Vice President, Global Strategic Services
Alchemy Worx, a 100% Email Marketing Agency
Jeanne Jennings is Vice President of Global Strategic Services at Alchemy Worx, the world’s largest email marketing agency. She is a recognized expert in the email marketing industry with more than 20 years of experience, having started her career with CompuServe in the late 1980s.
She’s been focused on email since 2000, when she was head of email product development for Reed Business Information US, a division of Reed-Elsevier. Prior to joining Alchemy Worx, she ran her own successful email marketing consultancy, focused on strategy, building relationships and improving bottom line performance; clients included AARP, Hasbro, Network Solutions, PRWeb, Scholastic, Verizon, Vocus and WeightWatchers.
Jeanne is an active member of the Email Experience Council, the US DMA’s email marketing arm; she writes a regular column on email marketing for ClickZ.com and her book, The Email Marketing Kit: The Ultimate Email Marketer’s Bible, was published by SitePoint in 2007. Jeanne is a sought-after speaker on email marketing for industry conferences and training workshops. She's based in Washington, DC and is a huge hockey fan – Let’s Go Caps!
With offices in both London and Atlanta, GA, Alchemy Worx provides strategy, planning, design, copywriting, production, testing, reporting, and analysis of email campaigns to a host of top-tier clients. These include Aviva, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Getty Images, Hilton, Kraft, Sony Playstation and Tesco.com. To find out more, please visit: www.alchemyworx.com.
Back in September I wrote a post for this blog about the mindset of great email marketers (http://www.onlyinfluencers.com/blog/entry/the-mindset-of-great-email-marketers) -- that they are always looking at the data and using the quantitative results to improve their future performance.
Anyone who visits your site is a good candidate to become an email subscriber – well, with the exception of those that are already subscribers. Which is why I use a metric that attempts to adjust for this.
I call it the Website Email Conversion Rate.
It’s calculated by dividing the number of email signs-ups by the unique new visitors to the site. Here’s an example:
I use the new visitors number instead of total visitors as an attempt to weed out those who are already subscribers. It’s not a perfect solution, I’ll admit. But it’s a good start.
Now, I realize that not everyone will sign-up for your email newsletter during their first visit – for some it may take a couple times before they’re convinced. But your goal should be to convert as many first-time visitors as possible.
I’ve see this metric as high as 80% -- but that was for a micro-site with the sole purpose of lead generation (and, as you can see from the metric, it was very good at that). I’m also seen this metric below 1% -- which means there was a huge opportunity for improvement.
So what should your goal for this metric be? Most of the clients I work have Website Email Conversion Rates between 5% and 20%. There’s no right answer to this – and remember that this doesn’t take into account quality of the subscriber (meaning do they open, click and act on your emails).
So how do you set your goal? Figure out your current baseline and then make it a goal to increase that by 10%. If you’re average right now is 10.2% (from the example above), set your new goal at 11.2%. Then start testing.
There are really simple ways to improve your Website Email Conversion Rate. Here are a few.
It’s always good to look at your sign-up process itself, calculate the completion and abandon rates from the first page of the sign-up form to the thank you page and see if you can improve. But this is a detailed optimization process.
Let me give you some ‘quick hit’ ways to improve your conversion rate which don’t take much time or many resources.