A Systematic Approach to Determine Your ROI Using Inbound Marketing

March 9, 2015 / by Paige Gilbert

money_stairs_ROIIf you’re going to be wise and profitable in your business, you have to look at the return on investment (ROI) you are getting from the money you’re spending on marketing. ROI is important for any business because you want to successfully get more customers and have tangible proof of where your success is coming from, but there has to be a systematic approach to track and measure your ROI. Inbound marketing allows you to accomplish this.

Inbound marketing is one of the best marketing tools available today because it allows you to market your company, measure your progress, track your efforts, and evaluate your effectiveness. You can measure the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts by tracking visitors, leads, qualified leads, sales, and repeat sales to ultimately reach your goal to get more customers.

It’s one thing to know that ROI is important in marketing, but how do you evaluate it and get results using inbound marketing?

Visitors – How are people learning about you?

The philosophy of inbound is creating marketing people love. This translates to attracting visitors to your website by creating helpful content they actually want and are actively searching for online. Inbound marketing software allows you to track the number of visitors you are getting to your website (see graph below) through organic search (green), referrals from links on other sites (yellow), social media (turquoise), email marketing (orange) and direct traffic (blue).


What does this graph tell you? The majority of visitors are learning about the website by typing keywords and phrases directly into a search engine like Google or Yahoo, which means that the company is doing a good job employing SEO strategies to help it get more customers.

Leads – Are people interested in what you are offering?

Once you have visitors to your website you can track the actions they’re taking. In order to become a new lead they have to take another step down the sales funnel by filling out a form to receive information you’re providing on your website. For example, you’re a plumbing company and Mr. Homeowner visits your website looking for tips to unclog his drain. He sees a call-to-action on your site for a free eBook titled “Home Maintenance 101: Easy Steps to Unclog Your Drains.” He clicks on the CTA, fills out the form with some basic information, and the PDF is available for him to download. Now you have his information and can nurture him through an email marketing campaign.

Qualified Leads – How serious are the leads you’re getting?

A qualified lead is someone who is more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. For example, someone who continues to visit your website and download offers that lead them further down the sales funnel. Let’s use our drain example again. Mr. Homeowner downloaded the information to learn how to unclog a drain, but then came back to your website again and downloaded a second offer titled “Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber.” This would suggest that Mr. Homeowner has not been able to unclog the drains and has come back to your website and your company to learn more and get more help – hopefully from you!

Sales – Are your efforts helping you get more customers?

This is fairly black and white. Your inbound marketing efforts are either helping you get more customers or not. If not, then you can use your analytics to see where the process is the weakest. Are people visiting your website and quickly leaving? Do they click on a call-to-action but fail to fill out the form on the landing page? Do they opt out of your email marketing campaigns? Finding where the problem is can help tell you where to focus your energy so you can have a positive ROI.

Repeat Sales – Are people coming back?

If customers have a good experience and you continue to provide them with helpful information, not only will they will keep coming back to you, they will talk positively about you and give you referrals. Being able to track your ROI and see the numbers increasing is gratifying proof, but knowing that you are making a positive impact and people are talking positively about you is priceless!


In today’s world the internet is so integrated in what we do in our personal and business lives that failing to invest in inbound marketing isn’t an option if you want to see the ROI of your efforts. Any good ROI is going to have diversification and inbound marketing offers that by giving you the power and methods to market, measure, and keep track of it all.

How do you know that inbound marketing is a good investment? How do you know you’re going to get your money out of it and get more customers? Business leaders often struggle with not knowing where their marketing dollars are going. Inbound marketing allows you to understand where your money is going and how it’s being used. It’s a phenomenal way to measure ROI and see a positive ROI.

If you’re ready to start implementing an inbound marketing strategy contact us at Half a Bubble Out today.

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Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through Inbound Marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York. 


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Business Development, Grow Your Business

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