Web Metrics for E-mail Campaigns

Hello Nation!

E-mail newsletter campaigns are still an effective way to increase web traffic and leads.  In fact, e-mail campaigns are definitely more effective than social media at this time.  Why?  Because with an e-mail campaign, you are in control of every single aspect.  You control the message, the customer data, the ability to contact prospective clients, and the experimental ideas for the campaign.  However, e-mail campaigns do have their obstacles.  For instance, you must handle multiple sources of data.  The following are the primary sources of data for e-mail campaigns: campaign data, website data, and company cross-channel outcomes data.  The success of your e-mail campaign will depend on your ability to utilize all three of these data sources.

Before you begin your e-mail campaign, make sure every link in your e-mail is tagged with the campaign tracking parameters that your web analytics tool needs.  All of the best e-mail providers will do this automatically.

The following are the web metrics you need to analyze the level of your acquisition strength: Delivery Rate, Open Rate, Click-to-Delivery Rate (CTDR), and Subscriber Retention Rate.

Delivery Rate is the number of e-mails sent minus the number of e-mails bounced divided by the number of e-mails sent ([# E-mails Sent – # E-mails Bounced]/# E-mails Sent).  This metric demonstrates how wide the window for success is.  It is important to consider that the e-mails might not have bounced back, but instead ended up in the spam or junk e-mail folder, which highly decreases their chances of being read.  Be mindful of this factor in your analysis.

Open Rate is the number of e-mails opened divided by the number of e-mails delivered (# E-mails Opened/# E-mails Delivered).  This metric is only mildly significant.  It will help you determine how effective the subject line of your e-mail is.  The subject line, not the offer, is the most impactful element of your e-mail campaign!

CTDR is the number of clicks divided by the number of e-mails delivered (Clicks/# E-mails Delivered).  You must segment this metric to squeeze the most value out of it.  Remember (in the words of Kaushik): segment or die!  This metric will determine the effectiveness and relevance of your message.  Make sure you compare demographics, geography, and new and existing customers.  This metric will help drive experimentation of content, offers, and geo-targeting for your e-mail campaign.

Subscriber Retention Rate is the number of subscribers minus bounces and unsubscribes divided by the number of subscribers ([# Subscribers – Bounces – Unsubscribes]/# Subscribers).  How interesting is your message?  This metric will help answer that question and determine the relevance of the message content.  Measure retention rate over time and possibly segment the retention rate for objectives in different service areas.

The following are important web metrics for the measurement of customer behavior: Bounce Rate, Depth of Visit, and Actions Completed.  These metrics will give you an insight into the mind of the customer.  What content did the customer enjoy and what content made the customer leave immediately?  Focus on what happens in the process between the e-mail click and goal conversion.

Bounce Rate is the number of e-mail campaign visits with a single pageview divided by the number of e-mail campaign visits.  This metric will determine if the expectations set by your e-mail are realized by the customer during their visit to the website.  Bounce Rate will provide areas in need of immediate improvement, such as content and calls-to-action on a landing page.

Depth of Visit is the percent of e-mail campaign visits lasting longer than [blank] pages.  Determine the number of pages for this metric before sending an e-mail blast.  This metric is good for non-ecommerce websites.  The more pageviews during a visit indicates deeper brand impact and a higher chance for future visits.

Actions Completed is the percent of e-mail campaign visits that watched a video, searched for a store location, rated a product, or anything else.  This metric is good for ecommerce websites.  Use Event Tracking or Custom Variables on Google Analytics to set up this type of metric.

Focusing on the outcomes of your e-mail campaign is essential.  The following are metrics to measure the outcomes of the e-mail campaign: Macro Conversion Rate, Average Revenue per E-mail Sent, Micro Conversion Rate, Average Economic Value per E-mail Sent, and Profitability.

Macro Conversion Rate is the number of one significant item divided by the number of e-mail campaign visits.  For example, one significant item could be the number of web leads received, downloads of a product, registering for a trial-run, or new accounts for your social media network.  Segment this metric as many ways possible!  Seek out areas of low performance and improve them.

Average Revenue per E-mails Sent is the total revenue divided by the number of e-mails sent.  This metric is useful because it emphasizes productivity.  How much bang are you getting for your buck?  Average revenue can be calculated per e-mails delivered and e-mails read as well.

Micro Conversion Rate is the number of small goals divided by the number of e-mail campaign visits.  Small goals on your website could be defined as product reviews, followers on Twitter, or downloading an application.  Macro and Micro Conversion Rates will help you calculate the entire value delivered by the e-mail campaign.

Average Economic Value per E-mail Sent is the most important metric for e-mail campaigns!  It is the total economic value divided by the number of e-mails sent.  Total economic value is both macro and micro conversions.  Total economic value, not revenue, is the key to success.

Profitability is revenue generated minus campaign cost and the cost of sold goods divided by the number of e-mails sent ([Revenue – Campaign Cost – Cost of Sold Goods]/# E-mails Sent).  It can be difficult to calculate the costs of each item and process all of the numbers needed to determine this metric, but that should not stop you.  Profitability will determine the ultimate benefit of an e-mail campaign.

E-mail campaigns are effective if you treat your customer the way you wish to be treated.  This might sound a little naive or childish, but it is important.  Do not pre-select sign-up boxes in your e-mails and always consider the benefits for the customers.  Remember to have a one-click unsubscribe link displayed prominently at the top of every e-mail.  If you do these things and feverishly measure the above metrics, you will be on your way to a successful and profitable e-mail campaign.

I used Avinash Kaushik’s blog as a reference for this post.  Comment below and I will entertain questions.

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