What is performance marketing? Performance marketing is a type of digital advertising where advertisers only pay for specific actions consumers take, such as clicks, conversions, or leads. It makes performance marketing a cost-effective way to reach and engage with target audiences. However, to truly reap the benefits of performance marketing, it's crucial to have a solid strategy that maximizes ROI.

In this guide to performance marketing, we'll cover everything you need to know about performance marketing, starting from what it is, how it works, how to measure performance marketing, and how to optimize its success. We'll also introduce Strikingly-website builder as a powerful tool for tracking and optimizing your performance marketing campaigns.

Whether you're new to using the strategy or looking to refine your current strategy, this guide to performance marketing will provide the insight and tools you need. Dive in to learn how does performance marketing work and how to drive maximum ROI from it.

How Does Performance Marketing Work?

Performance marketing focuses on driving specific actions, such as clicks, leads, or sales, rather than simply increasing brand awareness or engagement. In performance marketing, businesses only pay for the desired action when it occurs, making it a highly measurable and cost-effective form of marketing.

Here's how it works:

1. Setting goals

2. Creating a plan

3. Identifying the right channels

4. Optimizing performance

5. Analyzing results and adjusting campaigns

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1. Setting Performance Marketing Goals

Before optimizing your performance marketing campaigns, you need to have clear, measurable goals. These goals should align with your overall business objectives and provide a roadmap for your marketing strategy. Whatever your goals, it's vital to ensure they are achievable and measurable so you can track progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Here are some examples:

  • Increase website traffic. The goal here is to attract more visitors to your website. Increasing website traffic can be achieved through various methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media advertising, and content marketing.
  • Boost conversion rates. The objective here is to turn website visitors into customers or subscribers. It can be done through tactics such as A/B testing, landing page optimization, and retargeting campaigns.
  • Increase sales. The aim here is to increase the number of sales generated from your marketing efforts. It can be achieved through various methods, such as optimizing your sales funnel, increasing your average order value, and creating targeted promotions.
  • Improve customer retention. The goal here is to increase the number of customers who continue to do business with you over time. It can be accomplished through tactics such as email marketing, loyalty programs, and providing exceptional customer service.
  • Reduce customer acquisition cost (CAC). The objective here is to lower the cost of acquiring a new customer. It can be accomplished through tactics such as optimizing your marketing campaigns, improving your website's user experience, and streamlining your sales process.

Tips For Setting Achievable Goals

Getting the most out of performance marketing, setting achievable goals that align with your overall marketing strategy is essential. Here are some tips for setting achievable performance marketing goals:

  • Define your objectives. Before setting any goals, you need to define your objectives clearly. What do you want to achieve with performance marketing? Do you want to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or increase sales? Your objectives will help you determine what performance marketing strategy to use and what metrics to track.
  • Identify your target audience. Who are your ideal customers? What are their pain points? What kind of messaging will resonate with them? Understanding your target audience will help create a more effective performance marketing campaign.
  • Choose the right metrics. Performance marketing is all about measuring results. But not all metrics are equal. You need to choose the right metrics that align with your objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you should track metrics such as conversion rate, average order value, and revenue per user.
  • Set realistic targets. Setting realistic targets is key to achieving your performance marketing goals. You should base your targets on data history, industry benchmarks, and budget. Don't set too ambitious or unrealistic targets, as this can lead to disappointment and frustration.
  • Monitor and adjust. Once you've set your performance marketing goals, monitoring your progress regularly is important. It will help you identify any issues or areas for improvement. If you do not see the results you want, don't be afraid to adjust your strategy or targets.

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2. Creating A Performance Marketing Plan

Once you have set your performance marketing goals, the next step is to create a plan that outlines how you will achieve those goals. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Identify your target audience. Define your target audience by creating detailed buyer personas that describe their demographics, psychographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points. While you may have done it before setting your goals, ensure the detailing it requires when planning. It will help you tailor your messaging and tactics to meet their specific needs.
  • Choose your performance marketing channels. Based on your target audience and goals, choose the performance marketing channels that are most likely to reach and engage them. It could include channels such as search engine marketing (SEM), social media advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, or any other channel that aligns with your audience and goals.
  • Set a budget. Define how much you are willing to spend on each channel and determine the ROI you expect to achieve. It will help you allocate resources effectively and measure performance marketing efforts to evaluate your success in implementing the strategy.
  • Develop your message and creative. Create your messages and creative assets that are tailored to your target audience and aligned with your performance marketing goals. It could include ad copy, landing pages, email templates, or any other assets that will help you communicate your value proposition and drive conversions.
  • Set up tracking and measurement. Implement tracking and measurement tools that will help you measure performance marketing. It could include tools such as Google Analytics, conversion tracking pixels, or other analytics tools that will help you track your KPIs and optimize your campaigns.
  • Launch your campaigns. Launch your performance marketing campaigns and monitor your results closely. Use your tracking and measurement tools to optimize your campaigns over time, adjusting your messaging, targeting, and creativity to achieve better results.
  • Continuously test and optimize. Continuously test and optimize your performance marketing campaigns, adjusting your tactics based on your results and optimizing your campaigns to achieve better results over time.

Additional analytics integration on Strikingly
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3. Identifying The Right Performance Marketing Channels

Next, in this guide to performance marketing, we will identify the various channels that can be used to execute a successful campaign. Some of the top performance marketing tactics that can boost your sales include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, e-mail marketing, and influencer marketing. Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, making it important to consider the target audience and campaign objectives when selecting the most appropriate channels.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a highly targeted and measurable channel that can drive qualified traffic to your website. You should use SEM if you want to reach users who are actively searching for your products or services and want to measure the ROI of your campaigns. Additionally, SEM allows you to target specific keywords and geographic locations, ensuring that you reach the right audience.

  • Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising allows you to reach a large audience and target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and other factors. You should use social media advertising if you want to build brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales. Additionally, social media advertising can be highly engaging, as users can interact with your ads through likes, comments, and shares.

  • Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk, cost-effective way to reach new audiences through the promotion of affiliate products or services. You should use it if you want to expand your reach and generate sales through word-of-mouth marketing. Additionally, it allows you to pay only for measurable results, such as clicks or sales.

  • Email Marketing.

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach and engage subscribers who have opted-in to receive promotional emails. You should use email marketing if you want to build customer loyalty, drive repeat purchases, or promote new products or services. Additionally, email marketing allows you to segment your audience and send targeted messages based on demographics, behavior, and other factors.

  • Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing allows you to reach a highly engaged audience through collaborations with influencers who have a large following on social media. You should use it if you want to build brand awareness, drive sales, or promote new products or services. Additionally, it allows you to tap into the trust and credibility that influencers have built with their followers, potentially increasing your brand's credibility and reputation.

Tips For Selecting The Right Channels

  • Follow your audience. Understand the demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences of your target audience to determine which channels are most likely to reach them.
  • Refer to campaign objectives. Whether it's building brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or increasing sales, select channels that align with those objectives.
  • Consider the buying journey. Map out the customer journey and identify touchpoints where your target audience is most likely to engage with your brand. Select channels that align with those touchpoints to maximize engagement and conversions.
  • Evaluate channel effectiveness. Use analytics and performance metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of each channel in reaching your target audience and achieving your campaign objectives. Invest in channels that provide the highest ROI and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Test and iterate. Continuously test and iterate your marketing channels to optimize your strategy and reach your target audience most effectively. Stay up to date with emerging trends and technologies to identify new opportunities for growth.

Landing page templates
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4. Optimizing Performance

Optimizing your performance marketing campaigns is crucial to maximizing your ROI. Here is some ways you can use to optimize your campaigns:

  • A/B testing. A/B testing involves creating two versions of an ad or landing page and testing them to see which performs better. Testing different variables like headlines, images, and calls to action can improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Retargeting. Retargeting involves targeting ads to people who have already stopped by your website or interacted with your brand. If you remind these people about your products or services, you can increase the likelihood of a conversion.
  • Landing page optimization. Your landing page is the first impression people have of your brand, so optimizing it for conversions is important. Some tips for optimizing your landing pages include keeping them simple, using clear calls to action, and using social proof to build trust with your audience.
  • Personalization. Personalization involves tailoring your campaigns to specific audiences based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics. Creating personalized ads and landing pages can increase the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Targeting the right audience. Ensuring you're targeting the right audience for your campaigns is important. Understanding your target audience's demographics, interests, and behaviors can create campaigns that are more likely to resonate with them.

Successful Performance Marketing Campaigns

Here are some examples of successful campaigns that used optimization techniques to maximize ROI:

  • Airbnb. Airbnb's referral program offered users $25 for referring a friend. Airbnb used performance marketing to drive bookings for its vacation rental platform. The company utilized A/B testing to optimize its search ads, landing pages, and email campaigns. Through testing different ad copy, images, and landing page designs, Airbnb was able to increase its conversion rates and drive more bookings.
  • Hubspot. Hubspot is a leading marketing automation platform that used performance marketing to drive leads and sign-ups for its platform. The company implemented a variety of optimization techniques, including personalized landing pages, email marketing campaigns, and retargeting ads. With continual testing and refining of its approach, Hubspot was able to increase its conversion rates and grow its customer base.
  • Grammarly. Grammarly is a popular online grammar and writing tool that uses performance marketing to drive sign-ups for its platform. The company utilized A/B testing to optimize its landing pages, email campaigns and paid search ads. By testing different messaging and design elements, Grammarly was able to increase its conversion rates and drive more sign-ups.
  • Casper. Casper is a leading online mattress company that used performance marketing to drive sales and grow its customer base. The company utilized a variety of optimization techniques, including personalized email campaigns, retargeting ads, and A/B testing of its landing pages and checkout process. Continually refining its approach, Casper was able to increase its conversion rates and drive more sales.

Performance marketing campaigns that utilize optimization techniques can drive significant ROI for businesses. Strikingly offers several features to help you optimize your campaigns. For example, you can use the A/B testing feature to test different versions of your landing pages and track their performance. You can also use the audience targeting feature to create personalized campaigns for different audiences.

5. Analyzing Results And Adjusting Campaigns

One of the most crucial steps in this guide to performance marketing to maximize your ROI is ongoing analysis and optimization. It's essential to regularly review your campaign performance data and adjust your campaigns accordingly to ensure long-term success.

How To Use Strikingly To Analyze Performance Data And Adjust Campaigns?

Strikingly is a website builder that allows you to create beautiful and functional websites without any coding skills. While it doesn't have built-in tools for analyzing performance data, there are several ways you can use external tools to collect data and make informed decisions about your campaigns. Here are some steps you can follow to use Strikingly to analyze performance data and adjust campaigns:

  • Set up Google Analytics. Strikingly allows you to add your Google Analytics tracking code to your website. It will give you access to a wealth of data about your website's performance, including traffic, bounce rate, conversion rates, and more. Once you have Google Analytics set up, you can use it to track the performance of your campaigns, including traffic sources, goal completions, and other key metrics.
  • Use UTM parameters. When you create campaigns, it's important to use UTM parameters to track the performance of each campaign. UTM parameters are tags that you can add to your URLs that allow you to track the source, medium, and campaign name of each visit to your website. Using UTM parameters can help you track which campaigns are driving the most traffic and conversions to your website.
  • Set up conversion tracking. If you have specific goals for your website, such as completing a purchase or filling out a contact form, you can set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics. It will allow you to track the number of conversions that result from each campaign and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Analyze your data. Once you have collected data from your campaigns, it's important to analyze it to identify trends and patterns. You can use Google Analytics to create custom reports and dashboards that show you the data that's most relevant to your goals. For example, you might create a dashboard that shows you the traffic and conversion rates for each of your campaigns, so you can see which ones are performing best.
  • Adjust your campaigns. Based on your analysis, you can make adjustments to your campaigns to improve their performance. For example, suppose you see that a particular campaign is driving a lot of traffic but not many conversions. In that case, you might adjust the targeting or messaging to better resonate with your audience. By continually monitoring and adjusting your campaigns, you can improve their performance over time.

Tips For Measuring ROI And Calculating Campaign Profitability

  • Set clear goals and KPIs before launching a campaign.
  • Use tracking tools like Google Analytics to measure website traffic, conversions, and user behavior.
  • Calculate ROI by subtracting campaign costs from revenue and dividing by the cost of the campaign.
  • Consider the lifetime value of customers when calculating ROI.
  • Use attribution modeling to assign credit to the channels and touchpoints that contributed to a conversion.
  • Calculate customer acquisition cost (CAC) by dividing campaign costs by the number of new customers acquired.
  • Monitor and adjust campaigns based on performance data to optimize profitability.


Performance marketing can be an effective way for businesses to maximize their ROI by focusing on measurable results and optimizing campaigns based on data. Setting clear goals and KPIs, using tracking tools like Google Analytics, and calculating ROI and CAC can help businesses gain insights into which campaigns are driving the most revenue and adjust their strategies accordingly. It's important to constantly monitor and adjust campaigns based on performance data to optimize profitability and ensure long-term success. By following these tips and continually learning and adapting, businesses can master the art of performance marketing, achieve sustainable growth, and maximize ROI.