Marketing Metrics That Matter for State Agencies in 2023

It’s easy to get caught up in the weeds regarding marketing metrics and the lexicon (jargon) associated with them.

By understanding and agreeing upon the right metrics, you can ensure that your marketing, R3, and communications efforts are effective and deliver the desired results. Having a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how you will measure success can help you make data-driven decisions that lead to better outcomes for your agency and customers.

By capturing these metrics, you can track your progress, make informed decisions, and improve the efficacy of your marketing strategies. Our team uses the list below to ensure we are moving the needle!

S3's Marketing Dashboard
S3’s Marketing Dashboard

Unique CTR (Click Through Rate):

We also like to call this engagement rate at the marketing asset level. Unique CTR is the percentage of individual users who click on links to the number of total users who view an email. This helps us understand the amount of interaction users have with the content of our emails and better informs us on what type of content performs best.  

Email Open Rate:

This metric, measuring how your emails were opened, has not been relevant since September of 2021 with the release of Apple’s iOS15. With apple’s securityrich iOS15, when you send an email to someone with iOS15 installed, Apple will open that email on a “proxy server, so your emailsending platform will see that it has been opened… but… you have no way of knowing whether that person opened the email. We would argue that email open rates were a vanity metric anyway– and that focusing on metrics like engagement rate or click-through rates offers much more insight into the effectiveness of your campaign’s content.

Opt-out Rate:

This metric measures the percentage of users who have unsubscribed from an email list. If your opt-out rate is increasing, it could indicate that your recipients are negatively interacting with your content.

Bounce Rate/Delivery Rate:

Measures the percentage of emails that were delivered to recipients’ inboxes. This is an indicator of the health of our audience lists. One of the most common reasons an email “bounces” is that the recipient no longer has that account or the email address has been inactive for an extended period. It is important to keep your email list clean and up to date.

Conversion Rate:

Measures the percentage of users who make a purchase after being marketed to within your campaign. Note: we don’t consider someone to be in a campaign unless we receive a receipt that the email was delivered and that they got the text message, push notification, or email.

Conversion Revenue:

The number of dollars that have been generated through the sale of the objective product(s). It’s imperative that when you are evaluating the campaigns, you establish “objective or target products.” If you’re marketing to someone to buy their fishing license… and they buy their hunting license… technically… they did purchase something… but did you accomplish your objective?

Attributed Purchases:

There are many attribution systems, tools, and processes out there that can help you understand what campaigns (if any) can be “attributed” or “responsible” for a purchase. The importance here is establishing a consistent standard to which you’ll hold attribution accountable. For instance, in our CRM’s Match Back Attribution system, we hold stringent criteria that a customer must have interacted with content (i.e., clicked on one of our tracked call-to-action links) for that purchase to be attributable to that touch point.

Attributed Revenue:

Attributed revenue is the dollar amount of purchases made that can be attributed to a specific campaign.


Lift has been thrown around for a long time, back and forth in our industry- what does it mean? How do you quantify it? And most importantly, Is it scientifically viable?

Bottom Line Up Front: Lift is the likelihood that someone who has received marketing content will convert (buying the target product of that campaign) as compared to someone in the control group. 

We take lift very seriously at S3, and we’re not here to throw out conjectures- we want to know how our marketing efforts really are performing. And guess what? Sometimes, the truth hurts. Now is not the time for guessing. We must take a critical look at what’s working and what’s not. Lift provides an empirical measure of impact for each of our marketing campaigns, a measure based on actual data and observation rather than theory or presumption.  

Our lift is calculated by setting aside a completely random and representative control group (after we’ve done our audience segmentation) and then monitoring the conversion rates of both the marketing group (treatment group) and the control group. From there, lift can be calculated as the difference between the marketing group and the control group divided by the control group and expressed as a percentage: 

𝐿𝑖𝑓𝑡=(𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑘𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑙𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒 / 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑙𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒)×100

Percent change between the two groups is used here instead of absolute change (i.e., Marketing Group Conversion Rate – Control Group Conversion Rate) because it expresses the change as a percentage of the original value, providing a standardized and meaningful measure of the size of the impact. By expressing the change in conversion rates as a percentage, we can more accurately compare the impact of marketing campaigns across different groups and sizes or over time.  

The result? A reliable and evidence-based metric for evaluating our campaign efforts, identifying areas for improvement, and making informed decisions about future marketing efforts. 

Incremental Revenue:

Measures the amount of additional revenue generated as a direct result of the marketing campaign, mathematically calculated using the conversion rates of the marketing group and the control group. We like to say that – this is the dollar amount your agency would have otherwise lost- had this campaign not been running and performing.

Incremental R3:

Measures the number of additional people converted directly from the marketing campaign. In other words, this metric represents the number of people that otherwise would not have converted (and enjoyed a day outside) because of this campaign and its positive lift… this is our favorite metric out of all of them and speaks to our greater mission here at S3. 


In the context of sales for a state fish and wildlife agency selling hunting or fishing licenses, Churn refers to the rate at which customers stop purchasing licenses. For example, if a customer purchases a hunting or fishing license one year but does not renew their license the next year, they would be considered a “churn” customer. The agency may track its churn rate as a way to measure customer retention and identify any issues that may be causing customers not to renew their licenses. 

These are the metrics that we rely on day in and day out. Hopefully, these can help you identify and build your own dashboards and metrics. It’s increasingly important that we all begin to evaluate our R3 and Marketing Efforts using the same language and calculations to truly compare and learn from one another. If you’d like to learn more about how we at S3 can put these metrics to work for your state agency, please click below and schedule a demo!

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