Establishing Your Inbound Metrics and Milestones

By Scott Anderson Miller

Milestones are significant points along the path of achieving your overall objective in your inbound marketing plan. Metrics are the important contributing factors to hitting milestones and eventually actualizing your objectives.

Suppose that you’re a B2B company whose annual objective is to sell 100 units in a year. In this case, your milestone might be 25 units per quarter. Your SSB plan might be to attract 2,500 visitors that convert to customers at a 1 percent rate each quarter via content marketing (1,000 visitors), organic traffic (1,000 visitors), and event marketing (500 visitors).

Your objective is to sell 100 units annually.

Your milestones are 25 units each quarter.

Your metrics are:

  • Total visitors (2,500 visitors)

  • Visitors by attraction source (1,000 by content marketing; 1,000 by organic traffic; and 500 by event marketing)

  • Total customer conversion percentage (one percent)

  • Conversion by attraction source (10 units by content marketing; 10 by organic traffic; and 5 by event marketing)

The numbers above are just a simple example. Of course there are other contributing factors to consider, such as:

  • Time spent on purchase path from first visit to first purchase by source (for example, if trade show website leads take three months to convert whereas leads derived from organic search take six months)

  • Content and offers that convert at a higher or lower percentage

  • Cost-per-lead by source

  • Cost-per-acquisition by source

You could break the metrics down even further by looking at each of these contributing factors. Based on historical data, for example, you might change your metrics to 833 organic visitors per quarter converting overall at 3 percent (contributing 25 units sold).