Wait! Avoid These Mistakes or Fail at Email Marketing - Part 4

This is the fourth and final installment of a four-part series on helping you navigate away from common mistakes made when launching a successful email marketing program. For even more tips and inspiration on easy email design, what to write, and what to send, check out each section of The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.

You are now equipped with three of the four key “how to’s” for a successful email marketing program: preparing your email strategy, growing an engaged email audience and creating and sending valuable email content. The only aspect left to consider is determining the impact of your efforts. When attempting to analyze your campaigns, you will ask yourself, “Is my email marketing working?”

This is a loaded question where the easy answer is tied back to the objectives, goals, and expectations you identified in setting your strategy (part one). If you’ve been specific in setting expected outcomes, then you will have a reference point on whether you’ve done well or poorly.

Part Four: Analyzing your campaigns

We already know that email generates a proven return on investment, but what other metrics should a marketer monitor to ensure that return? Most email marketing platforms will come equipped with reports that monitor basic metrics for your email campaign. You can supplement these reports with Google Analytics tracking that will enable deeper insights into how your email subscribers also interact with your website or a specific landing page.

Essentially, an email campaign provides several types of metrics to measure and obsess over. But use caution here. There are three common mistakes that are made when assessing the effectiveness of email marketing programs.

Mistake #1: You are ignoring your objectives

Remember when you set your email marketing strategy? You captured metrics and outcomes that you determined as ‘success.’ These were probably something like revenue, website traffic, or link clicks.

Ignore these objectives and you’ll run the risk of being distracted by other metrics and never knowing if your email marketing is effective. Let your pre-determined objectives guide your assessment of success--and keep you focused and sane in the process.

Mistake #2: You are only focused on vanity metrics

Vanity metrics in this case are the data points that only tell a piece of the overall story around your email performance, and may even distract you from the metrics that matter. Even if you are following your objectives and are focused on specific metrics, are they the right ones? Focusing on open rates and click rates are fine. But if those are the only ones you’re monitoring, you’re missing an opportunity.

Think about Revenue Per Email (RPE) as a key metric that lets you tie business-driving results to the emails you are sending out. RPE is a metric that’s based on total revenue generated by your email campaigns (you must be tracking this first), divided by total emails sent after removing any bounces (emails not delivered).

This metric lets you understand the dollar value of each subscriber on your list and establish thresholds for what you’re willing to invest to acquire more. Imagine if you knew that investing $1-$5 per new subscriber could return $25-$40 (per subscriber) in revenue every time you sent a message to your audience.

Mistake #3: You forgot about mobile

Forgetting to design and analyze your email programs for mobile can result in frustrating customer experiences that equate to missed engagement opportunities and revenues.

Analyzing your subscribers’ mobile engagement with your emails could impact the time of day you send your messages (e.g. early morning during commutes) or day of week (e.g. send an offer when shopping on weekends).

What next?

It’s time to get your email campaigns started. Or, if you’ve been following the series, it’s time to learn from the tips you’ve been implementing and continue testing and evolving your email programs.

Whether you’re just getting started or have an email program currently running, you can always benefit from documenting your results and developing a dashboard that keeps you focused on the metrics that matter.

You can access a complete toolkit with templates along with more helpful tips and examples with the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.

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