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The Most Important and Least Used Email Marketing KPIs

Jan 22, 2015   |   3 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

email_marketing_kpisMarketers are obsessed with analytics. We eat, sleep and breathe reports-continuously sniffing out any hint of success or potential failure. We want to know what we’re doing well, and where we could improve to ensure we’re making the most of every dime of our budgets. Our dashboards and spreadsheets are the science driving our decisions and, ultimately, the success of each new campaign.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the lifeblood of email marketing, but not every metric is given equal time in the spotlight. Delivery rates, open rates and click-through-rates are often the superstars of our weekly reports, but what about those less popular analytics?

Sometimes the least common KPIs offer the deepest insight into performance. Here are the top four most important (and least-often used) KPIs you should be utilizing:

Average Time Before a Purchase

How long is the average time between the first time a customer engages with your brand and the moment they make a purchase? In order to make sense of this particular metric, you need to fully understand your product buying cycle as well as your customer lifecycle. For example, it may take a customer days to make a decision on a new pair of boots, but a month to purchase a new car.

It’s important to compare this analytic against the industry average as well as your company’s historical data. If the average time is growing, consider what may have changed. Ask yourself the following questions:

Spam Complaint Rate

When was the last time you took a nice, long look at your spam complaint rate? If you’re not already, you should be reviewing this metric after every campaign launch.

This measurement indicates the number of subscribers who have reported your email communications as spam. Unfortunately, some users choose to report email as spam as a way of quickly unsubscribing. If your spam complaint rate is on the rise, consider what you may be doing to encourage this growth. Ask yourself:

List Growth

One of the best indicators of your performance is the size of your list. Growth is a sign of healthy and effective strategy, but it’s important to put this metric into perspective. For example, you will likely lose subscribers over time while pruning out inactive addresses. However, you should always be seeking new opportunities to grow your database. If your growth has slowed, you need to ask yourself:

Social Growth

Social media has grown exponentially over the last several years. In fact, 96 percent of 18 to 35 year olds are now on a social network. Are you capitalizing on this growth? If you’re effective in promoting your social accounts, then your social media following should be growing proportionally to your list size.

If your social media growth is dragging, consider the following:

While keeping an eye on common metrics such as delivery rates, open rates and click-through-rates, thinking outside the typical KPI box can help you identify new opportunities for improving your messaging and driving engagement.

To increase engagement, you need to learn more about your customers. TowerData’s Email Intelligence service can assist you in making the most of every campaign.

Talk with an Email Expert