How to Measure Digital Marketing ROI: 5 metrics you need to track

digital marketing roi sales funnel

Want to understand the key metrics you need to best track your digital marketing ROI? We walk you through the 6 metrics you need in your monthly report.

Digital marketing ROI is a value that is increasingly difficult to measure.

Terms like ‘viral’ get thrown around by marketers, but what does it really mean?

And while it might be beneficial for your social followers to get some viral content, what impact does it truly have on your bottom line?

While it’s easy to get fixated on the industry buzzword metrics, these don’t give you a clear indication of how your money, time and tools are working to drive you new sales.

To better understand the moving parts of your marketing strategy, you need to be looking at your marketing ROI as a whole.

But where do you even begin? With new channels, platforms and advertising opportunities, it’s hard to link these all into one report.

P.S. Want to learn more about measuring your marketing? Download our FREE eBook to learn how to track your marketing channel by channel.

Guide to measure your marketing


We walk you through the key metrics you need to be watching out for, and how best to track them. So let’s dive in.

What is Digital Marketing ROI?

First things first, let’s define digital marketing ROI.

Digital marketing ROI, or return on investment, is the measure of profit or loss generated by your digital marketing campaigns. It looks at the amount of revenue generated compared to the amount of money invested.

If you have a positive return on investment, then your campaigns are bringing in more money than you are spending on them. And that’s where you want to be!


How does understanding your digital marketing ROI help?

We’ve already touched on it, but demonstrating digital marketing ROI across your channels, campaigns and ads is essential because, without it, you’re marketing blind.

By understanding your successes, and your pitfalls, you can tweak your strategy and your planning to help grow high-quality leads and ultimately grow revenue.

Knowing your ROI not only means you can optimise your current budget, but it also means you can make quick decisions on where to allocate your budget in the future.

According to TrackMaven, 71.1% of marketers find attributing social and content to revenue to be a difficult challenge. They also find attributing leads to revenue difficult with over 45% agreeing with the sentiment.

digital marketing roi top challenge for marketers

Not only this, but many of the other challenges listed above can be easily solved with the right KPIs to track digital marketing ROI.
Even if you’re not an analytical marketer, by tracking the below KPIs, you’re sure to be able to accurately measure both the value of your lead, and revenue generation.

So let’s get straight into it.


How to measure your digital marketing ROI

Instinctively, when measuring digital marketing ROI, you’ll want to look at KPIs that link to leads.

However, while these metrics are essential, they don’t tell the full picture.

You can of course, measure your revenue impact if you’re an eCommerce marketer, directly on analytics software like Google Analytics. But what if you use offline conversions to drive sales?

If you have a sales team fielding form submissions or phone calls, then it can be hard to track. We’ll walk you through exactly what you need to be measuring for an accurate representation of your digital marketing ROI.


6 Metrics You Need to Measure Digital Marketing ROI

  1. Conversions
  2. Cost per lead
  3. Lead close rate
  4. Lifetime Value
  5. Cost per acquisition
  6. Revenue



Whether it’s phone calls, form submissions, content downloads or newsletter subscriptions, understanding your marketing’s impact on your conversions is essential.

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is pretty simple and will give you great coverage on how your marketing is working to generate leads.


Not getting oversight of your leads? Here’s how to set up form submission tracking and live chat measurement.


Once your goals are set up, you can view your conversion data across a multitude of reports. You can see it by marketing channel or by landing page meaning you can begin to understand which pages and channels are working best for you.

Make sure you’re tracking these numbers month on month for an idea of how many enquiries your sales team are fielding each month, quarter and year.


Cost per lead

Now you know how many conversions you’re getting, you’ll want to know how much they’re costing. If you’re using a budget for pay-per-click to drive lead generation, then understanding your cost per lead is essential to learning whether your adverts are working.

If you’re spending £100 on paid adverts to generate 4 leads, then that’s a cost per lead of £25. Of course, you want to be generating high-quality leads for the lowest possible cost.

CPL formula for proving digital marketing ROI


Want to learn more about generating high-quality PPC leads? We spoke to Sophie Logan, PPC Manager, at Adzooma for her insight.


If you find your cost per lead is higher than its potential value, then you need to evaluate your marketing efforts. With marketing attribution, you can assign the actual revenue to your leads when they close. You can also track offline conversions which means your CPL is going to drop down too, as you’re getting a true visualisation of your marketing’s impact on your revenue generation.

This means you can get a true cost per lead, and a view of the full picture. If you want to learn more about marketing attribution metrics, skip ahead.


Lead close rate

Ok, so you now know how many leads you’re getting, and at what cost. But how many of those leads are converting into sales?

Chances are this information will be within your CRM such as Salesforce, or you may have to request it from your sales team. Once you have, it works out like this:

Divide the number of successful sales by the number of leads and multiply the outcome by 100. The result is your closing ratio expressed as a percent. If, for example, you had 50 sales leads and 10 closed sales, the ratio is 10 divided by 50 multiplied by 100, which equals 20 percent.

Understanding this metric allows you to quantify the performance of your marketing campaigns from a revenue generation perspective. Of course, you can remove the manual work and use marketing attribution to do this hard work for you.

Skip ahead to read how marketing attribution will tie your sales data to your marketing efforts.


Lifetime value

Lifetime value is an effective metric to measure to understand your digital marketing ROI from a holistic perspective. By measuring customer lifetime value (or CLTV) in relation to cost of customer acquisition (CAC), companies can measure how long it takes to recoup the investment required to earn a new customer.

CLTV is an ever-changing metric to understand how much revenue you can expect one customer to generate over the course of the relationship. The longer a customer is retained, the greater their value becomes. As such, managing churn needs to be a part of your sales and marketing process.

To calculate CLTV, you need to know your average purchase value, and then multiply that number by the average frequency rate to determine your customer value. Then, once you have your average customer lifespan, simply multiply that by your customer value.

Sounds complicated? Hubspot has a great page on how to measure each aspect.

CLTV for proving digital marketing ROI


Cost per acquisition

Your cost per acquisition tells you how much it costs on average to acquire a new customer. To calculate cost per acquisition, divide your total marketing costs by the number of sales generated. Understanding your CPA gives you better insight into your digital marketing ROI. If you’re spending more to acquire a customer than a customer actually brings in, then you need to reassess your marketing strategy and campaigns.

CPA formula for proving digital marketing ROI



Ok, so if you’re an eCommerce marketer, then attributing revenue to your marketing campaigns can be done directly within Google Analytics so you’ll have no need for plenty of the metrics listed above.

By measuring with revenue, you can quickly determine which marketing channels and campaigns are working to drive more sales.

But what if you generate leads that are passed to sales? Or, if you tend to see long sales cycles so you can’t get visibility of how users interact with different channels before converting?

Marketing attribution is an easy solution to these problems.

Tools like Ruler Analytics will track each and every lead (whether that’s by phone call, form submission or live chat), and every touchpoint too.

It allows you to view which marketing channels and campaigns are driving new leads. Even better, it continues to track leads until they close.

So, when revenue is added to a lead in your CRM, Ruler will scrape that data and fire it to your marketing channels and campaigns,

You’ll be able to see, without any doubt, what parts of your marketing are not only driving leads but driving leads that convert. And, how much they convert into.


Wrapping Up

And there you have it! The six main KPIs you need to track to understand your digital marketing ROI. But remember, marketing attribution tools like ours can do all the hard work for you!

Do you regularly use offline conversions in your marketing and not sure how to track them? Download our FREE eBook to learn the best way to track every lead no matter where they come from.

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Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with experience in SEO, content marketing and social. After working both in-house for a travel firm and at an agency, I help people (who used to be me) attribute their revenue to their marketing efforts.