Hitting the email industry benchmark

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a seasoned email marketer or a novice, on average, every dollar spent on email marketing returns thirty-seven dollars: An ROI of 37:1, and higher in some cases.

great jobHow are you doing, hitting the average ROI   mark?

To find out if you’re hitting the average benchmark, start with the list of main items you track each time an email campaign is sent, These include:

  • open
  • clicks
  • unsubscribes

These interactions between your list members and your email campaigns determine your subscriber’s engagement; Which in turn yields list performance.

Track list performance over the course of several weeks to find your subscriber engagement.

How are your numbers, do they match the industry you’re in? factory

When your list performance numbers don’t line up with expected benchmarks, consider revamping your subscriber list.  To get to your benchmark, this may require a reduction of list members, something you may not want to hear.

Benchmarks may take a while to hit and surpass.   When you are looking for an open rate of 25%   sending to a list of 100,000 you need 25,000 subscribers to engage with your email.  When you do the math and find only 10,000 people on average actively engage with your campaigns, where do you find the other 15% to make that yardstick of 25%?

You really can’t force 15% more people to engage with your mailings.  Logically a reduction in your total subscriber base to 40,000 will give you the engagement rate you’re looking for. 25%.  In this example 90,000 list members aren’t engaged, they aren’t reading your emails, and not as valuable as a list of 40,000 with a 25% engagement.

A list with a high unengaged base does not help your deliverability rate, list performance, and so on, plus it may be costly depending on the ESP sending for you.

To determine which 60,000 people to eliminate or better yet which addresses you should send a re-engagement campaign to you can derive a formula that compares the opens to the actual percent of opens to find the optimal list size.  Plan your-engagement campaign to mail to half or a third of your inactive list at a time, over the course of a few weeks.  Monitor the response rates and activity in each mailing:  you’ll be able to update your membership accordingly.

Another metric to look, at when you’re trying to hit the average ROI benchmark is how is your list growing, and how many are leaving

A fast-growing list doesn’t necessarily mean a quality list.  Subscribers may have opted in because you were offering a coupon or practical content for a one-time situation.  Look at the content you’re offering with those engaged subscribers: you know that works, is there a way to capitalize on it, make it appealing to a bigger audience.  Can you segment your list by interest or monthly engagement?   The best way to figure this out is with A/B testing, which is simply comparing different versions of the parts of an email against each other to determine which performs better. 

Another measurement that belongs in the equation of industry-standard ROI is your new subscribers’ relationship.  Do they sign up, get one mailing and leave, continue to stay on your list, and never open your email, or have you filter to their junk folder? 

targetNew list subscribers should feel their membership is important to you and worthwhile for them.  It’s essential to keep this person engaged with your emails: Targeted emails sent on a regular basis do just that. 

Do you personalize your messages? A known fact that substantially increases open rates.

Is there a profile page for each subscriber?  Member profile pages like the ones we offer in Lyris ListManager, allow members to see and edit their preferences such as how often they want your email, to only getting email on certain subjects.

Profile pages lead you right into specialized segmentation which allows you to create a good content strategy.

In summary, achieving that industry benchmark requires a few basic things starting with a list of subscribers who want to engage with your emails.   Once you have the winning formula review and compare processes and keep your list clean.