Email marketing can quickly become a numbers game. The statistics available are almost endless and cover everything from the size of your subscribers, the open rate, the clickthrough rate, the unsubscribe rate, and even the number of addresses that bounce hard or bounce soft. Every new newsletter or email blast can be quickly followed by a frantic scouring of the figures to see if there’s been any improvement on the previous week’s numbers — and most important of all, on the bottom line.
It’s an inevitable part of online marketing and there’s no question that tracking the figures is important. Whether you’re split-testing subject lines or looking for the best call-to-action, the ultimate proof that a strategy has achieved a specific goal is the numbers on the stats page.
But there’s a lot more to email marketing than figures and there are a bunch of benefits that just can’t be described in numerals. Email marketing — like every form of marketing — might finally be about making sales but between the pitch and the purchase lie a host of unmeasurables that are no less important in helping a company to grow.
How Do You Measure Loyalty?
The depth of your relationship to your subscriber base, for example, isn’t something that’s going to appear in your stats table. A low unsubscribe rate will suggest that your readers value the information you send them but it won’t tell you how much they value it or what they think about the level of your expertise.
None of the figures in the table will show the belief in your professionalism or the degree of trust that your readers hold in your firm’s ability to solve their problem when they’re ready to purchase a solution. They’ll only tell you how your subscribers reacted to one particular message.
Most importantly, the stats page won’t tell you anything about loyalty. A subscriber can receive your emails every week and not even open them, let alone read them or click a link in them. They don’t need to because even if they don’t want to read the content in your emails every week, they know that your company is the best in the field and the place that they will turn to when they want to buy.
Building that trust and that loyalty comes by doing more than producing enticing subject lines and calls to action that deliver measurable results. It happens when you produce good content. It’s created when you give your readers valuable information that helps them to achieve their goals. It grows automatically when you think of your subscribers not just as a list of potential buyers of your products but as a community of people with a genuine interest in your business and what it offers.
You should certainly by tracking your figures, tweaking subject lines and looking for the right links to pull people into your landing pages. But even when you’re not getting the clicks, don’t despair. You could still be building the relationship that leads to loyalty and sales.