Email marketing software provides lots and lots of figures, all precise, and some with many columns to the right of the decimal point. You might be wondering if they have any function over just looking tremendously clever.
If you are starting in the discipline of email marketing then for you some will have little relevance. The statistics are, in the main, at their most useful when used in comparison to historical returns. Once you have completed a few email marketing campaigns your statistics will become more relevant and, indeed, vital.
Even for newcomers though the basic returns can revolutionise your method of working. These are:
• The number of e-mails sent
• The number of hard bounces
• The number opened
• The number of click-throughs
• The number of items sold
• Changes to your email list
The first figure, how many emails sent, is the base from which others are calculated. Take bounces: this is only relevant when expressed as a percentage of those sent. It is the same for the rest. The number of opened emails has little relevance until it is calculated against those received. Once you have done so you can then determine where improvements can be made. Those who receive the email have based their decision to delete it on limited information.
Even the final figure – that of how many new subscribers you have or how many have unsubscribed – needs to be considered against the number of items sold. You will always lose some; the relevant figure is whether the overall result made the campaign worthwhile.
You can see, I hope, that the bare statistics tell you little. Their only useful function is in comparison to other figures.
As time goes on you will find that a reservoir of historical statistics will build and remarkably speedily. Each campaign will not only add to this database but should be judged against it.
Statistics are one of the major strengths of email marketing. They not only define those on your email lists, but also provide incontrovertible proof of performance. Not to take advantage of this resource will mean that you will struggle against those who do.