For the longest time, open and click rate were the measure to gauge the success of email campaigns. However, these metrics aren’t a true reflection of success if the intention of an email campaign is quite specific.
For example, is the goal to increase sales? Reduce costs? Drive traffic to a website? Or get customers to take a specific action? If so, open and click rate are only giving you insight into email engagement. They aren’t giving you measurable statistics on whether you reached the goals of the campaign.
This is why reporting is so important. Statistics that are tied to goals help you:
- Communicate success
- Identify areas of improvement
- Understand customer behavior
- Improve future communications
Understanding the success of email campaigns – goals and outcomes
To really understand the success of email campaigns, goals and desired outcomes go hand in hand and need to be determined upfront.
Goals can include sales, entrenching the relationship with customers, content discovery, or even moving customers from paper to paperless.
Outcomes of the goals could be list growth, dollars saved, increased sales, paperless adoption, etc.
Identifying both goals and outcomes from the onset should help you define the reports required for measurement and thus derive the insight needed to improve future communications.
So, what are the steps to achieve this?
1. Map out every email type you send out and associate goals with each of them
2. Understand the outcome required for each goal
3. Ensure reporting is set up for each email type that provides the results and information based on the goals
4. Monitor the success of each email against its goals from the reports
5. See if you should optimize or alter the communication to better achieve its goals
Steps 4 and 5 are ongoing exercises, as customer behavior changes over time.
It can be a laborious exercise to define these goals and set up individual reports for each campaign in established email marketing programs, however once in place, the understanding and gains from the improvements made are certainly worth the effort.
Setting up and analyzing reports based on goals is the only way to help improve efforts and to make sure you’re getting the right bang for your buck.
Remember: You can’t manage what you don’t measure and if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.