A Client Report Template: Getting Your Clients to Keep Coming Back

 

What’s the most important part of a relationship?

Communication.

Ugh, that sounds so cliché, right?

It is cliché… but then again… so are a lot of truths.

And I’m not just talking about personal relationships: all relationships require good communication if they’re going to be sustainable over a long period of time.

But what does any of this have to do with digital marketing?

Well, everything.

The work of a digital marketer is built on relationships. As a marketer, your job is to initiate a relationship with your clients, and through your work, make them as happy as possible in order to keep them with you for the long-term.

Because let’s face it: it’s way more fun working with the same client for a long time than always looking for new clients and new contracts.

On the one hand, you get to work with someone you know well, someone who trusts you. On the other hand, you have to constantly be on the hunt, and always work that much harder just to get your foot in a prospect’s door (never knowing if the hunt is going to pay off in the end).

Obviously, one is easier and far more profitable than the other…

And therein lies the importance of a kick-a** client report template.

 

Client Reporting: Because Sharing is Caring

So you’re plodding along, creating amazing campaigns for your equally cool clients, and then you remember that you actually have to explain to your clients what you do all day, and why they should keep paying you to do it.

Considering the fact that you probably spend most of your day thinking, reflecting, and optimizing things you previously thought about… it can be pretty difficult to verbally explain how important your job is to your client.

That’s where your client reports come in: they’re your words, your communication tool, and your selling point.

A great client report is like the display board you used in grade school during a class presentation: it’s a concise one-stop shop of all the information you want to share. It’s how you prove how awesome you are at what you do.

Client reports are a way for you to open the discussion with your clients, educate them on the important aspects of your work, and show them why you’re great at your job and why they should keep working with you. All of these are crucial to a healthy client/agency relationship.

What’s more, your clients want you to see your results through reports! Analytics continue to be the most asked for service by clients to agencies… so don’t neglect what your clients are asking for!

Client reporting is your way of sharing your work with your client as well as proving your worth; this is how you measure your progress, and identify any issues you might have, and otherwise make sure that you and your client are consistently working towards the same goals.

So, okay, client reports are important and they should be a part of your daily life and your relationship with all of your clients.

“My time is precious!” you might say, “dozens of client reports every month? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Ah, that’s true.

If only there was a way to show clients your worth and profitability for them, without taking up all your precious time…

 

The Client Report Template: All the Benefits, Less Than Half the Effort

If you’re building a house, having a model blueprint makes the process of building so much quicker than starting everything from scratch every time… right?

A client report is no different. That’s why you need a client report template: it allows you to build out from an existing frame, saving you tons of time, yet giving you the same benefits.

I’d call that a win-win.

So…. what should a client report template include, regardless of situation?

No matter your client, who they are, and what they do, every client report template you create should include a place for you to include context and explanations. By looking at their report, you clients should be able to answer:

  • What happened or didn’t happen this month?
  • What changed that caused this?
  • What are you, as an agency, going to do next month to change these results?

Your clients need to see, at a glance, not only their hard numbers, but also context as to what are good numbers and what are bad numbers… this is where your notes and comments sections come in handy.

And remember, no matter what you’re telling your clients, no matter the type of client report template you’re using for their particular situation, it’s important to always keep the discussion in the “we” or “us”. After all, you may think you’re working for your client, but in reality, the client/agency relationship is that of a team. By keeping your language in the “us” tone, your client will feel involved every step of the way.

And isn’t that what client reporting is all about?

Because while you should always be available to talk to your client one-on-one whenever (s)he needs it, if your report is clear, concise, and provides ample context, your client might not need to take up more of your time.

So you can focus on actually doing the work you’re good at.

 

Know Your Client, the Rest Will Follow

In the client report template world, good things come in small packages.

What I mean is, a client report should only include metrics that matter to your client’s goals. If you can’t identify your client’s goals just by looking at the report… you’ve probably got way too many metrics thrown in there.

This is where you have to truly know your client and his/her goals. I don’t just mean the name of the brand, what field their in, and what their budget is. Those are given. At the start of any project, you have to actually sit down with them, and go through what they want to accomplish, in how long, what their brand image looks like, their mission, their client base… everything.

If you imagine this like a romantic relationship, this is like the figurative 1st, 2nd, and everything up to the 23rd date combined.

Things you should know about your client in order to create the right report template are:

  • The client’s level of comfort with data and analytics: this informs how detailed and/or high-level you need to be in terms of what data you present.
  • Where in the relationship you are with the client. Is this a new relationship, a new project, or have you been working together for a while now? These answers will help indicate how far back in the data you’ll be going, and what kind of and how much historical context you can provide.
  • What speciality your client and/or your project is in (SEO, social media, business analytics, display advertising, a combination of these): this informs the types of tools you’ll be using and thus integrating in your report, as well as the types of metrics you’ll be looking at.
  • Your project timeline or the frequency at which your client wants and needs to know how things are going: this will tell you how often you’ll be producing reports, and perhaps, if you’ll be creating different types (one type for a quarterly report, and another for the monthly check-in, for example).
  • Finally, the goals your client has: obviously, this allows you to pinpoint exactly the metrics you’ll want to show… and only those metrics please!

 

Choose the Right Client Report Template

Now comes the fun part!

You finally understand everything there is to know about the client for whom you’re creating a report. You know what your mutual goals are, and you’re picking the perfect client report template based on that information.

Apart from the important insight and comments I mentioned previously, what should the base of each type of client report template include?

Simple!

 

Social Media Report

Social media is big right now (and has been for a long time, as you know). Digital marketing campaigns that don’t include a social media aspect are few and far between!

So if you’ve been managing your client’s social media presence, your report should always include: Reach & Impressions (is the content you’re producing being seen), Fans & Likes (are people joining your community), Engagement Rate (are they reacting to your content), Visits originating from social media (are people moving from your social networks to your main site), Conversions originating from social media (are they buying what you’re selling, so to speak).

You’ll most likely be using a combination of multiple tools, such as Facebook, Facebook Ads, Twitter, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Ads, Google +, Instagram, YouTube, and maybe more. You should make sure that you’re including all your tools in order to give an accurate picture of exactly how each network behaves and plays off each other.

Social Media Client Report Template

SEO Report

Ahh, the ever subtle yet oh-so-important search engine optimization.

You can have the sweetest and coolest looking website ever, but if search engines aren’t finding it, it won’t do jack.

And that’s why there are a few metrics that should always be included in every effective SEO report: Keywords (what are your users looking for when they find you), Backlinks (do you have them and are they giving you relevant traffic), Organic Search Traffic (how many of your visitors are finding you organically… which is really the entire point of SEO… right?), Pages per Visitor (once visitors get to your page, are they poking around or just getting out quick), Returning Users (are they coming back for more), Conversions (the mother of all metrics… do they want what you have).

Again, SEO uses multiple tools to go through every KPI and get the most accurate data. Useful tools can include Google Analytics (because of course), Moz, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, MajesticSEO, GinzaMetrics, and Searchmetrics. Collect them all!

SEO Client Report Template

Executive Report

If the person you’re presenting your report to is more high-level, and therefore perhaps not as well versed in data as you or your other clients are, too many detailed metrics are just going to overwhelm him/her.

What kind of numbers do speak to a more high-level executive type?

Money. And lots of it.

You want to show that you aren’t just spending their money… you’re making it for them. And that’s why you’re creating an executive report for them: to prove that you’re worth it.

Your high-level executive report should include: Cost (how much did you spend), Revenue (how much did you make), Conversions (how many people bought what you’re selling), Cost per Conversion (how much did each person cost you to bring in), Average Visit Value (how much money comes in for every visitor to your site). Basically, these metrics should be able to easily show your client the influx and outflow of money you’re responsible for.

Executive reports are one of those types of reports that might include data from several of any digital marketing tool that exists on the market. Any tool that can show you a money metric is one that you can potentially include in this report.

Executive Client Report Template

PPC, SEM & Display Ad Report

You know those ads that appear everywhere on every. single. website. you visit? Sometimes annoying? Perhaps? Effective? Oh hell yes. And that’s why we do what we do. Digital ads and paid search marketing are some of the most lucrative and persuasive tools we have.

And that persuasiveness should be measured in a PPC, SEM & Display Ad report. Again, due to the sheer quantity of PPC, SEM and Display Advertising tools that exist on the market, and that you could potentially be using, there are a metric ton of metrics (I love puns) that you might use. However, the basic gist is that your metrics should be showing how much your ads cost, how much traffic they caused, and how much money they ultimately brought in. Some metrics like this include: Conversions (what else), Cost (how much did you spend), Ad Impressions (how many people saw your ads), Click-through rate (how many people liked what they saw), Cost per Conversions (was it worth it, in the end).

Like I said, there are a lot of tools with which you can be advertising online. The biggest of these are used pretty universally: Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Adform, Marchex, Smart AdServer, and everything else under the sun…

PPC Client Report Template

A Client Report Template Gives you Wings…

Think of your client report template as your wings. Now you have to fly… which is infinitely easier with those spiffy wings.

Now that you have your handy-dandy template, you don’t actually have to spend hours cutting and pasting data from one place to another, making a report, and doing the whole thing over again in a month.

And what are you going to do with all that extra time and energy? Take your template and add to it, play with it, write some context, change your data presentation depending on what you’re showing, explain why something went really well this month, and how you’re going to fix what didn’t go so well.

If you haven’t tailored your report template to fit your exact client, you’ve missed the point.

With your newfound time, you can actually do what your brain was made to do: create kick-a** campaigns for your clients.

And with your amazingly clear and beautiful reports, your clients will keep coming back for more.

And yeah, DashThis has a ton of prebuilt client report templates for you to choose from to get started. But we wouldn’t be good at what we did if that wasn’t the case… right?

More time, better work, and happier clients… what are you waiting for?

With beginnings in traditional print media, Nathalie has been in digital communications management, PR, & content marketing for 8 years. She is now in charge of communications, PR & content marketing at DashThis, where she spends her time sharing her expertise in dashboard reporting.


Category: Dashboards, Marketing, reporting Comment »

     

Get 10 dashboards for 15 days

Don't worry, we don't need your credit card info.

About Us

DashThis is a comprehensive digital reporting solution for agencies and marketers. It's designed to satisfy most of your marketing and analytics needs, from PPC, SEM, SEO, Adwords, Bing, Facebook, other Social Media networks, and White label reporting dashboards. Check out all our features to see everything we offer!

DashThis is a trademark owned by Moment Zero inc - Copyright © 2011-2017