Customer Lifecycle Metrics, Part 2: Capture Interest, Gather Insight


This is part two in a series of five blog posts that examines the metrics you should measure throughout the five stages of the customer lifecycle: attract, capture, nurture, convert, and expand.

Once you’ve managed to attract the attention of your prospects, it’s time to capture their information and convert them into leads. In part two of this series on customer lifecycle metrics, we’ll focus on the metrics that measure how well you’re capturing prospects, building their profiles, and getting them ready to buy.

According to Marketing Automation Trends Report 2014 from Pepper Global, B2B marketers indicate that the most important benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more and better leads. Quickly turning anonymous visitors into qualified leads is one of the many great benefits of marketing automation, especially since the process can be streamlined and automated.

Let’s take a look at a few of the tactics B2B marketers use to capture data about prospects and gain additional insight into who those people are and what they want:

  • Visitor tracking: Most website visitors won’t convert into a lead right away. By tracking the activity of your anonymous website visitors, you can find out what they’re interested in. If they convert in the future, you’ll have a record of their pre-conversion engagement, which is very useful for segmentation and sales follow-up.
  • Landing pages: Offering up a single web page that delivers the specific information your visitors are looking for can dramatically increase conversion for visitors to your site.
  • Lead capture forms: Use web forms to serve up gated content or offer email subscriptions, where the prospect provides information (such as a name and email address) in order to download, view, or continue to receive the information they’re interested in.

As you can see, every one of these tactics is designed to find out a little more about who your prospects are, what they want, and what might be the best way to start a conversation with them in order to keep them coming back. Now let’s take a look at the metrics that can help you measure the progress of your lead capturing efforts.

Capture Metrics

During the capture stage of the customer lifecycle, your primary focus is getting as many quality leads as possible. Questions to ask at this stage include: How many content consumers became known visitors? What calls to action are most effective? Which audiences are responding the best, and how can we find more like them? Which channels are most effective? The goal is to increase the number of known prospects in the funnel and gain as much information about them as you can. That insight will be crucial to the lead nurturing stage that comes next.

  • Conversion rate on calls to action (CTA): This number shows you the effectiveness of your CTAs in converting unknown visitors into known visitors through the forms that are filled out. Calculate the conversion rate of CTA by dividing the number of form fills (“submits”) by the number of unique views.
  • Cost per click (CPC) and cost per form fill: If you are using online advertising tactics like pay-per-click (PPC), these metrics are relevant to calculating the cost of each lead.
  • Number of net-new prospects: Tract the number of new prospects, from all sources, for the time period being tracked.
  • Leads by source: The lead source is a direct indication of the conversion potential of a lead, based on historical results. This information will help inform the lead nurturing stage of the lifecycle, and also reveals which channels produce the best leads.

In addition to these general capture metrics, you may want to consider metrics that are specific to the lead capturing tactics you’re using.

Visitor tracking:

  • Number of visits made by each visitor
  • Number and type of companies and organizations visitors work for
  • Number and type of referring sites
  • Search terms used to find your site

Landing pages:

  • Views, click-throughs, and number of conversions
  • Landing page performance over time, year-over-year
  • A/B testing results for landing page options

Lead capture forms:

  • Cost per lead
  • Number of marketing qualified leads generated
  • Number of sales accepted leads
  • A/B testing results for form page elements

You can also look at which channels are the most effective drivers to your destination pages across your inbound marketing campaigns.

Which form do you think would perform better with your prospects? Testing is the only way to be sure.

During the attraction phase of the lifecycle, your focus is on driving brand awareness, creating campaigns, and bringing visitors to your site. In the capture phase, it’s all about collecting prospect data, managing and segmenting leads, and using the data you collect to optimize every element of your attraction and capture efforts. This includes fine-tuning the offers you provide, the messaging you include, and the channels you use. And of course, A/B testing can help you refine your efforts, down to the granular level of which color to use for a call to action button.

What other metrics do you track in order to measure the success of your lead capturing campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Be sure to download the eBook, The New Marketing Metrics for B2B, to get metrics for every stage of the customer journey, as well as a five-step plan to help you analyze your business process and continually improve the results of your marketing.