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Guide to determining KPIs for ad campaigns

Published May 15, 2019

How do you know if your ad campaigns are effective? Check out our guide for finding the right key performance indicators to help you evaluate your marketing efforts.

Marketing campaigns often vary significantly in effectiveness. This can be especially difficult to gauge as many companies do not have a specific standard for what is a successful campaign. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are individual measures of effectiveness. Most companies use a combination of KPIs to determine the overall success of a campaign.

Deciding which KPIs to focus on for your company will require some research. While some may be easy to find, others use special software or will need to be calculated using different analytic tools or reports. Here is our list of the best KPIs to consider.

Total traffic

The simplest, and least effective, measurement for how well a campaign is performing, total traffic describes how many users come to your site via a campaign.

Pros:

  • Indicates reach of advertising
  • Quick measure of engagement

Cons:

  • Can be inflated by advertising fraud
  • Does not indicate quality of traffic

Method:

Any analytic software should show this. Look for the utm code for the campaign and find the column or number display that relates to the total number of clicks/traffic.

Total orders/conversions

Another quick measurement, total orders shows how many orders were placed by users that came through a particular campaign.

Pros:

  • Gives a better idea of ROI than just traffic
  • Quick measure of effectiveness

Cons:

  • Might include chargebacks/fraud/cancelled orders
  • Does not indicate how valuable orders are

Method:

There are several ways to find this number. Some analytics tools will show this number directly when you search for the campaign, like NS8 Protect. With others, you may need to look up how many people reach a thank you or completion page and segment that by campaign.

Revenue generated

While sometimes more difficult to find, revenue generated can show the actual ROI of a campaign, making it easier to determine how effective the campaign has been.

Pros:

  • Shows the real value gained from a campaign
  • Easy comparison of money spent/money made

Cons:

  • Might include revenue from chargebacks/fraud/cancelled orders
  • Does not indicate conversion rates

Method:

This one can sometimes require more research or workarounds. You may need to play with some different segmentations and create a custom report to find this information. If you have NS8 Protect, you can find this number in the “revenue” column on the Lowest Quality Campaign Screen.

Suspicious orders

Like revenue, suspicious orders can be difficult to determine if you don’t have fraud prevention services that track this, but it is a useful indicator of the type of traffic each campaign brings in.

Pros:

  • Offers insight into waste in a campaign
  • Can be compared to total orders for a better understanding of effectiveness

Cons:

  • Does not indicate value lost or gained from the campaign

Method:

Finding this number will depend on your fraud prevention tools. You might be able to find this number through your shopping cart platform or fraud prevention software. For NS8 Protect, this can be found using the Suspicious Order Screen and adding the “latest campaign” column. You can then sort by campaign to see which are bringing the most suspicious orders.

Campaign Score

A more holistic view of a campaign, the campaign score is a combined score based on the level of traffic each campaign brings in.

Pros:

  • Indicates overall campaign performance in a glance
  • Includes assessment of multiple variables

Cons:

  • Does not indicate conversions or value gained from campaign

Method:

This indicator requires the use of fraud prevention services. The EQ8 Scoring Engine from NS8 considers over 170 different attributes when scoring each user and provides an overall score for every marketing campaign. Low scores indicate campaigns bringing useless or unwanted traffic.

No matter which KPIs you use, be ready to change up your advertising and try new things. Digital advertising is constantly changing and the most effective marketing campaigns require trial and error.

Post Author: Jackie Long
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Blog Manager at NS8. With a varied background and over 5 years of content creation experience, Jackie works hard to provide a compelling range of informative articles.