There are a number of different metrics that can provide insight into the overall performance of your email marketing initiatives. Most marketers focus on the basics like opens, clicks and unsubscribes, while some choose to look at the bigger picture by measuring their ROI. Analyzing all these metrics is fine and dandy, but the one measurement email marketers are not keeping up with nearly enough is their RPE.
What Is RPE?
Short for revenue per email, RPE as a metric is pretty much what it sounds like – a calculation that tells you how much revenue your email marketing efforts are generating per message. Now it isn’t the most reliable metric in comparison to ROI, which when calculated precisely, can give you an exact dollar amount on how much you are getting back from your investment. However, it is much more straightforward than ROI and considerably easier to calculate as well.
Figuring out your ROI can be a real drag as you typically have to factor so many different elements into the equation in order to get an accurate assessment. RPE doesn’t necessarily speak to what you’re gaining or losing in terms of profit with your efforts, and calculating your revenue per email is as simple as dividing the revenue generated by the number of messages sent, minus the number of bounces.
For example, if you decide to narrow your measurement to a segment of your list, seeing that 20 successfully delivered messages generated $200 would mean that your RPE for that segment would be $10. You can measure your revenue per email with individual segments and campaigns as well as over the course of a month or whatever time frame you define.
Boosting Your RPE
Whether it’s open rates or ROI, improving your email metrics is always the goal. The same should hold true for revenue per email. This year alone, we have seen an increasing number of email marketers measure performance through RPE, and from those observations have come some viable methods for improving it.
Loyalty Programs – An Experian study showed that customers targeted through a loyalty program were 40% more likely to open an email message sent by a marketer. The result: A 10% increase in RPE.
Segmentation – Burton Snowboards used email segmentation to create more relevant content, boost engagement and enjoy a huge increase in sales. These efforts drove up its RPE by a whopping 170%.
Triggered Email – It gets better. A MarketingSherpa article revealed that trigger-based communications helped JetBlue increase its revenue per email by 1,640% in comparison to its standard promotional messages.
Revenue per email is not the holy grail when it comes to measuring email marketing performance, but it can certainly help by giving you a snapshot beyond the norm. If you’ve been looking for a way to get a better feel for how you stand in the return department, I say give it a shot.