4 customer engagement metrics and how to measure them

By monitoring customer engagement metrics, you can understand how your audience is responding to your marketing content—and what could be improved to encourage more engagement.

By Liz Coffman

Published April 22, 2020
Last updated July 23, 2020

Marketers have an arsenal of tools when it comes to attracting new customers: blog content, landing pages, and paid ad campaigns, to name a few.

How do you know if you’re on track for success with these efforts? By monitoring customer engagement metrics. With these data points, you can understand how your audience is responding to your marketing content—and what could be improved to encourage more engagement.

Customer engagement metrics that matter

Customer engagement metrics measure how your audience is interacting with your marketing. For an email campaign, the key engagement metrics might be open and click rates. Or for a paid Facebook ad, you might focus on the percentage of people who click the promotion’s call to action (CTA) button.

The customer engagement metrics you track will depend on the goal of the campaign, meaning what actions you want the user to take. We recommend starting with these four widely used engagement metrics.

1. Conversion rate

At its core, a campaign’s conversion rate measures the percentage of people who complete an action that’s tied to your campaign goal. Some examples of conversion goals include:

  • Downloading an eBook or whitepaper from your website
  • Signing up for your email newsletter
  • Registering for a free product trial
  • Clicking on a Facebook ad
  • Landing on your website’s pricing or product page

Though what defines a conversion varies from campaign to campaign, the conversion rate itself is easy to calculate. Just divide the total number of conversions by the total number of visitors (or sessions), and multiply that figure by 100.

As an example, if your conversion goal is email subscriptions, you would divide total subscriptions by the number of visitors who landed on the subscription page of your website and multiply that number by 100.

Don’t want to do calculations? If your team uses marketing automation software, chances are the tool calculates conversion rates for you.

Essential for every marketer, this customer engagement metric helps you determine how effective your campaigns are at getting users to do what you want them to do.

2. Pages per session

This customer engagement metric measures how many pages of your website a user clicks through to within a single visit (commonly referred to as a “session”). A high page-per-session rate is generally an indication that visitors find your content helpful, authoritative, and engaging. Conversely, a low page-per-session rate could indicate that your content isn’t relevant to the consumers you’re targeting or that your site is poorly structured.

If you have a low page-per-session rate, consider whether any of the following factors could be a driving cause.

Internal links. Marketers will use internal links to guide users to different pages or resources on their website. Make sure your internal links lead to truly relevant and related resources. Otherwise, you’ll confuse your readers, and they’ll end up leaving.

Site structure. You can’t expect a high page-per-session rate if your site is hard to navigate. Make sure your site structure has clear breadcrumbs your users can follow to navigate from one page to another easily.

Content quality. A low number of pages per session could be an issue of quality. If your content isn’t up to the standards of your audience, you’ll lose them immediately. Review every page on your site and ask yourself whether there are ways to make the information more relevant to your target customer and easier to absorb.

To measure pages per session, you’ll need to use Google Analytics. Follow the instructions in this resource to track pages per session using the tool.

3. Net promoter score

Net promoter score (NPS) is used to measure customer loyalty or, more precisely, how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to others. This metric is critical for understanding how satisfactory your product is to your customers’ needs.

The most common way to measure NPS is by surveying your customers. Brands typically ask customers to rate their experiences using a sliding-numerical scale. For example, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer our products to a friend?”

You can also ask more open-ended questions to understand why your customers feel the way they do. Just keep in mind that these types of survey questions are difficult to measure.

If you need help getting started with your NPS survey, check out Retently’s list of sample questions, which include:

  • “How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or a colleague?”
  • “What was missing or disappointing in your experience with us?”
  • “How can we improve your experience?”
  • “What features do you value/use the most?”

To get the most out of your NPS survey, include a mix of sliding-scale and open-ended questions. That way, you’ll be able to quantify your NPS and identify actionable steps for improving customer loyalty and referral rates.

4. Session Time

For marketers, session time typically refers to the amount of time a website visitor spends on a blog article or landing page in a single visit.

Long session times on landing pages can help your team identify which products and features your audience is most interested in learning about. With this data, you can create new campaigns that highlight the specific pain points those products or features solve—which could yield higher conversion rates.

Blog posts with longer-than-average session times can help marketers identify the type of content most valuable to their target audience. This information can be used to create new content around similar topics that drive even more traffic to your site.

Google Analytics can track session times for all your pages automatically. In the tool, session time is called “session duration.” You can read more about session duration and how to find it in Google Analytics by clicking here.

Depending on your marketing goals, there are dozens of ways to measure customer engagement. But the four metrics above are a great place to start.

Increase marketing ROI with customer engagement metrics

With customer engagement metrics, you don’t have to guess whether your marketing is working. Measure the four metrics in this guide, and you’ll have a clear idea of how your website and campaigns could be improved to resonate with your target audience. With these data insights, you can confidently spend your marketing budget on initiatives that have sparked engagement in the past.

Metrics are one facet of a stellar customer experience