Great Place for Benchmarks: Conversation

(… and an upcoming DMA/EEC event to get some for yourself)

Stephanie Miller

Ever need that one particular number to put in your forecast or executive briefing that proves you are not nuts and your email marketing is actually tracking pretty well? Yep – I can never find it when I need it, either. We all scour all available sources for benchmarks that are meaningful to our business, and yet these benchmarks seem to remain elusive. When we do find numbers, they never seem to accurately tell a story about how email is being used in the real world. I always feel that benchmarks are actually not that helpful – and they can actually be quite distracting. While sometimes they can serve as a guide (and a well timed source can sometimes get you through tomorrow’s presentation!), unless you really understand the source of the data and the way it was collected, you will never be sure if it’s actually relevant to your business.

Better, measure your success against your own progress — are your open and click rates growing? Is conversion on the rise? Are you able to point to higher satisfaction, average order size, purchase frequency or share of wallet among subscribers vs. non-subscribers? These are the metrics that really prove out the value of the email channel to your business.

All that doesn’t erase the need to measure against your peers and competitors. That is why it’s so important to talk to other email marketers and hear first hand what they are doing. I find that the conversations I have with marketers where we share ideas and success stories are some of the best benchmarks — more than anecdotal, I gain or give an actual understanding of the challenge and how it was tackled.

Even if you are a bit shy at industry gatherings, it’s worth striking up some conversations or just asking questions. So, in the spirit of community and in of my role as Vice Chair of the DMA’s Email Experience Council (EEC), I’d like to invite you to the EEC cocktail party at the the DMA Annual Event on October 13th. Even with all the goings on at DMA, this will be a chance to casually meet other email marketers and share ideas that will help you wow your boss in the next budget meeting. Go ahead, register now. Members and non-members welcome. Look forward to seeing you there!

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