Four Stage ROI Model: Meaning, Stages and Tips

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The Four Stage ROI Model distinguishes stages in measuring Return On Investment (ROI). The stages are measured in terms of intensity of contact.

This article contains the definition of the ROI model, its stages and practical implications.

Four Stage ROI Model

The stages of the Four Stage ROI Model are clearly described, and although it’s hard to determine the total ROI of Social Media in general or in projects, it’s possible to estimate outcomes based on the elements in the four phases described.

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Figure 1 – Four Stage ROI Model


What is your potential reach? These elements are all easy to measure, coherent around visits and visitors. Measurable elements include visits, visitors, views, followers, fans, subscribers and brand mentions.


How many visitors convert their visits into actions? Elements in the engagement phase are all actions performed by visitors, which means they’re engaging or trying to. Measurable elements include clicks, retweets, shares, @replies, Direct Messages, wall posts, comments, long duration on site and RSS subscriptions.


The more visitors are engaging, the more influence you can get with them. Returning visitors are getting interested or even loyal. Converting influence into action is an essential part of selling or connecting for the company’s sake. Measurable elements include share-of-voice, sentiment, click through, loyalty and re-visits.


You’ve reached the ultimate phase when actions are required and performed by returning and loyal visitors. Measurable elements include downloads, leads, forms, proposals and sales.

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More information

  1. Bartholomew, D. (2008). Four Stage ROI Model. Fleishman-Hillard.

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Published on: 14/03/2018 | Last update: 11/11/2022

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Bart van der Kooi
Article by:

Bart van der Kooi

Bart van der Kooi is a Digital Marketing Strategist at online marketing agency StormMC. His specialities are Social Media ROI, Social Media Models and Innovation. Bart gives workshops, presentations and keynotes. He is the creator of the website Social Media Models and author of the Dutch book 'Het Social Media Modellenboek'.


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