Modern Marketing Blog

The 6 Stages of Email Marketing Metrics

March 28, 2016 By: Ben Fettes

Is your revenue attributed to email declining? Why not send more emails?

No, please don’t. Every time I hear this, a little part of my marketing soul dies. If your revenue is declining, how about we look at your metrics first and find out what the actual issue is. There are four key fundamental reasons that email marketing metrics are important:

  1. The terminology is consistent across the industry. An open is an open.
  2. They are a standardised performance measurement tool. A unique open rate can only be calculated one way.
  3. They build accountability. I mean, it’s great sending to 1 million people a day – but how many are actually engaging?
  4. It provides campaign planning and ROI tracking.

Let’s break it down a little further with some more detail. We understand that email metrics are actually important, but at last count, I have found 34 metrics to look at. And that doesn’t even count the vastly obscure ones that people sometimes use, such as revenue-per-click. Here are six easy to learn, easy to understand stages of email performance metrics.

Stage 1: Sent

This stage is all about DEPLOYMENT. This is when a marketer looks at how many emails were actually sent from the distribution list. Key metrics here are distribution and sent emails.

Stage 2: Delivered

We are looking at IDENTITY AND ACCEPTANCE. What does this mean? It means deliverability. Have the likes of Gmail and Hotmail identified who we are and accepted our emails? When you are looking at this stage, we want to think about our delivered emails and both hard and soft bounces.

Stage 3: Opened

We couldn’t send an email without thinking about the AWARENESS AND IMPRESSIONS it generated, could we? Specifically how many unique people opened the email (unique opens) and how many times they opened (total opens).

Stage 4: Clicked

This is when we are looking at intent to purchase/act. This is when a customer has CONSIDERATION AND ENGAGEMENT. How many unique links were clicked (unique clicks)? How many unique people clicked (responders)? And my personal favourite: from those that actually opened, how many clicked? Well, we could divide our responders by our unique opens to find that percentage out (sounds like accountability to me).

Stage 5: Converted

The holy grail. PURCHASE. Bring on the return on investment I say. During this stage we like to talk about conversions, revenue, revenue per email, and average order values. If we understand this, we can then start to plan out tests with forecasted ROI by developing a well thought out hypothesis to test.

Stage 6: Drop Outs

The evil stage of email marketing metrics. The one that we cringe hearing. The dreaded unsubscribes and spam complaints. This is clearly DISENGAGEMENT. However, I am a data optimist, and I welcome a good unsubscribe and spam complaint. Shock! Horror! How dare he say that. Well, what I say are two things:

  1. If customers don’t want to hear from you, why would you want to send them one more email? It will only annoy them and fall into that junk inbox of an ESP. And that inevitably affects your deliverability reputation.
  2. If customers have unsubscribed, have you ever thought about why? Have they just purchased and then you asked them to purchase again? Have you literally just sent them one email a week when they haven’t engaged with you in over 271+ Days?

If you’re interested in learning more about how to review and improve the success of your email campaigns, download The Guide to Email Deliverability


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