Posted August 12, 2014 4:32 pm by with 3 comments

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Lionsbridge email reportHow 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% use 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 different 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.

  • Daniel Watts

    I hate internet grammar police but this article is riddled with errors. I love the message you are trying to get out but the spelling errors are actually other words that make you have to think twice.
    1 – Second bullet point says 71% “us”
    2 – If everyone opens but nobody buys, then you need to try “didn’t” content … I assume that means different content?

    Not the end of the world but kind of threw me off.

    • cynthialil

      No problem. I appreciate that you took the time to read and let me know. I fixed both issues. Sometimes, when you edit your own work, you see what you think it says not what it actually says so you miss things.

  • I love the very last point you make about refining your approach if what you’re doing isn’t working.

    In reality, I think some people who should be selling with emails, won’t even attempt to sell with emails. So they send non-action oriented emails out and couch them as “awareness campaigns” or “touches” so they can say that they’re “using email”. Most people are scared to death of rejection and this plan of action is an easy way to feel okay with only tracking “opens”.

    But the people who live and die by email must get a response so “opens” are just one facet of the equation. If these people don’t get click throughs, they’re dead so monitoring THIS stat is vitally important for them.

    For me, what I believe is that the statistics that are being taken seriously by a business owner reveal the importance of the media to the life blood of the business owner.