8 Inbound Marketing Reports You Can’t Live Without

by Steve Olenski

As a marketer, you’re already familiar with the inbound marketing model: attract online visitors, transform them to leads, and then convince them to become customers. However, it is vital to choose the right reports and make them easy for decision-makers to interpret.

These eight inbound marketing reports will help you get the most for your marketing dollar clarify where your leads come from, which promotions they prefer, and which inbound channels work best for your business.

1. Traffic Sources

Your first job is to identify how people find your website, your social channels, and your content assets. These channels provide the majority of inbound traffic:

  • Organic search. People find your website or blog when they type a query into Google or Bing.
  • Online ads. You purchase pay-per-click ads on search engines or other sides, and those ads lead customers to your landing pages.
  • Social networks. You connect with prospects on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or other social network, and those prospects click your links and visit your site.
  • Referrals. Inbound links from a guest blog post you’ve published on another website direct potential customers back to your website. A prominent blogger mentions your company and provides a link readers can use to find you.
  • Email marketing. When you use email for lead generation, people might click on your newsletters or download your promotional coupons.

2. Lead Sources

Most businesses discover that certain traffic sources deliver more leads than others. For instance, you might receive a lot of traffic from social networks but get the most verifiable leads from organic search. Once you understand which traffic sources create the most leads, you identify where you should spend more of your marketing budget after all not all qualified leads are not created equal.

It’s precisely why marketers need lead management software to automate lead scoring.

3. Leads Per Offer

Some promotional offers attract more customers than others. For example, one white paper might generate more leads than others. It’s a good idea to test different promotions against one another and also to test identical promotions in different contexts. Try testing two versions of a Google AdWords campaign offering the same promotion to see which generates the most leads.

4. Revenue Per Source

Different promotions and marketing channels attract varying qualities of leads. Your Instagram campaign might attract a few big spenders while your email marketing might generate a lot of small transactions. You can choose to invest heavily in high-revenue sources, or you can market products at varying price points over targeted channels. Market in a way that generates maximum revenue, but don’t become too dependent on one big client.

Monitor Lead Nurturing Effectiveness

It’s not enough to run reports; you have to create reports that decision-makers can understand. For example, Windward Studios helps businesses create reports that are professional and easy to interpret.

These reports teach you which lead nurturing methods convert leads into long-term, high-value customer relationships.

5. Contacts Per Persona

Your buyer persona identifies who your customers are. The buyer persona doesn’t have to be the person making the purchase; it could also be someone who influences the final decision-maker. Focus your marketing dollars on the personas that lead to the most purchases. Also, challenge your assumptions about your personas, and don’t hesitate to reconfigure them as you learn more about your customers.

6. Investment Per Opportunity Generated

Ideally, you want to keep your cost per lead low to stay under your marketing budget. At the same time, some leads become big spending customers, so investing more money into nurturing them becomes worthwhile. Use this report to identify which leads cost a lot of money while failing to convert.

7. Revenue Per Opportunity Generated

Getting leads is nice; turning them into paying customers is better. If you notice a low ratio of revenue per lead generated, it’s time to diagnose what’s going wrong with your lead nurturing cycle. You might need to swap out underperforming content from your lead nurturing campaigns or trim your investment in traffic sources that generate low-quality leads.

8. Contacts Per Lifecycle

It’s vital to know the current state of your marketing pipeline. If you’re heavy on new leads, focus your marketing budget on nurturing and getting conversions. If you’re light on new prospects, spend some money on pay-per-click or social brand awareness campaigns. The balance shifts constantly, and your marketing budget needs to shift with it.

*This post originally appeared on Forbes.com.


Steve OlenskiSteve Olenski was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred. Steve is a senior creative content strategist at Responsys, a leading marketing cloud software and services company. He is a also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing and co-author of the book “StumbleUpon For Dummies.” He can be reached via LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter @steveolenski or at the nearest coffee shop.