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Email marketing is considered one of the lowest cost and most effective methods to get subscribers. Once you have an established list of people who are interested in your niche you can start sharing with them useful content and what is more important, you will be able to gently promote your products and services.

Numbers Game

This is a game of numbers. You have some incoming traffic, which might be free or paid, that you need to convert into subscribers of your mailing list campaign. Some of them will unsubscribe soon but others will stay with you for a long time. Certain percentage of these who stay will follow your links and buy your products while others will be readers for a long time and won’t buy anything.

On each of the above mentioned steps you deal with numbers. Number of visitors, conversion from visitor into subscriber, conversion from subscriber into buying customer, and percentage of readers that unsubscribe.

Measures That Matter

I’m sure you are already measuring some KPIs related to your email marketing campaign and I’d like to share some ideas about how you can improve your measurement and as a result achieve better sales generated by your email marketing campaign.

1. Leads to Subscribers Conversion Rate

This is probably the most important indicator. Always measure it and try to optimize as this is the easiest way to get more subscribers to your list.

How to improve this KPI:

  • Do a/b tests for various designs of your landing page.
  • Do a/b tests for the placement of your subscription form and its design.
  • Introduce a pop-up with opt-in form (the most effective, but the most disputed as well).

With introducing a pop-up window you can expect a 200-300% growth in your subscription conversion rate. You should do this carefully, measuring total time people spend on your website and your generate website positions.

2. Time On the Website

This KPI is not related directly to your email marketing campaign but it is necessary to use it in a pair with “Leads to subscribers” conversion rate KPI. As introducing something, like a pop-up window, might improve your conversion into subscribers, but might also decrease dramatically the time people spend on your website.

Measuring time spent on your website or even specific page is easy with Google Analytics. Use this KPI as it is one of the highest quality KPIs for your website.

3. Buy Rate

What number of your subscribers will buy something from you? This KPI is crucial as it will give you an idea about the economical efficiency of your campaign. If you pay for traffic you understand why you need this, but even if you don’t pay for the traffic you need to measure it as this will give you a good idea about if you are spending your resources in a good way or not.

4. Average Time Before Purchase

Our readers normally buy something after staying with us for more than 3 months. You need to measure time that you spend on average to convince your customer to buy something.

Here is important advice:

  • Try to get the customer  to purchase something less expensive from you. Then you will increase your chances to sell something more expensive. For sure, this works for high quality products only.

5. Unsubscribe Rate vs. Open Rate

It sounds logical to control the unsubscribe rate. If people don’t like what you write about they will unsubscribe, but this is not a good indicator of the quality of your content. One might stay subscribed to your list, but never even read your subject line.

You need to add an “open rate” indicator. You need to measure the number of subscribers that read your message. Technically, it is hard to find out if he or she just read a message for few seconds or spent minutes reading it.

Because of this, the better idea might be to measure “action rate.”  If you ask your readers to read an interesting article what is the percent of these who will follow your link? Or you might ask your readers to subscribe to your G+.

The idea here is that you will find out the size of your core audience which is ready to act right now. It is important to control this number as this will give you an idea about how good  you are doing in your email marketing and if your content is still fresh and innovative.

More Indicators

You can find even more indicators for social media and other business niches. It s important that you should always understand how the indicators that you are going to implement is connected with your goals, and what is more important, with results that you want to achieve.

This article is by Aleksey Savkin from