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How is email marketing evaluated?

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 08 Oct, 2018
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Chart of the Day: Research shows the most popular measurements and KPIs for email marketing evaluation

I’ve been taking a look at the latest trends in email marketing based on the DMA Email tracker in advance of speaking at the Email Innovations Summit at Data-driven business later in the month.

Since the focus is data or insights-driven business, I was interested to see how evaluation of email marketing has moved on (or not).

I like the DMA email tracker report since it asks respondents to a survey to give an estimate of the average ROI of email marketing.

This always shows the power of email marketing as a relatively low-cost responsive medium which drives results in many industry sectors...

In 2018, the ROI of email marketing is £32.28 for every £1 spent, up from £30.03 last year.

Metrics and KPIs used to evaluate email marketing

Digging into the details of how email marketing is evaluated, which measures are used? Since there are many potential measures, the DMA asked for ‘three key metrics’. These are the responses:

It’s perhaps no surprise that the open and click response metrics are the two most popular, but this suggests to me that many businesses are missing out on the opportunity to review the ‘measures that matter’ for email marketing. For me, the top three measures that are most important to driving results are Engagement (active and inactive subscribers), return on investment / revenue and lifetime value.

It’s understandable that opens and clicks are top since measuring monetary value is less straightforward for non-transactional sectors, but reviewing engagement through time is key to the health of an email marketing programme regardless of the industry.

Research source

  • Source: DMA 2018 Email tracker
  • Sample: 289 respondents. Respondents represented a range of department types, sectors and career levels. Of those answering the relevant question, 36% were B2B, 32% in B2C, and 32% were involved in both B2B and B2C marketing. The reported career levels were 17% senior, 61% mid and 22% junior.
  • Recommended Smart Insights resource: Advanced Lifecycle Email marketing guide
Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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Evaluating the value of email lists

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