Skip to main content

Proving ROI: Is Inbound Marketing Like a Roll of the Die?

By August 19, 2013May 16th, 2023Uncategorized

If there’s anything that’s top of mind from a business owner’s perspective, it’s “what’s it going to cost – and, what’s the ROI?” Naturally, one would only embark on an endeavor if the odds were in their favor – with a payoff on the plus side of the equation. Even so, when it comes to inbound marketing and the lofty claims of a much higher than average ROI, any smart person would do their due diligence and research the evidence to support this enticing end-result.

Well, we’re here to help you in your search, and be a voice (among the many) that might just finally tip the scales with (yet, even more) evidence, so you’ll finally get on board ‘the inbound marketing train.’ We’ll start with an important question and follow up with 22 convincing statistics…

The Set Up…

What do you think your company would say if you could present a strategy that would: generate more leads, improve lead acquisition margins, lower overall costs for generating these leads, and drive your prospects from the top of the funnel through the buyer’s journey and, turn them into happy customers?

Initially, you might think they would doubt you, but it’s our guess your company’s key stakeholders would quickly want to learn more. That being the case, here’s a little inspiration from some recent data on the true measure of Inbound Marketing’s ROI:

Inbound Marketing

  1. Inbound is 3-5 times better than progressive event-based marketing efforts. (via Gartner)
  2. Enterprises using a customer relationship management strategy see a 25% higher financial metrics. (via Gartner)
  3. A PR strategy that includes SEO has a 275% higher ROI. (via Procter & Gamble)
  4. Skillfully executed inbound marketing is 10 times more effective at conversion than traditional outbound methods. (via Gartner)
  5. Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. (via HubSpot)
  6. The average cost-per-lead for inbound-dominated businesses is $135. (via HubSpot)
  7. Companies with 1000+ Twitter followers get 6 times more website traffic. (via HubSpot)


  1. E-mail has the highest ROI of marketing channels, producing $57 for every dollar spent. (via Oglivy One Worlwide)
  2. 77% of consumers prefer permission-based promotions through email. (via Exact Target)
  3. Email marketing is estimated to have accounted for $67.8 billion in sales in 2012. (via DMA)

HubSpot Marketing Automation Software

  1. HubSpot users experienced an average of a 13% increase in visitors each month. (via HubSpot)
  2. After three months, HubSpot users generate an average 32% more leads each month. (via HubSpot)
  3. After twelve months, HubSpot users generated 26.4 times more leads. (via HubSpot)
  4. 25% of HubSpot users report their traffic has more than doubled. (via HubSpot)
  5. 18% of HubSpot customers said sales increased by at least 25%. (via HubSpot)

The State of ROI

  1. 57% of organizations are not basing their marketing budgets on any ROI analysis. (via NYAMA)
  2. 37% of organizations did not include any mention of finances when asked to define marketing ROI. (via NYAMA)
  3. 29% of organizations report their marketing has “too little or no customer/consumer data.” (via NYAMA)

Content Marketing

  1. The ROI of content marketing has risen 300% over the previous 3 years. (via Eloqua)
  2. The average cost per lead drops 80% after 5 months of content marketing. (via Eloqua)
  3. Content marketing is 31% cheaper than paid search advertising. (via Eloqua)
  4. 83% of tech buyers found their vendor through Google. (via MarketingSherpa)

More Cold, Hard… DATA

Unlike more traditional ad spends, for which you cut a check and then sit back and wait for results, inbound marketing requires a consistent commitment to delivering strong content on a regular basis. It takes more than one white paper to establish your company as a thought leader. For example, blogging is one of the oldest and most proven inbound marketing strategies. HubSpot customers who produce more than 15 blog posts a month generate an average of 1,200 new leads in the same timeframe. Similarly, as you can see in the chart above, 80% of marketers responding to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Survey report positive ROI for their inbound marketing activities.

Inbound marketing does a better job at delivering more, higher quality leads.

The table below shows the average CPL and CPA for U.S. marketers spending more than $25K on marketing this year. As you can see, in 2013, U.S. inbound marketing activities save marketers an average 13% in overall cost per lead and more than $14 dollars for every new customer acquired.

Inbound Methods Deliver on Lead Volume

HubSpot customers have witnessed exponential lead growth after adopting inbound marketing strategies. Customers with a base of 300 leads before implementing HubSpot software grew their total average prospect list to more than 9,100 leads in just one and a half years.

HubSpot customers have witnessed exponential lead growth after adopting inbound marketing strategies. Customers with a base of 300 leads before implementing HubSpot software grew their total average prospect list to more than 9,100 leads in just one and a half years.

Web Traffic Alaniz

Download the Alaniz Guide to Generating Website Traffic, Leads, and Sales

Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.