In the first two posts on this topic, I ran through what metrics help us see how visible our site is as well as how well it converts site visitors. In Part III, we’re going to talk about Lead Quality.
You might think that it’s good to gauge how interested prospects are in talking to you. It might be a good ego boost, but that’s not why you should measure lead quality. This is because when several leads come in at the same time, it’s impossible to tell which leads are the best opportunities. The real goal here is to gauge how interested you should be in them. How do you evaluate the how interesting a lead is when you don’t know anything about them? Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, you already know a lot about them.
A word of advice for sales: Don’t use this information to decide who you need and don’t need to follow-up with. Follow-up with all leads, but use this data to guide how you follow-up. For example, on top of the phone call that you make to all leads. You can pitch an in-person meeting to your high-quality leads (compared to a phone demo) in order to speed up the sales cycle with those prospects.
OK, Let’s examine what’s known about a lead, going by their explicit actions on your site. If the visitor came through a referral (look in Google’s Traffic Sources tab) that’s an independent authority in your field that usually counts for more than a visitor who merely clicked one of your PPC ads. It’s also a good thing if they came direct or from a search engine after typing in your company name means they already know you and are returning to your site after deciding that they’ve done enough research and are ready to act.
Once a visitor conversion, commonly known as a Contact Form, comes in, sales can take a quick review of their visitor history, such as how many times they have been on the site, giving a good gauge of their interest. (This is available in Google Analytics for converting visitor’s who act as their own ISP once Goals has told you their ISP, go to Visits>Service Providers and then drill down on that visitor). You’re not only able to measure website traffic, but emails and PDFs too with google’s event tracking code or a service called ReadNotify). If the prospect is high-quality, you should notice that they open and use the content you send them.
If you don’t have giveaway content for people that fill out your contact form, you can sense their quality by how they crawl through your site. If you have written your ‘meatiest’ web pages well, they should have low bounce rates. If you already have some information, this makes building a progressive profile on them even easier. You should also see if they looked at a combination of pages that suggests to you that they would be keenly interested. For example, beyond the product page, did they also look at the roadmap page and the integration services page?
Turning to implicit measures of lead quality, we can also add some intelligence using implicit data to infer a bit about prospect. Once you know their domain, pair it with information on Hoovers, D&B, LinkedIn and other company databases, you’ll be able to see how well they fit your ideal prospect profile. You should set up objectives, then translate them into outcomes (KPIs), then work back to activities. So if your objective is to give sales more leads, make your outcome a higher conversion rate and dream up activities that drive more visitors through the conversion page(s) on your site.
In conclusion, no single metric will give the ultimate marketing ROI number, but used together, they can tell most of the story. I hope that you see how concepts like Engagement, Lead Quality, Visibility aren’t airy fairy concepts. They are a useful way to describe objectives that can be boiled down into KPIs. Every industry is different, so ask yourself what you should be measuring. We all know that it’s easy to measure marketing activities and hard to measure outcomes, but I’ve hopefully conveyed that with so many metrics to roughly gauge outcomes, we have to try.
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image credit: Sebastian Tonkin