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Are benchmarks missing the point?

July 3, 2012

Interpreting the results of your email campaigns can be a tricky job and new clients often ask us 'what are good results?' This is closely followed by 'can you provide me with some benchmark stats?'

Thanks to the DMA, email industry benchmarks are available but to be successful at email marketing you should always look deeper than your reporting statistics. There is a lot to interpret but simply comparing your results against industry standards will not provide you with the answers you are looking for. The key to examining your campaign is to look outside the report statistics and at other vital elements of your email. 

1. Who was your campaign sent to?

If your list is made up of customers, resellers or subscribers then you should expect high results. These people are your best champions and they should be interested in what you offer so set your sights pretty high. On the other hand if you’re contacting a cold or older list (or 3rd party) contacts will generally have less knowledge of your brand and it is likely that results will reflect that. 

2. What type of campaign have you sent?

You also need to be patient; a one off lead generation campaign is likely to produce a different set of results to a well established strategy of campaigns which will have built up regular readers. Bear this in mind when analysing your results.

3. What were your initial objectives?

Be clear about what you are trying to achieve from the outset and even if your open and click rates are lower than expected, if you have achieved your goals or simply just opened up new dialogue between your sales team and new buyers then your campaign has been worthwhile.

If the results are disappointing then this needn’t be judged as a failure but as a pointer as to how to improve your marketing.  A high bounce rate could trigger a data cleanse and finding some stats that you deem below par could help you to reassess your email marketing strategy and improve results.

So look deeper than the industry benchmarks and set your own criteria for success.

If you’re unhappy with the way your email campaigns are performing, we can provide you with the evidence and facts needed to make substantial changes to your campaign through our new E-Smart service - click here for more information.

Posted by Jenni Malley

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