May 3, 2019

How to Prove the ROI of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing takes time to build up, but there are compounding benefits to the content you create. Once you create an effective piece of inbound content, you’ll continue to reap the benefits for a really long time.

While the long-term payoff of your inbound strategy is high in comparison to the effort you put in, there will be a ramp-up period when the inbound methodology is first implemented by any business.

ROI or return on investment looks at not only what you’re gaining from a strategy as opposed to what you’re investing in it, but also what your gains are now as opposed to what they were before you started implementing that strategy.

If inbound is a net-new strategy for you, then all the revenue you receive from online sources (excluding paid) can be attributed to inbound marketing including:

All those methods of attraction will be enhanced by inbound marketing.

Additionally, you get more uses from a single piece of content.

When a blog post goes up online, it generates organic traffic by itself. Additionally, if you send out email and social media notifications about the new post, you’ll generate email and social media traffic. Then you can continue to promote it over time.

The lifetime benefit of that content piece and the time and money that was spent creating and promoting it are both factors of ROI.

How To Calculate the ROI of Inbound Marketing

When we work with a client, we start by taking a snapshot of how their funnel is currently operating. Then we’ll set goals for how we want to improve different areas over time. At the end of that time period, we’ll compare the final funnel and revenue after our services to what their revenue was before us.

The difference between the revenue before and after inbound marketing was implemented helps us determine the ROI. The only other factor to include is the investment made in inbound marketing, which is normally low compared to other marketing activities.

Download our Marketing Goals Calculator Template to find out just how many  contacts you need at each stage of the funnel.

The same principle for measurement can be applied whether you’re optimizing your existing inbound strategy or implementing inbound as a net-new strategy. The difference is that if it’s not net new, you’re looking at the enhancement of your online sources and the increased results you see from them.

For both situations, you should focus on online sources because that’s where you going to see the biggest tangible impact from inbound.

How Inbound Marketing Has Provided ROI For New Breed

New Breed started to implement the inbound methodology in 2012. The graphs below (taken directly from our own HubSpot portal) show the increase over time of sessions and new contacts as our inbound tactics, like blogging, took off.

As you can see, we’ve experienced a steady increase in both sessions and new contacts (aka leads) over the five years displayed below.


Since we have been practicing inbound, New Breed’s revenue has increased by 114%. More importantly, 88% of our revenue comes from leads sourced from inbound methods.

The Takeaway

You’re paying for leads one way or another. With inbound, you’re investing time — but with outbound tactics, you’re investing money.

While outbound tactics might show more immediate returns, those returns while end as soon as you stop paying for them.

For example, paid ads only drive results while you’re paying for them. Purchased lists stop providing you value once you’ve exhausted your outreach.

Once inbound takes off, it keeps on creating value for you and your company.

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Guido Bartolacci

Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.


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