Wednesday, April 12, 2023

OpenPlay Form

Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The B2B Lead Generation Playbook

Our 5-step framework for generating quality B2B leads using paid ads.

We use the following playbook for our clients. We treat this as a living and breathing framework that gets updated over time based on where we’re seeing the best results.

The playbook can be broken down into the five following steps.

  1. Audit
  2. Prescribe
  3. Test
  4. Optimize
  5. Scale

Step 1: Audit

When you’re at your doctor’s office for your annual checkup, your doctor doesn’t barge in the room and start prescribing your treatment. You first get a checkup where your vitals are taken, blood is drawn, and a baseline is established to see how you’re doing.

This principle applies to marketing as well. Without a clear understanding of where you’re currently at, it’s difficult to provide a plan of action, and virtually impossible to understand how successful the plan is.

For our clients, we thoroughly audit their existing campaigns to understand what was working, what wasn’t working, and why. We also benchmark a baseline around spend, conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rates so that we can evaluate our new campaign efforts.

Here’s what this looks like:

Note: Q1 2022 serves as the baseline in this example.

Once we have established a baseline, and have an understanding of the past campaign performance, we’ll create a plan based on the client’s KPIs. Depending on the client’s goals, our plan can vary. For example, the goal of lowering cost per lead vs driving more conversions can change our recommendations.

Step 2: Prescribe

The next step is to “prescribe” a plan to achieve the established goals. This plan can further be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Project Brief – Who is our ideal customer? Where do they spend time online? What pains are they experiencing and how does our product/service relieve that pain? How will they be better off after using our product/service?
  2. OKRs – What are the objectives we’re aiming for, and how can we measure if we’re on track?
  3. Scorecard – How are the new campaigns measuring against our target KPIs?
  4. Ad Briefs – What do the ads look like that we’ll be testing? What messaging will resonate the best? What images or videos will stop the scroll? Where will we send this traffic to post-click?
  5. CRO Improvements – How can we improve the conversion rate of the right prospects?

Here’s an example of a project brief we use with our clients. It’s a simple Google doc that we share amongst the team.

Step 3: Test

Testing is at the heart of everything we do here. Every client is unique, and campaigns will perform differently depending on the product/service, brand equity, offer, audience, and about a hundred other factors.

When we start a new ad campaign we’ll test different variations of each component of our ads to optimize for our KPIs. The main areas we test are:

  1. Audiences
  2. Messaging
  3. Creative

Test 1: Audiences

You can sell the best cheeseburgers in town, but your sales are going to come up short if your audience is a group of vegetarians.

With this in mind, the first thing we test in our campaigns are audiences. There are a variety of audiences we can test, the most common ones being:

  1. Uploaded lists of contacts or target accounts
  2. Lookalike audiences of your best customers, leads, or website traffic
  3. People who use a specific piece of software
  4. People who follow specific publications
  5. Ideal prospects based on their job function, seniority, and skillset

We’ll select 3-4 audiences to test our campaigns against and measure the results. From there we’ll take the winning audience(s) and move to the next step, message testing.

Test 2: Messaging

With messaging, it’s critical to know what stage of awareness your audience is at or else your offer isn’t going to hit.

Problem Aware? Speak to pain points and how your product/service alleviates that pain.

Solution Aware? Speak to your unique value props. How is your product/service better than what’s out there?

Product Aware? Highlight case studies, testimonials, and 3rd party reviews, and social proof.

Based on the awareness stage of our ideal customer, we’ll create 3-5 different variations of copy to test alongside our best audience(s).

After selecting our winning audiences along with our winning messages, we’ll move to our 3rd phase of testing – creative.

Test 3: Creative

In creative testing, we’re looking to stop the user’s scroll with an eye-catching creative and intriguing copy.

In the thousands of ads we’ve run, we’re often surprised which ad creative wins. Certain times a highly designed illustration wins, other times it’s a stock photo with a call to action.

We’ll take our winning audiences and messaging and create custom images that represent our messaging.

We’ll usually test 3 variations to start:

  1. Illustrative
  2. Photo
  3. Product 

Here are some of the ads we’ve run recently that really crushed the other variations.

After we have the winning ads out of the 30-40 variations we’ve tested, we’ll move on to the optimization step.

Step 4: Optimize

In a perfect world, we could turn our winning ads on and just let them run. But alas, it’s not so simple.

We need to continuously monitor and optimize our campaigns, ads, audiences, and conversions to ensure the machine is running smoothly.

Typical optimizations we make weekly are:

  1. Adjusting CPCs to drive more clicks for the budget
  2. A/B testing landing pages to improve conversion rates
  3. Reviewing quality metrics from the CRM to understand which campaigns are producing qualified leads
  4. Iterating on a new audience, messaging, and creatives
  5. Pausing underperforming ads
  6. Re-allocating budget to the best-performing ads

We run comprehensive reviews typically each week for all campaigns and make optimizations as needed. For new campaigns or those with large budgets, we’ll usually be reviewing daily until they are stable, then move over to reviewing weekly to ensure there has been enough activity to make decisions.

Step 5: Scale

Scaling happens when we’ve collected enough data to determine that a specific campaign type, channel, or offer is outperforming the rest.

We will then look at adjusting strategy to reduce or completely eliminate specific marketing channels, and re-allocate budget & resources to the campaigns bringing in the most revenue, opportunities, or leads.

The Scale step is where we see compounding results as we start to hyper-focus on the 20% of the campaigns bringing in 80% of the results.

We’ll typically review campaigns & strategies every 3 months depending on the project size to compare our strategy against the results we’ve seen,  then work with our clients on the next 90-day strategy plan.


If you’re looking for help building & scaling your paid ads strategy, you can schedule a free session to build out a marketing plan for you. 


Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

17 SEO Experts Share Their Best Content Optimization Hacks [Featured]

This article was written by Shaurya Jain and featured on Curatti.

It is often said that if you write your content for the user, Google will reward your website with traffic. But if you ask the people working in the trenches, producing content every day, they will tell you otherwise. Content needs to be optimized both for the user and the search engines to get the most mileage out of it.

Here are 17 SEO experts sharing their favorite ways to optimize a piece of content:

Stephen Sumner, Founder, Optimise Agency

I like to see what the competition is up to on a given topic. Just reviewing the SERPs and absorbing the different content around a topic gives me a pretty good feel for what is needed in terms of quality and depth.

When I see mediocre or fairly vanilla looking content ranking in the SERPs for a topic with a good amount of traffic behind it, I know it won’t take too much production resources to create something superior. So I use this for identifying quick wins.

Then, once I have identified subjects and content where I feel the standard is fairly weak, I use tools like Clearscope and frase.io to find out gaps in the content and then include that in your content piece.

Yuri Burchenya, Cofounder, GetFound XL

If you know Google, you know that it’s VERY hard to rank with something they don’t want to show on the first page. Manually check the SERP for your focus keywords. Too many people just skip this step and rely on tools too much.

So instead of focusing on semantics, entities, and keyword intent, start with the basics. Spend more time actually looking at what Google currently ranks.

To borrow an example from Ryan Stewart, if you try to rank an article targeting keyword “how to get rid of pimples” WITHOUT actually looking at what currently ranks, you will totally miss the mark.

Because what Google ranks are all results that include the words “FAST” or “OVERNIGHT”. So your title and content structure need to reflect that.

Just looking at keyword data from Ahrefs or similar tools is not enough. You need to actually study what Google is ranking right now and take that into account. Of course, there are tools that can help you with that and provide you with more content optimization tips. Tools like Ryte, Clearscope, MarketMuse and many more.

Brandyn Morelli, CEO, Tilt Metrics

When we publish a new piece of content, we always run an experiment to optimize our headline. We’ll start by picking our favorite 3 headline variations for the post. Then we’ll use a Facebook Ad campaign to create three separate ads that are identical, except for the headlines. Using a $20 lifetime budget for the ad set and a 1% Look-Alike audience created from our blog visitors, we’ll run the ad campaign for 24 hours.

After the ad-set finishes, we’ll look at the CTR for “Outbound Link Clicks” to see which variations led to the most clicks to our blog post. Once we find the winner, we’ll update our blog title and promote it across our social channels and relevant industry sites

You may also want to read: How to Write Great SEO-Friendly Content in 2020

Tom De Spiegelaere, Director, Mango Matter Media

If we want to optimize a bunch of older long-form articles w/o having to rewrite large parts of them, we usually focus on 2 aspects:

  1. Content up until the first CTA: If we decide to rewrite anything during the quick fix phase, it’s always the content up until the first CTA. We add a combination of humor and authority signals (more on authority/trust signals in #2). People like to skim content anyway, so make sure the intro is fantastic and entertaining, right up until your first CTA. Maximize the CTR of that first CTA, as it’s – in most cases – the most important one on the page.
  1. Add authority/trust by adding more statistics (while referencing them), and using those statistics to break up walls of text by putting the numbers in block quotes and graphs/charts. Go through the content. Find places where you can insert a number or statistic. Find the reference/source of the statistic so you have somewhere to link out to. Then write something like “According to the x research group,…”.

Use those numbers to create a graph/chart/image and/or block quotes. These are interesting visual elements you can now use to make your content more visually appealing while showing you know the topic well (which usually has a positive impact on your conversion rate).

Jason Berkowitz, SEO Director, Break the Web

Many content creators think content optimization is all about getting in the keywords as much as possible. Of course, keywords will always be necessary. But Google actually prefers content that is written to match the search user’s intent. Google has made specific changes in their algorithm that emphasizes user intent and experience, rather keyword optimization.

Aiming to understand the intent behind a search query is reasonably straightforward (that is, if Google is doing their job right).

One of our favorite ways to understand search intent is to make a quick Google search of the keyword, This gives us some great insight into what types of content are ranking for that particular query.

For example, if we sold wireless earbuds and wanted to rank for wireless earbuds, a simple search in Google will show us that 90% of the URLs that currently rank are not actually companies specifically. They are content sites doing roundups/reviews of the best wireless earbuds. In this case, Google believes that people are looking to see the best options out there, versus one brand in particular.

Focusing on content optimization for a query that definitely won’t match the intent or fit in the pack of organic results could be both time & money wasters.

Kevin Hilton, Director, Multi-Layer Marketing

Think about your content formatting. No one wants to click through to your website and be faced with a wall of text. This type of content is daunting and difficult to read, so visitors will be more likely to bounce from the page and go elsewhere. Properly formatting your content with headings, subheadings, and bullet points make it much more digestible and engaging.

What’s more, formatting your content helps Google to understand and rank it in the SERPs as headings and subheadings are a great way to naturally include your target keywords

You may also want to read: 6 Top Organic SEO Trends to Focus on

Corey Northcutt, CEO, Northcutt

I’ll limit this to content marketing/blogging because it’s actually pretty simple (at least in concept) and can be replicated with all free tools.

First, I use a problem/solution-centric keyword research tool like answerthepublic.com or alsoasked.com.  These tools brute-force either Google’s AutoSuggest engine or the ‘People Also Asked’ output to give the most current data on questions that people are asking.  Occasionally, I’ll look to Quora or ‘Help a Reporter Out‘ as well. Ideally, I’m interested in all the spokes in a wheel, so to speak, that rotates around a long-term (1-3 word) keyword ranking goal.

I don’t get hung up on keyword volume – at least, not when I’m doing content marketing.  In part, because these specific tools don’t provide it. A good clue that a question gets more search volume is how often I see the same question phrased in alternate ways.  But, if something gets searched frequently enough to appear on one of these tools, that’s almost always good enough. The intent is what really matters.

For example, if I’m writing for northcutt.com, 50,000 searches about “SEO services” are infinitely less valuable than 50 searches for “SEO agencies”.  The former sells for $5 on Fiverr to every hobby blogger and affiliate marketers. That’s all well and good, but not aligned with my goals. The latter search is typically for businesses $2M+, and is simply a better fit for what I do.

Once inspired, I Google the topic in a few ways and read each of the top 20 results.  I produce a stronger overall piece of content that, all our SEO tricks aside, deserves to rank.  And, I make sure that it uses the keywords well, early in the title, and with secondary questions answered well in its subheadings.

Joe Robinson, Founder, Green Flag Digital

Aside from using tools to speed up the content optimization process, like Clearscope, MarketMuse, and Surfer, one of my favorite content optimization hacks is to create “long-tail stack” posts. Long-tail keywords are low in volume but may be high in search intent. And there are a ton of them to work with.

Rather than spinning your wheels trying to create a ton of thin posts like it’s 2008, I love the concept of stacking a bunch of these keywords into one monster post, hitting on all of them. I created the term “long-tail stack” for lack of a better term, but it’s essentially a variation of a pillar content piece, which touches on a lot of topics at a high level. In practice, each long-tail keyword grouping should be its own section.

I’ll then create a table of contents linking to each section, add in visuals, and then ensure I’ve implemented above-the-fold SEO best practices, which I’ve seen working really well, especially on mobile.

Dan Christensen, President, MorningDove Marketing

Readability is key to having actual humans consume your content. The longer I do SEO, the more I’m a believer that content should be fit for humans first, not search engines. If I owned a site, I wouldn’t want spun or low-quality content sullying the image of my business. That being said, readability has to smoothly integrate with our natural processes.

For example, making paragraphs smaller tends to make a piece of content more digestible, along with descriptive headers and subheaders.

Here’s a good way to look at it:

If the reader only came to your article to find one specific piece of information, how easy would it be to find it? If they can’t easily skim the content, you will lose more traffic to the dreaded “back” button.

You may also want to read: The Great Website Builder SEO Experiment [Infographic]

Karl Kangur, Director of Marketing, Smash Digital

As lame as it sounds, my number one content optimization hack is to try and put yourself in the users’ shoes once all the SEO magic is done (keyword optimization, SurferSEO, etc). Most content has the ultimate goal of making you money or driving some sort of sale – or at least providing the user with an answer. Read through your article from that perspective and compare it to what is currently ranking.

If you’re writing about the best email marketing tools for example, by the end of the article – could you objectively answer the question as a reader?

Curt Storring, Founder, Floor500

The biggest success we’re seeing with content optimization is making sure the page is totally aligned with search intent for a specific search phrase.

First, we check the first page of Google to see what type of content is ranking and make sure we are delivering the expected content type. For example, Google could be ranking only recipe pages or only pages with tools or only long-form content. By matching content type, we give ourselves the best chance to rank.

Then, we’ll analyze the main search term(s) and determine exactly what the searcher would need from our page to complete their search (i.e., not go back to the SERPs and click another listing).

This could mean:

  • Writing a short, concise post answering a very specific question
  • Putting together a full guide on a broad topic
  • Anything in between

The important thing is that it matches the intent the searcher had when entering their query.

if you’re trying to optimize content that’s not ranking, I highly recommend ensuring that you’re matching what Google believes the search intent to be for your search terms. 

Chris Sloane, President, Heaviside Group

Content optimization today is increasingly data-analysis driven. There are a ton of tools out there that help with this. MarketMuse and ClearScope do a great job of assessing the top content for a given keyword and providing a “roadmap” of how to build your content.

For existing content, similar tools exist that allow you to asses that content against competitors for key on-page factors. On-page SEO has always been largely driven by placing the right words in the right spots on the page. Now though, those decisions can be guided by statistical assessments of what the other, competing content is doing. Surfer SEO is one example that has really taken off recently. CORA is another one that digs deep into the SERPs and uncovers the factors that likely matter most. These tools give SEOs a chance to drive improvement for clients much more efficiently than was previously possible.

You may also want to read: Why Backlinks May Hurt Your SEO & How to Boost Inbound Links

Michael Costin, Director, Local Digital

Hack One

Go to Google Cloud Natural Language at https://cloud.google.com/natural-language

This is Google’s machine learning-driven natural language processing tool. And the Google promo page for the tool itself says the deep machine learning technology powers Google Search’s ability to answer specific user questions.

So, if Google are telling us they’re using this tool in powering their search results, it makes sense that as SEOs we should be using this tool too right?

The way we like to use it is to run passages of text from the top ranking sites for a particular keyword through the tool and identify the strongest keyword salience. We then make sure our copy at least matches the top ranking sites.

It can be an effective way to quickly optimize page copy and I bet most of your competitors aren’t doing it.

Hack Two

If you want to rank for a specific keyword then let Google tell you what to include in your copy. If you search for the target keyword in Google, about halfway down the search results page you often see a “People also ask” box like this:

That’s a pretty clear sign that Google considers these topics or questions relevant for that keyword. If you can address those topics in your content then it stands to reason the content will be considered more relevant.

Likewise, at the end of the Google search results page, there are “Searches related to” the keyword you entered.

If you can work all of these keywords into your copy it once again is giving Google the signals that your copy is relevant for the target keyword.

Amanda Thomas, Partner, Konstruct Digital

One of the first steps in content optimization is knowing what to optimize. I always recommend starting with some “Low Hanging Fruit” – content sitting on the second page of search with weak competition. While optimizing a key landing page or homepage might be important, you might be unaware of some quick-wins you can get from optimizing deeper articles.

A quick way to find some “low hanging fruit”:

  1. Using the organic research tool in SEMrush, search the domain in question.
  2. Filter for positions #11-20.
  3. Export the list. Using pivot tables or formulas, you can check for 3 things: low difficulty, volume, and most importantly, frequency. If you have a single page that is on page 2 for many related keywords, this is a great opportunity for content expansion. Expanding a single piece of content to include many long-tail keywords can be a simple, effective way to grow high-intent search traffic.

Once you’ve identified your low-hanging-fruit content, you can use writing tools like Clearscope and SEMrush Writing Assistant to help you expand your content and optimize for your target keywords. Added bonus: both tools offer Google docs add-ons to make your writing process even easier.

Jordan Choo, Managing Partner, Kogneta

After doing your typical high-level keyword research for a piece of content and publishing it, we’ll wait a few weeks for Google to start ranking the new piece of content. Then using Google Search Console data, we will mine for keywords that are topically related to the piece of content but, not explicitly mentioned. From there we’ll then either:

– Incorporate it into existing content by adding an additional section or sprinkling the keyword throughout the content


– Roll out a new piece of content that supports the previously published piece

We’ll rinse and repeat this process in order to continually optimize a piece until it is ranking for the set of keywords we’re going after.

You may also want to read: 8 Best SEO Practices To Avoid Google Penalties

Paul Leary, Founder, Are You On Page 1

1) I like to put a number in the SEO title and Page title – preferably an odd number, as they seem to get a better click response.


SEO title: 15 ways to increase your website visibility

Page title: 15 ways to increase your website visibility in the search engines

2) Another thing I like to do is make sure my main keyword is within the first 100 words of my page/post.

3) I keep exact Keywords that I’m trying to rank for within 3% of the articles’ total word count.

4) Internal linking is also a great way to help your article rank for your selected keywords. Go to google and type in your website and then the keyword your article is trying to rank for.


“[your website url] intext: [Keyword]”

Now the pages that come up are possibly good pages to link from to your article.

Brad Smith, Founder, Codeless

Optimizing content is pretty simple at the end of the day. It starts by asking:

* Is this content doing its job? Why or why not?

* What do we do to correct that with the least amount of effort to yield the highest return?

The first question is easy: should your content be ranking or converting, better/faster? Ahrefs and Google Analytics will answer that in about five minutes.

From there, the path to progress looks like:

  1. Do a quick SERP analysis for what’s already ranking well, and why. Look at the style of content (how to vs. list vs. case study vs. product page, etc.)
  2. Rewrite the content using optimization tools like MarketMuse or Clearscope that will help you better understand the search intent
  3. Make content easier to consume with better formatting, videos, audio, custom images, original screenshots, and more.

Rinse and repeat these three simple steps and watch content performance lift.

If you’re still having issues after, the problem isn’t page-level, but sitewide. So look into reorganizing content into pillars + clusters, create a silo with internal linking, and add more long-tail content to boost topical authority

Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

19 SEO Agency Owners Share Their Best Email Deliverability Tips [Featured]

This article was originally written by Julia G. and featured on GlockApps.

A lot of digital marketing agencies use cold emailing to get new clients and email marketing to nurture them. It is evident how important email and email deliverability is to these people. I reached out to 19 digital marketing agency owners to get their best email deliverability tips. Responses range from the correct technical setup to what words to avoid in your email to a lot more. Without wasting any more time, let’s jump right in:

Dustin Thompson, Founder, Konnected Interactive:

Although open rates are a good measure of your email deliverability, they are not completely accurate. The most accurate way to measure your emails deliverability is to use a tool like Glockapps to test how many of your emails are getting delivered and to which email client.

You should setup automatic email deliverability checks so that when your deliverability rate drops, you can see what the issue is (Glockapps does a great job of outlining the issue) and then you can take corrective action. For example, my own emails were not getting delivered to Gmail as reported by Glockapps so I emailed a bunch of people on their Gmails and asked them to mark my email not as spam. This got me out of the Spam folder.

Paul Leary, Founder, Are You On Page 1:

You should always validate the emails you are sending emails to. There are tons of tools on the markets to help you do this. I use Neverbounce personally. It cost $1 to get 80 Emails validated. The tool categorizes emails in the following 3 categories: Valid, Invalid and Catchall.

Now you want to avoid sending emails to the ones which are invalid and Catchall. Why? Well Invalid ones are invalid, duh, and will cause a bounce for sure. The catchall ones are those which might be invalid or might not be (the tool is not sure) but to be on the safe side, you should avoid emailing them too to keep your email bounce free.

Elliott Davidson, Founder, Contrast Digital:

Email deliverability is a big issue we face in our agency in these two areas which are outreach for sales and Digital PR campaigns. What we have found through our own testing to increase our chances of hitting the inbox is to first of all validate the email using a service like Hunter, you can quickly import a .csv file with a list of all of the emails to check so you don’t have to do this one by one.

From here on our first interaction over email, we like to keep the email quite bare just text so don’t do any attachments like PDFs, images and if we can help it links but this can be tough. The main goal we are aiming for is to get a reply, to achieve this you need to be adding value if you aren’t then I’d question whether reaching out to them is worthwhile as the ods of them becoming a paying client or give you a link back to your site. All of this helps to mean that our email address don’t get blacklisted or penalized.

Kevin Hilton, Director, Multi-Layer Marketing:

Take note of email addresses that bounce and don’t email them again. Bounce rates are taken into account by your internet service provider when determining your sender reputation, so if you get too many email bounces it can affect how many of your emails end up in people’s inboxes.

If you are using a tool like BuzzStream for outreach, you can set up sequences, send the initial email, and then leave it to run until you get a reply from the recipient. However, if the email bounces you need to go back into BuzzStream to cancel the rest of the sequence, else it will continue to send the remaining emails. This isn’t great news for your sender reputation if every email in the sequence bounces, especially if you are doing mass outreach.

If you use a tool like BuzzStream, make sure to check if your sequence emails are bouncing to minimise damage to your sender reputation.

Joe Robinson, Founder, Green Flag Digital:

Make sure you’re sending to small lists with tightly defined groups to better ensure open rates over time, and train email servers to trust your domain and help deliver your emails to the inbox. Instead of mass-emailing a list of hundreds of thousands of people, break these lists up into groups of 1,000 people up to 50,000 or so. When I was director of marketing at a travel tour operator, we worked with massive lists and always had the best success when the messages were tightly themed and sent to responsive recipients. I try to take the same approach when sending emails with current projects.

When we sent out email blasts to lists close to 100,000 people we had the worst open rates and inbox deliveries. We failed to really weed out a lot of the junk emails or dead email addresses. After rounds of list cleaning and segmenting contacts into different groups, we saw much better performance across all metrics.

Chris Sloane, President, Heaviside Group:

One thing we run into a lot when clients are having email delivery issues is bad web form setup. Many folks will set up basic forms on a WordPress site and leave it at that. This assumes the hosting server is properly configured to work with the PHP mail function, which may not be the case. You can also run into issues with your email provider if the sending domain does not match.

One way to fix this is to use SMTP to send email from your website instead of the PHP mailer. There are several plugins that will accomplish this for you, such as WP Mail SMTP. We recommend going one step past this and using an email delivery provider, such as SendGrid or Mailgun. This is a more secure solution as you do not need to store your email credentials in your WordPress dashboard. This also helps solve other potential delivery issues.

Tom De Spiegelaere, Director, Mango Matter Media:

Our team has quite a few tricks, but the factors we really pay attention to are links, images, emails sent per address, and template uniqueness.

Ideally, you should have no links and no images in your emails, the only exception to this is your avatar/bio image and the unsubscribe link.

Then when you’re prepping the campaigns, we sometimes use content spinners to make our email templates “unique” every day,  while still making sure the personalization stays in place of course.

As for email addresses, we try and limit emails sent per address. So rather than going with 800 emails per day from a single email, create a bunch of addresses, and send 30 daily from each. Then once the replies start coming in, or bounced emails, we try and deal with them asap (remove the bounced ones), keeping our primary inboxes clean seems to be working quite well.

If you can combine all 3 methods above, you should see a decent impact on your email deliverability!

Karl Kangur, Director of Marketing, Smash Digital:

I’ve seen even the best and cleanest domains struggle with email deliverability, even with important things like client emails. There are two main things that have helped us tackle this issue. One of them was disabling any kind of link tracking, open tracking, and other scripts. The other was always using unique subject lines.

For example, when you get contact form inquiries with a specific title, instead of replying to them automatically, change up the title a little bit. Not only does this help with deliverability in the long-term, it helps you personalize it for your potential clients.

Jason Berkowitz, SEO Director, Break the Web:

Statistics show that 21% of emails never make it to the recipient’s mailbox, so taking steps to ensure deliverability is a must for any successful email campaign. You’ve got to keep your subscriber list clean. Avoiding spammy subject lines, clickbait, and poorly formatted emails is also key. But those aren’t the only things that will leave your carefully crafted emails floating out in cyberspace.

First, if you’re going to embed images or videos into your emails, make sure they’re coming from reputable sources, like Google Drive or Dropbox. Using weird or unverified HTML will also get your email flagged, ensuring that your readers never see it.

Another common mistake many marketers make is forgetting to make sure their tags are set up correctly.

A great way to do this is to send out a few test emails to seed email accounts in different domains before you start sending them to your subscribers. This will help you verify that your tags are set up correctly and ensure that there aren’t any other issues preventing the email from getting delivered.

And finally, warm-up your outbox by sending a lower quantity of emails at first, and then increasing the number of recipients over the next few days as you send them out. This tactic will help you avoid getting triggered by spam filters.

Brandyn Morelli, CEO, Tilt Metrics:

Improving your email deliverability can be tricky. Luckily there are well-documented guides on how to increase your chance of getting your email in the inbox of your recipient. One tip to immediately help your chances is focusing on your subject line. Before you start writing a catchy subject line, stop and take a step back. Go ahead and open up your inbox. Skim through the top 20 emails in your inbox, flagging the emails sent from friends, co-workers, or clients.

Take a look at how those email subjects look compared to newsletters & cold emails you receive. You’ll usually find two things to be true. The first being the emails from people you know are usually short & punch. The second being they Don’t Use Unnecessary Capitalization. If you think about it, which email are you most likely to open, “loved your post on personal finance!” or “Quick Question For You To Consider For a Potential Partnership?

Try testing it on your next email campaign and watch your open rates skyrocket.

Michael Costin, Director, Local Digital:

If we’re running an outbound email campaign, whether it’s for ourselves or a client, we often start with a brand new domain name, for example the .net version of our regular .com domain. We then start small with the campaign, only sending a maximum of 20 odd emails per day. This allows us to “warm the domain  up” slowly over the course of a month or two.

The reason we do this is because when you’re sending a high volume of outbound emails, for example, for link building or sales purposes, it’s very easy to damage the reputation of your domain thanks to recipients lodging spam reports. To protect the main domain that everyone in the company uses for business email, it’s best to have this new domain set-up.

You can’t go hell for leather with a huge number of emails sent right away though as this is a recipe for disaster with a new domain. Take the time to warm it up by sending a small amount each day, then slowly ramp it up over time – it’s worth it in the long run.

Amanda Thomas, Partner, Konstruct Digital:

If using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp, make sure you’re fully completing your account setup and properly integrating with your domain. First you’ll need to verify that you need to have access to your domain. Typically this is done by the email provider sending an email to your domain, when you click on the authentication link in that email it proves that you have access to an email address at that domain. This is considered “default” authentication and will allow you to start sending emails.

However, you can go a step further with a custom domain integration and increase your deliverability rate. Update your domain’s DNS records to use DKIM authentication and include Mailchimp (or whomever your email provider is) in your SPF record. ISPs (Inbox service providers) use DKIM and SPF checks as a way to scan for spoofed email addresses. If you haven’t set up DKIM and SPF, it’s likely that the ISPs will flag your emails as being a higher risk for spam.

The specific records you need to add should be provided by your email services and will only take a skilled IT person a few moments to add. It’s great low hanging fruit to ensure your email deliverability gets off to a great start.

Stephen Sumner, Founder, Optimise Agency:

If you have a history of sending a lot of emails and perhaps, once or twice in the distant past you were not following the best practices, it’s possible your domain might be slightly tarnished or even blacklisted, it’s also possible if you are using a shared mail server and you haven’t been doing anything dodgy that someone else might have tarnished the mail server and you are being unfairly blacklisted. The first thing to do is check for blacklisting, there are a number of tools out there that will help with this and failing that, many if not most of the big email service providers have tools to help with this. Also, if you discover your domain has been blacklisted you need to STOP sending mail straight away as you will be making matters worse.

Yuri Burchenya, Cofounder, GetFound XL:

When spinning up a new domain for outreach, we spend up to 6 weeks just to warm up the email address itself.

Here’s the number of emails to send per day:

Week 1: 10
Week 2: 15
Week 3: 20
Week 4: 30
Week 5: 50
Week 6: 75

Spreading the email sendout throughout the day, as opposed to sending in one big batch also appears to be working better for us. From here you can experiment with increasing the number of emails sent even further.

We’ve also found that it’s important to maintain a certain sending velocity. Don’t just warm up the email address, then stop sending one week. You need to keep it consistent. So it’s best to spend the time while email is warming up wisely and have a list of prospects you’re going to reach out to in advance.

Finally, for the first week we’re sending out emails to our seed list. Then marking the conversation as important, adding address to contacts, moving it to Inbox if it’s not there already and also sending replies.

Curt Storring, Founder, Floor500:

It’s tempting to rush into hitting that send button on your first mass email campaign in order to get the links or leads flowing, but when it comes to building a long term domain email asset with sustainable deliverability, nothing beats relationship building.

Think of relationship building like warming up your email on steroids. I usually do this in two steps.

First, I like to email a handful of my ideal contacts and do nothing but deliver value in order to get an email chain going. (Of course, you could just email friends and family, but I like to get some work done while warming up the domain.)

This could be as simple as pointing out something on their site that needs work (like a broken link), or it could be asking them a question about something they’re an expert on. The more of a softball question you can ask them, the better. The point here is to get them interested in a conversation such that you exchange multiple emails.

Second, I’ll put together a couple of small, highly targeted and highly customized campaigns as my first bulk email blasts.

This means being extra certain that you’ve got the right emails, addressing everyone by name, and being hyper-specific as to why doing business with you makes sense for this person. You’ll likely have to read a portion of their blog, or follow them on Twitter, to figure out a highly unique and value-based angle for why you’re getting in touch with them.

In this first blast, I’ll give them a reason to respond, rather than go in for the sale immediately.

Rather than asking for a link right away, you can ask them their thoughts on the topic of the page you’re trying to get a link to. (You can even start the dialogue by asking them to contribute to an expert roundup that you then ask them to link to later.)

Cheeky Bonus Tip: Let the recipient know you’ve attached something for them to look at (this works with infographic link building campaigns, for example) …but intentionally “forget” to attach it. Most people will reply to let you know you forgot to attach it.

Finally, for maximum effect, follow your leads on social media and either tag or DM them, letting them know you sent them an email they might want to check out.

Dan Christensen, President, MorningDove Marketing:

Creating the feeling that your email is hand-written always helps our email deliverability. One unconventional way we’ve done this is by not capitalizing the subject line. This is what contacts and friends already do in emails, so the recipient is more likely to assume there was prior contact with you, and are therefore more likely to open and respond to it.

Another way to do this is to make a few (small) grammar or spelling mistakes in the body of the email. You’re trying to come off less like an official representative of some corporation (high pressure) and more like somebody that just wants a small favor from a friend (low pressure).

As we’ve implemented and tweaked different variations of these techniques, we’ve hit higher open rates and responses than we ever have before. This doesn’t mean that your emails can be bland and still perform; you still need to command attention, use humor if possible, and follow best email outreach practices.

Jordan Choo, Managing Partner, Kogneta:

To improve email deliverability, there are a few things that we do on a consistent basis which include:

    • Cleaning out our email list using an email verification service (BriteVerify or Kickbox). This helps make sure we’re not sending emails that no longer exist, are “accept all” or group email addresses. This helps reduce our email boune rate which is something we’ve flagged as being key to getting your email delivered into an inbox rather than a spam folder;
    • Instead of shotgunning our emails out all at once, we’ll slowly send them out throughout the day and week. This helps ease email service providers into recognizing our emails rather than a flood of them all at once which comes off as spam;
  • If we start to see a relatively low open and response rate to our emails, we’ll use a handy tool called GlockApps which allows you to test whether or not your email is being flagged as spam or not and provides you with specific recommendations on how to get out of the spam folder in.

Brad Smith, Founder, Codeless:

We take a 5-part approach when reaching out to new sites:

1) Set up closely-related, branded, domain (think: your domain.com, yourdomain.org, etc.). Then, set this up with G Suite or another professional deliverability platform that knows what they’re doing.

2) Always use an email verification tool to validate individual emails you’re finding/matching before sending out cold campaigns to new contacts. Yes, this step sucks. But yes, you can use a combination of tools + VAs.

3) Warm up your new outreach emails, first. Start slow with ~10/day before ramping up to hundreds. The first step will help be your fallback to make sure your primary domain (and emails) aren’t flagged as Spam by cold outreach. But it might take a few weeks to get these new domains warmed up.

4) Segment your lists as much as possible. That could be individual topics they’ve previously written about, or it could be certain categories of sites, etc. Sending 10 campaigns of 100 contacts each will almost always perform better than 1 campaign of 1000 contacts. And it will also help you better…

5) Personalize the angle/hook/incentive of each email to each segment. Outreach is a numbers game at the end of the day. But the more you can tailor each pitch, without having to actually write unique emails, the higher your reply, response, and conversion rates ultimately.

Corey Northcutt, CEO, Northcutt:

Back when I managed sender reputation on 128,000+ IP addresses, the most common issue was misconfigured DNS. Always configure A, MX, SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and reverse DNS records. Double-check them with a tool like Gappie, a Slack and telegram bot. It’s very common for people to misconfigure any of these by accident basically any time that they add or remove different servers or cloud apps to their email marketing stack.

If your deliverability rates are still low, ask for email headers.  This messy wall of code output can be overwhelming the first time you see one, but if you CTRL+F for the word “spam”, you’ll often see your actual spam score (on a scale of 1-10) beside a specific list of things that landed your email ina spam folder.

For example, you might see “email too short” or “resembles a known phishing scheme” or “IP address listed in Spamhaus”.  Often its nothing that you could have predicted.

If this tells you that you’re in a blacklist database, you can contact the database via their website and request removal.  Some are a much bigger deal than others. Some are human-driven extortion scams. Others are totally automated. Some will only speak to the owner of the IP address (your host, or if you’re using a service like MailChimp, their host).  You may need to run it up the chain or ask for new IP addresses.

Well there you have it. 19 ways to improve your email deliverability. We hope you found them useful. Share your favorite email deliverability tip in the comments below!

Read:  Copywriting Best Practices for Avoiding the Spam Folder

Author bio: Shaurya Jain is a Digital Marketer and a self-experimenter (not as good as Tim Ferris though). You can check out his latest marketing tactics here. You can connect with him on Twitter here.

Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The 20 Most Important B2B KPIs According to More Than 50 Businesses [Featured]

This article was written by Elise Dopson and featured on Databox.


There are hundreds of metrics you can keep an eye on when running a business.

Sales, marketing, and finance teams all have their list of KPIs. But which B2B metrics should you look at if you want to take a glance at your entire company?

We wanted to find out how real B2B companies do it–focusing on the KPIs they prioritize, company-wide.

In this guide, we’ll share 20 of the most important KPIs your B2B company should be tracking, including:

  1. Website traffic
  2. Organic click-through rate
  3. Conversions per activity
  4. Landing page conversion rate
  5. Conversions by content
  6. Form conversion rate
  7. Visitor to lead conversion by source
  8. Email sign-ups
  9. Leads
  10. Source of leads
  11. Lead quality
  12. MQL to SQL conversion rate
  13. Performance of qualified leads
  14. Sales pipeline velocity
  15. Sales close rate
  16. Return on investment
  17. Monthly recurring revenue
  18. Customer satisfaction
  19. Customer acquisition cost
  20. Customer lifetime value

Click the links above to jump to a specific B2B KPI, or continue scrolling to read more about the metrics you should be keeping an eye on.

Want to know the most important marketing KPIs to track across all functions (i.e. content, SEO, email, social, etc.)? Check out the definitive list of marketing KPIs all marketers should be tracking according to 400+ marketing professionals.

1. Website Traffic

Chances are, you’ve got Google Analytics installed on your website. Pulno‘s Agnieszka Cejrowska thinks it’s a great tool to use when “remembering that people browsing your site can be potential leads which in turn can transform to customers.”

Cejrowska explains: “Monitoring the traffic is a good way to learn how the customers land on your site and what they want from you, what exactly are they interested in.”

“Knowing that you can adjust your content and plan the marketing strategy to attract even more visitors – potential customers.”

2. Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR)

According to Priya Kumari of Valasys Media, “click-through rate is one of the most important KPIs the marketers should put to use for measuring the success of their organic and offline SEO campaigns.”

“Click-through rate (CTR) is a KPI that not only substantiates if enough impressions are being served to the prospective clients but also makes sure that the traffic on the website is worthwhile for conversions to occur.”

“Unless the content on the website isn’t served to the relevant people, generating the requisite conversions and accomplishing the other core bottom-lines would become a daunting task,” Kumari adds.

*Editor’s note: Keep track of your organic CTR, alongside other key SEO metrics, with our Google Search Console dashboard. It will automatically pull your data without having to log into your account, and make it easy to share your B2B metrics company-wide:

3. Conversions per Activity or Campaign

“One important KPI we track across all of our marketing is how many customer signups did an activity generates,” writes REMITR‘s Sandeep Todi. “That is the end-goal of all our initiatives, and leads us to devise better ways of tracking what we do.”

Todi puts that into practise: “If we did an online or an offline campaign which does not have good attribution capability, we build that in if we’re doing it over a longer period, going beyond the immediate metrics (e.g., how many contacts did we make vs how many signups did it generate).”

Mitt Ray of Social Marketing Writing adds: “You can easily monitor this metric by setting up goals on Google Analytics. The average website has a conversion rate of about 1.95% and the top 10% of marketers convert at 4.77%.”

Powerphrase‘s Newaz Chowdhury agrees: “Tracking this is helpful because it tells you if your website is engaging to users. If people leave without taking action, then there’s something wrong.”

Ramey Miller’s team at Text Request also does this by measuring “the number of sales that come from each individual marketing effort.”

“This answer seems like an obvious one but, you need to dive deep into these KPIs and figure out what’s working, what you should do more of, what you can work on. It is also nice to see when the fruits of your efforts are working out.”

Plus, Jim Knapp of MediaSalesTrainer.com adds that “conversion rate (closes as a percent of qualified opportunities) as it expresses quite clearly a product/service-market fit.”

RelatedHow to Set Up & Use Google Analytics Conversion Tracking

4. Landing Page Conversion Rate

You know that you should be tracking your overall revenue. But Brian Koenig of Smile Marketing explains that you can do this by segmenting your data: “One example would be evaluating landing page conversions.”

“By setting up conversion goals on your landing pages, you can measure the number of leads a landing page generates, but also the key data that determines the page’s efficiency.”

Koenig continues: “For example, if the percentage of visitors converting on your landing page is a mere one percent, you know you have a conversion problem. You now need to reevaluate your page content and design.”

Robbie Richards adds that you can also segment this landing page traffic to show data from organic users, which “will give you insight into which content assets and topics are driving the most value for your business.”

“As an SEO agency that works primarily with B2B SaaS companies, one way we segment this KPI further is to break out the landing page reports by subfolder. For example, we’ll build tables with all the landing pages housed in the /solutions, /features and /blog subfolder so we can align the appropriate conversion goals to their respective content.”

“For example – within the /solutions and /features subfolders, we’ll show trial signups from organic traffic for each landing page, and how that is trending. Then, for the /blog subfolder, we might show newsletter signups from organic traffic for each landing page.”

“Finally, if we have access to CRM data, we’ll pull in the lead to opportunity to close numbers for the organic traffic channel. This helps close the loop,” Richards adds.

5. Conversion Rate by Piece of Content

Foundation‘s Ross Simmonds also says that you should calculate the conversion rate for content marketing: “Every B2B marketer today is bought into the idea of creating more content. But oftentimes they struggle with capturing/tracking the ROI of these assets.”

“Thus, I think every B2B marketer needs to track assisted conversions as a part of their key performance indicators. It will show them whether or not assets being developed are resulting in conversion or if they’re simply falling flat.”

Dylan Zsigray explains how the team at Kiwi Creative do this: “With our gated content, we utilize landing pages to track individual content performance and to provide a clear pathway for lead conversion. An important KPI that spawns from this is the performance of each landing page.”

“For example, are readers converting by accessing gated content? Are they scrolling down the whole page? Is the bounce rate higher on some gated content pieces than others? All of these questions steer optimization for our landing pages and form a foundation for future marketing strategies.”

Zsigray continues: “If a specific piece of content is under-performing, then the industry may not be looking for that type of information and our energy ought to be focused elsewhere.”

6. Form Conversion Rate

“For our team at Eater Creative, one of our most important KPIs is contact form conversion,” writes Benjamin Surman.

“We deal with a lot of restaurants and even just as many vendors in the restaurant business. We have built our form to capture enough accurate information upfront to provide powerful insight into prospective clients.”

“This data can then help us continuously improve our internal lead ranking system based on multiple metrics, which means getting prospects to a client status much faster,” Surman adds.

But according to T3‘s Jordann Wilson, “every B2B company should be tracking the success of their phone calls in addition to online forms, ecommerce purchases, etc.”

“For our B2B clients, we typically see a 3:1 ratio for lead generation through the phone. With longer sales cycles, customers have an expectation of speaking to a representative before making a large purchase. Having tools to attribute valuable phone calls back to paid media is crucial for growth.”

Wilson explains: “With tools like Marchex, you can go a step further to listen to calls and identify common customer questions that can help guide content recommendations and advertising copy.”

7. Visitor to Lead Conversion by Source

“When I’m looking at B2B marketing metrics, particularly for digital, I always look at visitor-to-lead (aka session-to-contact) rate as a KPI… but I particularly like to look at VTL by source,” writes ImpulseCreative‘s Juli Durante.

“I find marketers are often looking at VTL in general, but forget that different traffic sources should convert at lower rates than others.”

“For example, if you are sending a lot of emails, you may have a lower average VTL rate – email communications generally go out to contacts already in your database.”

Durante continues: “Tracking VTL by source can tell a marketer where to focus conversion rate optimization opportunities and the always-coveted “low hanging fruit.” It can also help you see where your efforts are paying off. Is that new PPC landing page contributing to your conversions? Check that VTL!”

TradeWheel‘s Anosha Imran agrees: “Website visitors are potential sales leads. Tracking this is important to determine the performance. It can be tracked using an analytics tool that gives you valuable insight into the origin of the traffic. It also shines a light on SEO practices that brought the most visitors.”

8. Email Sign-Up Conversion Rate

Jarie Bolander of JSY PR & Marketing thinks: “All B2B marketers should track email newsletter signups.”

“This is a leading indicator of how well your messaging is resonating with folks that find you via search or other means,” Bolander adds, hence why their team thinks the email sign-up conversion rate is a KPI that B2B marketers need to monitor.

9. Leads

“In B2B marketing, leads is our most important KPI,” writes Selby‘s Stan Tan. “We need to work together with our sales team to close that lead. Marketing alone isn’t enough to close a lead in B2B.”

Unlike Tan’s team, we found that the majority of B2B KPIs are structured for specific departments, rather than company-wide:

Tan continues: “B2B deals range from the thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes even millions and you aren’t going to get that lead to buy your $100,000 product over a shopping cart. Hence, lead is our #1 metric we measure.”

Danyal Effendi of PureVPN agrees: “Leads drive sales; the greater the number of leads the higher the chance of big sales number.”

Romain Chiaramonte of Wild At Heart agrees: “Clearly, it’s mandatory to track number of leads per day, and, score of each page per lead in order to only focus efforts (SEO) towards these key pages. B2B is all about results and 1 new customer can easily reimburse marketing cost.”

10. Source of Leads

You know how many leads you’re getting.

“We find it crucial to include the source of each lead we capture,” writes Clayton Arnold of NRI Industrial Sales. “This way we can get a full view of our marketing campaigns to determine what approaches are working or which ones need further tweaking.”

Stephen Taylor of WISER Systems agrees: “Of all the metrics and KPIs that marketers can track here, the most reliable one for marketing attribution models is typically the conversion rate of those leads by leads generation source.”

“This helps a) quantify many of the actual costs to acquire customers, and b) show more clearly what is and isn’t working at the leads generation level.”

11. Lead Quality

Increasing the quality of a lead is a top priority for 68% of B2B professionals.

That’s why Shaye Smith of The Center for Sales Strategy thinks it’s an important B2B KPI: “Are the leads coming in considered “quality,” and specifically sales qualified, for our sales team?”

“The revenue that is generated from these leads is also helpful in analyzing and assessing the lead scoring over time,” Smith adds.

12. MQL to SQL Conversion Rate

“Every B2B marketer should be tracking leads and differentiating between marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs),” Lauren Walter of Search Optimisim thinks.

“This KPI is particularly relevant for B2B marketers over B2C marketers because their sales cycles tend to be longer and purchasing decisions tend to be more complex. This leads to a more involved buyer’s journey, requiring more tracking along the way.”

Walter explains: “An MQL has taken some action to indicate they are more likely to become a customer, such as visiting your website or downloading a whitepaper. But they aren’t yet at the decision stage. This means they should be targeted by your marketing team, but they aren’t high enough priority to be handed off to your sales team.”

(Ron Sela adds: “MQLs are contacts who have identified themselves to be sales-ready and are deeply engaged with your offering as compared to usual leads.”

“For instance, contacts who have downloaded your brochure can be considered to be MQLs if they satisfy the criteria of your target audience, including target industry, business size, specific vertical, or revenue.”)

Walter continues: “An SQL, on the other hand, is already in the buying cycle and ready to become a customer. They may have visited your website multiple times, viewed your pricing page, and requested a demo or filled out a contact form. These leads should be the highest priority and receive direct follow-up from your sales team.”

“By tracking both MQLs and SQLs, your company can make the most of its data on leads and act accordingly,” Walter says.

Nichole Turner of Chief Martech Officer adds that tracking SQLS “is extremely important to know because this is the handoff between marketing and sales.”

“If sales accept your lead as sales qualified, then I feel marketing has done their job. After that, it’s up to sales to close the deal. This is a great metric to show the value of your campaigns and to gauge whether or not they are not only creating leads, but the right leads.”

However, Nick Nelson of TopRank Marketing says: “I prefer not to think in terms of MQL/SQL, as this distinction can be divisive. Instead, collectively agree on a shared definition of a “qualified lead” and then assess how effectively they’re moving through your funnel.”

“Optimizing around this will benefit your business tremendously — sales waste less time chasing futile leads while strengthening the relationship with marketing due to improved alignment.”

“Changing focus from how many prospects are in your pipeline to what percentage of prospects are converting is a key element in a generalized shift from quantity to quality,” Nelson summarizes.

13. Performance of Qualified Leads

“Measuring the performance of qualified leads is our north star KPI here, and [Tilt Metrics] recommend it for other B2B marketers,” according to Brandyn Morelli.

“If we know our close rate from lead to client, and we know how many projects we need to close per quarter, we can easily tell if we’re on track based off of our qualified lead figures. Looking upstream, if we’re not hitting our KPI’s on qualified leads we know that we need to generate more traffic through more content and/or paid ads.”

Morelli mentions that they use this B2B KPI to monitor how many leads their team needs to close per quarter. That’s the second-most common frequency for reviewing and adjusting the importance of a metric:

14. Sales Pipeline Velocity

“Pipeline velocity is an important metric to measure the success of marketing campaigns,” says Vishal Srivastava of Trainedge Consulting.

“Pipeline velocity measures the time it takes for a prospect to move from lead to customer. It’s important because it tells you how well you manage your funnel and nurture the leads.”

Alice Donoghue of TheAppLabb thinks “every company can define what a “step” in their sales process entails.”

“What this KPI essentially shows is how quickly and easily a potential customer can slide through the sales pipe. It shows how well laid-out your funnel is. And, it reveals if you’re relying too much on high-touch customer service (your salespeople or CEO having to fight tooth and nail for every close).”

Donoghue continues: “A lot of B2B businesses fall into the trap where, through lack of branding or market positioning, they spend way too long explaining their benefits to each new customer. This goes to show that the customer isn’t receiving a clear message of what product/service you offer and what they stand to gain, right when they encounter your brand.”

“Tightening your messaging, having consistently branded collateral, and providing as much information as possible at the beginning of the funnel will help improve this KPI.”

“By working at this KPI, you’ll be able to better quantify the effectiveness of your marketing department, and also save your salespeople a ton of work, Donaghue says.

William Chin-Fook of Pickfu agrees: “During the buying cycle – if you end up having a lead drop off during the conversion funnel, that is counted as a loss. Whereas if you convert that lead – it’s counted as a win!”

“The reason that this is important is due to its impact on your conversion funnel. A win/loss analysis is at the core of any B2B marketing or sales team since it could potentially show you deficiencies in your sales pipeline, which you can then remedy and hopefully generate more revenue,” Chin-Fook summarizes.

15. Sales Close Rate

“The most important KPI that B2B marketing professionals should track is actually a sales metric: close rate,” writes Jeremy Cross of Team Building Philadelphia.

“Generating leads is one thing, but you can get false positive like unqualified leads or even spam. When you optimize for qualified leads and then closed deals, you focus your efforts on marketing techniques and channels that generate actual profit.”

16. Return on Investment (ROI)

“If I have to pick just one KPI it’s revenue generated per dollar spent,” says Dave Davis of Beanstalk Internet Marketing.

“You do have to take a bit of a broad view of it as some marketing channels are for branding, and some take a bit of time to pick up like organic search but you need to set revenue-per-dollar-spent goals and expectations and monitor them closely, taking into consideration, of course, the assisted conversions.”

“It’s helpful because, at the end of the day, this is the metric that keeps a business afloat. My company doesn’t run on Facebook Likes or organic visitors… It runs on sales and conversions.”

Kevin D’Arcy of ThinkFuel Marketing summarizes: “At the end of the day, marketers have a responsibility to prove the effectiveness of their activities and take ownership of their budgets and goals.”

17. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Do you run a B2B SaaS company?

Corey Haines of Refactoring Growth argues that “for SaaS and subscription-based businesses, recurring revenue is what makes the business sustainable and what every marketer should be ultimately striving to improve.”

“All leads, subscribers, website visitors, and customer signups should back into how it affects MRR.”

18. Customer Satisfaction

360quoteLLC‘s Melanie Musson thinks: “This indicator often gets lost behind growth and revenue, but it should be in the forefront.”

“Good customer service trends will help every other part of the business grow. If you see customer satisfaction decreasing, you can bet that the rest of your KPI will start decreasing soon.”

The team at Wyatt International argues that you can do this using sentiment–which Bethany Haller says “is an excellent KPI as it provides a reality check and makes you really think about the content you’re producing.”

“Tracking sentiment can be a real challenge, as there are several ways to do it. Whether it’s through a rule-based approach that incorporates Natural Language Processing (NLP), adopting an automatic approach that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to trawl through data, or a hybrid approach, there’s not a ‘one rule fits all’ approach.”

“However, tools such as Google Insights, Google Alerts, Talkwalker, Brandwatch, and Hootsuite Insights are excellent places to start,” Haller adds.

*Editor’s note: Do you know how happy your customers are with your product or service? Grab our Customer Success dashboard to see how many customers you’ve helped, support messages have been sent, and happiness percentage:

19. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Jonathan Chan of Insane Growth thinks that CAC is one of the most important B2B metrics–but not in the way you might think: “B2B marketers need to also factor in the ‘time-cost’ of acquiring a client.”

“Too many marketers make the mistake of only considering the cost of their tools and/or PPC spend, and not the cost of the time that went into conceptualizing, preparing and executing their strategies and tactics.”

“Once you start factoring in the time-cost, marketers will have a more accurate gauge of how much work and effort is required of them to acquire a customer.”

Chan continues: “Reducing that overall CAC should always a top priority for all marketers as this affects macro-level business goals like revenue and profit. But it also affects micro-level goals such as increasing conversion rates and reducing customer churn.”

20. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

When we asked the team at The 5% Institute what B2B KPI is the most important, Khabeer Rockley said: “They should all track the lifetime value of a customer.”

“It’s important because it allows you to see how much you can potentially spend on acquiring a customer; even if it’ll initially mean you lose money on the front end.

Jacob Landis-Eigsti agrees: “Customer lifetime value is a crucial KPI for B2B marketing. You need to know the lifetime value of a customer so you can decide how much you’re able to spend to acquire a customer.

However, Landis-Eigsti argues that this metric can vary dramatically, based on your industry: “For a personal injury lawyer, acquiring a customer for $175 is incredible. For a coffee shop, it’s a disaster.”

“You should track customer lifetime value so you can see how much you’re able to spend to acquire new customers. But, you also want to actively work to improve this number. You can do this by increasing referrals, reducing churn, and adding more repeat business,” Landis-Eigsti says.

BuySellAds‘ Cole Heggie adds: “If you know what the lifetime value of your customers is, and find the main source of those with the highest lifetime value (that is, where to find them), you’ve created an ideal targeting persona: it could be as simple as focusing your efforts there to drive exponential revenue and growth.

The best part? JVT Media‘s Toni JV says: “This KPI also can give you ideas on how you could increase the lifetime value of a customer. “How can we offer even more value in the long term such that our customers want to work with us even longer?”

Final Thoughts

Tracking the performance of your B2B company doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think.

Add these B2B KPIs to your watch list, and start to see how your organization grows.

Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Word Counter Tool For SEO – Find Your Ideal Content Length

What is this tool?

We’ve built this tool for SEO’s to easily copy/paste in competitor blog urls. Before creating new content for yourself or your clients it’s important to know what the word count is for the content that is ranking for your ideal keyword.

This tool allows you to paste in up to 10 URLs at a time to get the word count of content on the page. We’ve also included an average word count so you can get an idea of what length your article should be in order to compete.


How do I use this?

We recommend you first search Google for the keyword you want to rank for and copy the first-page search results. Then paste the URL’s into the input box below and submit. You’ll get the content word count (excluding things like headers, footers, and javascript), along with an average word count so you can get an idea of the ideal length of your piece of content.

Brandyn Morelli

B2B / SaaS Growth Marketer specializing in the technology space. I have an unhealthy obsession with data & analytics.