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Email Campaign ROI: All You Need to Know

Email Campaign ROI: All You Need to Know

You can only improve what you can measure. That’s why analytics play such an integral role in digital marketing. And that’s why, in order to be effective, you need to consider data such as your email campaign ROI (return on investment).

But what actually is ROI? Which metrics should you consider? And what do you do with your ROI once you have it? Today we’re going to break down all of these questions, diving into how you can improve your email campaign ROI and just why it’s so important.

You can only improve what you can measure. That’s why you need to consider data such as your email campaign ROI. Click To Tweet

What is email ROI?

ROI stands for “return on investment.” It’s a metric you can use to calculate how effective a certain investment — such as an email campaign — has been. Tracking your ROI can help you figure out what’s working and ultimately improve your impact.

To calculate your email campaign ROI, subtract the money you earned from the money you spent. Then divide your result by the amount of money you spent and express your final answer as a percentage. Here’s what ROI looks like in formula form:

(Money gained – money spent) / Money spent x 100 = ROI (as a percentage)

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can also use a free online email ROI calculator to get a detailed response in seconds. Sleeknote’s ROI calculator walks you through each metric that’s required to provide a detailed breakdown of your basic ROI. (You can also track ROI by looking at more specific metrics — we’ll get to that in a minute.)

email ROI calculator

Why is email ROI important?

If you want to succeed with email marketing, you can’t overlook your ROI. Calculating the return on investment of an email campaign is essential because it helps you identify changes you can make to earn more revenue.

It’s also important to know that email marketing generally produces a very high ROI. Statistics show that when it comes to ROI, email marketing far surpasses the ROI of other channels such as keyword ads or SEO. Businesses earn an average of $40 for every one dollar spent on email marketing! This is because millions of people around the world use email every day.

When you know your email campaign ROI, you’re able to make informed decisions for future email campaigns. And that will result in greater brand awareness and more revenue.

Here are a few specific email campaign metrics you can track to see how successful you’ve been in various marketing goals.

Email metrics to track

Brand awareness

Measuring brand awareness can be tricky. It’s difficult to track because it’s not a hard-and-fast metric — it’s more ambiguous. We suggest measuring brand awareness in one of two ways: by looking at website traffic or link building. We’ll talk about website traffic next, but for now let’s focus on link building.

For this email marketing measurement metric, use Google Analytics to track where your external links are coming from. Then you can measure how many of those links are coming from people on your email list. Link building ROI is a good way to get a feel for where your brand awareness is and how you can help it improve.

Website traffic

Website traffic is an important metric to track for email ROI in 2020. After all, your website is where all the important things happen — like customers clicking “purchase!” Your ESP can most likely help you track what percentage of your website traffic comes from your email campaigns. Boost your web traffic by creating strong CTAs.

Open rate

To find your open rate (the percentage of your total subscribers that opened an email from you), use the following formula:

(Number of emails opened / number of emails sent) x 100 = Open rate (as a percentage)

What’s a “good” email open rate? The answer to that question will vary by industry, audience and other factors. Tracking your open rate over time can help you figure out a good open rate for you. Help your open rate improve by writing snazzy subject lines that entice your readers to click.

email subject lines to improve open rate

Click-through rate

Your click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email. Here’s how to find it:

(Number of total people who clicked / number of delivered emails) x 100 = CTR (as a percentage)

Your total click-through rate refers to the number of total clicks that a given email receives. Unique click-through rate tells you the number of unique clicks — if the same person opens the same link twice, only one of those clicks will count.

Boost your click-through rate by personalizing emails and making sure they’re mobile-friendly, like this message from Skillshare:.

Subject line: Kelly, raise happy plants, illustrate patterns, and more! 

mobile friendly email

Conversion rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of total subscribers who convert and become a customer by making a purchase through an email (or who become a lead, based on your goal). This is the formula to find conversion rate:

(Number of conversions / number of delivered emails) x 100 = Conversion rate (as a percentage)

Follow email design best practices to help your conversion rate and your ROI improve. We love this simple yet effective email from HelloFresh. It’s colorful without being too complicated and draws your eye to the CTA.

Subject line: Fav fall flavors are here (hint: squash, cranberries & walnuts!)

email campaign ROI

How to use ROI

Figuring out your email marketing goals can guide you as you start tracking your ROI and help you understand what constitutes success for a certain email campaign. For instance, in this campaign from Land’s End, it looks like the company’s goal is to promote its 50% off sale. So conversion rate might be a good metric to track.

Subject line: Ends tomorrow! Up to 50% off corduroys and more

improve email campaign ROI

Once you know your ROI, you’ll be able to judge how successful your email campaigns have been. Your email campaign ROI will also help you make informed decisions about future marketing strategies. When you look at how your ROI changes from one campaign to the next, you’ll be able to see what approaches are most effective. Your ROI can also prove that marketing is a valuable investment for your company and can help you invest wisely in specific types of marketing.

Wrap-up: Improve your email ROI

Create emails that convert using our responsive HTML email templates. Each template is created by a professional designer, making email design easy — and providing a boost to your email marketing ROI. Check out our template catalog to find the best message for your campaign!

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Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer based out of Atlanta, Georgia.