Marketing Metrics 8: Email marketing

I read some statistics in preparing this blog that suggested 90 trillion emails were sent in 2009, and approximately 86% of them were spam. (Pingdom). Bad day in the office for the guy counting, but it is a staggering number if it’s even remotely correct.

If you have a glass half empty outlook, that’s going to put you right off email marketing. But if you’re a glass half full person, these numbers imply rather a lot were still well targeted and well propositioned to recipients interested in what they had to say.

Email remains a great way to make and stay in touch with a range of audiences and it can provide powerful insight into how your brand is perceived, the messages you want to convey, and the design and offers you make – if you take the time to assess the data.

Determining whether you use your email for acqusition, retention or relationship marketing will determine what you say, to who, how and when. This drives your metrics. There are lots of things that can be monitored and measured when it comes to email marketing (open, bounce rate, unsubscribes, time of day, number of unique clicks, number of repeat clicks, number of forwards) but there is only one metric that matters. You want click-through to your website. That’s where the engagement truly starts. Don’t get caught up in the numbers.

This isn’t an email masterclass (though there may be one in 2011), but if you want traffic generated from email click through, consider the following:

1. Audience need – we’ve moved away from monthly and quarterly broadcast communications and can now easily deliver bespoke content for different segmented lists. Sending the same communication to customers and prospects is plain lazy.

2. Design – the email needs to work without images, have a solid spam-filter friendly title, be sent from a reputable email address (not ‘donotreply’), contain an ‘if you can’t see this, click here’ link and an ‘unsubscribe’ button.

3. Message – different audiences are after different things and the content and tone should be tailored accordingly

4. Automation – the best emails are event triggered, whether by a transaction, a shipment or delivery update, an update on stock or a new price/offer, an anniversary or an abandoned basket. Amazon are the gold standard in internet business cross-sell and up-sell, but any business can adopt elements if considered.

A case study

I get regular emails from the shirt maker TM Lewin. Well I did until I unsubscribed. I like their shirts and the way they have used digital channels to promote their products (interesting YouTube channel). But they essentially make the same ‘4 shirts for £100/£90’ and ‘suit for £179’ offer on a weekly basis. And despite creative changes, this has been pumped out to their database (and me) for over a year.

I queried it with them on Twitter saying when you offer product at the same price consistently, it isn’t an offer anymore. They weren’t interested in taking honest and constructive customer feedback, saying it was working fine for now and they weren’t planning on changing it.

Which is fine, but that lack of regard for my transactional history and needs means my next shirt will probably come from Charles Tyrwhitt and for now TM Lewin have lost me to an untargeted, lazy and short term broadcast email strategy.

Image Keyzo

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7 responses to “Marketing Metrics 8: Email marketing

  1. Very funny story. I couldn’t help but laugh reading about the ongoing “promotional” offer. I have seen this many times as well, and it really does lower the value of a promotion and proposition. And I was surprised to see spam so high. I thought it might be around 50%…

  2. I agree that website traffic is the most important metric in most cases, but I’m not sure that’s the absolute rule. What about drawing people to your social media sites or including a call to action to respond with an email if interested in the offer?

    • It’s a good shout Charlie – I think the key thing is to use email marketing to deliver engaging relevant and timely information and news to your audiences. Whether this sends them to your website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, a campaign microsite or anywhere else, for them to develop a deeper understanding and commit, you’re still focusing on acquiring, retaining and relationship forming.

  3. Using opt-in email marketing lists isn’t only the law in many countries, but it also offers several benefits to email marketers. Here are some of the benefits of using an opt-in email list in your email marketing effort

    Improved Conversions / Response Rates – When readers of commercial email messages have independently signed up for an email list, they generally have a direct interest in the subject matter or offers. That makes it more likely that those subscribers will convert to buyers, will convert to ad clicks, or will respond to email campaigns needing a reader response (such as surveys).

  4. Using opt-in email marketing lists isn’t only the law in many countries, but it also offers several benefits to email marketers. Here are some of the benefits of using an opt-in email list in your email marketing effort

    Improved Conversions / Response Rates – When readers of commercial email messages have independently signed up for an email list, they generally have a direct interest in the subject matter or offers. That makes it more likely that those subscribers will convert to buyers, will convert to ad clicks, or will respond to email campaigns needing a reader response (such as surveys).

    Targeted Readers – Those improved conversions and response rates are a direct result of the fact that opt-in email lists allow marketers to reach a highly targeted market or reader base, including readers with an interest in the niche or industry all the way to a list so targeted that it only includes past customers or clients.

    Price – It can be much less expensive to initiate opt-in list building efforts through online subscription forms or other methods, than it would be to directly purchase or rent less-targeted email lists.

    Reputation / Goodwill – By limiting commercial email messages to opt-in list subscribers, a company can avoid (to a good degree) being labeled a spammer, which can damage a company’s reputation. At the same time, mixing unique, quality information with a commercial message can help to actually build goodwill with readers, because the emails are then providing something of value to them.

    Fewer Legal Implications – Sticking to opt-in email lists can keep a company on the right side of the law, and protect them from hefty fines costing thousands of dollars for every unsolicited commercial email sent. Even if a few subscribers forget they opted into an email marketing list and report messages as SPAM, it’s beneficial for the company to be able to prove that their efforts were legal, opt-in, and good-intentioned

    100,000 email: Only Rs 1000.
    Minimum Order 600,000 Emails

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