Open rates. Click throughs. Unsubscribes. Bounce rates. These metrics are all important for email marketers to track in order to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. But if we take a step back and think about what matters most when it comes to evaluating email marketing success, what metrics best demonstrate an effective effort in driving longstanding, loyal customers?
Long-term studies have shown that populations targeted with more personalized emails are much healthier when it comes to loyalty and engagement. We agree with this approach. It’s why we talk about the email content diet – providing consumers with variety that’s aligned to their individual tastes and preferences.
So, what can email marketers start to look at now to go beyond clicks to drive long-term lift? Here are a few metrics that we’ve found help our clients accomplish just that:
Email Reuse Rates
One big mistake email marketers make is discarding emails after one use. When you consider the time and effort put into creating each piece of content, it is wasteful to take the one-and-done approach. It is also shortsighted. Just because an email is unopened when it is sent doesn’t mean it’s not of interest. There are other factors in play that could influence a consumer’s interest at the time that they receive it. Retailers should look at emails that generate high click-through rates and resend them to another portion of their customer base a few days later to see what further interest can be generated.
In addition, retailers should maintain a content library to extend the lifespan of all of this valuable content. Not only does this help retailers increase click-throughs and generate maximum value from every piece of content they have, but retailers can also examine the data each piece generates to determine the ideal products and categories to send to each customer, as well as the perfect time to send it.
We know every consumer is unique, so we shouldn’t expect the same reaction to each piece of content. To get insights into what is working and what’s not, retailers should test emails on a small group of customers and adjust accordingly based on their engagement rates. This will help email marketers be more successful and will make recipients more satisfied with the emails they receive from you.
Since each consumer has a different appetite for content that evolves over time, retailers need to regularly match the frequency and timing of emails to each customer’s changing tastes. By pinpointing the perfect email cadence for every customer, retailers can ensure that their high-value customers stay engaged and their content is not overlooked or ignored. Retailers can do this by using data from customer interactions to optimize their email targeting.
The Moral of This Story
While many email marketers prioritize content based on merchandising goals – such as selling more sweaters or promoting the newest trend – they should instead be focused on what customers are interested in. Through this approach, they can create a balanced diet of content for each customer, who will continue to crave more from you over time – resulting in the long-term lift all retailers hunger for.
Also published on Medium.