Measuring Matters | DMA

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Measuring Matters


In the early days of email marketing, we defined success by metrics such as open and click-through rates and the size of an email subscriber list. If revenue grew, we succeeded. Those metrics still matter, but today we have the ability to measure and benchmark a wider range of results, such as average order value, customer lifetime value, baskets recovered, subscriber growth through new channels, etc. So what metrics should you measure, what benchmarks should you measure them against and how can you evaluate your email marketing efforts to improve those numbers?


Rather than simply plucking out a few metrics to study, first think about your overall goals. Maybe you still need to see if basic efforts could make you a player in the ecommerce space. In contrast, if you already had a successful ecommerce programme – you will want to focus on building loyalty, repeat business and avoiding basket abandonment.


Once you’ve defined your goals, you must identify the metrics that will help you reach those goals. When deciding which metrics to track, make certain your goals and metrics are aligned. Your metrics should all work together to determine total customer engagement.

Choosing the metrics you need to focus on often also depends on how sophisticated your ecommerce programme is. If you are just moving away from blasting the whole email list with every offer, simply looking at open rates and click-throughs by segment might be the best way to start. For marketers who have already experimented with segmentation, keying in on top spenders, recent and lapsed purchasers, and basket abandoners is the likely next step to understand how different segments are responding. If your customers are young, you’ll want to track engagement through social and mobile sites and look at acquisition from those channels. The key is to get started and not remain stuck on gauging the simplest measures (like the size of your list) for too long.


So now you’ve crunched the numbers and come up with your results. That’s great. What does it mean? That depends in part on what you’re measuring those results against. There are two approaches to benchmarking, both of which yield useful information you can act on. The first is benchmarking against yourself – measuring your current performance against your previous results. The other, benchmarking against your industry, compares your metrics to the results of similar companies in your space.


Once you have a basic idea of where you stand, how you are trending and (if possible) how this compares to others in your ecommerce niche, you can begin to formulate a plan of action. There are countless potential strategies you can adopt or tactics you can take.

Want to learn more? Bronto put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand your organisation’s goals, choose the right metrics, learn to benchmark against those metrics, take appropriate action - and ultimately take your ecommerce operation to the next level.

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Hi Martina, great post on the value of measuring and the steps to take to measure correctly. With so much data nowadays, it's become increasingly difficult for marketers to measure and report in a way that tells a story and aids with decision-making.