What does email marketing success look like?

Sales teams and marketing teams have a reputation for not always seeing eye to eye; but whilst they might think “this town ain’t big enough for the both us!”, the truth is: it has to be. It’s often the case that sales teams need marketing to bring in quality leads, and marketing teams need sales to convert their efforts.

Perhaps the reason sales teams don’t always get on with marketing is due to how their performance is measured. With sales, the writing is on the wall very clearly in terms of whether you lived up to expectations, whereas marketing measurement is far vaguer. In terms of email marketing, of course you can run reports, but it’s still not always clear whether a campaign is on target. What does email marketing success look like, anyway?

It’s not all about the numbers

In the same way that social media marketing and content marketing aren’t instantaneous result-deliverers, neither is email marketing. Oh sure, one successful email blast can bring in some leads and even convert some customers, but does that make the campaign successful even if the next two emails in the workflow flop?

Indeed, it’s not always about producing jaw-dropping numbers on the sales end. Perhaps your email marketing efforts have expanded your brand’s audience and reach – setting up a new wave of prospective future customers. Maybe the goal of an email was to drive engagement towards another marketing channel. Whatever the outcome, is should be judged against objectives set by you, the marketers. Objectives must be realistic and achievable, but still stretch beyond what is expected. Obviously managing directors need to see some positives, but it’s not all about the numbers – especially not industry averages.

Don’t be perturbed by industry averages

Trying to get above industry statistical averages is like trying to beat the average time for running a marathon when the data used includes times by the elite marathon runners in the world. Often, these figures are so skewed by the larger, dominant companies that trying to reach them can seem like a fruitless endeavour.

If your open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates aren’t matching up with the averages for your industry, don’t let it put you off. You should continue to broadcast, and set your own goals based on what would be successful compared with your results so far.

Customer experience is crucial

Do your customers actually enjoy receiving your emails on the whole? This is a measure of success that the most number and data-driven marketers can often overlook. Getting your audience to buy-in to what you’re doing is crucial to success in the long-run, but how can you do it to demonstrate your email marketing value and ultimately feel secure in your work?

Well, you could pull together all of your email data to show the amount of repeat opens and the average customer journey your recipients go on when they sign up for your email marketing. Depending on the content of your email workflows, just because a person isn’t buying as a result of your emails it doesn’t mean they haven’t engaged with your company and become a brand advocate. When they decide the time is right for them to buy, they’ll come to you.

You could even run a survey asking your audience why they like your emails, what it is specifically about them that they like, and whether they have or plan on buying your products or services. Success in email marketing absolutely ‘looks like’ a fantastic customer experience.

Increased conversions, new revenue, lower acquisition costs…

Of course, success can also be found in the most obvious places. If your email marketing is increasing conversions with every send, generating new revenue for the business, all while doing so at a lower cost than previously experienced in the company, then success is undeniable.

Knowing if your email marketing is successful is a little like fishing; sometimes finding what you’re after involves a few hours of diligence and patience until you discover it under the surface, and other times it emphatically and undeniably leaps right out in front of you. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what success looks like when it comes to email marketing, so you’ll be able to capture it easier next time.