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Which KPIs to Use to Track User Acquisition Success

Timothy Flaherty

New Business Account Executive

User acquisition is the process of identifying and attracting potential customers (leads) for a business's products or services. These leads are individuals or organizations who have expressed interest in what the business offers, typically by providing their contact information or engaging with the business in some way. The goal is to create a pool of prospects who can be nurtured and eventually converted into paying customers.

This is a crucial aspect of sales and marketing because it helps businesses identify and connect with individuals who have a genuine interest in their business. Once users are acquired, businesses can then nurture and qualify them through lead scoring and segmentation processes, ultimately moving them through the sales funnel to convert them into customers.

When using a user acquisition strategy, tracking your efforts is key to measuring your success. Here are key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to track, analyze, and improve your user acquisition efforts.

KPIs to Track User Acquisition Efforts

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

This metric tells you how much revenue you make for each dollar you spend on advertising. The ultimate goal is to make more than you spend, ending in a positive ROAS. It can be used to measure specific ads, entire campaigns, and more.

ROAS is a fairly simple metric to calculate. ROAS = the revenue attributed to an ad campaign / the cost of running the ad campaign

It’s important to keep in mind that a positive ROAS doesn’t always mean you make money. ROAS has a limited application because it doesn’t account for additional advertising costs like labor or product costs (to name a few). There can even be cases in which someone sees your ad, doesn’t click on it, but instead goes a different route to conversion. In the end, this metric should be used alongside other metrics to track success.

Cost-Per-New-Visitor (CPNV)

CPNV is a metric that should be used to track upper-funnel strategy success. It is a highly valuable metric for a few reasons.

  1. Efficiency gauge: CPNV helps you assess how efficiently you are acquiring new visitors to your website in relation to the costs incurred. It's like checking the mileage on your digital marketing efforts.

  2. Budget optimization: by understanding the cost associated with bringing in new visitors, you can fine-tune your budget allocation. This enables you to invest more in strategies that prove cost-effective in terms of visitor acquisition.

  3. Benchmarking: CPNV provides a benchmark for comparing the performance of different marketing channels or campaigns. This comparative analysis helps you allocate resources to the channels that yield the best results.

Think of CPNV as a compass, guiding you toward optimizing your resources for effective and economical user acquisition on your website.

Cost-Per-Engaged-Visit (CPEV)

Like CPNV, CPEV should be used to track top-of-funnel efforts. Engaged visitors are defined as the number of daily unique visits from those who saw an ad in the past 30 days and viewed two or more pages on your site within 30 minutes.

This metric helps you evaluate the quality of the traffic generated from your prospecting efforts and assigns a cost (average amount you spent on ads per engaged visit) to the number of engaged visitors that resulted from the traffic. As soon as the visitors engage with more than one page on your site and become engaged visitors you’ll know they are a more valuable audience and thus can actively retarget them more aggressively to drive them to convert. 

AdRoll’s New Visitor Insights tab allows you to monitor the CPEV, new visitor bounce rates, and time on site from your prospecting efforts.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

CPC is another valuable top-of-funnel metric for several reasons when it comes to website performance:

  1. Cost-efficiency assessment: CPC helps you understand how much each click on your website is costing you. This information is crucial for assessing the efficiency of your advertising budget.

  2. Immediate visibility: unlike some metrics that might take time to show results, CPC provides immediate feedback. It tells you how much you're paying for each interaction, giving you a quick snapshot of the effectiveness of your campaigns.

  3. Budget control: by monitoring CPC, you can have better control over your advertising budget. You can adjust bids or allocate resources to high-performing keywords or channels, ensuring that you get the most out of your budget.

  4. Performance comparison: CPC allows you to compare the performance of different keywords, ads, or campaigns. This data helps in optimizing your strategy by allocating resources to the elements that drive the most clicks at the lowest cost.

In summary, CPC is a powerful metric that provides real-time insights into the cost-effectiveness of your online advertising efforts, allowing you to make informed decisions to enhance your website's performance.

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) 

CPM (meaning cost per thousand impressions) is measured using impressions rather than clicks. This means that it’s an effective way of measuring brand recognition. Your CPM is your advertising cost / 1000 impressions.

This is an effective metric to monitor across channels to measure the efficiency and cost of various campaigns.

Cost-Per-Acquisition or Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)

CPA/CPL helps you gauge the actual cost of acquiring a new lead, making this an effective metric to track for bottom-of-funnel tactics. To get this metric, divide your ad spend by the number of conversions driven. 

Prospecting tactics will drive new visitors to your website, but it’s not common for a visitor to convert the very first time they hit the site. This is where retargeting tactics come into play. With your retargeting campaigns you will be able to monitor your CPA/CPL to ensure you are acquiring leads at the right cost. 

Tools for Tracking KPIs

1. AdRoll’s Visitor Insights tab and Conversion Reporting

We provide a robust platform for full-funnel marketing. This means we don't just focus on top-of-funnel activities, we also enable you to target potential customers who are in various stages of the buying cycle. 

Utilizing our advanced contextual and lookalike segments, you can target users who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. By addressing the entire customer journey, you maximize your potential to turn visitors into loyal customers.

One of our standout features is the capability for hyper-personalized targeting. Traditional targeting methods may get you impressions, but they often lack precision. Our platform uses real-time data and machine learning algorithms to build personalized customer journeys. This ensures higher reach and more meaningful engagement, driving up your conversion rates from visitor to account.

2. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

GA4 can be a powerful tool for tracking these user acquisition KPIs. However, it’s important to know the limitations of this tracking tool. While it’s incredibly powerful for measuring the metrics on your website, getting the full view of all of your marketing efforts, across channels, is limited. 

3. Third party attribution tools

Third-party attribution tools can give you an even wider view of your marketing efforts, especially when combined with GA4. Keep in mind, like Google Analytics, your view of your data may be limited by what the tool can intake and report on. A cross-channel attribution solution that consolidates all of your data into one place can assist you in getting a holistic view of how your efforts are all working together.

How to Launch a User Acquisition Campaign

Use this template to help you strategize your user acquisition approach! 

Step 1: Reach new visitors

Start by reaching new visitors that haven’t been to your site before with upper funnel prospecting tactics. These might include, contextual, lookalike, demographic, and interest based.

For contextual campaigns, you want to focus on the categories that your target audience will be interested in. Consider all the different types of content you may want to be associated with. These might be topics that are directly related to your industry or what your business does, but it can also be a related topic that your audience also has interest in. 

Learn more about contextual targeting with AdRoll here.

Lookalike campaigns can also help you drive traffic to your site by targeting digital profiles that are similar to your current customers or those who have already visited your site. With AdRoll, you can tap into our IntentMapâ„¢ data set which automates new customer acquisition by attracting new audiences who are likely to become customers.

You can learn more about lookalike targeting with AdRoll here.

With our Demographic & Interest Targeting, you can build campaigns that target specific attributes of your audience. This might include education level, net worth, interests, and other relevant traits.

Step 2: Capture users’ information

By utilizing contact capture forms and offering valuable content in return (like high-quality blogs or content from webinars and events) you can entice your prospects to give you their contact information and add them to your nurture efforts.

Step 3: Segment your audiences

Segment your site audiences to target audiences at different stages of their journey with relevant messaging to where they are at. You can segment based on URLs visited, the number of site pages they viewed, or even based on actions taken on your site. You will likely find that you have low, mid, and high intent audiences based on the way they engage with your site.

You can also leverage your CRM audience segments for display targeting to nurture users through the funnel.

4. Launch retargeting efforts

Once you have built up a healthy pool of site visitors from your prospecting efforts you’re ready to capitalize on all of that newly gained traffic with retargeting campaigns.

We recommend setting the retargeting campaigns up with a target (and realistic) CPA/CPL goal in mind so that the campaigns can optimize toward that desired goal.

AdRoll’s managed service onboarding team is able to set all of this up for you. They will set up and launch your retargeting campaigns so that they are aligned with your specific goals and then optimize them along the way. In setting these campaigns up the onboarding team will look at your site audiences and segments and then build a strategy around targeting those audiences to drive conversions.

Learn More About Marketing for User Acquisition

Ready to optimize your user acquisition efforts? Harness the power of AdRoll’s retargeting ads and Cross-Channel Attribution dashboard today and fill your marketing funnel with qualified leads. Learn more about our managed services here or build your user acquisition strategy using our resources below!

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