12 Types Of Reports (And What Each Is Best For)

Agency reporting

Marketing reports take on many forms.


In this post, we’ll look at 12 different types of reports and their best use cases. 


If you’ve ever wondered how to use such reports in different business scenarios — whether it’s communicating results to clients or relaying information between various departments — this guide is for you.


1. Periodic reports


Use it to: Communicate performance to clients or a group of people (e.g., stakeholders like CMO and CEO).


Periodic reports are reports issued at regular intervals. They’re often presented as project deliverables (i.e., an agency sends a digital marketing report to a client every month). 


Examples: Progress reports, sales reports, social media reports, Google Analytics reports, email marketing reports.


Let’s explore how these reports look in detail.


1.1 Google Analytics report

Google Analytics (GA) is widely used by marketers who want to make sense of data and drive strategic decisions.


If you’re a frequent GA user, you’d know this: It’s overwhelming navigating the sheer amount of data. Imagine how your client must feel when you present these data in a spreadsheet!


What’s a better way to communicate your results?


DashThis’s Google Analytics report template.  

google analytics report

Grab this template with your Google Analytics data!


In your GA report, drag and drop preset KPIs like goal completions and conversions, sessions and users, and landing page performances. 


Creating this visual presentation will help you to present ROI to your clients in a compelling manner.


1.2 Email marketing report


Emails are often used to educate, nurture, and convert subscribers to customers down the road.


Want to make sure your clients understand how their email campaigns are doing? Pull metrics from your email autoresponder, and let DashThis summarize your data in an email marketing report template.


Grab this template with your email marketing data!


With DashThis’ preset KPI widgets (e.g., open rate, number of subscribers, and unsubscribe rate) shown in a sleek format, clients will be able to view results at a glance.


1.3 Social media report

Grab this template with your social media data!


Social media is a beast, especially when you’re on multiple platforms. 


One great way to track results across these different social channels is to use DashThis’ social media report template and use its pre-set KPIs (e.g., impressions and reach).


Display the best-performing posts from Facebook or Instagram directly on DashThis with a few clicks. Long gone are the days of manually inserting them. 


Creating reports is a big job. It’s the stage where clients evaluate how easy it is to work with you and decide if they should continue extending your contract. 


With DashThis, you no longer need to hop from one platform to another to attach seven different Google Analytics reports, a handful of email marketing reports, and screenshots of a viral Instagram post for each client.


Go from spending hours each week per client to less than ten minutes total! DashThis is the perfect tool to create these different types of reports. Thanks to automation, you don’t have to start from scratch every time.


Start your DashThis 15-day free trial and automate your marketing reports today.


2. Long reports

Source: 8x8


Use it to: Share in-depth information.


Long reports are documents with more than ten pages. Due to the length, they’re usually formal.


Example: A white paper about an industry’s latest trends.


3. Short reports

Source: HubSpot


Use it to: Announce new events or internal changes.


Short reports are documents with less than ten pages; they’re usually informal.  


Example: A memorandum (or “memo” for short) to inform staff of an upcoming work event.


4. Informational reports

Source: Wild Apricot


Use it to: Provide background information from a sector of a company to another.


Informational reports transmit information from a sector of an organization to another (e.g., annual reports, financial reports).


Example: A leadership meeting minutes report that details which department heads attended and what was discussed.


5. Analytical reports

Grab this template with your data!


Use it to: Share data and insights to evaluate business decisions.


Data never lies. 


Analytic reports are business documents that share statistics, predictions, and solutions (e.g., feasibility report). They give you a clear understanding of what’s happening in your organization, so that you can evaluate your action plan.


Example: An ecommerce report that shows transactions and revenue. Based on the data, marketers can identify which channels generate the highest sales and choose which to focus on.


6. Formal reports


Use it to: Provide information to educate, inform, convince, or drive decisions.


Formal reports are detail- and structure-oriented. Due to the long nature, they often include many sections (e.g., table of contents, executive summary) for easier reference.


Example: A yearly market research report used as a lead magnet to attract enterprise leads.


7. Informal reports

Source: GEVME


Use it to: Present information for internal use.


Informal reports are less-structured documents (i.e., uses casual language). They’re usually of short length.


Example: An informal post-event report with summarized points created by a marketer after attending a conference.


8. Proposal reports

Source: AppSumo


Use it to: Set clear expectations and explain your strategy.


Proposals are problem-solving reports that include a project overview, solution, and expected outcome. They’re often used to convert leads to paying clients.  


Example: A digital marketing proposal that showcases an agency’s proposed strategy, case studies, and process to a prospective client.


9. Internal reports


Use it to: Convey information among team members and departments within the organization.


Internal reports are circulated within the company.


Example: A marketing budget report sent to the finance team for approval.


10. External reports

Source: Backlinko


Use it to: Announce an event, product launch, or other happenings.


External reports are distributed outside the company.


Example: A press release report about a new product launch sent to a tech publication for coverage.


11. Vertical reports

Source: Venngage


Use it to: Communicate information to management or employees a supervisor or manager oversees.


Vertical reports communicate information either upward or downward the hierarchy.


Example: A marketing plan created by a marketing coordinator sent for approval to the head of marketing.


12. Lateral reports


Use it to: Transfer knowledge so all departments arrive at the same decision.


Lateral reports coordinate knowledge transfer between different departments in an organization. 


Example: A marketing plan detailing budget information such as marketing spend and expected incoming revenue sent to the finance team.


What types of reports will you create today?


These 12 kinds of reports overlap each other. 


For example, a three-page SEO deliverable is an analytical, short, and external report.


So remember: It’s perfectly fine if your report format looks a little different from the examples in this list.


Does creating a single report eat up hours of your time? Or are you tired of cobbling analytics from multiple channels in your longer reports?


With DashThis, you don’t need to hop from one platform to another to pull in different data.


Our dashboarding tools automate your monthly reporting and help you create reports in the blink of an eye. 


Whether you want to create a three-page report for different clients or multi-reports for a single brand, DashThis can make it happen. 


DashThis The Team at DashThis

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