4/8/09

The True Measure of E-Mail Success

According to a 2009 Use of Analytics in Email Marketing Campaigns Report by the online marketing company eROI, 20% of the 500 e-mail marketers they surveyed do not track the results of their e-mail campaigns. I was struck by eROI's analysis of their survey results because they are the only e-mail metrics company that have said: Open rate, as mentioned earlier, is not a reliable metric. Click rate is better, but unless you can tie those clicks to dollars, campaign ROI can still be a little tough to prove. However, the ‘‘brand engagement value’’ of a click is extremely important and often discounted. Another major opportunity missed is conversion tracking (emphasis added). eROI suggests that companies should focus on conversion rates but, according to their survey resulsts, 1/8th of all companies engaging in online marketing don't even measure it. eROI got it right and it is something that we, as online marketers, need to drive home daily: did your e-mail cause the recipient to act upon the e-mail and respond to a call-to-action? When designing an e-mail campaign, ask yourself three questions:
  1. What is this e-mail's business goal?
  2. What activity do I want the reader to perform after they read my e-mail?
  3. How can I measure whether they performed this activity?

As my team knows that I am fond of saying, "all roads lead back to the web." Web traffic is the most measurable metric available. In my mind, every e-mail should push people to your web site. Whether you are establishing your brand, developing leads or selling a product, every online marketer's goal is to get e-mail readers to their web site.

Once on your site, depending upon the depth of your analytics tool, you can track their activity by looking at your web logs.

By the end of an e-mail campaign, we online marketers should be able to report, "we sent XXX number of e-mails. Of those, XX visited our web site."

That is the true measure of e-mail success.

Download eROI's full report.

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