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How do you know if your marketing campaigns are successful?
Marketing campaigns play a vital role in businesses acquiring new customers, boosting sales, and increasing revenue. But measuring and evaluating campaign performance can often feel overwhelming, as success looks different for each campaign’s scope and goals.
So how can you determine whether or not your marketing campaign is successful—and optimize accordingly?
Last updated11 May 2023
Reading time7 min
In this article, we cover seven powerful metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to measure to evaluate your marketing campaigns, including strategies to optimize them, so you gain deeper insight into what’s working and what’s not.
You'll walk away with an understanding of:
Different methods to analyze campaign performance
Practical ways to use campaign tracking and analysis tools
Important parameters to define during campaign set-up
Transform your marketing campaigns with Hotjar's powerful insights
Optimize marketing campaign performance with actionable, user-centric data.
7 ways to measure your marketing campaign's success
Marketing campaigns aim to promote a specific product or service to a specific audience, using assets like landing pages, lead generation forms, emails, and social media content that help increase brand awareness, conversions, and customer retention.
However, launching a campaign is just a small part of a successful marketing plan. It's also crucial to know which methods and metrics to use when evaluating campaign performance, so you and your team can make data-driven decisions, gain stakeholder support, and effectively delight both current and new customers.
Let’s dive in!
1. Campaign page traffic
Detect and resolve campaign landing page issues quickly
Identify peak-traffic periods or high-traffic sources
Compare pre- and post- campaign metrics
Analyze year-on-year campaign performance
How to increase campaign landing page traffic
Optimize on-page SEO: use keywords that address users’ problems or jobs to be done (JTBD) to improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings and landing page visibility with tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush
Monitor competitors: benchmark competitor website traffic to identify gaps in your own marketing approach and make informed decisions
Review website sessions: optimize your campaign’s landing page by observing visitors’ behavior—mouse movements, clicks, and scrolls—with session recordings
Pro tip: use Hotjar Heatmaps to see user engagement zones, identify what landing page content resonates most with your customers, and then leverage it to drive more traffic to your website.
Engagement zones combine heatmap data—clicks, scrolls, and hovers—to reveal the most engaging parts of the page, like:
Elements buried at the bottom of a page that still—when seen—get engagement
Images that impress your users overall, despite not receiving clicks
Prioritize and repurpose this delight-inducing content into your marketing plans—paid ads, social media, email campaigns—knowing it will capture your target audience’s attention and drive even more traffic to your landing page.
Reviewing engagement zones helps optimize the layout, content, and usability of your landing pages
2. Lead generation
Lead generation is the process of identifying and collecting information about potential customers who have expressed interest in your product or services.
Evaluating lead generation performance captures insights into the quality of potential customers engaging with your campaign. For example: are the people landing on your website your target audience (and therefore more likely to convert)?
How to optimize lead generation
Create targeted incentives: offer resources like whitepapers, ebooks, newsletters, or templates in exchange for new user information to build a pipeline of leads that will drive future business growth and revenue
Leverage social media: use social media to engage with your target audience, answer their questions, and provide helpful resources, building new relationships and keeping your brand top-of-mind
Pro tip: use Hotjar's free user persona survey to enhance campaign lead generation goals by sharpening your understanding of your target audience's wants and behaviors. You can then apply these insights to:
Tailor your marketing campaign messaging to reflect customer sentiment
Test new marketing content based on your audience’s interests and pain points
Build new lead trust by proactively addressing known user pain points
Hotjar's user persona survey helps you tailor your lead generation campaign strategy by revealing detailed insights about users who are interested in your product
Still feeling unsure? Not to worry—we've created a comprehensive user personas guide on what personas are, how to create them, and how to effectively apply them to your marketing strategies.
3. Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of clicks on a specific link to the number of times people were exposed to the link (also referred to as 'impressions').
Tracking CTR in a marketing campaign provides businesses with insights into how effective a digital marketing campaign is in generating interest and engagement among its target audience.
For example, a low click-through rate on a social media asset could suggest your ideal customer profile ignored your marketing campaign, didn't find it interesting enough to click, or was more enticed by a competitor's campaign.
Calculate CTR with the following formula:
CTR = (clicks / impressions) x 100
How to optimize your marketing campaign's CTR
Observe user behavior: watch recordings of user sessions to understand how they engage with your website and identify opportunities for improvement
💡See it in action
Leading independent navigation company TomTom wanted to dig deeper into the raw numbers traditional analytics tools offered on their marketing campaigns and understand the 'why' behind user actions, like what influenced customers to click—and then finally buy?
Using Hotjar Surveys, they asked satisfied users for their input directly—and then strategically integrated that qualitative feedback into their marketing strategy. For example, they reworked campaign copy—like social media posts, emails, and landing page CTAs—to include comments from happy users.
As a result, TomTom saw a +491% increase in email CTR and a +49% conversion rate increase for their landing pages.
One of the most popular ways to measure the success of marketing efforts is to look at the impact on sales, as an effective campaign should ultimately drive more customers to purchase your products or services.
How to improve sales
Dive into funnels: use customizable funnels to track and analyze specific user segments or goals, sharpening your understanding of the customer journey
We monitor our sales funnel to see where people abandon sign-ups without converting, and one day we noticed a huge drop in conversions from our signup page. We discovered that the autocomplete feature was broken, so we fixed it and conversions went back up immediately.
5. Return on investment (ROI)
Return on investment (ROI) measures the efficacy of your marketing campaigns by comparing the cost of the campaign vs. the revenue it generates. A positive ROI indicates that your campaign has generated more revenue than it cost to execute.
Calculate ROI with the following formula:
ROI = (income - investment) / investment x 100
How to optimize your ROI
Target high-value customer segments: identify the most profitable user segments to further tailor your marketing campaigns to their needs and preferences
Evaluate quantitative data: use a tool like Hotjar Trends to spot user behavior patterns over time, like identifying high-performing UTM campaigns for a particular landing page URL
For example, you can filter recordings to only watch playbacks of customers who spend over a certain threshold or make multiple purchases.
Filtering user attributes with Hotjar improves campaign ROI by providing enriched insights into high-value customer behavior
6. Customer retention
High customer retention leads to decreased acquisition costs, giving you room to experiment with new marketing channels and strategies, whereas low retention results in lost revenue and potential brand damage due to the constant need to replace lost customers.
How to improve customer retention
Use remarketing strategies: target customers who have already interacted with your brand—and then move them further down the marketing funnel—by sending customer retention emails or using retargeting ads on social media
Test incentives: use surveys or feedback widgets to understand what types of rewards or perks customers would find most valuable, and offer them as incentives to continue to do business with you
Pro tip: if it's still unclear why your retention rates are low, get in touch with customers directly by conducting user interviews.
Hotjar Engage helps you target and recruit the right users to quickly gain critical insights about what's working with your service or product, what's not, and ways to troubleshoot.
Quickly recruit appropriate users and easily schedule interviews with Hotjar Engage
7. Brand sentiment
Brand sentiment measures the perception of your company and product among customers, potential customers, and the general public.
A positive sentiment helps attract and retain customers, while a negative sentiment may drive customers away and harm your business's reputation.
Measure customer loyalty and advocacy by asking how likely they are to recommend your brand to others with a Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey.
How to improve your online brand’s reputation
Conduct a web design audit: your website is the face of your company, so you need to ensure your online presence instills enough trust in users for them to convert
Pro tip: use Hotjar's NPS® software to collect feedback from customers at periodic intervals. It also securely stores the results so you can track NPS® changes over time.
Review corresponding graphs to visualize NPS® fluctuations, review open-ended feedback, or ask follow-up questions based on your customers’ initial answers for even deeper insights.
Defining pre-launch campaign parameters
Measuring the success of your marketing campaign is crucial to understanding its impact and optimizing future efforts. But deciding which metrics will be most effective can be overwhelming.
Here are four critical parameters to proactively define before your campaign launch to ensure your strategy is tailored to your intended audience, enabling you to consistently measure progress and performance.
Identify objectives: determine whether you want to raise awareness (top-of-funnel), generate leads (middle-of-funnel), or drive sales (bottom-of-funnel)
Establish the time frame: decide whether you're working with a long-term or short-term goal and then set a start date and deadline
Pinpoint your audience: define your ideal customer, their pain points, interests, and preferences
Choose channels: select the outlets—email, social media, ads—you’ll use to promote your campaign and reach your target audience
Prioritize customers when evaluating marketing campaign success
When evaluating the success of your marketing campaign, it's easy to get caught up in metrics and data. However, remember that the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to attract and retain customers.
Keeping customers at the forefront of your decision-making process ensures that your campaign meets their needs and delivers a positive experience. This, in turn, drives engagement, loyalty, word-of-mouth, and conversions, allowing your business to grow and stay competitive.
Transform your marketing campaigns with Hotjar's powerful insights
Optimize marketing campaign performance with actionable, user-centric recommendations.
FAQs about evaluating marketing campaign success
Solving common problems
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Those pesky bugs. Even with the most meticulous checks possible, one or two usually make it through to production.
It’s vital to evaluate website bugs as they come up, so you know how urgently you need to fix them. Without taking a moment to assess impact, you’ll be shooting in the dark.
You might invest your precious resources in unnecessary work, or worse—underestimate the problem and cause frustrated users to take their business elsewhere.
Solving common problems
Create an effective landing page using these free tools (video tutorial)
Your website is still one of your most important business tools, yet only 15% of websites average over 100,000 unique monthly visitors. In order to create successful websites that convert, consumers have access to an array of tools and features that promise to simplify their lives.
However, the overwhelming abundance of options can sometimes lead to more complications. Business owners often find themselves wondering, "How can I easily create a landing page that converts without design resources, IT support, or expensive optimization experts?"
Solving common problems
10 ways Hotjar helps you understand your users better
Your sales are down; the well's running dry. What do you do to encourage people to buy from you: add a new product or service or multiply an existing product's features?
Increasing choices and features may be a business's automatic response to boost interest and, later on, conversion and sales. But more is needed to justify using company resources to create a solution that may or may not resonate with customers.
To achieve real, needle-moving change, you need to dig deeper and understand users better—what motivates or frustrates them and what hinders or helps them satisfy their 'jobs to be done'.