E-mail marketers use various metrics to assess the impact of their campaigns. Some of these metrics, like the ‘open rate’ (the number of opened emails), are focused on the effectiveness of the e-mails themselves.
Others, such as conversion and metrics that look at the impact of email marketing on the business, aim to show the contribution of email marketing to the bottom line. An example: the average order value per subscriber in case the mailing is intended to generate sales.
The last type of metrics and KPI’s require integration with other measurement systems such as web analytics applications. However, they are crucial because ultimately the aim of marketing is sales.
Tactical metrics such as the already mentioned ‘open rates’ are useful for the e-mail marketers themselves to improve the performance of their email marketing activities. For example, by doing interventions in terms of content, deliverability etc.
Deliverability, making sure that the mails get through the content filters of the ISPs and other spam filters, is an important task for email marketers, and they know the tricks of the trade in order to ensure that their emails reach the recipient.
However, in these times of social media metrics, new metrics and KPI’s arise that look at the social dimension of email marketing. This is of course related to the fact that social email marketing is such a ‘hot topic’.
Ultimately social email marketing revolves around engagement. Engagement marketing us about building a dialogue with the customer instead of the traditional monologue. Many e-mail marketers still see email marketing as a monologue: they send the e-mails pump, sit back, wait and see. Social email marketing is about engagement too.
In email marketing, there is another reason why engagement is so important. Bill Nussey, CEO of e-mail marketing service provider Silverpop, earlier this week wrote in a newsletter that engagement, or the extent to which people in your email marketing list interact with your emails, also will have an impact on the deliverability of emails.
He says that several ISPs, in their continuing efforts to ward off spammers, are investigating how they can use the degree of engagement and interaction of the recipients to improve their filtering methods. ISP’s might, for instance, be looking at the number of opened emails, the number of clicks, etc.
However, you can imagine that the number of forwards, additions to social networking web sites and tweets of your email content can play a major role too.
Engagement is not just about building lasting and profitable relationships with your customers, it could also play a critical role regarding the deliverability of your emails.
And, we quote Nussey says: “as we move into 2010, it’s more important than ever to make sure your messages are relevant and engaging. Your lifetime customer relationships, ROI and increasingly your email deliverability are counting on it”.
I would like to add to that: it’s not only about the fact, whether the content of your emails offers value to your customers, it’s also important to look at what they can DO with your email content.