Measure your email marketing performance with these tips.
With so much data available, email is one of the most measurable tactics in a building product marketer’s arsenal…but how do you know where your performance rates?
The two most common metrics in email marketing are Open Rate and Click-Through Rate (CTR). However, before you even begin to benchmark, it’s important to understand that not every email platform measures those two factors the same way.
Open Rate: Open rate is defined as the percentage of people that open your email send.
Click-Through Rate: CTR is most-commonly reported as the percentage of unique people that received your email and clicked on any of the links within it, but sometimes is instead calculated as a percent of only the people who opened your email. In some systems, multiple-clicks from the same user may count twice, driving up CTR in comparison to truly unique CTRs. So make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples when looking at your own metrics and comparing them to those you see in other places.
Benchmarks: It can be challenging to benchmark in email because of wide variances in list size, send frequency, types of messages sent (education, sales promotion, both?), list age and how the list was obtained. If you’ve got a small, targeted list of current customers than you send messages 2x per month to consistently, your results are going to be stronger than a marketer that buys a list from a broker and sporadically sends a “FREE OFFER” email to it. But it still helps to have some kind of baseline statistics, and for that, there’s a couple resources I’d like to share:
- Epsilon’s Q3 2011 North America Email Trend Results: Open Rates Increase Over Previous Quarter and Year report: Epsilon is one of the largest email marketers in the world, and this report has a lot of great detail for a variety of industries.
- Bronto Email Marketing Delivery Performance This is a great benchmarking resource to utilize that is updated constantly.
- MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Benchmarking Guide: a comprehensive benchmarking guide that goes far beyond open/CTR to cover triggered email, customer lifecycle benefits and more. Cost is $397 for a PDF
Through resources like those, you’ll likely find that an open rate of 25-35% and a CTR of 4-8% is a solid B2B building products industry email campaign. From there, you can begin benchmarking yourself and testing against your own past campaigns, since they’re going to be the most accurate comparison for you.