Happy Throwback Thursday! It was about a year ago that I wrote this column; I was preparing to speak at ClickZ Live Chicago. I taught a half-day workshop on Advanced Email Marketing Strategies and Tactics there, one of my very favorite topics. Here’s that article again, a year later but still 100% relevant. Enjoy!

Today I wanted to write about 2 of my favorite advanced email marketing metrics: Click Reach and the Value of an Email Address.

1. Click Reach

You’re likely familiar with click-through rate (CTR) and click-to-open rate (CTOR), but click reach is a different animal. CTR and CTOR are measured for a single email message; click reach is measured over a series of messages or, more accurately, over a span of time.

Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you send a monthly email newsletter that garners an average click-through rate of 5 percent. That’s not bad; the industry average for email newsletters is 4.8 percent according to the Q2’2014 Email Trends and Benchmarks Report from Epsilon.

Even when your click-through rates from send to send are about the same, you can have wildly different click reach rates. For example, here are two scenarios:

Click Reach 2014-10-27
Over the first quarter, Scenario A has a click reach higher than Scenario B, even though the click-through rate on each send is exactly the same. This means that during the first quarter, Scenario A has more unique people engaging with the emails; it is the healthier scenario, and chances are, its bottom line performance metrics will be better.
You can measure click reach over any period – weekly (if you mail more than once a week), monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.

You can also measure click reach by type of email, by list segment, or by any other number of things. The deeper you go, the more you’ll understand about how people are interacting with your messages and the better you’ll be able to come up with hypotheses to test to improve performance.

I first wrote about open and click reach five years ago; it was newish concept back then but now, five years later, if you’re not looking at reach you’re missing the boat. Successful marketers know how to calculate click reach as well as how to improve it and their bottom line performance.

2. Average Value of an Email Address

A lot of very smart email marketers spend a lot of time trying to determine the lifetime value of an email address on their lists. I admire them; it’s not an easy task.

But determining the average value of an email address on your list over an absolute period (annually is usual, but you could certain go monthly or quarterly if you mail frequently enough) is easy. So I like to start there.

All you need to calculate this are two numbers:

  • The total revenue generated from email during the period (let’s say calendar year 2013)
  • The average number of subscribers on your list during that period

Avg Value of an Email Address 2014-10-27
As you can see, Scenario A is generating more revenue annually per subscriber than Scenario B. The point isn’t so much to compare your list to others, it’s to have an internal benchmark you can use to gauge your own year-over-year (or month-over-month) results and test ways to boost performance. Smart marketers go even deeper into how to calculate average value, how to use it to make acquisition and other decisions about their lists and how to test to boost it.

As with reach, you can calculate average value by list segment, by product line or any other number of ways. The deeper you go, the more ammunition you have that you can use to build hypotheses and test to improve bottom line performance.

So how was that as an introduction to advanced email analytics? Is your head spinning? Or does it make you hungry for more? Either way, I hope to catch with you at a conference so we can dive deeper and talk about the tools you need to take your email marketing program to the next level. Or feel free to reach out with phone or email.

Until next time,


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