Every financial institution has a website, but not everyone knows the value it actually delivers. Many struggle with quantifying their site’s value beyond the obvious metrics of visits and visitors and whatever else their Web analytics software delivers.
The good news is that you absolutely can figure it out by using these three techniques.
1. Properly design your measurement framework
You can’t understand the value of your website if you don’t have it tagged. With proper tagging, you can track the various actions your customers take. This is harder in financial services because you have to integrate many third-party applications. That makes it difficult to track customers’ actions from start to finish. The paramount question to ask yourself is: Can you have all your Web properties under your main domain? That way, you can measure application starts and application completes. Make sure that you tag major actions that aid the customer in moving down the funnel. That way you can see where the drop-off is.
2. Define the right KPIs
In many financial institutions, website KPIs are often defined as Web analytics metrics … but these are not what will help you understand the real value your website delivers. It’s not about the visitors, page visits, etc. It’s about account opens, self-service, and aiding other channels like the branch office to help prospective customers open accounts. Sounds obvious, but if you check some of the stats from Forrester on the number of customers who research online but fulfill in the branch, this takes on more meaning. These are the metrics you have to pay attention to. Web analytics are there as a means to an end, but they’re not the end. Business metrics like new account opens are the things that deliver profits at the end of the quarter.
3. Measure across channels
How often do you use direct mail in your checking or HELOC acquisition programs? A lot? Well, here’s a way for you to figure out the value of the website. Run one DM campaign using personalized URLs (PURLs) so you can see how many prospective (or current) customers go to your website first, but don’t take the appropriate action (e.g., open a new account, apply for a HELOC). At the end of the campaign, you will be able to see the percentage of users that go online first … but fulfill offline. When you run subsequent campaigns that drive traffic to the landing page, use these percentages as a yardstick to measure the overall impact of your website.
Having a website today is a must, but how do you ensure the investment is paying off for you, especially when you’re not transaction-intensive and your customers have other options for engaging with you? Investment in your online presence will yield positive ROI if you have a measurement framework in place, if you know your business drivers, and if you look beyond online interactions to measure the value your website delivers. In the direct mail example above, if you know the value (long-term value of the relationship, in this case) of a customer opening a checking or HELOC account, you can quickly figure out the value the website brings to the business. If you’re not sure how to get started, give us a call.
Dan Beca | Director of Marketing Technology
Dan develops digital and web strategies. His areas of expertise include business analysis, requirements gathering, business process development, web development, application development, database design, data analysis, digital marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing/optimization, and mobile marketing.