5 Inbound Marketing KPIs Clients Actually Care About

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Katie Lantukh
Katie Lantukh



With inbound marketing, you can track a million things. Reporting, analysis of that reporting, and optimization recommendations for the next month or quarter can be all-consuming.

It also means you could hand your client a 30-page report each month. If you did, you can be sure it would be quickly thrown in the waste bin. 

You need to know what to track, how to prove the ROI of your efforts, and how to refine your analytics report so the client remains convinced of your abilities but not overwhelmed with numbers and charts. 

Here's a list of five of the main inbound marketing tactics and the KPI for each your client really cares about. 

1) Email: Click Rate

When studying the success of your email campaign, you are probably weighing your open rate, click rate, conversion rate, and list growth, among several other success measurements. While these are important to understand, the most valuable to your reporting is the click rate. Some email clients, such as Outlook, will automatically open an email. This will skew your numbers. Measuring your click rate shows who is truly engaged with your content because they took the action to click on something in your email. Anyone can open your email, which could be attributed to that catchy subject line you wrote. But if you're seeing clicks, you know that the content is resonating with your audience and inspiring them to take clickable action. 

2) Pay Per Click: Customer Acquisition

The price of a PPC campaign varies depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you're working with. If you're working with an ecommerce company or one with a short sales cycle, one of the main benefits of PPC is the ability to accurately calculate the cost per acquisition. You can determine how many leads you can generate if you spend a certain amount of money. You can explain the ROI of this particular marketing activity to your client by calculating the cost of customer acquistion or cost of lead acquisition. Then, you can determine if the investment is worth it. Compared to traditional marketing, you're able to very clearly show that PPC is contributing to the client's goals. 

If you are working with a company that has a long sales cycle or is not ecommerce, it might be a little more challenging to calculate ROI on PPC, as you will be working to drive traffic and impressions rather than specifically closing sales. 

3) SEO: Keyword Ranking

When using SEO to drive traffic to your site, you are likely looking at bounce rates, number of visits, pages visited, and time spent on site. You are also likely (and rightly) spending a large amount of time looking into your keywords. Keyword ranking is our No. 1 KPI for SEO. We recommend finding the keywords that are the “low hanging fruit” and optimizing around those. Use a keyword suggestion tool to find the right terms to target and track. 

4) Social: Post Engagement

Social media is often the hardest inbound marketing activity to assign value to. We know it's important and drives brand awareness, and we're often asked to explain that to clients who might not even be on social media themselves. Most clients are typically concerned with vanity metrics, such as page likes, post likes, etc. However, we have found that post engagement is the most important indicator of success on social platforms. The algorithms vary from platform to platform, but each platform allows interaction on every post. The more engagement a post has, the higher the likelihood that other followers will see that post and either begin to follow the company or engage with the post themselves. 

5) Lead Generation: Lead Quality 

When generating leads, there is a major difference between quality and quantity. You can generate 10,000 leads at $1 per lead, and your numbers will look great. But if those aren’t quality leads, you might as well have no leads. That's why lead quality is our primary KPI for lead generation. Determining the quality of a lead can be done by scoring them through HubSpot's Lead Scoring tool, which gives each lead a score and adds or subtracts points as they move throughout the lifecycle stages in the buyer’s journey. 

What inbound marketing KPIs do your clients really care about? Let us know in the comments!



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