We’re taught to analyze the success of an email marketing campaign by focusing on key statistics and weighing them against established industry standards. This offers some insight into how your click, open and delivery rates are stacking up against the norm, but what does it really tell you about your campaign efficacy? Does a 10% click-through-rate (CTR) mean the same thing for your 200 recipient list as it does for a list of over 5000 issued by a multi-franchise business? Maybe not.
So, how do you truly identify whether or not your campaign is successful?
Well, first, you’ll need to identify a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are directly relevant to your business goals. That could include anything from sales conversions to site clicks to event registrations – whatever constitutes successful returns on your end goal. From there, weigh your hourly and financial investment into email marketing, and see what KPI percentage you need to justify time and money spent. That will give you an absolute measure of success for your business goals.
However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore traditional campaign valuation tactics. Tracking month-over-month (or send-over-send, depending on frequency) delivery, clicks, opens, new sign-ups, unsubscribes, and bounces will not only give you an idea of your newsletters’ immediate impact on the subscriber, but their net impressions as well – and that’s more important than anything.
Soon, MNB tools will include timeframe tracking utilities that will streamline your ability to monitor the (ideally growing) engagement to your emailed marketing materials. In the meantime, compiling stat sheets for each send can help provide the insight you need with only a few minutes effort each month.
First, we’d recommend compiling report stats for every send in a single master document. Collect your data two to three weeks after delivery, and add it to an ongoing spreadsheet. We’d also recommend creating separate pages in the same document for both whole numbers and percentages to allow for easier tracking (note: you can adjust reports to present whole numbers or percentages using button toggles above the data on Report Detail pages).
From there, it may behoove you (depending on how you like to view numbers) to create additional sheets that focus on each individual stat. You can break this data out to reflect returns from each send or from a given timeframe (month, quarter, etc.). This will quickly get you in the habit of viewing numbers from a global perspective, rather than from a much smaller issue-by-issue approach.
As you accumulate statistics, consider adding notes next to each send or time period detailing what kind of content was featured, precisely when each newsletter was sent, and how many new subscribers were added between the send or time period in question and the one previous. That way, as you begin to identify changes in response, you’ll have some idea of what may have caused it without having to dig through all of your old newsletters. Alternatively, you can include links to hosted versions of your newsletter in the spreadsheet, giving you quick access to each.
In our next edition of Evaluating Campaign Efficacy, we’ll take a look at how to interpret long-term changes in each individual metric mentioned in this article, and how those changes should help direct your future marketing plans.