Two Critical But Often Overlooked Email Marketing Metrics


Jeanne Jennings

Although they often don’t get the attention they deserve, click reach and the ability to determine the value of an email address are valuable metrics to have in your email analytics strategy.

I’m excited to be teaching a half-day workshop titled “Beyond Basics: Advanced Strategies and Tactics to Boost the Performance of Your Email Marketing Program” at ClickZ Live Chicago on Monday, November 2, 2014. Here’s a sneak peak at a little bit of the content we’ll be covering – visit the ClickZ Live Chicago website to read the full workshop description and register.

One more note: I’ll also be leading a one-hour session at the conference titled “Winning Email Marketing Strategies: Improving Opens, Clicks, Conversions, and Return-on-Investment” on Thursday, November 6, 2014 – a taste of that presentation having to do with subject line tips and trends appears on my blog to whet your appetite.

Hope to see you there!

The first part of the workshop is dedicated to advanced analytics, so here’s a little bit about two of my favorite metrics from that section – are you currently using these to boost your bottom line performance?

1. Click Reach

You’re likely familiar with click-through rate (CTR) and click-to-open rate (CTOR), but click reach is a different animal. CTR and CTOR are measured for a single email message; click reach is measured over a series of messages or, more accurately, over a span of time.

Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you send a monthly email newsletter that garners an average click-through rate of 5 percent. That’s not bad; the industry average for email newsletters is 4.8 percent according to the Q2’2014 Email Trends and Benchmarks Report from Epsilon.

Even when your click-through rates from send to send are about the same, you can have wildly different click reach rates. For example, here are two scenarios:


Over the first quarter, Scenario A has a click reach higher than Scenario B, even though the click-through rate on each send is exactly the same. This means that during the first quarter, Scenario A has more unique people engaging with the emails; it is the healthier scenario, and chances are, its bottom line performance metrics will be better.

You can measure click reach over any period – weekly (if you mail more than once a week), monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. You can also measure click reach by type of email, by list segment, or by any other number of things. The deeper you go, the more you’ll understand about how people are interacting with your list and the better you’ll be able to come up with hypotheses to test to improve performance.

I first wrote about open and click reach five years ago; it was newish concept back then but now, five years later, if you’re not looking at reach you’re missing the boat. Join us at ClickZ Live Chicago to learn more about how to calculate click reach as well as how to improve it and your bottom line performance.

2. Average Value of an Email Address

A lot of very smart email marketers spend a lot of time trying to determine the lifetime value of an email address on their lists. I admire them; it’s not an easy task.

But determining the average value of an email address on your list over an absolute period (annually is usual, but you could certain go monthly or quarterly if you mail frequently enough) is easy. So I like to start there.

All you need to calculate this are two numbers:

  • The total revenue generated from email during the period (let’s say calendar year 2013)
  • The average number of subscribers on your list during that period

As you can see, Scenario A is generating more email annually per subscriber than Scenario B. The point isn’t so much to compare your list to others, it’s to have an internal benchmark you can use to gauge your own year-over-year (or month-over-month) results and test ways to boost performance. We’ll go deeper in how to calculate average value, how to use it to make acquisition and other decisions about your list and how to test to boost it in the workshop.

As with reach, you can calculate average value by list segment, by product line or any other number of ways. The deeper you go, the more ammunition you have that you can use to build hypotheses and test to improve bottom line performance.

So how was that as an introduction to advanced email analytics? Is your head spinning? Or does it make you hungry for more? Either way, I hope to see you at my workshop at ClickZ Live Chicago next month so we can dive deeper and give you the tools you need to take your email marketing program to the next level.

Until next time,