Are you trying to track engagement with actionable metrics? Hoping that all of your efforts are data-based and concrete?
Well, there are over 30+ customer engagement metrics. How many will you track?
If you’re here to find as many engagement metrics as possible we’ll list the most important ones and explain how tracking them helps your business. However…
Most businesses make the mistake of chasing as many metrics as possible. If you track too many, you’ll lose focus and find it difficult to succeed at even one of them.
The key to using engagement metrics for maximum success is to go by: less is more.
Pick only a handful of metrics that stand most relevant to your business and give your best to them.
In this post, we’ll share the most impactful customer engagement metrics for each stage of the customer journey, along with how to pick relevant ones and how to measure each to boost results.
More importantly, we’ll reveal the one metric that’s literally the soul of your business. If you focus on that one customer engagement metric, you’ll automatically win at every other! 💯
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is when a customer interacts with your business in a meaningful way. For example, if a customer reads a marketing email you sent their way and takes the action you intended them to. It means they are effectively engaging with your business.
The key outputs of meaningful customer interaction are as follows:
- Social media reactions
- Ad clicks
Similarly, the key outputs of effective customer engagement are as follows:
- Trust development
Trust leads to loyalty. Once a customer begins trusting you, they’ll become a recurring customer and recommend your business to other people.
If you wish to develop effective customer engagement for your business, you need to start with three things:
- Listen to your customer’s problem
- Come up with a solution
- Deliver the solution
Your customers will not always walk up to you and announce their problems. Neither will they answer you every time you directly ask them.
You need to extract this information from them and naturally deliver the solution.
To extract the information, you need to study, identify, and track the right engagement metrics.
To deliver the solution, you need the right customer engagement model. We did a detailed post on the top 13 customer engagement models to bulletproof your funnel. Bookmark it! You’re going to need it once you’ve identified the engagement metrics you need to measure.
What are engagement metrics?
Engagement metrics are key performance indicators. They measure and represent how well your audience is interacting with your marketing & sales content. These metrics also reflect the success rate of active marketing strategies.
Some of the most essential customer engagement KPIs are retention rate, click-through rates, customer satisfaction rate, and customer lifetime value.
How to measure customer engagement?
The most effective way to measure customer engagement is to set up a clear objective and work on customer engagement metrics relevant to it.
For example, a SaaS startup can aim to improve customer experience. Engagement metrics relevant to this objective are demo requests and goal completion.
We recommend using the OMTM-based guide given below to pick the right KPIs.
How to use OMTM theory to pick your golden customer engagement metrics?
In 2013, Benjamin Yoskovitz and Alistair Croll launched a book called Lean Analytics. In this book, these business experts introduced a new theory called OMTM, which stands for One Metric That Matters.
According to the OMTM theory, every business should pick one target metric and align all their marketing and sales efforts to this one metric – for a specific period of time. It sharpens the focus and doubles the output.
Now, this does not mean you don’t pay attention to other metrics. The idea here is to prioritize one metric above all else until it takes your business to the next phase of growth. As soon as you succeed at this one metric, your focus should switch to another.
For example, initially, YouTube measured its customer engagement score with just one metric, i.e., the number of minutes watched. The purpose of this was to get enough traffic. Once they succeeded at this, their focus switched to other customer engagement KPIs.
At a time, different teams within one business can have different OMTMs. All of them can come together to contribute to one singular growth goal.
Or all teams can work towards a single customer engagement KPI. It’s totally your choice.
Here’s a quick guide on how to find your golden metric:
1. Define your growth stage.
2. Determine the biggest challenge at your current growth stage. It could be any one of the following:
It’s the AAARRR customer engagement model, also known as the Pirate funnel.
3. There are various metrics for each part of the Pirate funnel. Once you’ve determined your current challenge, pick one relevant success metric. This will be your focus metric.
Now, you need to pick some supporting customer engagement metrics as well. These will cater to customers in different phases of their journey with you. In total, it is a good idea to measure 5-7 customer engagement indicators at a time.
4. Work on these metrics and review performance every week. Having a prioritized goal will give a clear direction to your marketing experiments.
In the next section, we’ve shared all possible metrics for customer engagement tracking at each stage of business growth. Use this list to pick your focus and supporting metrics.
Suggested Read: North Star Metric VS OMTM
Top 31 Customer Engagement Metrics
As mentioned earlier, the best approach to measuring and improving customer engagement metrics is to focus only on a few. Ideally, just pick one.
But if it feels too risky, follow the step-by-step guide given above. Choose 5-7 relevant customer engagement benchmarks from the following.
Note that we have listed the top customer engagement metrics to measure for each stage of the marketing funnel. Make sure your customer engagement strategy focuses on at least one metric from each phase.
All the chosen KPIs should link with one another to ensure a high-yielding customer journey.
Business Challenge: Awareness
Unaware buyers do not know about their problems or your product. Your challenge here is to create awareness to make them realize their own problem and pitch your business as a solution.
For these buyers, here are some customer engagement metrics examples that you work on:
1. Website Traffic
Assess the number of new visitors you’re getting on your website every month. Every unique visitor brings you a new business opportunity. They may or may not be aware of their problem.
Track whether you’re receiving more unique visitors on your blog or landing pages. If you’re receiving more unique views on your landing pages, plan your web copy in a way that highlights the pain points first and then offers your product/service as the solution.
In this way, if the buyer is unaware, they’ll realize their problem. If they are aware, highlighting their problem will serve as a reminder and prompt them to seek the solution.
Use the same course of action for blog posts. However, it is a good idea to take the reader to your newsletter at the end of a blog post rather than your pricing page. That’s because if they discovered you via an article, they are further away in the marketing funnel. They are very far away from realizing their pain point and you will have to work a bit to bring them to complete realization.
2. SEO Rankings
SEO rankings determine how discoverable you are on search engines. If any unaware buyer is searching for something related to you, you should show up in the search results to catch their interest.
For example, if the unaware buyer is searching for notebooks for the new year and you sell calendars, you can write and publish a post on New Year Gift Ideas or Complete Kit to Start 2023 Right. In these posts, you can highlight the need for calendars and sell your product.
How can you measure SEO rankings? Connect your website to Google Search Console to see how high your pages rank for targeted keywords in search results. There are many tools that track keywords, but GSC is the most versatile and free!
3. Social Media Reach
Social media reach includes post interactions, views, impressions, shares, complete video views, followers, mentions, and subscribers. Ideally, the higher the number of each of these, the better it will be.
We also recommend tracking inbound links. These are URLs on other websites or social media channels that bring traffic to your site. The higher the number of inbound links, the greater authority you will develop. And high-authority websites in all industries are easily discoverable.
4. Paid Advertising Reach
Ads are meant to bring new customers. This is the best customer engagement metric for unaware buyers. That’s because it strongly indicates their interest in knowing you.
You should be measuring impressions to determine the channel where your ad is working best. Track the clicks on the ad to find quality prospects.
Also, look out for ad frequency. Higher ad frequency means you should be improvising your ads and investing more in creativity. If the same user sees the same ad over and over again, he’ll get annoyed and may never consider your product/service.
Business Challenge: Acquisition
An aware buyer knows their problem. They probably know your product too. They’ve done their research and might as well be considering you. The engagement metrics that you track and improve for this phase will help you acquire these customers for sure.
Clicks are the best customer engagement metric to measure the success of a content marketing strategy. If you want to know how well a social media post or a blog post performed, check out the number of clicks.
Higher clicks indicate that the problem-aware buyer found your headline or opening line promising. They likely read your post and may act on the CTA you’ve incorporated in that content piece.
Clicks are a valid customer engagement KPI for videos, blog posts, social media posts, and emails. It’s the CTAs within each content type that matter.
6. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors who leave your website without visiting any other page during the same session. They open one page, spend a few seconds on it, and leave.
It’s an indicator of negative customer engagement. That’s because in some cases the page provides everything they need to solve a problem. But if their journey has to continue to the next page then you should lead them to it. Incorporate a relevant link, button, or any other CTA that links them to the second page. It lowers the bounce rate.
7. Average Time on Page
The average time on a page explains how much time a visitor spends on a particular page. It can help you identify your best-performing pages.
You can use these pages to develop a stronger relationship with your customer. For example, if it’s a blog post, offer a free trial of your product/service or have them join your email list. In this way, you’ll be one step closer to acquiring them.
A good measure of the average time spent on a page ranges from 52 – 82 seconds. You have your potential customer’s attention for this long to acquire them. Enrich top-performing pages with your best CTAs.
8. Scroll Depth
Scroll Depth refers to how far a visitor scrolls on a web page. It is the strongest indicator of how well your visitor is engaged with you.
If you have a 50% scroll depth for your homepage, the visitor consumes half of it.
Embed more CTA buttons on this page, so you don’t lose the customer before they leave the page. Alternatively, find the point where the visitor breaks off from consumption and fix it.
Most analytics tools have a special section for measuring this metric.
9. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
A click-through rate is the most popular metric for customer engagement measurement. It is the ratio of impressions to clicks. And the ratio means how many people actually clicked a specific link compared to how many viewed it.
For example, if your web page has 100 impressions and only 5 clicks, the CTR is 5 percent. You should aim for the highest possible CTR.
10. Cost Per Click (CPC)
If you are running paid ads, you might want to track the cost per click. It measures how much you’re spending on acquiring one click. You can measure it by:
CPC = Total Cost of Ad / Total No. of Clicks on it
Higher clicks show that you’ve reached a good amount of potential buyers. You can optimize your CPC by bidding on long-tail keywords. Or schedule your ads for hours when your target users are most active.
11. Cost Per Lead (CPL)
This metric is similar to CPC. It can help you determine the cost-efficiency of your paid marketing campaigns. You can calculate it by using the following formula:
CPL = Total Cost of Marketing Campaign / Total No. of Leads Generated with it.
A good CPL value for most B2B businesses is below $75. You can lower the CPL value of your campaigns too by personalizing the campaigns for the targeted audience segments. Aim for long-tail relevant keywords for your ads.
Suggested Read: Pay Per Lead VS Pay Per Click: Which helps businesses most?
12. Demo Requests
Demo requests refer to the number of users who express a desire to know more about your product. If 6 out of 10 visitors requested a demo, you’re doing good. This metric is particularly important for SaaS.
You can improve this metric with interactive pop-ups and effective CTAs.
There are three different types of leads. These include
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
- Product Qualified Leads (PQLs)
They represent what convinced your buyer to try your business. For example, MQLs means your marketing efforts evoked prospects’ interest in your product.
With that said, PQLs are the strongest leads.
Use these three measures to identify your strongest ground and improve weaker ones. Identifying SQLs and MQLs gives you an idea about which prospects need to understand your product better.
Sales is a must-track customer engagement KPI, irrespective of your OMTM. This is the measure of whether anyone is buying from you or not.
It indicates if a business is making money at all. Ideally, the higher the number of sales in a specific time, the better.
You can improve this metric by personalizing your customers’ experience. During their trial period, offer them the features that matter most to them. Or if you have a store, offer them a discount on a product in their cart. You’ll close more deals in this way.
15. Length of Sales Cycle
Simply put, the length of a sales cycle is all about how many days it took you from acquiring a lead to converting them into a paying customer. The shorter the time taken, the better. According to Hubspot, it took 84 days for an average B2B SaaS to close a client.
16. Cart Abandonment Rate
The cart Abandonment Rate is an important metric for eCommerce businesses. It tells how many people have created a cart and discarded it. You should aim for a low cart abandonment rate.
Business Challenge: Activation & Retention
New customers can be easy to gain but hard to retain. So, this is where you’ll face your biggest challenge, i.e., retention.
Work on the following customer engagement benchmarks to improve performance at this stage:
17. Goal Completion
Goal completion is also known as goal conversion rate. It is a customer engagement tracker for content products.
For example, if you’ve included an upgrade button at the end of the email. And the user upgrades their currently subscribed plan, your goal completion gradient is positive. A 2% – 5% goal completion rate is considered good.
You can improve this metric by enhancing the quality of your content pieces. Be it landing pages, eBooks, blog posts, or seminars. Deliver more value.
18. Cost Per Conversion (CPCon)
It measures how much acquiring a customer cost you. You can use this metric to plan your business budget and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Here’s the formula for CPC calculation:
CPCon = Total Cost of Ad or Content Piece/ No. of Paying Customers from this Ad or Content Piece
19. Conversion Rate
A conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who took the desired action. Higher conversion rates mean you’re successfully targeting the right audience and giving them the solution they need.
If you have a low conversion rate, assess the experience delivered by your web pages. Improve the UX, headlines, and images, especially if you’re an eCommerce store. Run A/B tests to come up with the most effective CTAs and buttons.
20. Email Engagement Metrics
When you’ve onboarded new customers, emails can help strengthen your relationship with them.
We recommend using email engagement metrics like subscribers, unsubscribes, click rates, and click-through rates to measure the success of your email.
If your newly onboarded customers are not engaged with the emails, improve your email content as soon as possible!
21. Average Order Value
AOV is a valuable performance indicator for eCommerce businesses. It explains how much an average customer spends per order.
This gives businesses an opportunity to upsell. They can introduce bundles and packages to increase the AOV.
Here’s how to calculate AOV:
AOV = Total Sales / No. of Transactions
Business Challenge: Referral & Revenue
The post-onboarding stage is when the prospect has converted into a customer.
Now, further engagement is required to convert them into a recurring customer or loyal advocate of your business.
As you proceed to explore engagement metrics for the post-onboarding stage, notice that this list includes most of the engagement buzzwords.
You’ll find a lot of people talking about these in the startup culture. The truth is most of these are a product of the engagement metrics above.
There’s no point focusing on these if you haven’t intensively worked on any of the KPIs given above.
Revenue is inclusive of all sources of income. Be it from sales, recurring sales, content distribution, ads, or other marketing campaigns.
It gives a good estimate of how much existing customers are engaging with your marketing material.
23. Customer Churn Rate
Also known as attrition rate, churn rate is a bad customer engagement indicator.
It indicates how many customers have stopped purchasing from you or engaging with you. A high churn rate means you’re losing customers. So, aim for a low churn rate.
How to measure customer churn rate? Use the following formula:
Churn Rate = (Total No. of Lost Customers / Total No. of Customers at the starting of a given time period) * 100
24. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS speaks for the customer experience you are delivering. Hence, a higher net promoter score indicates higher customer retention and steady growth.
You can find out the net promoter score for your business by running a small survey.
Ask your audience how likely they are to recommend you to others. Give them a scale of 0-10 to answer. Based on the responses, you can calculate your NPS.
People who answer the question with 0-6 are detractors, 7-8 are passive customers, and 9-10 are your business’s promoters. So, subtract the percentage of detractors from promoters, and that’ll be your NPS. A good net promoter score is closer to 100.
25. Return Customers Rate
Returning customers is a measure of customer loyalty. If a customer chooses to buy again and again from you, it means you’re keeping them happy and satisfied. This is good for the growth of your business. To calculate the repeat customers rate, use the following formula:
Return Customers Rate = (Total No. of Customers/ Repeat Customers) * 100
Feedbacks represent customer satisfaction. You can run a survey on your website or ask for feedback via email. It can be about a certain thing or their overall experience.
If customers are not happy, they will not engage with the survey. They will not exhibit any interest in dropping feedback. But if the customers are satisfied or look forward to more business with you, there’s a high chance they’ll share what they think.
Keep the survey as short and convenient as possible.
27. Issue Requests
Having too many issue requests is not a good thing. It indicates there’s something seriously faulty with your product or business. It also puts the existing customers on the brink of leaving. You should aim for low issue requests.
But having no issue requests at all is also not a good thing. That’s because it indicates customers are not making an effort to resolve their issues with you. They are not willing to stay. They’ll leave as soon as there is a minor inconvenience. It is a huge indicator of bad business.
28. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
CLV tells how much money a customer spends on your business throughout their journey with you. Higher money spent means higher profits for you.
It can help you determine how much you should invest in acquiring new leads. And here’s how you can measure it:
CLV = Average Purchase Value * Average Purchase Frequency * Average Customer Lifespan
29. Order Gap Analysis
Order gap analysis is a key metric that reveals customers’ buying patterns. If you have recurring customers, you can conduct their order gap analysis. Measure the average time between their orders.
It will help you come up with marketing strategies that sync with customers’ purchasing habits. You’ll avoid bombarding them with the wrong messages at the wrong time.
Customer referrals are a huge indicator of customer satisfaction, happiness, and trust. When a customer refers your product or service to another person, it means they trust you. They are becoming a means of more business.
You can measure referral rates by either designing surveys or creating referral links. If you choose to create referral links, use the following formula:
Referrals = No. of Referral Link Clicks / Total Purchases from those Clicks
31. Return on Investment (ROI)
Customer engagement ROI refers to the response you get from your customers. If you’re spending day and night on LinkedIn for customer engagement and you only get a like or two, that’s a bad ROI. Similarly, if you’re spending thousands on ads for a customer who only buys once or twice from you, that’s a bad ROI.
You should aim for a high ROI. It is a good idea to measure it at the post-onboarding stage. By this time you’ll have complete data to make solid data-based decisions.
The Golden Metric
By now, you know the most useful customer engagement metrics there are to know.
But here’s a super sweet bolt from the blue: None of the customer engagement KPIs given above really matter… there’s no point working on them…
Hold on, there’s more 😅
…unless you master the life of all customer engagement metrics, i.e.;
Customer Retention Rate.
We call it the golden metric. Allow us to explain why.
By definition, customer retention rate refers to the percentage of customers who remain your customers after a specific time period. It’s an all-in-one measure of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and revenue.
In other words, how many people are giving you money today and will continue doing so well in the future.
A higher customer retention rate means stability and growth for your business. And if you’re able to retain every customer that comes your way, you might not even have to stress about marketing after acquiring a certain number of customers.
The coolest aspect of this engagement metric is that it is all-encompassing. It remains relevant at each stage of the customer journey.
For example, here’s a sample retention strategy for each stage of the customer journey:
- Unaware Stage: Create highly informative blog posts to retain them as soon as they stumble upon your website.
- Aware Stage: Retain a website visitor by sending a super valuable resource right in their email inbox to take them to the next step.
- On-boarding Stage: Enrich the trial period with convenience and personalization. Or offer a complimentary gift to create a positive impression.
- Post-Onboarding Stage: Offer discounts, conduct competitions, or introduce a feature for paying customers.
You can measure the retention rate and work on it at all points of the buying continuum. And the more you improve it, the deeper your customers will bond with you.
You can calculate the customer retention rate by:
CRR = [ (E-N) / S ] * 100
E = Number of customers at the end of a given period
N = Number of customers gained during this period
S = Number of customers at the start of this period
For example, suppose you had 100 customers in January 2022. You acquired 50 new customers throughout the year. But your total customer count was 140 by the end of December 2022.
CRR for this scenario will be:
CRR = [ (140 – 50) / 100 ] * 100 = 90%
The retention rate is 90 percent, while the churn rate is 10 percent.
Now, calculating this metric is one thing. And working on it is another. Below, we’ve shared how you can approach customer retention rates step-by-step – strategically.
Start increasing retention before you make the sale
So, where do you begin working on this golden metric?
Yep. It all starts with grabbing details about your prospect. You can retain them at any stage if you know why they are here.
Because let’s be honest. No one takes heed unless there’s a benefit in sight.
A new lead will only click on your ad if you seem to be offering a promising solution to their problem.
An old customer will stick around only if they’re receiving discount coupons, exclusive news, or maybe recognition for loyalty.
So, to find out their why, dig into their minds – put them through a fun quiz.
Check this out:
This is a short fun quiz designed by LeadsHook. It calculates social media IQ and helps social media marketers identify their strengths and weaknesses. In the end, you also receive personalized advice on how to improve your performance.
Although it is only a glimpse of what LeadsHook can do for you, we want you to see this as a fun quiz that a digital marketing academy can embed on its homepage or email campaign.
The target audience (i.e., budding social media marketers) will most definitely take the quiz to assess themselves. And in the process, they will drop you some super valuable information.
If the quiz is designed well – they might take a step further and make an effort to know more about you.
So, you see? This is how you gather data and begin working on customer retention rates.
Now, designing the quiz is, of course, a tricky part. But we are here to help you with that. Go through our 7-step guide for positioning your offer and guiding the customer toward the sale.