When I tell others my company grew its conversions by 20% month on month, they usually ask me two things: “What should I track? And how often should I track it?”
Like all great advice, the answer is simple: it depends. But, the answer is most certainly not to track everything. Because when you track everything, you actually optimise nothing at all.
Our company ClickMechanic is an online marketplace where you can book a mechanic to repair or service your car. So we’ve found the health of our business relies on three KPIs:
- Conversion rate
- Customer acquisition cost
- Lifetime value
If you can make a decent margin on a customer’s first transaction, then you need to understand how that plays out in the LTV of a typical customer. If the cost to acquire that customer is relatively low–AND if these customers purchase from you repeatedly–then you’re going to have a healthy business.
But if you have a high acquisition cost and you’re not making any margins on the first transaction and/or your customers leave after the first transaction, you’re going to find yourself in trouble.
Like most startup founders we meet, we use Kissmetrics for funnel analysis and understanding our customer lifecycles. We use Google Analytics to see a snapshot of our top trends.
How often we track these metrics (hint: it’s not every week)
Every business is different. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment and find a system that works for you.
Here’s what our 3-part system looks like:
- We review our KPIs every 10 days–the beginning, middle and end of the month. This 10-day check involves someone from sales, customer experience and marketing.
- We have individual meetings with each of the key areas where we can drill down, stemming from these 10-day check ins.
- And of course, I always talk w/ my co-founder constantly about these KPIs. This isn’t a set calendar meeting. It’s something we endlessly enjoy talking about, thanks to our daily summary emailed to us every day:
In our 10-day check in, we look for spikes in acquisition costs, dips in conversion, and dig down into what might have caused that. That allows us to keep track of our targets.
For example, we’ll look into dips in conversion in the Funnel Report:
Or, for us to see if our customers are returning customers, we look at the Cohort Report:
Why every 10 days? If we can see 10 days in that we’re 5% down on what our run rate needs to be the month, then we know we have to find different ways to get our conversion back up.
In these meetings, we’ll ask:
- What’s hurting us? Is it conversion?
- Is it a particular channel?
- Are the landing pages in paid search performing well?
- Is a particular product not converting well? Do we need to review the copy?
- How do we fix it?
We used to analyse our data monthly, but it’s not enough! Once the month is finished, it’s too late once you have those insights to hit your target.
So the secret to this growth story isn’t a secret at all. For us it boils down to: 1) knowing our customers inside and out, 2) being able to dig into the data to answer our questions (and take action!), and 3) sticking to a 3-part system that works for us.
Signup for the webinar recording to see the other ways ClickMechanic uses Kissmetrics to grow their business.