Email Growth For Product Managers – Measuring Campaign Analytics

Email Growth For Product Managers – Measuring Campaign Analytics

Email Growth For Product Managers – Measuring Campaign Analytics

So you’re a product manager tasked with growing revenue through building a great email product. Where should you start? The first step to building any kind of product is making sure you have the right analytics plan in place to measure your progress. This is done by defining a strategy, the key outputs, and how to measure those outputs. When it comes to an email marketing strategy, you can either overdo it with too many analytics or lose your way by not measuring enough. What is the best way to build an analytics strategy for email?

Building An Email Growth Strategy

To build an engine of growth for your email strategy, you’re going to have to focus on key levers that you can affect. As a whole, you’re going to be using some type of growth formula that looks like this:


Sustainable List Growth Formula

List Usage x Immediate Benefit of Joining List x Benefit of List Subscription = Sustainable List Growth

List Usage – Can the campaign capture users and convert them at an increasingly higher rate into some meaningful type of usage?

Immediate Benefit of Joining List – The key here is to create an emotional response with the user. They should perceive a tangible benefit as early and as often as possible. Examples are offering a coupon, loyalty points, or helpful information.

Benefit of List Subscription – Being subscribed to the list should solve a core problem for the audience you’re targeting. The core problem should start as a hypothesis, which should then be validated with REAL USERS through surveys and interviews. The Build > Measure > Learn cycle is a great way of user develeopment in an agile method.

Revenue Growth Formla

Sustained List Growth x Sends x Viral Loop x Conversion Rate = Revenue Growth

Now that you have a working engine of growth for your email list, you can leverage the list to grow your business. Optimally, the value to the user should align with the value of the business. This means that you should aim to capture value from the user when they receive value from you. For instance, the user receives an email that gives them a promotion that they want, they proceed to convert ultimately adding to business growth, which is good for the business. Many campaigns skip this simple step. Companies that try to extract value without giving value will see a short-term revenue bump and long term unsubscribes, which quickly turns the growth cycle into a decline cycle.

Sustained List Growth – From the previous equation. This should be figured out or you should be in the process of figuring it out.

Sends – Each send is a chance for you to provide and capture value with the list. The more sends, the more chances but there is a high curve of diminishing returns here. Over-sending to your list and diluting the value of the emails will quickly get you into a decline cycle with high unsubscribes.

Viral Loop – Your list should not be viewed as a single chance to reach each subscriber. Your list should be viewed as a gateway to access the users’ network. Building a viral loop will transform your revenue growth from linear to exponential growth.


Conversion Rate – This cannot be said enough. Provide value to the customer, solve their problems, and align it with your business objectives. If you miss any of these items it’s going to result in inefficient usage of your list. If customers don’t see value, they won’t take action. If you don’t align it to your business objectives, your customers will be taking action as your business plummets towards the ground.

Start By Measuring At The Top

As a whole, there a few key metrics that will give you the broad overview of how your email growth strategy is doing. These are the KPIs that you want to monitor on a frequent (daily/weekly) basis to ensure your program is running smoothly and you didn’t release a bug that loses a large percentage of your user base. The key to doing this is using push-pull metrics to measure each KPI. Andy Grove described this in High Output Management as having an output metric that’s paired with a quality metric. Below is a table of sample KPIs that would be used for the typical eCommerce campaign.

Output Metric Quality Metric
  • Revenue / Send
# of Sends
  • Conversion (Sales / Send)
  • Bounce Rate
# of Opens
  • Open Rate
# of Clicks
  • Click Through Rate
# of Unsubscribes
  • Unsubscribe Rate
# of Shares
  • Shares / Send
List size
  • List Growth Rate ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

Measuring Your Growth Formula

To put it all together, you’ll next the individual KPIs beneath each formula variable (lever) that you’re trying affect. Each variable should have an output metric so you can see if it’s growing and a quality metric to measure how well the growth is being achieved.


List Usage x Immediate Benefit of Joining List x Benefit of List Subscription = Sustainable List Growth

List Usage KPIs:

  • List Size
  • List Growth Rate

Immediate Benefit of Joining List:

  • # of Conversions of customer receiving immediate benefit (e.g. coupon use, campaign sign up)
  • # of Conversions of customer receiving immediate benefit / Total sends for this particular benefit

Benefit of List Subscription

  • # of Clicks / Traffic to site
  • Click Through Rate
    • Conversion Rate (for a deeper dive)

Sustained List Growth x Sends x Viral Loop x Conversion Rate = Revenue Growth

Sustained List Growth:

  • List size
  • List growth rate

Viral Loop:

  • # of Shares
  • Shares / Send

Conversion Rate:

  • Revenue
  • Revenue / Send

Now that you’ve setup a strategy and the measurements for success, it’s time to iterate through the BML loop. Email is not a new channel and there’s a lot of evidence that its growth is being diminished as industries are becoming more savvy and new technologies, such as push notifications, are becoming more top of mind. With that being said, email is still one of the highest revenue channels, and growing it successfully is key to the majority of businesses in the current environment.

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