The 4 Most Important Digital Marketing Metrics (and Why You Need To Pay Attention To Them) [Bookmarkable]
Ever wonder how or why some companies––maybe even your competitors––are rapidly growing their digital presence and doing well for themselves, while at times it seems your business might be hitting a plateau? As the emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and email marketing continues to grow, it’s important to focus on the details, tracking the metrics you may not have realized were important for your company. If you want to keep up with or outpace your competitors, these are the digital marketing metrics your company needs to pay attention to: web traffic, open rate, impressions and click-through rate (CTR).
1. WEB TRAFFIC: Who visits your site and how are they getting there?
We start by checking our new vs. returning visitors to our website, woodfloorbusiness.com. Honestly, we like to see a healthy amount of both sets of users. Once we know our break out of new vs. returning visitors, we break it down from there, looking at the traffic from these four channels:
You can find this data in Google Analytics by clicking on “Acquisition,” then “Overview.” Each of these subcategories have their purpose, and, when you pay attention to them, you can gain a better understanding of what your audience wants and improve your connection with them online. For example, because we’ve been consistently dedicated to being the No. 1 industry resource for all things wood flooring, we’ve been able to increase our web traffic by 41% in 2017.
2. OPEN RATE: What percentage of the target list opened your email?
You can craft the perfect email with a subject line you think is catchy and intriguing, but there will still be people who do not open it (and that’s okay). In fact, the average open rate falls right around 20 percent, according to MailChimp’s research on email marketing benchmarks.
3. IMPRESSIONS: How many people were actually exposed to your brand message?
Impressions are the number of times your advertisement is actually seen (1 view = 1 impression). Arguably, this is the most important stat when measuring the effectiveness of your campaign––the more times your ad is seen, the better! The number of impressions you have is relative to your total web traffic and open rate, but it isn’t always the same thing. For example, we have an average of 45,000+ monthly website visitors, but with rotating ad space along the top and sides of our site, not everyone who comes to our site will see a given advertisement. However, specific ad space such as our Premium Partner logos along the top of our website would be the same as our total web traffic since everyone who visits our site will see the logos:
Suggestion: The more places your brand message can be found, the higher your impressions will be because you’re creating more opportunities for your prospects to see your message. This is why cross-channel advertising is so important for brands that want to grow.
4. CLICK-THROUGH RATE: How many clicks did your campaign receive?
Getting prospects to visit your website or open an email is only part of the marketing puzzle. People actually performing a desired action such as clicking on your banner ads, pop-up ads, email links, etc. is the next step in the process. That’s where your click-through rate (CTR) comes in. The CTR shows the number of people who click on those ads compared to the total number of impressions (the number of times your ad was seen).
Regardless of our results, we use this data as we develop any customer-facing advertisements we produce. If something performed well, we determine what about it might have struck a chord with our audience and on the flip side, if it didn’t perform well, we try to determine where it fell flat.
Another channel in which you could track your CTR is through pop-ups. For example, our pop-up promoting subscription renewals has a CTR of 2.7%, which might sound low, but is actually a good metric when it comes to pop-ups (where the industry average CTR is 2%). We track our ads and are constantly adjusting messaging and imagery based on the number of clicks and conversions we receive, which is a best practice we suggest all of our media partners implement across all platforms.
Suggestion: Test out different calls-to-action, link styles (button vs. hyperlink) and link placement to determine the strategy that yields the highest CTR.
As a result of dedicating the time and resources to look through and analyze our digital stats, we’ve been able to increase our website traffic by 41% in the past year, see a click-through rate of 2.7% on our pop-up ads and maintain an email click-through rate of 37%. We want to share our success with you, so we’re here to be a resource––if you have any questions or want to discuss ways to improve your digital marketing strategy, contact Kendra at email@example.com.
In my last blog I talked about some of the essential stats any marketing pro needs to consider before making decisions about a media buy. We discussed making sure a publication’s circulation is audited by an independent organization, evaluating list integrity, checking digital metrics like open rates and page views, and making sure you have access to the relevant results for your own campaigns. Today I want to talk about something equally important but less tangible: content.
We hear a lot about content these days; it’s become a bit of a buzzword. I’m sure you’ve heard “Content is King.” Companies large and small are told they need to have great content online for SEO purposes; employees are now “content creators.” Of course, in our business at AB Media and here at Wood Floor Business, content isn’t just an SEO necessity, it’s the core of what we do.
With more than 24 years of combined industry experience, our editors understand the type of content that has a direct impact on the daily lives of wood flooring professionals. Since the inception of the magazine, we have generated thousands of articles, and more than 7,700 of them can be found on our website. Not only is this high-quality, relevant content good for SEO purposes, it drives ongoing engagement and brand loyalty.
Why is this important to you? Your prospects engage with content that is meaningful to their daily lives. In an era of 24/7 connectivity, brands need to ensure their marketing initiatives are being seen where their audience is and when they are consuming content.
When looking at your options for advertising, there are simple questions to ask:
Content that provides a real value to readers creates a relationship and brand loyalty. This drives online traffic and social media engagement. But a website with very little content or connection to its visitors will receive limited pageviews, higher bounce rates, less engagement and few return visitors, limiting the exposure of any advertising on that site or publication. When evaluating your marketing spend, make sure audience engagement is at the top of your list. Without it, you might be advertising—in print or online—to an empty room.
Interested in learning more about marketing opportunities with Wood Floor Business? Let's Chat!
There are many marketing options out there, and it can be overwhelming to sift through the information and determine the best fit for your company. There are several key factors to consider that will help you compare apples to apples and identify the most appropriate and effective marketing vehicle for your company and the outcome you are looking to achieve.
2) For Print Circulation: Is It Audited?
It’s important that your media partner is able to guarantee that your message is reaching the intended audience. The best way to ensure you are connecting with the most qualified, engaged prospects in the industry is to look at a publisher’s audit statement. The auditing process is done through a third party and verifies each reader is a qualified industry professional who is a decision-maker in their company and has requested the publication. View WFB's recent Publisher's Statement and check out the graphic below to see the Wood Floor Business audience breakdown for our printed publication.
3) For a Digital Audience: Evaluate Integrity
In today’s world, your prospects are consuming information on many different platforms, from email to websites to social media. To ensure you’re connecting with your best prospects, you must evaluate the integrity of the audience you are paying to reach. Some important questions to ask:
4) Seek Proven Statistics
One of the wonderful things about digital advertising is that it is trackable. By asking the questions outlined above, you will have a good idea what to expect going into a campaign. If a media partner is unable to provide you with proven average statistics over a period of time, that should be a red flag. A reputable media partner will often partner with a third party to track the analytics of your campaign and should provide a stat report on a regular basis. Click here to view WFB’s digital stats.
Want to learn more about how Wood Floor Business can help with your marketing needs? Contact:
Understandably, there’s a fair amount of confusion in the industry right now about our recent rebranding from 29 years as Hardwood Floors to our new, independent brand, Wood Floor Business (you can read our news story about the change here). I wanted to clear up some of that confusion and answer questions I’ve been receiving from clients recently. Here are some key facts about Wood Floor Business going forward:
1) Our products and staff are the same.
All that has changed is the brand name. The magazine, E-News, website and social media are all the same products you know and trust. We have exclusive rights to all the content we have generated since the beginning, which can now be found at woodfloorbusiness.com. While I and three other key HF staff—Editor Kim Wahlgren, Associate Editor Andrew Averill and Publisher Shawn Gahagan—were offered jobs at NWFA, we declined, and continue in our positions here at AB Media Inc. along with our extensive support staff for production, circulation, marketing and much more.
2) We are invested in the wood flooring industry.
We aren’t a huge media company that happens to do a wood flooring magazine. AB Media Inc. is a small, family-owned company that has only three brands, all of which are considered an essential part of their industries. AB Media’s owner created Hardwood Floors magazine 29 years ago with the founding fathers of the NWFA, and we have worked to help build and improve the entire wood flooring industry ever since. Our dedicated staff have more than 35 years of wood flooring industry experience and understand the unique challenges and opportunities of this business. As a now-independent voice, we will continue to provide the industry with unbiased, valuable content, while connecting advertisers with the most engaged, qualified prospects.
3) We are looking forward—for our customers and our industry as a whole.
No one in the media business is successful in today’s extremely challenging market by being complacent. One of the reasons for our continued success is that we are constantly updating our products to meet our customers’ needs across all channels, from print to digital to social media. As our marketing partners know, we are always open to discussing new ways to achieve specific marketing goals—whether that be targeting a very specific list with a custom promotion or thinking outside the box with a special cover treatment. We also will continue to tackle issues important to the industry; in our February/March issue, our theme is “The Next Generation,” discussing what the current labor shortage means for our industry. And our April/May issue will, as always, contain our exclusive State of the Industry statistics. What topics do you think we should be tackling? We’d love to hear from you.
4) We exclusively own our email lists and related data.
We have invested many years developing quality email lists for our E-News and Custom E-Mail products, which are a part of a larger data platform we have—and will continue to offer—to our customers. Currently, our E-News and Custom E-Mail lists each have more than 17,000 email records and are constantly maintained to ensure active, engaged readers. Our open rates for each product far exceed industry norms: 45% for E-News and 34% for Custom E-Mails.
5) Our circulation is audited.
Wood Floor Business circulation is audited by AAM, the Alliance for Audited Media. AAM’s tagline explains their purpose well: Transact with Trust. The auditing process ensures that when we say our print circulation targets 23,500 wood flooring professionals who are decision-makers in their company, you don’t have to take our word for it. The audit process is both expensive and labor-intensive, but we feel it’s important to deliver that value to our customers.
6) We are still proponents of the NWFA.
We have contributed more than $5 million to the NWFA since the magazine began, and despite the fact that we are no longer contractually bound to NWFA, we are still proponents of the many good things the NWFA does for our industry.
I hope the above helps to eliminate some of the confusion you may have had regarding our recent name change. As always, feel free to reach out to me directly should you have any questions.
(800) 722-8764 ext. 107
When you deliver the perfect message directly to the perfect qualified audience, great things can happen. That’s why we’re seeing more and more customers opt for our Custom E-Mail solution.
Gone are the days of simply “blasting” anyone and everyone. Today our customers can target the exact prospects they want to reach and craft a message that inspires those prospects to take action.
We’ve worked with hundreds of customers over the years to send successful Custom E-Mails. Here are a few tips that lead to the best results:
1. Determine Your Purpose
Everyone has a different reason for sending a Custom E-Mail. For example, if you’re looking to drive direct sales, your messaging and call-to-action will be different than if you’re simply announcing a new brand initiative.
If you sell a product with a long sales cycle, it may not be feasible to expect prospects to make a purchase based off one email. However, enticing them to learn more about your product with a video or whitepaper can be a good way to move prospects further along your sales funnel.
Think about the objective of your email and make sure your content supports that objective. If the goal is click-throughs, a clear, concise call-to-action is important.
Also consider taking advantage of our targeting capabilities. With a custom list, you know the exact prospects you’ll be reaching and can tailor your message to have the most impact.
2. Optimize Your Subject Line
Your subject line has the biggest impact on the success of your email. The best email in the world won’t do any good if no one opens it.
We’ve seen that the best subject lines offer value to the recipient, rather than just a sales message. In fact, the most successful subject lines rarely include brand or product names.
Test, test, test (and we can help you out there!). Subject line testing can help you learn what types of subject lines work best for your target audience. Just give us your two subject line options and we'll perform an A/B subject line test for you. Step it up a notch and try our Champion Blast option, where we perform the standard subject line test to 20 percent of our audience, let it settle in market, then send the version with the better performing subject line to the remaining 80 percent of the list.
These are just a few examples. Contact me to discuss specific ideas and suggestions for your campaign.
3. Use Engaging Media
Videos and other interactive media are driving click-throughs better than anything else. This is a clear trend we’ve seen develop in the last year or so.
Emails with a prominently displayed video will encourage the opener to click-through to view it. Other media options driving engagement include whitepapers, infographics, photo galleries or customizable “build your own product” interfaces.
Not everyone’s goal is to drive clicks. But if yours is, enticing the recipient with content-rich media is a good way to do so.
4. Consider the Length
It can be tempting to put your entire sales message into the body of the e-mail. And with the right layout and supporting imagery, this has worked for some customers. But typically, keeping things concise is best — especially with professionals who are on-the-go. Remember, roughly half of your e-mail openers will be on a mobile device. Keep the message clear and concise.
5. Think About Your Landing Page
You’ve piqued the curiosity of your prospect with a great subject line. Your call-to-action inspired them to click-through. Now what?
Does your prospect land on a page that’s mobile friendly and supports the messaging in the email? Are you doing anything to try to capture the prospect’s name and email address?
Not every Custom E-Mail needs to drive web traffic. But if that is the purpose of your send, consider what happens when the prospect gets to your site and what you want them to do. Does the email link directly to the corresponding product page or will the reader need to navigate from your homepage? Is there an easy form to complete for more information?
These are just a few tips to help you make the most of your Custom E-Mail. Of course, every business has different objectives and circumstances. If you’ve purchased a Custom E-Mail, or are considering it, talk to me about how to make the most of the opportunity.