Evaluating E-Mail Marketing Effectiveness (Or Not): eMarketer

The majority of US marketers don�t track e-mail campaign
effectiveness. For those measuring results, staple metrics such as
click-through rates remain popular while branding is seldom studied.

30 July 2002. By David Hallerman — Without both the tools and
the initiative to measure a direct-response e-mail campaign�s
results, all the acquisition, retention and conversion in the world
is much like a three-legged horse galloping�moving forward but
stumbling at the same time. How effective was the campaign? How much
did it cost? How much did you make?

These questions are basic to much of marketing both online and
offline. And yet 50% of marketers don�t know the effect of
personalization on their e-mail campaigns, according to e-Dialog. Of
those that do know, 45% find better results.

Furthermore, 51.8% of US marketers say they are not able to report
any e-mail campaign performance metrics. That�s scary.
IMT Strategies writes how those �findings indicate that marketers
[are] not taking advantage of a wide range of measurement tools that
provide detailed tracking and measurement for e-mail campaigns
within hours of execution.�

Only 34% of US direct marketers measure the effectiveness of
interactive media, according to DMA�s data. How two-thirds of
marketers can hope to use this media successfully without measuring
the aftermath is a tough nut.

Those who do measure results appear classically minded. That is,
they use the oldest interactive marketing metric around, the
click-through rate (CTR). According to a recent survey from
e-Dialog, 64% of respondents currently evaluate e-mail campaigns by
total CTRs. That metric is followed closely by unsubscribe rates.
However, that �no� from consumers may not directly reflect an e-mail
campaign�s effectiveness, per se, since simply being burned out from
too many e-mails is one key reason people unsubscribe.

Furthermore, counting total click-throughs may mislead. In reality,
marketers calculate two types of clicks: gross and unique. That is,
gross clicks-throughs measure the total clicks, even if a dozen
clicks came from the same person. Unique click-throughs offer a
lesser�although more accurate�rate, since they calculate only how
many individuals clicked, even if each person clicked multiple

This distinction is one to keep in mind not only for e-Dialog�s
statistics, but for any click-through rates.
And even the absence of click-throughs is not automatically a
problem; just because an e-mail reader fails to click, that doesn�t
necessarily speak to the effectiveness of the meassage. According to
DoubleClick, nearly one-fifth of US residents who purchased online
in 2001 did not click on a marketing e-mail.

Still, some kind of measurement must be better than none, and yet as
the first charts above indicated, more than half of marketers either
don�t know or don�t measure the results of their e-mail or online
campaigns. Until that, the transformation promised by interactive
marketing will remain more potential than reality.

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