Email marketing is a powerful tool and one that every business should use. Most studies indicate that it usually has the highest ROI of any marketing a company can do. In my opinion is should play a part in every business’ marketing plan and needs to be well integrated into that plan. If you are doing email marketing without a marketing plan, before even looking at your metrics you should first be completing a marketing plan that indicates how email marketing plays into your overall plan and strategy. Depending on what your strategy and plan is, this can drastically change what your emails should include and the message they should convey.
The most important metric to measure for email marketing I would argue is not open rate or click through rate which so many people focus on. Instead I would argue it is the amount of revenue you generate per email you send. At the end of the day businesses are not in business to get email opens or clicks, they are in business to make money. The problem is that it takes a system and dedication to be able to accurately track this. Sometimes sales occur as a result of email marketing are not easily tracked back to email marketing. For example if a customer receives an email and decides to purchase but places a phone call or makes a visit to a location to purchase instead of making a purchase online, this may not be tracked by your current systems. Instead I would suggest that a system needs to be put into place that can track where all purchases come from, so that even offline purchases can be attributed to the right marketing medium. If this can be done you will have valuable information that directly shows what emails are the most successful at driving your business forward.
Second to this measure I would argue that total impressions per email sent is next most important measure. To demonstrate why this is lets take a look at two different scenarios
Emails sent = 1,000
Open rate = 30%
Total Opens = 300
Impressions Per Email Sent = 0.35
Total Times Email Is Viewed = 35 (1.16 times per reader)
Emails sent = 1,000
Open rate = 10%
Total Opens = 100
Impressions Per Email Sent = 0.5
Total Times Email Is Viewed = 500 (5 times per reader)
In this example I will take scenario #2 with the lower open rate over scenario #1 any day. In scenario #2 the message is read many more times and each person that does read it is on average reading it 5 times. Most studies indicated that for a marketing message to stick with someone they need to see it 5 to 7 times. Getting a higher read rate will give your marketing more punch and compel more people to purchase. In addition they will also be more likely to talk about your product or company to other people if they are engaged enough to read it multiple times instead of only once. Using the metric of total impressions per email sent, ensures that you are working to have your message heard the most as it focuses on the total number of times your message is viewed. If you focus only on open rate, it counts someone who views your message only once, as equal to someone who views your message 10 times. Someone who views your message 10 times is definitely more valuable though. That is why it is best to put more focus on total impressions per email sent than open rate or click through rate.
So the next time you are reviewing your email marketing efforts, don’t spend too much time fretting about click through rates or open rates. Instead only spend a little time trying to optimize them and focus most of your efforts on increasing revenue per email sent and total impression rates.