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Measuring eCommerce Triggered Email Performance in 2019

By Paul Vithayathil | January 16, 2019

As you set your marketing goals for 2019, one of the most important things to consider is how you will measure success. This includes what metrics you’ll use for benchmarks as well as what success will look like for your programs.

When it comes to email marketing, the benchmarks to measure success typically include opens, clicks, conversions and revenue. But how do you know what success will look like for your programs based on these benchmarks?

Understanding Triggered Email Success with Bluecore’s Email Performance Calculator

To help retail marketers determine what success looks like for eCommerce triggered email programs, Bluecore introduced our Email Performance Calculator in April 2017.

You can use the Email Performance Calculator to find triggered email performance benchmarks from retailers similar to your brand based on retail vertical, average order value (over or under $100) and monthly unique visitor count (over or under 300,000).

We also keep these benchmarks up to date, refreshing the data that goes into the calculator each quarter so that you always have the latest and greatest metrics at your fingertips.

Benchmarking Your Email Performance in 2019

This quarter’s data refresh added benchmarks from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the mix, giving us a full snapshot of triggered email performance in 2018. Breaking down the year’s data by quarter revealed an interesting trend in performance that will be important to keep in mind heading into 2019.

Not surprisingly given all of the holiday shopping activity, we saw a significant increase in the number of emails delivered in the fourth quarter — a full 35% increase compared to emails delivered in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, as the number of emails delivered increased, open rates decreased. This finding is also not surprising, since the higher your send volume, the more raw opens you need to maintain the same click rate. For example, if you send 100 emails and get 50 opens, that’s a 50% open rate. But if you send 200 emails and get 80 opens, that’s only a 40% open rate. And as opens decrease, so do follow-on metrics like clicks.

In cases like these where email volume fluctuates significantly, it can be difficult to fully measure the success of your efforts by looking purely at metrics like opens, clicks and conversions. As a result, you need to complement these metrics with relationship-based benchmarks like click-to-open and conversion-to-click rates.

Taking on this lens, we see the benchmarks remain steady quarter-over-quarter.

In fact, we even see a slight increase in conversion-to-click rates in the fourth quarter.

Whether you’re measuring quarter-over-quarter email performance, focusing on triggered emails or evaluating your entire email program, there’s an important lesson in this study. As your send volumes change (because more site activity leads to more triggered emails sent, because you’re getting more targeted with your audiences for batch emails or for any other reason), you need to use the right lens to measure performance so as not to report any false positives or negatives.

While raw open, click and conversion rates are certainly still important to track, they often don’t tell the whole story on their own. Fortunately, measuring the relationship between those metrics can help fill in any gaps that emerge.

Are You Ready to Measure Your Triggered Email Performance?

How well do your triggered emails perform? Check out our Email Performance Calculator to dive into the data and measure your performance against that of similar retailers.

Paul Vithayathil

Paul Vithayathil

Paul joined the Bluecore team in 2017 with 4+ years of analytics experience in the industry. As the Data Analytics Manager at Bluecore, he is responsible for understanding and analyzing the rich retail data that Bluecore gathers to help retailers solve different business challenges, whether that is through building custom reports, developing retail-specific models or help test different marketing strategies.