Back in the days when marketers relied solely on outbound tactics, that meant pouring money into interruption-based lead generation tactics like buying email lists and cold calling. These tactics aren’t only expensive, but they are also hard to measure and control.

Basically, ads are set it and forget it. You can’t pay to have a billboard on the interstate, realize it isn’t working, and then adjust the message on the billboard to better connect with your audience.

Inbound and digital marketing, on the other hand, relies on attraction. You attract the customer to your website, convert them into a lead, and then close them into a customer. The attraction stage provides content like blog posts, white papers, and eBooks written and designed to appeal to your ideal customer. Then, that content educates them through the buyer’s journey, nurturing them to a sales qualified lead. It’s then up to your sales team to interact with the warm lead, eventually with the end goal of closing them into a customer.

Most marketers have measured some basic metrics associated with their blog posts or social posts. But what’s crucial as a marketer is an ability to translate your efforts to reflect across the bottom line.

Data-driven CEOs want to see the real numbers behind their investment in marketing, and it’s the marketing team’s responsibility to prove results.

1. Cost Per Lead (CPL)

How much does it cost you to acquire a new lead? If you don’t know, you’ll want to calculate this metric. Understand that the cost of each lead can vary by lead source (social, SEO, webinars, etc.). When asked this question, be prepared to show how inbound offers a lower CPL than traditional outbound strategies.

Cost per Lead = Cost of Generating Leads / Total Leads Acquired

2. Lead Conversion Rate

How many leads do you eventually end up turning into customers? This metric will help indicate how effective you are at moving leads through your marketing and sales funnel. The conversion process will often rely on coordination between sales and marketing.

Conversion Rate = Total Customers / Total Leads Generated

3. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer? CAC is a combination of the cost to attract a lead and the following costs associated in turning that lead into a customer. This metric will help you determine if you are acquiring customers in a cost-effective way.

Customer Acquisition Cost = Total Spend to Convert Leads / Total Customers Converted

Proactive marketers know to continuously monitor the performance of their efforts to measure and prove the ROI of their investments. Want to learn more about ROI inbound marketing metrics? Download our eBook on the 6 marketing metrics your boss will care about most and learn how to start proving your marketing works today.