To ignore such information would be foolish inasmuch as it can provide the key to determining the relative effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. On the other hand, you must avoid that most dreadful of maladies, the paralysis of analysis.
While it’s true that today’s sophisticated reports can measure the entirety of a recipient’s experience, from the moment of “first touch” through their chain of response and ultimate fulfillment of your campaign objectives, the fact is that all data is not created equal. This begs the question: Which data to overlook and which data to look over? Yes, a determination must be made on just where to focus attention.
Rather than going through a lengthy list of the various metrics that are available, let’s look at the key three, a trio of crucial email marketing measurements that can “move the needle” for your business.
1. List growth: While your email contacts list size can matter, net growth rates matters more. If your member list is not growing, it’s and indication that you’re neither doing a good job of promoting the existence of your email communication, nor establishing its value, or, at least, gathering new names from among your various centers of influence. You need to decide where the opportunities exist for more promotional exposure. This can range from verbiage on business cards or other collateral materials, to your website, networking and publicity, or alliances that clearly detail the value of subscribing to your free email marketing newsletter.
Check your subscriber count after each mailing. It may be easy to merely throw addresses onto your mailing list from any source you can find, but it’s much harder to keep those subscribers, as compared to those who consented to be included. Remember: quality counts, and net list growth is that growth that results after subscribers have had at least one chance to opt out.
2. Clickthrough rate: Many email marketers seem to place primary value on open rate, and while that’s a useful metric for measuring engagement, it can be misleading because so many email. clients block the loading of images. The more valid metric for measuring engagement is clickthrough rate, which indicates how many subscribers took some form of action based on the content you sent. If your email messages don’t have a call to action or other inducement requiring a click (even something as simple as “view this message in your browser”), you should add one or more.
Clickthrough rate has the primary advantage of telling you what specifically in your content is creating subscriber interest. You’ll learn, based on click reports, what catches the eye of subscribers and what doesn’t. Either improve or delete content categories in your newsletter that simply don’t induce enough clicks.
3. Conversion: Of course, the goal is for your email subscribers’ response is to produce a favorable ROI. Some measurable action must be taken by them in order for you to see a positive impact on the bottom line, whether that be in the form of purchases, donations, volunteer time, recommendations, etc. If you’re using sophisticated Web reports software like Analytics and an email marketing program like FireDrum Email Marketing software, you can measure what percentage of subscribers complete a conversion (a positive action) in your business processes.
Depending on the level of sophistication selected, you can even assign revenue goals to your Web and email reports, helping you understand what a subscriber is “worth,” even down to gauging the value of an individual email. Applying this sort of analysis is incredibly valuable to your marketing efforts. Simply stated, it enables you to understand what works and what doesn’t work, and it does so very quickly.
Take this opportunity to think about which email marketing reports you care most about, and tell us so we can custom design an reports program for you.