I recently asked a bunch of email marketers how they judge success for their email campaigns. One of the answers that really stood out was from Amit Gupta, who sends the Photojojo newsletter (you must signup for his awesome newsletter immediately).
Amit says to measure the success of his email campaigns, he compares sales to re-tweets…
"We care about tweets and sales. We’re measuring opens and clicks, but don’t pay a lot of attention to those numbers, because in the end what we really care about is how much we’re selling and how much we’re spreading.
Opens really only tells you how good your subject line is, and our open rates are pretty consistent… people are opening our emails because they trust the brand to be interesting.
50,000 clicks that lead to 20 sales are worthless.
5,000 clicks that lead to 200 sales are meaningful.
100 retweets means that people are digging the product and think it’s interesting enough to tell their friends out. 10 means it’s not cool enough and we shouldn’t have plugged it. The retweets are a more meaningful metric of product interestingness for us because it’s not a reader clicking through to learn more (low risk) but actually putting their reputation on the line to tell their readers that they think it’s cool (higher risk).
With those two stats you start to see some interesting things…
1) product with lots of retweets and low sales = price too high or product not filling a need.
2) product with few retweets but lots of sales = product is useful and well-priced but not exciting. It’s not gonna spread.
3) product with lots of retweets, and lots of sales = success! Well-priced, exciting to our customers, and it’ll spread.
For us, #3 is a success, and #1 can be turned around, and #2 means we’ve got a dud."
Hmm, measuring email campaign success via twitter re-tweets. If one were good at creating graphs (which I am not), that graph might look like this:
Even though Photojojo does not use MailChimp (gasp!), I highly recommend their newsletter to everyone I know because of the great copywriting day after day after day. If you’ve never sent an email newsletter before, just remember that "step 1″ is to figure out your personality. It makes writing soooo much easier. Photojojo has tons of personality, and it’s why I actually look forward to receiving their emails.
Anyway, if you’re a MailChimp user, be sure to always tweet your email campaigns: