November 01, 2010

E-Mail: This Isn't Hard

Here's what I'd like for you to try.

Step 1: Identify your e-mail marketing audience.

Step 2: Split this audience into thirds.

Step 3: In your November 8 campaign, send the first third your normal campaign message. Send the second third something totally different, unique, you know, something you wouldn't normally do. Just do it. Ask for forgiveness later. And then there is the final third ... DO NOT MAIL THEM ANYTHING.

Now, let the next week pass ... don't do anything ... DO NOT EVALUATE ANYTHING VIA OPEN RATES, CLICK-THROUGH RATES, AND CONVERSION RATES, because those metrics are absolutely fraudulent.

Once you have purchase data in your customer database through November 15, it is time to analyze your test. Your job is to only analyze ONE METRIC ... $ spent per recipient from 11/8 - 11/15.
  • Normal Campaign = $2.00.
  • "Different" Campaign = $2.00.
  • No Campaign = $1.70.
Let's say that these are the results.

Most important is the "Normal Campaign" vs. "No Campaign". You see a $0.30 difference. That's what matters, folks, that the "lift" you get when you send e-mail to a customer. This is the true impact of your normal e-mail campaign. You see, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates fail to account for a veritable plethora of customer behavior that lift actually measures. For a decade, e-mail marketers have measured everything wrong, and are now reaping the rewards of poor measurement techniques with ever-declining open/click/conversion rates. By measuring via "lift", you truly account for the impact of e-mail marketing.

And then take a look at your "different" campaign. If it performs as well as the campaigns you pour your heart and soul into, well, then, what does that actually say about what you actually pour your heart and soul into?

E-Mail Marketing ... this isn't hard. For once, abandon fraudulent metrics like opens/clicks/conversions, and instead focus on "lift", which is a true and accurate measure of e-mail marketing performance.