If you're an email marketer, you've probably learned one hard truth: Your executive management doesn't care about email as much as you do.
These C-Suite executives are more concerned about the issues that affect the company bottom line, such as revenue, customer retention, profit margins, return on budget investment, costs to deliver products and support customers, customer acquisition costs, lead flow and more.
Your email program either does or can affect these critical aspects, but you have to use the most relevant metrics to tell that story. Think outside the box of familiar metrics such as open and click rates. Work with other departments to find ways to measure how email contributes to their areas.
So your last campaign drew a company-best open rate? Yawn. Only you care. Tell management instead that since incorporating FAQs and product tips in your email program, you've reduced the number of calls to customer support by 15 percent. Now you've got their attention.
You don't have to abandon your other metric approaches, because you need them to understand how your program is performing and where you can make improvements. But many marketers spend most of their time benchmarking their email performance instead of using metrics to measure how their email program affects management's key concerns.
Email Performance and Company Goals
Email metrics fall into two general categories: "process" metrics that measure your email program's performance currently and over time, and "output" metrics, which measure how your email program contributes to your company's strategic marketing and business goals.
You employ both kinds of metrics in four basic measurement approaches:
- Analyze performance of a single message or campaign and diagnose problems.
- Gain insights into customer/subscriber behavior that can help you deliver more relevant messages.
- Benchmark your program against your peers or your own past performance.
- Measure your email program's performance against specific marketing or company goals.
(See my latest Email Insider column, "Are You Using the Right Metrics?" for a complete explanation.)
Most of these uses of metrics measure email processes, such as deliverability rate, open or click rate, or list churn. Unfortunately, this seems to be where most email marketers focus their measurement efforts.
Instead, spend more time measuring your email program against company goals. When you can show how email helps solve some of your company's most pressing concerns, you speak the language your executives understand. Your reward is increased management mindshare and resources.
For further information on key email metrics, download the new Silverpop white paper, "Beyond Opens and Clicks: 5 Email Metrics to Boost Results and Prove Your Worth."