How We Measure Success For eCommerce Email?

Engagement-based, performance-based, and value-based metrics are excellent indicators to measure the success of email marketing in an e-commerce business. By controlling and working on these, you can get the most out of your business.

Robbie Fitzwater
Updated on

As a marketer, I get asked all the time, ‘how do you measure e-commerce email success?’ or, ‘how do you ensure that the business is moving in the right direction?’. And, if things don’t seem well, how can you pinpoint the place of trouble and figure it out? 

The answer is that we mainly focus on how much revenue the business is bringing in (instead of getting into the fuzzy metrics) and also understanding what your business goals are and aligning those with the desired outcome.

So, in this blog, I’m going to take you behind the scenes, let you in on how we get it done, and share tips and tricks for tracking your ecommerce email performance and ensuring your business generates maximum dollars.

  1. Why Is It Important & How Often Should You Track Performance?
  2. What do we measure?
    1. Performance-based Metrics
    2. Seasonality and How to Utilize it
    3. Value-based Metrics 
  3. Final Takeaways – What Makes Our Process Unique?

Why Is It Important & How Often Should You Track Performance?

Revenue is crucial for assessing business performance. Tracking strategies and aspects reveals their revenue contributions. It helps identify key drivers for informed decision-making and business growth. That’s why marketers use different KPIs or other important success measurements to evaluate how much revenue email marketing generates in a company. 

For more information on measuring and tracking KPIs, we have a blog that goes into more depth.

Moreover, measuring the ecommerce email performance of the business and tracking its progress also assists you in setting future goals and expectations regarding your business. 

Regular performance checks, conducted monthly, quarterly, and yearly, provide transparent insights for all members of the business. This fosters a comprehensive understanding of relevant aspects of the company and marketing efforts. This ensures that everyone is well-informed about their specific areas and the overall marketing landscape of the organization.

Let’s view some behind-the-scenes things in marketing that will give you a high-level view of things, which should give you some great insights into how to go about this whole process of measuring your marketing success and then how you can incorporate something like this into the work you’re already doing. 

What do we measure?

To gain a clearer understanding of this concept, let me illustrate the process and provide an example of the customized document we create for each client. We usually perform it monthly. It offers a comprehensive view of our strategies to increase email revenue and enhance overall marketing performance. By examining this document, you’ll grasp how we dissect the elements and gain insights into our approach.

To achieve a comprehensive view of business performance, we employ a measurement hierarchy that consists of various layers. This approach ensures that we focus on measuring the right elements and provides a holistic understanding of the overall performance. 

Our measuring hierarchy has three main measures that help view things from email revenue’s perspective. These three things are value-based metrics, performance-based metrics, and engagement-based metrics.

By analyzing these metrics, we gain insights into the performance of each component. This enables us to assess the impact of email implementation on our desired business outcomes. This understanding allows us to make data-driven decisions and optimize our strategies for driving the desired results.

Before we get into the details of these metrics, you should briefly know what each metric does. 

  • The value-based metrics can also be called the North Star metric for a business, focusing on the value a company brings to the life of customers. 
  • From there, we look at our performance-based metrics, which give us a view of how we perform on the team and individual levels. 
  • And then, we’ll be looking at the engagement-based metrics to see how we’re winning and losing daily, weekly, and monthly. 

Performance-based Metrics

Performance-based metrics give you a holistic view of business in terms of its outcome, i.e., revenue. It helps you understand how your business is moving forward by focusing on how much revenue it generates through the campaign and flow of emails. These metrics also help you figure out what needs to be done to move that business outcome forward. 

The insert below shows one of the document sheets we customize for each client to keep a check on their performance-based metrics. 

a template of e-commerce email success measurement

>>>>>Reporting Document Sample<<<<<

As shown in the figure above, performance-based metrics include certain items you need to look at. First, you have email revenue for the month and then the email revenue as a percentage of the total e-commerce revenue. Then you have campaign revenue and flow revenue, understanding how much ratio of the total revenue these two bring in. 

These numbers help you understand how they impact your business and its outcome. So suppose, if for whatever reason, you see a change in the performance and a change in these metrics. It can be used as an indication to dive in, figure out the problem and adjust it.

For example, if one of your flows or API connections stops performing well, you get to know that through these metrics. You address the issue and ensure they are adjusted as quickly as possible.

This is an excellent high-level view of email performance. As an email marketing manager, your focus revolves around key metrics that provide a high-level performance overview of your emails. However, individuals in upper positions within your organization, like the finance team, may not prioritize these metrics. Their interests lie elsewhere, such as financial outcomes and broader business objectives. They wouldn’t know anything about the open and click rates for your campaign and flow emails. They’re only going to watch how much revenue it will drive.

So these metrics are for you. It’s also an indicator that the company is moving in the right direction and is seeing an upward trajectory. Of course, there is some seasonality to this, but overall, you want an improvement month over month. And even with seasonality aside, this is about seeing positive momentum here.

Seasonality and How to Utilize it

Talking about seasonality, looking at things on a seasonal basis is crucial too. It prepares you for all sorts of situations and helps you understand what to expect at what time of the year. This valuable information reveals how you can drive revenue projections and assess the effectiveness of customer acquisition strategies. It offers insights into both the initial conversion of customers and the subsequent retention efforts to ensure repeat business. Understanding these dynamics enables you to optimize your approach in attracting new customers and fostering their long-term loyalty.

If you can retain many customers and keep them engaged through your content, it will validate a lot of the work you’re doing on the email side. It will prove that you are successful in building effective automations and flows. You will see both of those growing in conjunction with each other, guaranteeing successful marketing performance.

The graphic below is taken directly from Klaviyo. It shows the overall performance of the flow and campaign emails for a whole year depicting revenue collected from both on a seasonal basis.

As you can see, every business has some seasonality. You should be prepared for every kind of season in your industry. For instance, as shown, February is a slow month for this business, and if you’d be aware of that beforehand, you should not lose your mind worrying over low performance this month. Instead, you should be using slow months experimenting and exploring new ideas and content, then using insights from those works and incorporating them into the things you are doing in the busy months.

We like to think of marketers as farmers; you will plant and grow in the slower months and then harvest during the busy seasons.

Value-based Metrics 

The value-based metric is mostly about the value your customers find in your brand, which leads them back to your company for more purchases. Hence this metric is a holistic view of returning customers and the revenue they drive. 

a template of e-commerce email success measurement

>>>>Reporting Document Sample<<<<

As seen in the insert, it looks at the number of orders from returning customers, the revenue from returning customers, and AOV from returning customers. These are measured monthly. 

If you start getting more orders from returning customers and can increase their AOV. That would be the exact outcome you want to drive to bump up the value-based metrics.

Besides this, it can also give you a high-level view of performance-based metrics. Looking at how much revenue we drive from those repeat customers and how much we can expect each month. 

For instance, if you look at the numbers from last year’s September and compare those to this year’s September, it would give you a good idea of how you performed last year relative to this September. And that’s what helps you assess whether you’re moving in the right direction. 

To be able to grow, you would want to be moving these numbers. One way to do that successfully is through email and SMS. These are the strongest levers you have for actually doing those two things.

a template of e-commerce email success measurement

After that, we will look at flow revenue month over month. This does not include all the automations we use, but typically some of the high revenue-driving automations we use for different clients. 

As we discussed earlier, these metrics also indicate trouble for us. For instance, if one of the flows starts to fall off, such as if, for whatever reason, our back-in-stock automation isn’t working properly or there is a problem in code so that back in stock automation isn’t even showing, you’re going to know. That’s going to give you a good insight into how it must be adjusted and changed. 

So this ensures that you don’t go months and months without addressing these issues in emails. Also, it helps to keep your finger on the business’s pulse and understand what automations are and how they are performing. Moreover, you’ll be experimenting with these to incorporate new insights and create value from them into what you’ll be doing in the next round.

However, there will be some seasonality in this again, but overall, you should see these numbers going up. And it helps understand how these things can be leveraged and incorporated into your marketing. 

There would also be some customization to these depending on the business. Like many businesses, we focus on the range of performance-based metrics and look at the number of subscribers and the list growth for the company.

For instance, if you have a subscription-based product like coffee or tea, you will look at the number of subscribers added because that will be a more holistic view of the business outcome. After all, the reoccurring monthly revenue from those subscribers is really strong.

You don’t need to see open and click here; instead, you will use more directional indicators. A client or group won’t need to know every little thing’s nuts and bolts. They need to focus on higher-level goals and think strategically about how to move those goals forward. They would need insights to know that things are going well, which is a green light to keep moving forward.

Final Takeaways – What Makes Our Process Unique?

What’s unique about this process is that it would become easy and accessible for many of your team members so they can understand and understand the direction they’re going into. And again, it gives you a full-depth insight into the progress of each specific business you’re working with and what goals you would be driving forward. 

To drive your e-commerce business forward, it is crucial to understand how to unpack it and create the desired outcomes. Especially when it comes to email marketing. This resource provides valuable insights and effective strategies for optimizing email campaigns and achieving your goals.

I hope you find this blog helpful. If there’s anything you want to talk to us about, please feel free to reach out!

>>>>>Reporting Document Sample<<<<<

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