Majority of email marketers don’t use sales numbers to measure success

How do you measure the success of your email marketing campaigns?

74% of marketers who responded to the 2014 Global Email Survey from Lionbridge Technologies said it was all about the open rate.

An important number, for sure, but what about an email’s impact on revenue? Less than half of the respondents said they connect the dots from email to sales and it makes me wonder why? Opens are great, but they don’t pay the bills.

In the recent past, matching sales to email opens was tricky and time consuming, but surely that’s not the case anymore. We have tools that can tell you when a customer mentions your company at a cocktail party (an exaggeration, but you get the point), it can’t be that hard to follow the clicks from email to checkout.

I think the problem is one of one hand not knowing… or caring. . what the other hand is doing.

From the Lionbridge Report:

We [found] that even when one department thinks they “own” email marketing, they are often surprised to find that several other business functions are blasting out messages to the same list based on their own schedules and objectives.

Ooh, that’s not good.

* 74% of respondents said they use email for customer engagement.
* 71% us it for product news.
* 57% use it for brand awareness.
* 45% use it for customer service.
* 30% use it for customer and industry research.

Some or all of those things could be happening at the same time at the same company – each email coming from a different business unit inside the company. Now many of those business units had revenue in mind when they wrote and sent the email?

I recently got a first hand look at the disaster that occurs when departments only worry about their own goals. The publicist for an event sent emails out to the people on her press list. The marketing department neglected to send emails to the customer list. Guess what happened? Hardly anybody showed up for the event. The publicist could say, ‘hey, I did my job’ but that’s still money lost.

We have two takeaways from this data:

1. Communicate. You’d think it would be easier in a small company, but it’s actually worse. In a small company, it’s all-hands-on-deck, every person is doing the job of 4 people and there’s an even smaller margin for error. Coca-cola can afford an email mistake. June’s Vintage-O-Rama can’t.

2. Opens are important, but you have to look at how emails are and aren’t impacting your bottom line. If everyone opens but nobody buys, then you need to try didn’t content, links and calls-to-action. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If customers aren’t spending then you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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