By monitoring this KPI consistently, it is possible to see, right at the beginning of a campaign, whether it will bring interesting results or not.

Conversion rate

A conversion is not just about making a sale. In fact, this can be one of the goals, however, it is possible to carry out and measure conversions at all stages of the funnel. Obtaining this rate is crucial to understand if the defined strategy is really working as expected.

There are different methods of calculating the conversion rate according to your location along the funnel. Imagine you want to measure the performance of a landing page on your website with a form. To obtain the indicated KPI, simply divide the total number of visits to the page by the number of forms submitted.

If the number of hits is interesting, but, in the end, the completed forms leave something to be desired, it is worth reviewing why a significant number of conversions are not carried out. Confusing information and technical issues with shipments could be among the reasons for a low rate.

E-mail Marketing Rate

Within the possibilities of marketing automation, the automatic sending of emails is one of the most used. Newsletters need to be relevant to capture the attention of contacts from the topic to a title that stimulates curiosity and the desire to open the message to read.

A low open rate can be exactly related to a less stimulating title or, even, to an inefficient segmentation of contacts. The content of the email must also be carefully checked, as the way it is organized can lead to it being sent directly to spam.

Directly related to the opening rate is the unsubscribe rate, which signals a lack of interest on the part of the contact base in the services provided by the company or in the subjects presented in the newsletters. Another point that can contribute to the rise of this indicator is repeated shipments or at inappropriate hours.

Next, it is also important to consider the click-through rate of the email. In addition to the message opening itself, clicks are valuable indicators of engagement. The newsletter can invite the lead to visit the website, download an e-book or, who knows, fill out a form to participate in an event.

The more engaging the email and the closer the language to the target audience, the easier it is to get a high rate.

The metrics and data generated are essential for making strategic decisions and anticipating scenarios. Check out our post on Insight Analytics and see how this technique can help your educational institution!

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