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7 key email metrics to track beyond opens and clicks



7 key email metrics to track beyond opens and clicks

How many email metrics do you and your email marketing team track to measure how your email program is performing?

The top five metrics marketers use to measure success — opens, clicks, unsubscribe, click to open and bounces — are all activity-based, the 2021 State of Email Analytics report from Litmus revealed.

Those metrics all have their uses, mainly as trend indicators. And the open rate, which was already an unreliable success metric, has become even more so since Apple launched its Mail Privacy Protection feature in 2021. 

Several lesser-known metrics will shed more light on whether your email program is thriving, surviving or ready for resuscitation. Depending on your ESP and its built-in reporting, you can track these right in your dashboard.

The others will require some calculating and integration with other databases in your organization, or a third-party reporting tool can be very useful. But the extra effort will be worth your time and energy because you’ll understand better what’s going on.

1. Conversion rate

Depending on your ESP, this campaign-level metric might be reported in your dashboard. But even if you can view it there, take some time to calculate it on your own. 

Why you should track it

When reviewing your metrics holistically, this metric will help you calculate your per-email-campaign success. You can use it to compare the success rates of email campaigns that target different-priced items.

How to calculate it

Take the number of conversions and divide it by the number of emails delivered (Note: Not the total number of emails sent).

Let’s say you sent 105 emails, and 100 were delivered. If 50 subscribers click on your website, and 25 of them convert, that works out to a 25% conversion rate.  

What to know

How you calculate conversion rate matters. Remember that Google Analytics uses landing page sessions to calculate conversions. Email marketers need to isolate email-related activity to find the actual conversion rate, which involves a larger number of metrics before customers get to the campaign’s landing page on your website.

If we were to calculate the conversion rate based on sessions, it would be 50%. That might look more impressive, but it doesn’t track back to your email. It’s the same number of conversions, just spread out over a much smaller field of possibilities.

Conversion is just one facet of the total email journey. If you focus only on website activity, you’re excluding engagement on other parts of the customer journey in which email plays a part. It could also lead you to optimize incorrectly or negate the impact of your email messages. 

This reporting tool below showcases the different results for conversions, depending upon which calculation you use.

2. Value of an email address

This represents the monetary value of each email address in your database based on revenue from email. It is a business metric, not a campaign-level measurement.

Why you should track it

Unlike other metrics in this list, the value of an email address can help you make strategic and business decisions as well as campaign-level planning.

How to calculate it

Multiply the life of an address by annual email revenue and divide by the average list size in a year. For example, if the average life on your list is 3 years, your annual revenue from email is $700,000, and your annual list size is 95,000, the equation would look like this: 3 X $700,000 /95000 = $22

What to know

This metric illustrates why it’s so important to grow your email database. Here are two insights you can draw from this:

Reliable success metric

For example, suppose you want to increase frequency to increase revenue from email but are concerned that you could end up increasing unsubscribes or spam complaints from disgruntled subscribers.

While unsubs and spam complaints are one factor to consider, higher frequency can convert more subscribers to purchase, which in turn would increase revenue. Tracking email address value can reveal whether your subscribers respond with revenue or revolt. 

Evaluate acquisition expenses

Knowing your email address value can guide your decisions on how much to spend on subscriber acquisition. The higher value, the more you can justify spending to attract higher-quality subscribers. If you don’t know your subscriber value, you could end up wasting your acquisition budget.

One note: This formula is more effective for B2C email marketing, especially retail and ecommerce. For B2B brands, the classic lead-nurturing process can make the value harder to determine.

3. Customer behavior beyond campaigns

This long-tail metric involves tracking campaign-level metrics beyond the immediate campaign time period. It helps you account for every bit of revenue from email and benefits your program in the long run.

Why you should track it

Because we usually have to move on so quickly to the next campaign, many marketers simply close out each campaign with a static report without going back a week or longer later. That’s a mistake because you likely will see some activity. If you keep tracking campaigns until you see no more activity, you could go months before you stop seeing conversions.

How to track it

Check your campaign activity regularly until you see no more activity. Automate this process through your reporting dashboard if you can, or send a manual reminder.

What to know

Most campaign reporting ends way too soon. But we know that customers often retain and act on emails days or weeks after you have moved on to a new campaign. That’s the long tail of email in action. Customers don’t always stop clicking after the campaign ends.

Email’s “nudge effect” explains this long-tail characteristic. Subscribers aren’t always in the market when your email campaigns arrive. If they’re engaged with your brand, they might keep your email in the inbox until they’re ready. Seeing your email can be enough to spur them to click and convert.

Up to 19% of consumers will save the email for later to take advantage of a discount, special offer or sale, DMA UK’s 2021 Consumer Email Tracking found. Although that number has been receding in recent years, it still points to a measurable source of revenue from email. 

If you stop tracking activity too soon, you could be under-attributing revenue from email. One of my clients found it was under-recording email revenue by 128% when it expanded its reporting period from 4 days to 3 months.

Remember, the more revenue you can attribute to your email campaigns, the more budget you can request and justify to support your program.

4. ROI

Return on investment proves the channel’s value and financial success of your email program. It can help you gain more budget and resources. and helps you to gain more budget and resources.

Why you should track it

Email marketers historically are overworked and under-resourced. Part of it is our fault. We don’t provide detailed reporting, including many of the metrics I present here, and we don’t sing our own praises often enough. But ROI is one of email’s greatest advantages, so we need to measure it, report it and make sure financial decision-makers in our company know about it.

How to calculate it

Subtract campaign costs from total campaign revenue. Divide by costs and multiply by 100. 

What to know

You probably are familiar with the general benchmark ROI numbers, which range from $28 for every $1 spent to $44 or more. While those numbers are nice to know, it’s more important that you know your own ROI. 

This metric is one your C-suite executives are likely to understand. You can use it to build business cases for additional spending that can bring in more revenue, increase engagement or have a similar positive effect on your goals and objectives. 

You do run the risk that your executives will be so happy with ROI as it is that they won’t see the value in increasing spending. That’s when you can use ROI to reveal missed opportunities that need budget funding to deliver.

5. Open-reach, click-reach and conversion-reach

These engagement metrics measure how well you engage your audience between campaigns. 

Why you should track it

These metrics measure how many unique subscribers have opened, clicked or converted on your email campaigns at least once in a certain period. They are invaluable for measuring the overall engagement of your email program. 

How to calculate it

Choose your activity (opens, clicks or conversions) and measure how many unique subscribers opened (for open-reach) or clicked (for click-reach) at least one email per month, quarter or year. For conversion-reach, you calculate how many unique subscribers converted in the chosen period.

What to know

By using this metric, you can identify the total reach of your campaigns for that quarter. For these engagement metrics to be truly useful, they must correlate to conversions and revenue, such that increasing open-reach also increases revenue.

Each of these metrics has value (even the open rate) when you use them to track trends — whether they’re increasing or decreasing. Adding reach to the equation gives you more information than you would get from each of these activity-based metrics by themselves. 

A few minutes with a calculator — or, ideally, good data visualizations displayed right in your email marketing platform’s dashboard (a girl can wish!) — can pinpoint your strengths, highlight your weaknesses and help you map out new ways to message your customers more effectively.  

6. Customer lifetime value (CLTV)

This business metric helps you focus on customer retention and customer experience (CX). 

Why you should track it

This number is helpful as both a benchmark metric — is it trending up, down or stable, and how does it compare to lifetime values of other marketing channels? — and as an absolute number that represents the value a typical customer represents.

How to calculate it

Calculate your average customer’s yearly spend and multiply it by the average number of years your customers are active. You also can calculate it based on different life stages or segments, such as the average customer compared with loyal customers.  

What to know

CLTV is a long-term business metric that represents value beyond a single campaign’s average order value or revenue per email. After all, customers don’t — or shouldn’t — buy just once from your brand. 

While you can track it over time to learn whether customers are spending more or less with your brand, its greater value is as the foundation for building business cases showing email’s contribution to company revenue or to support a request for additional funding for acquisition, automations that can make your email messages more effective and drive more sales, and so on. 

7. List growth

This metric measures whether and how your list has grown in a set period. 

Why you should track it

Perhaps you look at your total list number when you get ready to send a promotional campaign. You can see it right there in your dashboard: “Sending campaign to 500,000 recipients.” 

Or you look at how many people received your message. But how long has it been since you analyzed whether your list is growing or shrinking?

How to calculate it

Count both the number of opt-ins in a month, quarter or year and the number of addresses removed because of unsubscribes, spam complaints, bounces and inactivity. 

For example, if you start Month A with a list of 100,000 addresses, and start Month B with a list of 110,000, you might assume your list grew 10%, or by 10,000 addresses. But if you removed 5,000 addresses for the reasons I listed previously, your list actually grew by 15,000 addresses or 15.8%. 

What to know

In my experience, most people either don’t measure list growth or look at only the total list size occasionally. But you need to measure your exact growth so you can understand how well your acquisition efforts are working or whether you’re losing more subscribers than you take in. You’ll also understand better how much churn your list goes through in a year, which is important to know if you need to hit a list-growth goal.

Suppose, for example, you need to increase your list by 20% for the year. If you have a list of 100,000 addresses, you might think you need to add 20,000 new email addresses. But you’ll need more than that if you lose 5% of your list every month to churn. The chart below shows how churn affects list acquisition.

Subscriber growth

Knowing how list growth fluctuates month to month will help you better understand how changes in decisions like frequency (how often you send messages) and cadence (the intervals between messages) affect frequency. The bottom line can obscure the finer details of both churn and acquisition.

Go beyond your ESP’s dashboard

Although many ESPs now offer more detailed metrics, most still focus on email activity like opens, clicks and unsubscribes. A separate robust reporting tool that integrates across databases enables you to slice up your data in more relevant ways and understand what’s really happening with your program. You can use this information to identify where you need to improve or where advanced services can help you drive more revenue. 

Reporting tools like these give you another advantage — immediate access to your data. You might work with a terrific analytics team, but you probably have to compete with other marketing channels or departments for their time and attention.

Customized reports can be a long time coming, and you probably don’t have the luxury of time to wait, especially with holiday marketing campaigns or annual goals and strategy to create.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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