If you use an email service, you likely have access to some standardized email metrics. How well you use them and how well you integrate metrics into your email campaigns is another matter…
If you undertake email campaigns you would commonly have access to metrics such as the rate and number of:
- Spam complaints
- Click throughs
If fact, the analytics associated with such services, e.g., Exact Target, allow you to measure impact down to individual email addresses and the CRM data associated with it.
Obviously these metrics should be tracked for all email campaigns. They can tell you a lot about the effectiveness of individual emails and campaigns.
Email List: Undeliverables and bounces reflect poor list hygiene. Hygiene (scrubbing your email to eliminate bad email addresses/domains, etc.) is very important as to how ISPs view your email efforts.
Reputation: Spam complaints and sending to a large number of bad email addresses can damage your reputation with ISPs, resulting in those ISPs blocking your emails.
Relevance/Trust: High unsubscribe rates and small open rates indicate that you have trust and relevance issues with the addressees. This is a larger factor with purchased email lists than it will be with those who have specifically opted in to receive emails from you. It also can reflect how your subject line is performing.
Content Quality: This is often reflected in the click through and conversion rates as addressees assess the design, engagement and relevance of the email, its calls to action and landing page offers.
While it is important to analyze such metrics for individual emails or campaigns, there are more strategic uses of the data generated from your analytics. You would be remiss, in my opinion, if you didn’t also use the information to benchmark those emails with past and future emails. Longitudinal studies (tracking over time) can be very helpful in segmenting your list by inactivity, best responder segments, etc. When combined with information contained within your CRM, it can provide valuable insight, over time, of what aspects of your email marketing campaigns are most effective with particular market or email list segments.
The most strategic measures are those that demonstrate how well the email campaigns are contributing to your company’s business objectives, i.e., the bottom line impact of an email message or campaign. It may be difficult to determine the financial impact of email on your organization. After all, the contribution of email can be varied. It could contribute in a number of different ways, including an increase in:
- Website traffic and page views
- New leads
- New subscriptions or sales
- Brand awareness and overall impression
- Impact per marketing dollar
- Customer retention
- Sales from previous customers
The more you understand about your own sales cycle metrics, the easier it is to translate the above information into a Return on Investment (ROI) for email and other marketing campaigns.
For example, if you already know the ratio of traffic to leads and the economic value of a lead, your organization can easily determine the expected revenue and ROI (if you track the costs involved) for an email campaign.
Other qualitative measures that impact your email marketing campaigns can come from your own staff who are interacting with current and potential customers.
Internet marketing enables sophisticated metrics to determine the impact of email and other online marketing campaigns. While such analytics were once the province of large, sophisticated organizations, that is no longer the case.
Your email service should provide metrics as part of its service. Google Analytics is also available at no cost. It has become easier to use and provides enough data measures to help you analyze your various online marketing strategies.
Your inability to understand the impact of your email marketing campaigns means you are just not collecting or analyzing the data that is easily available to you.
Failure to use these available measures to improve your marketing strategies is a marketing cardinal sin.