The Ultimate Guide to Marketing ROI

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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing ROI

You’ve probably been wondering, Does Inbound Marketing work?

Learn how this strategic approach to digital marketing not only works, but brings in proven marketing ROI.

But only if your approach, or your agency’s tactics, features an agile methodology.

This question may surprise you – especially coming from an inbound marketing agency.

We whole-heartedly believe in what we do.


And we’ve seen inbound marketing work time and time again.

It’s a fair question to ask: Does inbound marketing work?

And more importantly: Will I get a great return on investment from marketing?

As Lean Labs eloquently states:

“The days of lying, cheating, stealing, and bullying consumers into buying a product or service are over. It’s a dying way to do business. Why? Because information is power, and thanks to the internet, the consumers have all the power. The only way to take advantage of this shift is to become truly helpful, which is the cornerstone of the Inbound methodology.”

If you’re considering inbound marketing, you’re definitely moving in the right direction.

Let’s dive into some answers to the question, using some of our very own clients’ strategies as evidence.

Then, we’ll draw some conclusions.

Inbound Marketing ROI

Every day, we see evidence of marketing that really works with our own clients.

Let’s look at three examples.

1. More Leads

Working closely with Kaplan Mobray as his marketing team, we helped him increase RFP’s by 600%, starting on his inbound marketing campaign from scratch.


You can read more about his customized strategy and results in this case study.

2. More Traffic

Another client, CrossFit Chimney Rock, came to us for a rebrand  – and later for growth-driven website design work.

Building a new website from scratch for CrossFit, we quickly drove 15,000 visits to their website (with over 50% of that traffic being organic), built large social media followings, and attracted lots of repeat visits.

That’s a huge ROI from their marketing investment.


Learn more about CrossFit’s web design strategy in this case study.

For the third example, let’s take a more in-depth look at one organization and their amazing results.

3. Huge ROI

Our client, a business-training organization, teaches powerful behaviors of adaptability, flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking.

They believe the ability to help organizations put these qualities into practice to drastically improve communication, collaboration and manage change well.

While the company had a great reputation and gained new speaking engagements via referrals and word of mouth, their digital marketing efforts were floundering.

They reached out to us for help. They were dabbling in inbound tactics – trying to get website traffic and leads – with no solid traction or significant ROI.

While they had a sizable team, they didn’t have a designated marketing professional with sufficient expertise.

After working with us and implementing the right set of strategies, they experienced an ROI of 152.22% and 260.55% in their first and second year, respectively.

Here's a closer look at the company's transformation — and a glimpse into the possibilities and returns of properly planned and managed agile campaigns.

The following table shows data for 2017 and the first six months of 2018.


2018 (Jan-June)

Website visits


Website visits


Conversion rate


Conversion rate


New Website leads


New Website leads


Free offers


Free offers







Offline leads:


Offline leads:







Free offers:

ALL TIME - Hubspot is not showing these per year


Free Offer 1



Free Offer 2



Free Offer 3









Open Rate/CTR


Open Rate/CTR









Website visits

After working with us for 12 months and following our customized inbound marketing strategies, their website received 10,902 unique visits.

In 2018, they were positioned to achieve almost 30% growth when compared to the previous year, given that the first 6 months of the year already had 7,143 unique visits.


Conversion rates

To increase conversion rates, we launched several lead magnets, installed different calls-to-actions and pop-ups throughout the website and continuously optimized those elements to keep increasing conversion rates.                          

Although the industry standard when it comes to website conversion rates is 2%, the results for both years were higher: 2.24% in 2017 and 2.85% in the first 6 months of 2018.

Leads (new contacts)

In 2017, the website generated 256 new leads (email contacts) in total through the website and 1,310 via JoinbyText (a tool we used to drive conversions via SMS marketing).

Let’s break that down:

  • 212 of them became a lead (email contact) because they decided to download one of the organization’s free resources.
  • 44 visitors filled out the “Let’s talk” form and expressed interest in one of their services. These people are called “sales qualified leads.” This doesn’t include people who wanted to solicit, guest blog, etc.
  • 1,310 became a subscriber from JoinbyText at events – and some of them turned into large sales contracts.

In 2018, we experienced significant growth on the website side. In the first 6 months of the year, the website generated 204 new leads (email contacts), and we were on a path to potentially achieve a 56% growth in 2018.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 179 visitors become leads (email contact) because they decided to download one of the organization’s free resources.
  • 25 visitors filled out the “Let’s talk” form.

Customers and ROI


In 2017, out of the 44 sales qualified leads we mentioned above, 10 turned into customers, totaling $103,500.00 in sales.

7 out of these 10 customers were a direct outcome from our inbound marketing efforts, totalling $90,800.00 in sales.

Digging a bit deeper, it’s interesting to note that $47,800.00 came from contacts that first joined the email list through the integrations we set up (JoinByText/Pop-Ups) and $43,000.00 came as a result of organic (blogging) traffic.

Sales Qualified Leads Conversions

In the first half of 2018, out of the 25 sales qualified leads (SQLs) that filled out the “Let’s talk” form on the website:

  • 7 turned into customers as a result of, equalling $64,900.00 in sales.
  • 4 of them are a result of organic blogging efforts, totaling $11,150.00.
  • 1 contact came through JoinByText, totaling $8,500.  
  • 2 reached out via our Hotjar integration form that resulted in $43,250 in sales.

By working with us, this client was able to secure an incredible return on their marketing investment:

  • In 2017, the ROI of the entire project was 152.22%
  • In 2018, the ROI for their investment was 260.55%

Inbound Marketing ROI Conclusions

Studies on inbound marketing’s effectiveness and return on investment also prove its worth.

Here are a couple of notable stats:

  • It lowers the cost per lead significantly. For companies with 1-25 employees, inbound leads cost $37 each, compared to $102 for other methods. For companies with 51-200 employees, inbound leads required $70 compared to $220. For companies over 1,000 employees, leads cost $27 compared to $45.
  • It boosts organic traffic, reducing your dependence on paid traffic.
  • Marketing and sales are better aligned through inbound marketing, especially when a service level agreement (SLA) is in place.
  • And perhaps most importantly, inbound aligns (as stated above) with how consumers are “consuming” information.

Is inbound marketing one-size-fits-all?

Definitely not.


Sure, we’ll run your brand and buyer persona through the same paces as we would for any client, but then we create a customized approach to your inbound marketing.

We'll create your persona’s “buyer journey,” and map out the content needed to help move your persona through each stage of the process  – and convert these leads into customers.

For inbound to work, it MUST be tailored to your needs.

Will inbound marketing get immediate results?



We’ll combine paid strategies to get traffic coming in right away, but merge that with the long-term organic efforts.

Is the strategy set in stone?

Never. Think of inbound marketing as a try-it-and-see type of machine, not a set-it-and-forget-it effort.

We’ll try and test multiple approaches to see what works for your audience and your brand – and what doesn’t.

We call this an agile approach to inbound marketing.


Final Thoughts

We know inbound marketing works because we’ve seen it happen  – again and again.

How could your business benefit from an inbound marketing approach?

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Maja Jaredic

Maja is passionate marketer, pursuing excellence in all that she does for clients. She speaks 4 languages and spends her free time at the beach, traveling, or discovering new beer and coffee.