How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?

How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?

Thanks to the rise of analytic dashboards, email marketing automation is easier to measure after the fact.

However, what if you want to measure your email marketing automation efforts from the bottom up? How do you know if you’re using the most effective techniques to capture leads and encourage conversions? You can read a hundred online articles to find out or, you can use the handy scorecard from the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report below:

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Email Marketing Automation Scorecard
Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report

Breaking Down the Email Marketing Automation Scorecard

Moving from left to right, columns two through six indicate a maturation in both an business’ email marketing and marketing automation techniques. While it may not be necessary for your small business to move all the way to “Optimised”, moving as far as necessary will surely boost the results from your email marketing efforts.

Pray and Spray

Every small business has to begin somewhere and the red column is the one that most occupy at the start. This is the “dip your toe” stage of email marketing, the time when you take your first foray into using the channel and the period when you’re likely learning the most about the basic tools, actions, and techniques that you’ll build upon in the later columns.

Targeted Emailing

Most small businesses move to the yellow column when they begin to realize the value of email list segmentation. Once you begin to segment your list, you can incorporate different templates, multiple campaigns, and test different offers/value added benefits to see which works best with each segment.

Starting to Automate

The yellow column adds a lot of complexity to your email marketing efforts. That’s why many small businesses begin to look for ways to automate the process as they move into the blue column. This can get pretty powerful as email marketing automation enables you to set up triggers to automatically:

  • Send targeted emails for purposes such as abandoned cart recovery;
  • Vary the content sent within each email based on specific list member factors; and
  • Personalize the offer/value added benefit at the subscriber level.

Starting to Integrate

Some of the activity in the purple column focuses on the continuing the email marketing automation process including reactivation of past subscribers as well as the automation of the journey across their lifetime as your customer.

A good chunk of the rest of the purple column activities focuses on integration. Integrated marketing enables you to boost the effectiveness of your efforts by linking multiple channels, like social media and offline approaches, into one campaign.

Finally, the purple column introduces A/B testing, an automated methodology used to discover which email design and/or content is most effective at driving results. A/B testing tests one thing at a time so only one factor will be different between the emails your subscribers receive.

Integrated Lifecycle Targeting

The green column is the ultimate form of email marketing automation. Here, your small business has automated everything it can, integrated it as tightly as it can across channels, and continuously monitors customer interactions for opportunities.

The green column also marks a step up in your email marketing testing. Multivariate testing is similar to A/B testing except you test more than one variable at a time. For example, you might test variances in both the design and the content at the same time to see which version of your emails is more effective.

Measuring Up

While it may seem like the goal here is for every small business to reach the green column, nothing could be further from the truth.

The blue column is where many small businesses stop, and rightly so, in their email marketing automation journey. Moving forward to the final two columns is a big undertaking and frankly, the smaller the business, the less necessary they’re likely to be. Using your valuable time to move forward just isn’t worth it if the return does not equal the effort.

That said, if you have a large customer base, or want to try to see if it’s worth your time to move forward, there can be a lot of value in moving ahead.

Pray and SprayAt the beginning, most small businesses start in the red column. This stage is about exploring email marketing basics and learning the fundamental tools and techniques.
Targeted EmailingMoving to the yellow column signifies the realization of the value of email list segmentation. Businesses start incorporating different templates, multiple campaigns, and testing various offers to understand what works best with each segment.
Starting to AutomateIn the yellow column, complexity increases, prompting businesses to explore automation options as they transition into the blue column. Automation allows for sending targeted emails (e.g., abandoned cart recovery), varying content based on member factors, and personalizing offers.
Starting to IntegrateThe purple column involves further automation, including reactivation of past subscribers and lifecycle automation. Integration becomes a focus, allowing the linking of multiple channels like social media and offline approaches into a unified campaign. A/B testing is introduced to optimize results.
Integrated Lifecycle TargetingThe green column represents advanced email marketing automation. Here, everything is automated, integrated tightly across channels, and customer interactions are continuously monitored for opportunities. Multivariate testing is utilized to test multiple variables simultaneously for optimization.
Measuring UpWhile the goal may not always be reaching the green column, many small businesses find success in the blue column, where email marketing automation is well-established. Advancing beyond the blue column can be valuable for larger businesses with the resources to invest.

How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?

Email Marketing Metrics to Monitor

To gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, it’s essential to monitor key metrics. These metrics provide valuable insights into how your emails are performing and where improvements can be made. Here are some crucial email marketing metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Open Rate: This metric indicates the percentage of recipients who opened your email. A higher open rate suggests that your subject lines and sender name are compelling.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links within your email. It reflects the email’s relevance and the effectiveness of your call-to-action.
  • Conversion Rate: The conversion rate tracks the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, after clicking on a link in your email.
  • Bounce Rate: Bounces occur when your email cannot be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. High bounce rates can harm your sender reputation and email deliverability.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: This metric shows the percentage of subscribers who opted out of your email list. It’s crucial to keep this rate low to maintain a healthy list.
  • List Growth Rate: Monitor how quickly your email list is growing. A healthy list should continually gain new subscribers.
  • Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate: This metric measures how often recipients share or forward your emails to others. It indicates content engagement and brand advocacy.
  • Spam Complaint Rate: High spam complaint rates can hurt your sender reputation and email deliverability. Ensure that your emails comply with best practices and regulations.
  • Revenue per Email: Calculate the revenue generated from each email campaign. This metric helps you understand the direct impact of your emails on sales and revenue.
  • Email List Churn Rate: Churn rate represents the percentage of subscribers who leave your list over time. Balancing churn with list growth is essential for list health.
  • Mobile Open Rate: As mobile device usage continues to rise, monitor how many recipients open your emails on mobile devices. Ensure that your emails are mobile-responsive.
  • A/B Testing Results: Keep track of the results from A/B tests you conduct. Measure the impact of different subject lines, content variations, or CTAs on your key metrics.
  • Forward-to-Open Rate: This metric reveals how often recipients forward your email after opening it. It can indicate engaging content worth sharing.
Open RateIndicates the percentage of recipients who opened your email, reflecting the effectiveness of subject lines and sender name.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)Measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on links within your email, reflecting email relevance and call-to-action effectiveness.
Conversion RateTracks the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action (e.g., purchase) after clicking on an email link, directly tying email impact to sales and conversions.
Bounce RateReflects the percentage of emails that couldn't be delivered, affecting sender reputation and email deliverability; high bounce rates are detrimental.
Unsubscribe RateIndicates the percentage of subscribers who opted out of your list, essential for maintaining list health and preventing excessive churn.
List Growth RateMonitors the rate at which your email list is expanding, ensuring consistent new subscriber acquisition.
Email Sharing/Forwarding RateMeasures how often recipients share or forward your emails, indicating content engagement and brand advocacy.
Spam Complaint RateReflects the percentage of recipients who marked your email as spam, impacting sender reputation and deliverability; compliance with best practices is crucial.
Revenue per EmailCalculates the revenue generated by each email campaign, providing direct insights into email's impact on sales and revenue.
Email List Churn RateRepresents the percentage of subscribers leaving your list over time, important for maintaining list health and managing churn effectively.
Mobile Open RateTracks the percentage of recipients who open emails on mobile devices, ensuring emails are mobile-responsive due to rising mobile usage.
A/B Testing ResultsKeeps record of A/B test outcomes, measuring the impact of subject line variations, content changes, or CTAs on key metrics, helping refine email strategies.
Forward-to-Open RateReveals how often recipients forward emails after opening them, indicating engaging content worth sharing and potential extended reach.

How Do Your Email Marketing Automation Efforts Score?

Maximizing Email Marketing ROI

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for your business, but to make the most of it, you need to ensure that you’re optimizing your return on investment (ROI). Here are some strategies to help you maximize the ROI of your email marketing efforts:

  • Segment Your Email List: Divide your email list into smaller segments based on factors like demographics, purchase history, or engagement level. This allows you to send more targeted and relevant content to each group, increasing the chances of conversion.
  • Personalization: Use personalization techniques to make your emails more engaging. Address recipients by their names, recommend products or services based on their past interactions, and tailor content to their preferences.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously experiment with different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, email copy, images, and CTAs. A/B testing helps you identify what resonates best with your audience and can lead to higher engagement and conversions.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure that your emails are mobile-responsive. Many people check their emails on mobile devices, and a poorly formatted email can lead to a bad user experience and lost opportunities.
  • Automate Email Campaigns: Implement marketing automation to send automated emails triggered by specific actions or behaviors, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, or post-purchase follow-ups. Automation saves time and increases relevance.
  • Measure and Analyze: Regularly monitor key email marketing metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Analyze the data to identify trends and areas for improvement. Use the insights to refine your strategies.
  • Focus on Quality Content: Deliver valuable and informative content in your emails. Educate, entertain, or solve problems for your subscribers. High-quality content builds trust and keeps your audience engaged.
  • Optimize Landing Pages: Ensure that the landing pages your emails link to are optimized for conversion. A seamless transition from email to landing page increases the likelihood of achieving your campaign goals.
  • Clean Your Email List: Regularly remove inactive or bounced email addresses from your list to maintain list hygiene. A clean list improves deliverability and reduces the risk of spam complaints.
  • Integrate with Other Tools: Integrate your email marketing platform with other business tools and platforms, such as CRM systems or analytics tools. Seamless integration streamlines processes and enhances data-driven decision-making.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Stay updated with email marketing regulations like CAN-SPAM or GDPR to avoid legal issues. Ensure that your email campaigns comply with opt-in and opt-out requirements.
  • Continuous Learning: Email marketing is ever-evolving. Stay informed about industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies. Attend webinars, read industry blogs, and invest in training to keep your skills up-to-date.

Email Photo via Shutterstock

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Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the SEO manager at Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 11 years. He carries over 24 years of experience in driving targeted online traffic using content and search engine optimization (SEO). He specializes in data research and content creation designed to attract visitors.