“You’re the only email newsletter I read.”

How to measure email marketing the right way.

I called BS. At first. 

Out of the blue, a subscriber wrote me and said… 

“You’re the only email newsletter I read.” 

While I was certainly flattered, I felt like I was in the very early stages of a relationship and a girl had just told me that I was… 

“The only guy she talked to.”

(*cough “horseshit” cough *)

I thought the compliment was incredibly thoughtful but, perhaps, only somewhat truthful.

Then, soon after, I received another email from a subscriber saying something similar. 

Then another…

Then another…

And another after that… 

It was sometime around this third or fourth “another” that I realized I had something special in Sticky Notes

How do you know if your email marketing is successful?

There are, in my opinion, three ways you can measure the success of your email marketing… 

1. Open rates and click-through rates. 

2. Revenue per email.

3. Qualitative metrics like responses & word of mouth. 

Let’s break these down real quick… 

Open rates and click-through rates. 

These are fairly straightforward. 

The former is the percentage of your email list that opens your emails. The latter is the percentage of your list that clicks links in your emails once they’ve opened them. 

While I think these metrics are incredibly effective when it comes to tactically improving your email marketing, like writing stronger subject lines and call-to-actions, they’re only one small piece of the pie in determining the overall “success” of your email marketing. 

Think of them almost like your annual physical. They’re there so you can give your email list a check-up each week. But, you don’t need to become so obsessed with them that small drops in percentages derail your day.

Revenue per email.

This is calculated by taking the revenue generated from a particular email and dividing it by the number of subscribers it was delivered to. So, say you have a 500 person list you sent a sales email to and the email generated $1,000 in sales… your revenue per email would be $2. 

This metric is great for gauging the future earnings of your email list and can help marketers decide how much they want to spend on subscriber acquisition. Though, I think the best subscriber acquisition should cost little to no money, which I talk about in-depth here

I will say I think this could be a bit of a vanity metric, though. 

I can’t tell you how many of my subscribers have been on my list 6-months, 12-months and sometimes even 24-months before they pull the trigger on one of my guides or my services. 

Just don’t get discouraged here if your revenue per email is low starting out, especially if you’re selling expensive goods and services, which takes a great deal of time and trust. 

Qualitative metrics like responses and word of mouth.

The best compliment you can get from a subscriber is…

“I subscribed to your newsletter after a friend/colleague told me about you…”

The world’s greatest newsletters get talked about. 

(Think: The Hustle.) 

It’s one thing to have a subscriber open up your email and poke around. It’s something entirely different to have a subscriber tell his or her friend about you over a beer or a coffee. 

More so, be sure you’re not taking the responses you’re getting on your email newsletters lightly… they’re a great look inside how you’re being perceived by your audience. 

You could do worse things than combine the three. 

I think the best way to measure the success of your email marketing is to combine the three metrics above. 

Know the average open rates and click-through rates for your industry and try to beat them (but don’t obsess). 

Once you have an established list, monitor how much money you’re making per email but don’t get overly hung up on it. 

And, finally, keep an ear to the ground and pay attention to how your subscribers are responding to your emails. More so, ask them where they found you. 

Double down on these places.

By Cole Schafer

Like what you read? Let’s play Grab SaaS next week.

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