The traditional metrics when it comes to email marketing have changed over the years, from “quantity” metrics like number of subscribers, raw sends, opens and clicks early on to conversion and ROI metrics today.
In the early days of email marketing, brands wanted to amass the biggest possible list of email addresses to send to. These were the days of batch and blast email marketing, where the more people you could reach, the better off you’d be.
It worked for a time because there were fewer brands using email on a regular basis. People were still receiving more emails from friends and family than marketers. So the marketing emails they did get managed to attract more of their attention.
After a little while, a few different things happened that made email marketing more difficult to get right. First, brands started to abuse the channel. Inboxes were flooded with promotional emails. When that happened, people began to either complain, or tune out.
And when more of them started to complain, the Google’s and the other email service providers of the world caught on, developing more sophisticated tools that allowed people to ignore promotional emails brands were sending.
Batch and blast stopped working. Brands’ reputations were hurt. Deliverability dropped.
Smart email marketers saw the opportunity that these changes created, an opportunity for “quality” focused email programs that added value and broke through the clutter. The brands that adopted these new practices were more interested in measuring deliverability rates, open rates, click thru rates, and conversions. The size of the list matters less, and the return on investment matters more.
By focusing on the user experience, brands have been able to create more engagement emails, personalized and segmented, delivered at times when people are most likely to take action.