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Linking the impact of great digital experience to lead generation sounds reasonable. But it's not so easy in practice PHOTO: Toa Heftiba

How do you link the value of positive digital customer experience to online lead generation?

The question seems reasonable enough, but the answer doesn’t come so easily.

User experience metrics such as time on site, bounce rate or page views per visit are rarely, if ever, viewed in context with lead generation tasks or events. These metrics often exist in a vacuum or silo. It’s a leading reason why digital brand and product marketers don’t see the complete picture of influences on lead generation.

Agree on What You're Measuring

Before measuring impacts of digital customer experience on lead generation you need to agree on what’s being measured.

Lead gen is a universal objective that crosses all verticals and business models. 

Media leads result in content consumption and/or purchase, healthcare lead gen results in greater use of self-service appointment setting, customer care leads result in more digital self-service, B2B site leads result in greater opportunity for direct offline sales … and so on. 

The actions need to be defined and the digital activity needs to be clear, for example, submitting a form, contact information, sharing content or creating an online account.

Agreeing on a common definition for great digital customer experience can be hard across an organization. 

Sales teams may have different perspectives than the digital marketing team, or the social media team may have a different perspective than the customer care team. Create consensus on the desired digital experience associated with use cases, scenarios and task completion during the design and strategy stages of the initiative.

A Better Way to Measure DX Influence on Lead Gen

How do we bring together the siloed metrics of customer experience and lead gen? Get started with these five metrics:

1. Total DX to Lead Gen Effectiveness

What it does: At a glance summary of lead generation from web and mobile channels

Why it's valuable: Total DX to Lead Gen Effectiveness (DXL) is a general health check on the effectiveness of your site or app in generating leads and whether sufficient lead gen opportunities are available to visitors. Of course, a higher percentage is better. 

The DXL enables you and your team to set baselines and expectations for trending and comparison of apps and sites.

How you calculate it: Total lead gen task completion divided by total visitor sessions to get your total lead gen effectiveness percentage.

2. DX Relevance

What it does: At a glance view that shows bounce rate impact on lead generation

Why it's valuable: Bounce rate (or a one page) visit is a common metric that on its own only indicates a visitor came to your site or app and it didn’t “grab” them. They arrived through a search, ad or email and didn’t like what they saw, couldn’t find what they were looking for or left because it wasn’t what they expected.

We know this isn’t a good thing, but it can provide value if you put this metric in context with the potential impact to your business.

By showing the low percentage of lead generation through DX Relevance (DXR), bounce rate is one of the first digital customer experience elements to understand and fix. Perhaps it is caused by poor media planning and ad buys, perhaps it is a site landing page mismatch, or perhaps the navigation was too confusing to help move the customer to the lead generation path.

No less important is understanding the effectiveness of search and display advertising key words on driving visitors to your digital property. If they’re bailing as soon as they get there, it’s obvious they aren’t going to become leads, and you need to fix your acquisition and landing page tactics.

How you calculate it: Total lead gen task completions divided by total of one page visits.

3. DX Search Effectiveness

What it does: Indicates whether search functionality is helping visitors move to lead gen activities or creating too much upstream interference

Why it’s valuable: Internal search is a key site and app navigation apparatus. If it’s working it should enhance the digital customer experience, enabling visitors to find what they want quickly. If it isn’t working, it’s leading to exits. 

By looking at DX Search Effectiveness (DXS), you can get a quick read on whether search to lead gen is trending higher and determine what’s contributing to a higher or lower percentage over time. DXS may be related to the addition of new content, content taxonomy changes and metadata revisions.

How you calculate it: Total lead gen task completions divided by total number of searches

4. DX Content Effectiveness

What it does: Quick view of overall content effectiveness in moving visitors to lead generation tasks

Why it’s valuable: DX Content Effectiveness (DXE) reveals whether content strategy and tactics contribute to lead generation outcome. It helps you see at a high level that your content is answering visitor questions that result in the lead generation task. 

It may also contribute to their understanding of concepts that contribute to the lead generation task completion. If percentages are low, it suggests that content is not explaining, persuading and convincing, or that there is insufficient content to inform visitors.

How you calculate it: Total lead gen task completions divided by total number of content pages (includes text and video; does not include search, home screens, navigational or customer care functionality)

5. DX Customer Care Effectiveness

What it does: Summary of contribution of digital customer care support on lead generation

Why it’s valuable: Customer care services such as chat, web to call and virtual assistant are supposed to make it easier for digital customers to complete lead gen tasks. But do they? 

DX Customer Care Effectiveness (DCE) gives you a sense of customer usage of these tools and the relationship to lead generation.

How you calculate it: Total lead gen task completions divided by total number of customer support tasks and text

Get More Value From Your DX

Results from the metrics are only meant as a start — an at-a-glance view that helps you see the potential areas for improvement and deeper analysis.

If you do only one “value add” activity it should be the application of behavioral segmentation models to the top line metrics. This can be as basic as viewing the metrics through the lens of first-time and repeat visitors, specific acquisition campaign tactics, or visitors who sign in versus those who don’t.

Once you start to build the baselines and targets for digital customer experience influence on lead generation, you’ll be able to take the concept of positive experience and put it into action.