5 Paid Media KPIs to Track in Your Next B2B Campaign

There are hundreds of data points to consider when managing a business. Each team has its own list, and evaluating success can have different meanings depending on their goals. Paid media KPIs (key performance indicators) measure the effectiveness of how your paid or advertising campaign is performing, and there are ways to get the most out of using KPIs to improve your results.

Sound challenging? You bet.

Undoubtedly, there should be little disagreement on the importance of the following 5 to track in your next B2B campaign when it comes to paid media KPIs. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “5 Paid Media KPIs to Track in Your Next B2B Campaign”

9 Sales and Marketing Alignment Best Practices

When you’re not meeting your revenue goals, the finger-pointing starts between your sales and marketing teams. Sales blames marketing for not generating enough leads. Marketing blames sales for not converting the leads into customers. Sales and marketing alignment is missing. This can go back and forth, creating hostility between two groups who need to be working together. Sales and marketing have the same goal – to increase customers and revenue. To achieve this, you need to curb the finger-pointing and get the two teams to align and work together.

Use these best practices to align your sales and marketing teams.

Increase communication

First, get out of silos and learn about the other team’s goals. The easiest way to do this is to schedule regular meetings with both teams. During these meetings, sales can educate marketing on their process and review quotas and metrics. Marketing can then share what initiatives they are working on, what campaigns are running, and what metrics they are tracking.

Create a Content Process

Marketing should include sales in their content brainstorming process. Together, the teams can generate content ideas helpful for sales to gain new leads. From there, sales can promote content in conversations with prospects, and on their personal social media channels. Video is a great way to promote new content with prospects. The use of video is growing as a marketing tool. It is an effective, personal way to communicate that builds trust and increases sales.

Related Reading: How and Why to Incorporate Sales Videos into Your Selling Process

Image Source: HubSpot

Promote the Sales Team

When marketing focuses on promoting thought leadership and expertise at the company, they should not overlook the sales team. Make sure to include sales in new content. These are the individuals that prospects interact with the most, so marketing can promote them through guest blogs and social media posts.

Understand Your Roles & Goals

It’s critical for sales and marketing to truly understand what each team member’s role is, and how it helps the company achieve its goals. Sales might not understand why someone writes a blog, and how that content helps generate leads. Marketing might not know how sales breaks down each person’s responsibilities – whether they sell to specific regions, or they each sell a specific product. It’s important to break down any misconceptions, create clarity around what each person does, and how it helps sales and marketing alignment.

Related Reading: 6 KPIs for Sales & Marketing Alignment

Identify Your Target Audience

To hit company goals, it’s essential for sales and marketing to understand which potential customers they are targeting. Marketing needs to know who to target with their content, keywords, and ads. Sales needs to know who they are selling to. Get everyone on the same page by creating buyer personas and a buyer’s journey map showing how they make purchasing decisions. The buyer personas should include the buyers’ demographics, size of the organization they work at, type of organization, role, priorities, and challenges. In the journey map, make sure to document what activities the buyer engages in, his or her objectives, what information he or she consumes (or needs), and what types of communication he or she uses to get the information.

Image Source: Unsplash

Share Feedback

It’s important for sales and marketing to share feedback they get from clients and prospects with each other. When the marketing team gathers data from surveys or feedback forms, they must share the results with the sales team. It’s also important for sales to share what they’re learning on calls with prospects, such as what questions they have about the product or company, what misconceptions they have, what they like about the product, and more. This will help marketing figure out what gaps need to be filled with their content, on their website, and in their campaigns to better promote the company and attract qualified leads.

Share Access to Documents

Does your marketing team have a plethora of blogs, white papers, and even one-sheets and brochures that they keep within their marketing files? This content is meant to fuel the sales team, so they must have access to it. Create a shared space (whether it’s on Teams, Slack, or another platform) where the two teams can share content. This will help your sales team feel more enabled, and it will help demonstrate what marketing is doing to help them.

Socialize

To get the sales and marketing teams to work together better, they need to get to know each other. Organizing social activities with both teams can help improve the relationships between team members. This helps cultivate a collaborative environment where everyone feels included.

Understand Each Other

Finally, one of the most important ways to achieve sales and marketing alignment is to create an understanding that both teams are trying to help the company – and each other – achieve their business goals. While both teams have different tasks, their end-goal and intentions are the same.

About Sales & Marketing Alignment Services at Lake One

At Lake One, technology is at the core of all our sales and marketing thinking.

  • We work with our partners to make sure their basecamp is “right sized” for their organization.
  • That the goals and strategy are leading the technology choices and not the other way around.
  • But most of all – that the technology is embraced and providing value to the organization.

For additional tips on how to align your sales and marketing teams, contact Lake One to talk to our experts.

Should You Switch to Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is here, but does that mean you should switch? Not so fast. While these updates will change the future of analytics, the Universal version of Google Analytics is not going away anytime soon. The new version introduces many features formerly only available to Google Analytics 360 users and has combined Google Analytics for Firebase all into one new property type: Google analytics 4 (GA4). It was briefly known as the App + Web property in Universal Analytics. However, Google changed the name to emphasize this brand new property type is for all businesses, not just those with an app or a website. According to Google, GA4 features new benefits to scale your business by providing intelligent business insights to help reach your business goals. To start, let’s look at a brief comparison between Universal and GA4 properties.

New Account Structure

Image Source: Google

Cross-Platform Reporting

Tracking web and mobile app behavior is a cumbersome task. Integrating analytics app tracking is complicated. Mobile app analytics typically lives on its own, resulting in complex integrations and fragmented reporting. Google tried to simplify this with Google Analytics for Firebase, but users bounce back and forth between Firebase projects and Google Analytics to access specific reports. GA4 solves this by using data streams, which unifies both web and app reporting all under one property. Traffic data is in one reporting interface, allowing for easy cross-platform analysis. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions to add a data stream and accompanying SDK when applicable, and you’re all set!

Event Tracking

Users switch devices when interacting with your business resulting in new sessions. This behavior skews out of the box reporting as a single user is duplicated. GA4 deduplicates a single user across devices using events instead of sessions.

If you have used Google Analytics, you are familiar with events. Events are a part of any measurement strategy. Unlike Universal, which uses page views, GA4 uses events. Every single action tracked across data streams will be treated as an event. 

Image Source

Moving to an event-based data model will make GA4 more intelligent. It also enables easier reporting with actionable insights.

Easy Implementation 

Correctly implementing analytics can be challenging for a first time user. Thanks to GA4 this process became a lot easier. You can find a setup assistant in admin settings at the top of the property column. This assistant walks you through each step of the process to get the most out of GA4: data collection, property settings, account linking, audience definitions, conversion tracking, and user management. If you are a Universal user implementing GA4 or new to analytics, the new setup assistant makes the process easier for everyone.

Enhanced Measurement and Automatically Collected Events

The new enhanced measurement feature allows you to track events on your website with just one click and without any code requirements. All you need to do is turn it on, and the enhanced measurement feature will track page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, site searches, video engagement metrics, and file downloads. You will also have the capability to customize which events you are collecting altogether, but GA4 provides more robust out of the box functionality.


In addition, GA4 will automatically collect a list of events for both IOS and Android apps unless stated otherwise. Similarly, there is no additional code or work needed. You just need to make sure that you are using the SDK or gtag.js. There are also many different events you can add yourself that might be useful for your type of business. Here are some that Google recommends for all properties.

Should You Switch To Google Analytics 4?

Everything outlined can be quite exciting. There’s no need to completely switch over to GA4 just yet. Since its release in October 2020, feature rollout has been slow, and many others are under development. Like other new tools, it will take time for the platform to reach its true potential and be ready as your stand-alone tool for website and app analytics. A fundamental switch from page views to events will also take time to adapt to. With this said, we recommend setting up a GA4 property in parallel to an existing Universal property if you have one. Compare the functionality of both and see the differences. While Universal Analytics is not going away anytime soon, Google Analytics 4 is the future of analytics so the sooner you can start learning the functionality and features, the better.

For more information on analytics, please contact us. We are here to help.

4 Strategic Insights to Glean from Conducting a Content Audit

We know that conducting content audits can sometimes be time-intensive and tedious. We also know that they are almost always worth the effort. Why? Well, because running audits on your content can provide your organization with strategic insights that help steer the direction of your current and upcoming campaigns. Here are the key benefits of a content audit.

What is a Content Audit 

A content audit is a comprehensive analysis of all of your content collectively. “Content” in this context includes your website content such as offers, blogs, and infographics, as well as offline sales and marketing materials, like sell sheets and brochures. 

What’s Included in a Content Audit

During an audit, you will pull all relevant stats and information about each piece. Relevance is in the eye of the bolder it turns out. Consider why you’re completing an audit in the first place and let that dictate what information you need. The purpose of your audit will be different depending on where you are in your content marketing strategy. 

Must-haves to include in your audit per each piece of content:

  • Title 
  • Quick topic summary
  • URL 
  • Stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision, etc.)
  • Stage of the funnel (lead, MQL, SQL, etc.)
  • Type of content (blog, infographic, etc.)
  • Where the content is accessible/what pages it’s found on
  • Persona targeted
content audit example

Nice-to-haves in your audit:

  • Relevance to current persona/business strategy 
  • SERP relevance and position
  • Total ranking keywords
  • Monthly or quarterly views
  • Conversion rate 
  • Industry targeted

Some of the ‘nice-to-haves’ listed above might actually be critical for your audit. For example, if you’re conducting an audit because you’ve decided to lean into a secondary industry, you will want to include a column to capture it.

Benefits of a Content Audit

You can use a content audit in a variety of different ways depending on your organization’s goals and your current state of marketing. At Lake One, we use content audits to assess the current state of content for our new and existing clients. During onboarding, the content audit provides insights into where our new partners have focused their time previously. We can learn valuable information from this, as well as prevent reinventing the wheel by recreating existing content. Here are some of the most significant benefits and strategic insights of conducting a content audit.

Identify Gaps in Content with a Content Audit

First, a content audit can identify where your gaps in content lay. As part of the inbound methodology, buyers move through the journey to buying from awareness to consideration to decision. As buyers move along that journey, they seek information that gets more complex and product-specific as they go. Getting into the weeds a little, writing content for each stage pushes users into a purchase. For instance, somebody might start looking for a way to improve their manufacturing process (awareness). This might lead them into a specific piece of technology that could solve their problem (consideration), and that might bring them to contacting that particular company for a quote on that new technology (decision).

buyer's journey
Source: HubSpot

As inbound marketers, we want to be sure we’re serving content for every stage here. A content audit allows you to map where your content currently sits and where your gaps exist. Being too heavy on one end of the spectrum or another may be doing you a disservice. 

Facilitate Strategy Creation

As I mentioned, we’re big fans of content audits here. Our Lake One FieldGuides™ (campaign strategies) almost always begin with a content audit. We start here because once gaps and areas of excess are illuminated, a strategy will start to appear. It will be clear where your opportunities exist, both in quick wins and in a long-term strategy.  

Pro Tip: If you find you’ve written ad nauseam towards a specific persona or topic without the desired results, consider adding conversion rates, views, and SERP info into your audit. Compare that cluster of content to others to see if you can identify any misalignments to pivot on in the future.

Make Workflow Creation Easier

Workflows, or drip campaigns as some people call them, are a series of automated emails. These emails intend to serve your lead with helpful content, insights, and CTAs that nudge them into the next step of the funnel. A content audit acts as a visual representation of your available content to lay out the subject matter of each email. What’s usable? What subjects flow together to achieve the desired outcome? If you don’t have a library of suitable topics at the ready, your audit will also identify that for you, so you know what to include in your strategy during your next campaign.  

Content Audit- the Sales Enablement Kickstarter

Lastly, having an up to date content audit available for your team to reference is the perfect first step into sales enablement. Sales enablement, according to HubSpot, is the “iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals.”

Related Reading: A Roadmap to a Sure-fire B2B Sales Enablement Strategy

If you give your sales team a living document of all marketing materials available, the hope is that they will use that content within their sales process. When sales and marketing teams are aligned, sales will give recommendations into the types of content they’d like created based on their conversations with real customers and prospects. Input from sales teams looks like: 

sale enablement
Source: HighSpot
  • Typical questions their prospects have that could be addressed by marketing material
  • Ideas for resources like eBooks, infographics or sell-sheets that may help close deals
  • Which complex topics marketing can help simplify through content or design
  • Passing along feedback on content from real conversations with prospects and customers

The content audit shows the sales teams what’s currently available for their use, and it also helps them identify what’s not. In the same manner that audits show marketers what’s missing from a high-level funnel perspective, sales teams can use it to determine the opportunities on a topical standpoint. The ultimate goal is to build out a content library that addresses all the needs of both teams.

how to achieve sales and marketing alignment

How to Marketing Qualify Your Manufacturing Leads

Whether your manufacturing digital leads are feast or famine, how do you know which leads are a good fit? How is the sales team determining which leads they should talk to and which ones are in need of nurturing by marketing because they are aren’t quite sales-ready? In other terms, how are they being qualified? If you find yourself asking these questions, you might need some help determining a marketing qualified lead. 

Often referred to as an MQL, a marketing qualified lead is a lead that is considered more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. These leads have shown an interest in buying. They are open to the idea of a sale and have engaged with you and your business by taking some sort of action. Marketing efforts are typically what bring the leads in, but it’s what the lead does next that prompts them to become an MQL. 

qualify manufacturing leads

Define Your MQL Criteria  

Before you can begin to qualify your manufacturing leads, sales and marketing need to come together and not only define what an MQL is but agree on that definition. What are the characteristics and engagements that make up a good lead for you and your sales team? At Lake One, we lovingly refer to this as your lead fit to win criteria. It includes both lead requirements and lead engagements.

Related Reading: Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 9 Strategies to Crush 2020

But okay, where do you start? Here are the top areas for consideration when it comes to defining your MQL criteria.

qualify manufacturing leads

Review existing opportunities and customers: Who is your team talking to right now? Which leads have turned into customers and what actions did they take prior to inking a deal? You’ll likely uncover similarities in demographic data, such as industry, geo, company size, or job title, along with similarities in engagement. 

Engagement can be the content offers downloaded, the frequency of web visits or maybe even specific page views. 

Examples of MQL Actions

  • Requests a quote
  • Requests a product catalog
  • Attends a webinar
  • Downloads an ebook
  • Engages with your social
  • Opens a marketing email (or two)
  • Subscribes to your newsletter
  • Visits your website and/or visits key pages
  • Requests more information or asks to be contacted 

Talk to Sales: Find out what a qualified lead means to sales. They are not only key drivers in moving leads from marketing qualified to sales qualified and beyond, they know what they need and are a great resource. For example, is a lead worthless without a phone number? Or does sales need to be connected to a certain role within a company to increase the likelihood of closing a deal? All of these can be factored in as MQL criteria. 

Marketing MQL

Nice to know vs Need to know: Defining MQL criteria is really finding a balance of what is ‘nice to know’ vs what is ‘need to know’. Especially when starting out, we recommend creating opportunities to collect information (like updating form fields and leveraging progressive fields if you have that accessible) while still making the MQL status obtainable by leads. You can always tighten up the fire hose. 

Review. Revise. Repeat: Like with most things in sales and marketing, you can’t just set it and forget it. We recommend revisiting your MQL definition at least on a quarterly basis as a team. If you aren’t seeing the number of MQLs that you anticipated, is it because your criteria is too narrow? Or is it a lead quality issue? MQL criteria is a great place to start.

Once you’ve defined your MQL criteria, you need a way to collect it, track it and communicate it with your sales teams. 

Cue marketing automation.

qualify manufacturing leads

Leveraging Marketing Automation Software

Determining marketing qualified leads for your manufacturing company doesn’t have to be a manual process and in fact, we recommend it’s not. Marketing automation helps with:

  • Data capture at the time of form fill
  • Contact data storage
  • Housing the MQL criteria infrastructure
  • Notifying sales when a lead becomes an MQL
  • Closing the feedback loop

Here are some of our favorite marketing automation tools to get you started.

Out of all that is listed above, we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t discuss the importance of notifying sales and closing the feedback loop. When a lead is hot, it’s hot and sales needs to be notified in real-time and on the contrary, if a lead isn’t so hot, marketing needs to know that too. Marketing automation software helps facilitate communication through notifications and custom properties.

It’s All About Alignment

Marketing qualified leads are really just a piece of the big picture of sales and marketing alignment. If you know anything about Lake One, you know we’re major proponents of alignment and defining what a marketing qualified lead is for your manufacturing company is a critical step to getting both teams on the same page and funneling quality leads to sales.

MarTech Assessment

Trade Shows Canceled? 5 Strategies to Keep Your Sales Pipeline Active

Trade shows are an important part of generating leads and filling the sales pipeline for many. In fact, a survey conducted by IDG reported that conferences and trade shows are listed as second, behind companies websites, on effective B2B lead generation tactics. But when crisis strikes (i.e. COVID-19), many have found that attending trade shows is no longer a viable option. At a time when we’re all being asked to social-distance, the last place anyone wants to be is in an exhibit hall, surrounded by a ton of people. 

So, what do you do now? How can you pivot that budget to something else meaningful? More importantly, what strategies can you implement to help fill the sales pipeline? These are all valid concerns. Things don’t have to come to a halt just because conferences have been canceled or postponed. There are still ways to get “out there”. 

Here are 5 B2B marketing strategies to keep your sales pipeline active: 

sales pipeline

Host a Virtual Event

With more and more people working from home and utilizing video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom, now is a great time to embrace video. Maybe you’re used to having a weekly in-person coffee or networking event, move it online. Or, see if you can get a list of the conference attendees and invite them to an event you’re hosting. You could team up with other types of vendors and see if they’d be interested in joining. Try to bring value to the businesses you’re trying to attract. They’ll be more inclined to attend. Almost like hosting your own mini-trade show.

Try Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing or ABM is one of those hot topics right now and rightfully so. 84% of businesses who used ABM, reported that the strategy offered a higher RO1 than other marketing campaigns. ABM is the strategy that directs marketing resources to target and engage a specific set of accounts or companies. Rather than casting a wide net in an attempt to generate leads and fill your sales pipeline, you’re identifying key prospects and you tailor your message accordingly. Think about it like being at a conference. If there was a specific company or person you were hoping to connect with or have visit your booth, you might seek them out. It would be very targeted and you would customize your message just for them. That’s the idea behind ABM. 

Related Reading: Marketing in a Time of Crisis Inbound and Automation Strategies

sales pipeline

Conduct a Webinar 

This is another great example of a way you can still get your brand and brains out in front of people. Typically this would be a free event to sign up for, but key phrase there is “sign up.” Make sure you have people register for your webinar so you collect their contact information and can follow up with them after. Your webinar topic should be informative and a value-add to the people attending. What it shouldn’t be is an hour of you self-promoting and making it a sales pitch but calling it a webinar. Beyond lead generation, there are other benefits of hosting a webinar. Like, 1) positioning yourself as a thought leader or expert in your field, 2) deliver value and keep your audience engaged, and 3) broaden your reach by communicating with hundreds of people at once. Now that’s something you wouldn’t be able to do at a trade show. 

New call-to-action

Create or Expand Your Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re already marketing online (as you should be), great! If you’re not, now might be the time. We recommend taking a look at your strategies. With your trade show budget freed up, there might be some opportunity to:

  • Start a paid media plan or look at increasing your ad spends. Think Google, LinkedIn or Facebook. 
  • Look at putting some dollars towards paid social, “boosting” or “promoting” your existing posts.  
  • If it isn’t already, optimize your website and content to ensure you’re set up for success to be a lead machine. 
  • Invest in that CRM you’ve had your eye on or perhaps another piece of marketing technology to help you work harder and smarter to generate leads. 
  • Devote more time and resources to creating valuable content for your site.

There are lots of possibilities here to either up your digital game or to start it. Not sure where to start? Check out the Digital Kickstart Checklist on how to pivot your business to digital quickly.  

Guest Posting and Speaking 

Since time and energy aren’t going into prepping for and promoting attendance at a show, maybe those resources could be spent working to do outreach and promote or create some really great content. That way you’re getting your name out there and building authority on topics you have an expertise in. Another way to build that authority and get some “face-to-face” time with people is to be a guest speaker on a podcast or webinar. I know it’s not the same as speaking at a conference or networking in person, but it’ll allow you to keep your distance while still actively trying to fill your sales pipeline. 

sales pipeline

Please don’t let lack of trade shows make you feel like you have to make a trade-off on achieving your goals. These are just a few strategies and tactics to consider with your newfound time and additional budget. But there are plenty of opportunities out there.

Lead Generation Guide: Basics of Lead Gen

If you’re in sales and marketing, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about lead generation. Business folks, in general, are probably at least a little familiar with it. Maybe it’s discussed in business conversations you’re apart of or you’ve seen it in sales and marketing materials. But what’s all the fuss about? What’s so important about lead generation? We’re here to break down the basics of what it is, what’s tough about it, why it’s worth it, trends to watch for and how tools can help with it all. 

HubSpot defines lead generation as the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Lead generators are things like job applications, blog posts, live events, coupons or online content. These types of things {hopefully} create interest and attract potential customers. The goal is to create unique ways to get people, the right people, interested in your business. 

Lead generation sounds simple enough, right? Well, if it were that easy, everyone would do it and do it successfully. We know it’s not that simple, so we put together a few insights into lead generation to help get you started.

Click here to have the lead generation guide emailed to you.

Lake One’s B2B Online Advertising Glossary

Paid advertising is often a great way to increase traffic and sales as you’re growing and sustaining your online presence. But the lingo can be a little confusing if you aren’t used to hearing it every day. To help, here’s Lake One’s B2B online advertising glossary, including a breakdown of the basic types of paid media to help identify which ones might be a fit for you.

Types of Paid Media

1) Retargeting Ads

Retargeting is a form of paid media that serves ads to users who have already engaged with your site or social media page. The goal of retargeting is to re-engage users with your brand.

Because retargeting works via cookie tracking, it allows you to target your ads to a specific behavior. For instance, you can retarget an ad to people who abandoned their online shopping carts or viewed a specific webpage. This can be especially helpful for B2B buyers since buying cycles tend to be long.

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Pros to retargeting: Great for keeping your brand top-of-mind and moving users further along the funnel. 

Cons to retargeting: Not a strategy for acquiring new visitors.

2) Display Ads 

Display ads, or sometimes called Banner Ads, are static image ads. These are the ads that you see when browsing the web, outside of social media or Google. Display ads can be run as a form of retargeting, so this is why you might see an ad for the eCommerce site you just visited pop up on your fav news site. Display ads can also be interest-based: i.e. getting an ad for allrecipes.com after browsing a few different sites for summer dinner planning.

Display ads on Google all run through what’s called the Google Display Network. This is a vast network of over 2 million websites that are connected to Google and able to display your ad. Google estimates that this network is able to reach up to 90% of the internet.

Here’s are some examples of display ads not based on retargeting.

B2b online advertising

Pros to Display Ads: Retargeting through display ads can be especially effective when retargeting.

Cons to Display Ads: Display ads usually have low click rates and are typically used for awareness campaigns.

3) Pay Per Click Ads

Pay per click, or PPC, is what the industry calls advertising within search engine results. These are the “paid results” you see on Google (or Yahoo or Bing, etc.) before the organic search results display. You will only pay for an ad if it gets clicked, and the amount you pay will vary greatly depending on your targeting.

B2B online advertising options

Pros to PPC: Effective way to get to the top of the search engine results and generate traffic. For B2B, traffic generated from PPC can be highly targeted.

Cons to PPC: Can be expensive depending on your targeted keywords and often requires a higher level of expertise to be effective.

4) Social Ads

b2b online advertising

Socials ads are advertising served on any social media platform. Facebook and Instagram ads can be managed together while Twitter and LinkedIn need to be done directly through their ad serving platforms. (Here are some tips on LinkedIn advertising.) Depending on your audience’s social media savviness, advertising on these platforms can be hugely successful. 

Here’s an example of a retargeting social ad. These shoes and the cellphone case are specific products I’ve reviewed recently.

Pros to Social Ads: Platforms range in expense but are generally cheaper than other options plus offer the ability to target very niche groups, especially when using LinkedIn for B2B online advertising purposes.

Cons to Social Ads: Focus is typically on visuals of ads and some platforms, like Instagram, have high aesthetics expectation. It can involve trial and error when getting started.

Targeting Options

1) Mobile

Ads served just to mobile users and not to desktop.

2) Native

Ads that blend into the environment and do not look like ads; typically on social media.

3) Geofencing

Targeting an ad to a specific geographical area- can be down to specific zip codes. If your company only services other organizations within a specific radius, geofencing your ads may be a smart move.

4) Dayparting

Only serving an ad during specific times of the day (such as business hours) to increase targeting based on persona search habits. This can increase relevance and click-throughs when talking about B2B online advertising specifically.

5) Exact Match

In PPC ads, exact match ads are only served when your exact keywords are searched (e.g. exact match for “Best revenue generation firm Twin Cities” won’t serve an ad for “Best revenue generation firm”).

6) Phrase Match 

In PPC ads, phrase match ads are served when there is a contextual match for your keywords. (e.g. phrase match for “Best revenue generation marketing firm” will not serve an ad for “Best revenue generation marketing firm Minneapolis ”).

7) Bid

The budget you’re willing to pay for your ad to display. Bids can be set by click, impression, and/or on a daily/monthly basis.

How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

Paid Media KPIs

1) Impressions

How many people have seen your ad. Unique Impressions are the individual people who viewed your ad vs Total Impressions which counts each and every view independently, even if one person viewed your ad more than once.

2) Click or Clickthrough

The total clicks on your ad.

3) Clickthrough Rate

The percentage of impressions that received a click.

4) Cost per Click

How much you’re paying on average to receive a click on your ad.

5) Cost per Acquisition

The average cost you’re paying for a goal to be completed (a goal can be a purchase, a form submitted, etc.)

6 Must-Track B2B Email Marketing KPIs

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing pro or an email novice, check out the list of our top B2B email marketing KPIs we like to track. But before we dive into the metrics, we need to touch on one major email marketing necessity, goals. 

B2B Email Marketing KPIs

Email Marketing Goals 

You should know by now that random acts of marketing (executing marketing tactics that aren’t part of an overarching strategy) are a major don’t in our book and that definitely applies to emails. You might be thinking, “It’s just an email.” And in a sense, you’re right. However, all email communication whether it be a newsletter or a simple follow up email post-download needs to be part of a greater digital marketing strategy.

Learn all about Lake One’s Digital Strategy here.

Okay, so how do you go from the big picture down to your email campaigns? You break it down email by email.

HubSpot recommends doing a quick gut check before you send your next email by asking yourself these questions. What is the goal of my email marketing? Is it to grow my subscriber database? Generate more leads? To convert more existing leads into customers?

B2B Email KPIs

Once you have your goal(s) determined, you’re ready to figure out which metrics you need to track. Read on for our top 6 fav B2B Email Marketing KPIs.

Need help goal setting? Download our SMART Goals template.

#1. Bounce Rate

What is bounce rate? Bounce rate is the percentage of emails that could not be successfully delivered to the email recipient’s inbox. 

Why we track bounce rate: Emails can bounce for several reasons and fall into two categories, “hard” and “soft”. Soft bounces are temporary problems with delivery like issues with an email client’s server. Hard bounces are permanent problems such as a nonexistent email address and will never be delivered. 

Okay, so an email can’t be delivered, how does that affect you? Our friends at HubSpot say contact list cleanup is a must and we agree. All hard bounces should be removed from your list immediately because internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates as one of the key factors to determine an email sender’s reputation. Too many bounces = Spammer when it comes to ISPs. 

#2. Open Rate

What is open rate? Open rate is the percentage of recipients that open a given email.

Why we track open rate: Recipients can’t convert if they aren’t opening your emails, so the open rate can be a great place to start for optimization. We have to disclose though, not everyone is a fan of tracking open rate because it can be an unreliable metric. An email only counts as opened if the recipient also receives all embedded images within that email. Image blocking is an option via email clients- it’s definitely a possibility your number is off. 

So all of the above aside, we still like to keep open rate on our radar, especially when optimizing subject lines and using it comparatively. 

B2B Email Marketing open rate

#3. Click-Through-Rate 

What is Click-through-rate? CTR is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in an email. We often refer to the links as the Call-to-Action (CTA) of the email.

Why we track CTR: CTR is a great indicator of how your email is performing and if your content is resonating with your personas. Are recipients actually clicking on the links that you want them to click on? According to Campaign Monitor, the average click-through rate for most campaigns is slightly over 4%. Here are some tips on how to optimize your followup email CTAs for a higher CTR.

#4. Conversion Rate

What is conversion rate? Conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on an email CTA and completed the desired action. Think completing a form, signing up for a free trial, making a purchase, etc.

Why we track conversion rate: Conversion rate is the money maker! Both figuratively and quite literally in some instances. The first step in email marketing is getting the user to click on your link in the email and the second is getting them to convert. This is a major metric in determining if you are meeting your goals.

Lead to MQL/Customer Conversion Rate

Depending on your email campaign goals you can really drill down when it comes to conversion rate. It can also spin off into other metrics such as Lead to Marketing Qualified conversion rate and Lead to Customer conversion rates. 

#5. ROI

What is B2B Email Marketing ROI? ROI is the overall return on investment for your B2B email marketing campaign. 

Why we track ROI: ROI is a KPI staple. Just like any other initiative within your company, you need to track ROI. Are you making money? Are your marketing efforts helping the bottom line? ROI analysis can point out areas of opportunity and areas that are burning cash. 

While we’re talking about KPIs, are you tracking your sales and marketing team alignment? Here’s some more info.

#6. Unsubscribe Rate

What is Unsubscribe Rate? Unsubscribe rate is the rate at which email recipients are unsubscribing from receiving email communication from your company. 

Why we track unsubscribe rate: Unsubscribes alone shouldn’t be the only indicator you review for email performance; however, if your unsubscribes are high, check it out! Perhaps your email is too aggressive, your customers have outgrown you, or your persona messaging is off.

Whatever the reason, high unsubscribe rates are like a big flashing light saying, “Change needed here.” 

Smart Goals Worksheet Template

Words to the Wise

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers and become hyper-focused on the KPIs of B2B email, but here are few things to keep in mind.

  1. Keep it in perspective. Don’t rest solely on percentages. Make sure to look at how many recipients are contributing to the data before you go optimization crazy.
  2. Optimize. And then Optimize again. Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you see a number you don’t like, optimize! Emails are perfect candidates for testing. 
  3. Give it time. You want to give your email campaign time to do its thing. Rapid-fire changes aren’t helpful because it muddies the waters of what’s actually contributing to the change. 

Practical Ways to Implement A/B Testing on Conversion Funnels

A conversion funnel is what we call the path a user follows to convert on a landing page. You can read more about the basics here, but the parts that make up a conversion funnel are the CTA, Landing Page, Thank You Page, and the Thank You Email. As marketers and business people, we want people to convert, but sometimes our marketing underperforms or our guts say that good performance could be better. So then we test. Here are practical ways to implement A/B testing on conversion funnels and improve their performance. 

Implement A/B Testing

A/B Testing CTAs

CTA testing in HubSpot could not be any easier. By creating two versions of your CTAs- A and B- HubSpot will naturally serve the CTAs equally. When running multivariate CTA testing, we’re focusing the majority of our attention on the Click Rates because clicks are the main goal of a CTA. Submission rates are a secondary factor because they are mostly an indication of your landing page performance. The caveat here is relevance, though. High clicks and low submission rates can be an indication that the promise of your CTA is incongruent with that of your landing page. The messaging of one or the other may need to be adjusted. 

Not all leads are created equal! Download our Lead Scoring Guide to learn how to automate your lead qualification.

In this example, version A and B were created at the same time. After a few months of testing, both have nearly identical views, but the clicks on version B are a full percentage point higher. At this point, since we have a decent amount of data, it might be time to create a new version “A” to see if we can beat or at least match version B.

Implement A/B Testing

A/B Testing Landing Pages

HubSpot also makes implementing A/B testing on landing pages super easy. What you’re looking at when testing landing pages are submissions. WordStream tells us we want 10% or higher to be considered among the best. Some of the things you could vary are your headlines and copy. You can even try testing the medium of your offer- guide vs eBook vs infographic etc.- to see what your audience is more compelled to utilize.

One of the biggest advantages to A/B testing a landing page is to see how the length of a form affects your submissions. As marketers, we of course want as much data as we can get, but we also know that there’s a breaking point in what we request. High-value offers have a higher threshold for longer forms. To test, create two variants of your landing page- one with a shorter form and one with a more complex form- to find out where your persona’s threshold is. If you can get away with having a longer form and requesting more information without your submissions rates suffering, go for it.

If you’re not sure where to start with your landing page testing, you can try setting up heat mapping to see exactly how your users are interacting with your page. You might find people are leaving right away (a better headline or more appealing design, perhaps?) or abandoning the form (shorten that sucker up!). Bounce rates can also indicate where to start.

Bonus: are your landing pages optimized for SEO? Learn more about it here.

A/B Testing Thank You Pages

You create Thank You Pages (TYPs) variants the same way you do Landing Pages in HubSpot. So what are you looking for here? Engagement. You want people to access their offer (via a link or a button) and then go on to engage with the site. This is where you have the opportunity to move them through the funnel or charm them with delight. You can create full variants of your TYP or try testing a CTA within your TYP as we discussed above. 

A/B Testing Thank You Emails (Kind of)

Thank You Emails are the automated emails that send after a user submits a form. They can be set up directly on the landing page form or via a workflow. Unfortunately, you cannot implement A/B testing of automated emails in HubSpot. But, there are a few ways to get around it. What you want to measure by testing thank you emails are your open rates and click rates.

Lead Scoring Guide

Open rates are correlated to the strength of your subject line. To test, benchmark your current views and opens then manually make and publish your updates to the same email. Allow your updates to gather data and then measure performance against your benchmarked data. Rinse and repeat.

You can test the click rates in your thank you emails by creating multivariate CTAs as discussed in the CTA section above. You can also manually update the copy and hyperlinks to your “next step” offer (whatever action you’ve included in your TYE that you want your user to take next such as downloading a different offer or contacting you for a consult). Benchmark your stats and revisit often to check the efficacy of your updates.