Copywriting Key Performance Indicators

By Jamie McSloy / January 18, 2018
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Copywriting Key Performance Indicators

Too many marketers talk in very vague terms. This might have made sense back in the days where advertising was based mostly around televisions and calculations had to be done with pencil and paper… but today, everything is done with computers and you can track every single detail and percentage point for sales, views and everything else.

There’s no excuse for being vague and not knowing the value (or cost) of your marketing.

So let’s talk about real key performance indicators in copywriting and marketing.

Marketing Key Performance Indicators: The Main One

Sales are the biggest key performance indicator and all of your marketing efforts should direct towards the sale as the end goal.

If you spend 1,000,000 of your currency on a marketing push and you net 0 in sales, then you’ve failed utterly and are probably going to be broke.

If you spend 100 of your currency and make 1,000,000, then that’s a super success and it doesn’t matter what crazy marketing scheme you did to get there, the key performance indicator is that you magically increased the money in your account and who cares about other stuff?

Yet just today I got an email from Nabeel Azeez. (I’m on his mailing list.)

(Time Out: If you’re enjoying this article, then you should probably sign up to my mailing list, where I give out ideas and business tricks that I don’t share publicly. Click here, fill out your details and get yourself on the list! You won’t leave this page.

Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)

He was talking about copywriters that are vague about what they offer. He said that sales are the only metric by which you can define success.

I don’t agree.


Sales Aren’t The Only Metric For Copywriting Success… But That DOESN’T Mean They Aren’t A Key Performance Indicator

Sales are the biggest goal you can have in copywriting and the benchmark by which your marketing should be considered successful. I agree with Nabeel entirely on that point.

If you are a direct response copywriter and you are in charge of delivering the end-game sales letter then you have to write copy that converts.

Each and every project you write has a goal and if your goal is to sell stuff by having people click the “BUY HERE NOW” button, then you live and die by the conversion rate.

But here’s why I sort-of disagree.

Not every piece of marketing you write will be with the sale as the particular goal. If you’re working for yourself, you rarely start with a sales page and throw people straight onto it. (You might do in affiliate marketing or if you have an ad budget to blow.)

Realistically, you will get people in a funnel.

Now, if you can you want them to buy straight away. But if they’re not interested in buying straight away, you will put them in a funnel where the goal is to convince them to buy.

The sale is the endpoint, but there are way-points along the way. This is important if you’re freelancing because you might be hired to do something other than get the sale.

Things like:

  • Getting the email address
  • Getting a Facebook like or a retweet
  • Giving a reply when asked their opinion
  • Opening a set of emails for you

These are all things which you can measure, and thus improve.

Sales aren’t always the goal… but here’s what is.

You Must Pick A Response. The Rate At Which People Do What You Want Is Your Key Performance Indicator

If you want to increase your subscriber count, then that is a goal. You either succeed or you don’t. In the wider context, you’ll have a success rate. Do ten percent of people sign up? Or one percent?

This is not “fluffy.”

It’s not brand awareness.

With any project, your goal should be defined. If it’s more eyeballs on your blog post, then you achieve that or you don’t. If it’s survey responses, then you can measure that.

Any marketer you hire, be they a copywriter, video ads or PPC management company, should have a concrete answer for what they’re doing and what they’re achieving.

If you’re working on your own business, so should you.

You should never hear words that make the goal seem vague.

“Brand awareness” is vague.

General “increase traffic” is vague.

“Exposure” is beyond vague.

Here’s the thing: Wide notions do not matter. A million-person mailing list is worth nothing if they don’t do what you want.

If one million of those people buy your stuff, then that’s a valuable mailing list. Enjoy your retirement.

If one million of those people won’t buy but they will share everything you write with ten other people, then that’s valuable too.

But a lot of marketers sell people on big numbers of viewers that don’t do anything. They pitch companies on “viral traffic” and exposure… that amounts to nothing.

You have to be above that, and set standards for your company and the companies you work with – whether you hire them, they hire you or any other arrangement.

Key performance indicators need to be real figures that can be checked against.

The upside: If you can provide these real figures in the form of real-world results, you’re ahead of 90% of marketing firms and 99% of the poor companies that hire said marketing firms.