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7 Email Marketing Metrics to Start Tracking Now



7 Email Marketing Metrics to Start Tracking Now

Everyone wants their email marketing to be the best it can be. Including carefully thought-out copy, relevant links, and stylistic branding all help to make your emails more appealing to recipients. But, as a marketer, how do you know if your emails are succeeding in their job and contributing to your business sales and client leads?

Email marketing metrics present how your emails are performing and the responses they receive. These measure specific numbers relating to your emails, highlighting areas for improvement as well as elements that are hitting your email marketing goals. Using metrics can inform your email marketing lead generation strategies, create specific targets, and track your email growth.

7 Key Marketing Metrics

1. Open Rate

There’s no point pouring your energy into great email content if no one even opens it to read what you’ve written. Working out your email open rate shows you the amount of sent emails that are opened – across all industries, which is around 25% of emails. This reflects whether recipients are responding to your email subject lines and are interested in hearing from your brand.

However, this metric should be understood within the context of other analytics. Few recipients with high engagement who open emails may be more valuable than high open rates but low engagement. Similarly, open rates may depend on inbox settings, with some domains disabling open tracking or only registering emails as opened when the images within it are received too.

2. Bounce Rate

Unfortunately, around 15% of emails never make it to the inbox, and this is measured by the bounce rate. This can be a hard bounce, meaning the email ID or domain does not exist, or a soft bounce, where there are temporary issues with the address. Soft bounces are resolved by servers with time, meaning your emails will arrive in the future. However, high bounce rates suggest it’s time to clear out your subscriber lists.

All hard bounce addresses should be removed from your lists, as it skews the demographics of your email recipients and influences other metrics. Integrate double authentication features in your email preferences sign-up process to minimize fake or spam email addresses, requiring confirmation of legitimacy before adding addresses to your lists.

Sign-up processes are also a chance to answer questions such as “What is zero party data?” and show how this data improves your emails.  

3. Click-through Rate

Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by total emails, the click-through rate shows how engaging your email campaigns are. A higher CTR shows many of your recipients actively read your emails and follow the included links. Regardless of whether these links are buttons to share content, find out more about products, or link to an offer, all clicks show reader interest.

Using call-to-action text and displaying buttons prominently within your emails improves their visibility. Likewise, using questions in your emails can draw readers into clicking to find the answer. Instead of including all the information, making for a wordy email, add links to questions such as “what is IO domain?” to encourage click through. Experimenting with A/B testing also identifies formats, arrangements, and visuals that make your email subscribers interact.

4. Conversion Rate

Ultimately, the purpose of marketing emails is to increase purchases. The email conversion rate calculates conversions compared to the number of emails sent. For example, if 1000 emails were sent, and 25 people who received one of those emails made purchases, your conversion rate would be 25/1000 = 2.5%. This can show the impact of email deals or offers, identifying which ones work best.

Again, call-to-action text throughout emails can direct readers to product pages or your ecommerce website. Segmenting your email subscribers helps with customer relationship management, allowing you to deliver personalized email offers, making the recipients more inclined towards your recommendations. The more relevant the offers are, the more recipients use them, boosting conversion rates.

5. List Growth Rate

When people keep subscribing to your emails, you’re doing something right. Although this doesn’t always translate into conversions, it increases the customer base your business markets to. Alongside this, you should consider your email unsubscribe rate, totaling on average 0.1% of subscribers across all industries. This shows recipient choices to disengage, not including inactive addresses removed in list clearouts.

This metric is easy to measure and, although it can be changeable, should show an increasing number of subscribers over longer periods. Use audience segmentation features to ensure all emails are relevant and of interest to your lists, keeping them engaged and encouraging others to subscribe to your emails. This ensures your marketing is constantly expanding its reach.

6. Engagement Over Time

This metric finds the times of day when your email marketing sees peak engagement. Each business and subscriber list has differing peak engagement times, influenced by the type of email content and how many emails are typically sent. Although Tuesday is generally the best day for email open rates, if promoting a Sunday event, emailing nearer the date may be more effective.

Email analytic tools can be used to identify the best time of day, week, or month to be emailing by monitoring other email metrics, including open and click rates. Engagement over time should influence the emails you send throughout the day. They also highlight key points in the subscriber’s journey with your brand when you should email, like subscription anniversaries or after new purchases.

7. Overall ROI

Your return on investment displays the amount of money made in sales regarding the initial amount invested into your email marketing campaigns. This is calculated by subtracting the amount invested from your overall sales, then dividing by the amount invested. So, if you earned £500 from your email conversions after investing £100 in email marketing, this would be (500-100)/100= 400% ROI.

This shows how worthwhile your investment in email marketing is. Improving this metric requires boosting conversions and the average order value of customers that make purchases after receiving your emails. Alternatively, using email marketing automation can reduce the cost of creating and sending email campaigns whilst maintaining the level of recipient conversions.

How Successful Is Your Email Marketing?

Tracking your email marketing metrics is only the beginning – how you use the information can transform your marketing strategy and improve your customer base interactions. Metrics are particularly useful when starting new campaigns, assessing the impact of a custom domain email, or experimenting with format, showing the effect on recipients clearly.

Finding the most relevant marketing metrics to track for your business will differ from those tracked by other brands or even different departments within your own business. Starting with thee metrics listed in this article provides a foundation for your email analytics from which you can identify other useful metrics for your campaigns. Through trial and error, find the crucial metrics for you, helping your business marketing emails to flourish.

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State of Content Marketing in 2023



State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “content marketing” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]



Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand


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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow



MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.

Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 

Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.

Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.

Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 

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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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