Metrics that Matter: Perfecting Email Marketing Beyond the Basics

Email marketing might seem like a very traditional, even outdated way of reaching your customers, but it’s actually still very effective. Especially if it’s done the right way. 


As mentioned in one of our articles, email marketing campaigns are a great way to initiate that first spark with your audience, keep your customers engaged, and boost your recognition among them. However, that is only the first part of the process. 


The second part is about looking at all the numbers that show you how your campaigns perform. Examining data in front of you, trying to figure out what to do better next time, what should be done differently, or what you should get rid of completely. 


Here, along with talking about the basics you must know about these metrics, I’m going to discuss a different approach to email marketing analytics. Beyond the basics. 

Email Marketing Metics for SaaS


Core Metrics: The Heart of Email Campaigns


First, let me build the foundation for you and talk about the basic metrics that must be considered when you analyze your data. 


These traditional metrics include: 

  • Open rates that indicate how compelling your subject line was.
  • Click-through rates that offer a peek into the content's relevancy to your audience. 
  • Conversion rates which reveal the effectiveness of your call-to-action and overall campaign strategy. 
  • Bounce rates that define if you have any potential issues with your recipient list,
  • And unsubscribe rates that give insight into content relevance or frequency. 


A Drip article written by Emil Kristensen emphasized these metrics, among others as well, to be the most important ones you need to track. So, definitely keep these in mind when you examine your email analytics next time. Why? Because these numbers will tell you the story of how well you connected with your customers and what can be done to improve this even further. 



Taking Data-Driven Decisions with SAAS First


I’ve mentioned that we establish the foundation of email marketing metrics first. What I’m going to talk about here is still connected to that in a way. The traditional metrics we discussed earlier must be measured by something, right? If you want to examine the numbers, you must use a tool that provides them effectively. 


SAAS First offers you a vast amount of data after sending out your email marketing campaigns. Along with open rates and click-through rates, you can take a look at 

  • Recipient data which gives insights into who's genuinely interested in what you have to offer
  • Reply rates which are basically a reflection of engagement, of two-way communication. 
  • And goal attainment that shows you how close you’re getting to your targets. 


With these metrics in hand, it is then up to you to create something even clearer and more actionable. So, if you're seeking a holistic understanding of your email campaign performance, SAAS First can be the partner you've been looking for.

Beyond Traditional Metrics: The Evolving Landscape


In my conversations with industry experts, Antoine Heftler, B2B SaaS CMO & Operating Partner at Leadnostic, offered a refreshing perspective. He believes that efficient SaaS marketing units are now transitioning towards a more business-oriented metrics organization. 


Antoine informatively puts it, "Traditional metrics were open rate, CTR, and delivery rate. Those are, of course, still there, but they cannot be used anymore in isolation. In the example of a newsletter, every single article should target a specific audience at a specific maturity level. Therefore, each article’s CTR is not only an indication of efficiency but also a marker of the efficiency of a particular content on a specific audience at a specific funnel phase to optimise lead generation. And that’s what matters to the overall company”.

Antoine also mentions that while metrics have advanced, what remains underrated is harnessing these metrics to generate actionable business intelligence, something the broader organization can use for growth acceleration. “What I believe is underrated is questioning ourselves (the marketeers) why we are tracking our activities beyond self-congratulations", he adds. 


Antoine's words resonate deeply, emphasizing that recognizing the why behind metrics is just as, if not more, important than the metrics themselves. By comprehending the reasons for tracking specific data, businesses can better strategize, optimize, and realize their objectives. So, what are you trying to achieve with your email marketing? 


Is There Anything New to Come? Looking Into The Future


We’ve talked about the traditional and unconventional side of email marketing analytics. But as metrics evolve, so too must our understanding. The question arises: are there any transformative trends on the horizon? Especially in email marketing, that could redefine the metrics SaaS companies have been relying upon.


I’m sure the answer is anticipated by many of you. Yes, it is Artificial Intelligence. Antoine says, "Undoubtedly, AI is changing almost everything. At least, that’s what we hear everywhere." He highlights the potential of generative AI in drastically speeding up content and creative making, which, in turn, will usher in new horizons for multi-variable testing. 


This is all great and bright, but we have to admit the limitations and the need for human input as well. As Antoine mentions, the essence of AI lies in the prompts we feed it. “Prompts are the guidelines which train AI to deliver what our brains want (could be tone of voice, persona, target, etc.) AI alone is only « artificial ». We give them the « intelligence » part. The etymology of intelligence is inteligere, the Latin word for « understand ».[...] Like the marketing metrics, AI will be useless if not markers of a business target if not driven to achieve understood and explained goals.”




Wrapping this all up, we’ve seen the traditional data that must be examined to refine your email marketing strategy. We also took a look at a different perspective, focusing on a more comprehensive approach to your analytics, questioning your true, genuine goals with your campaigns. 


The ringing call is clear: Focus on metrics that align with genuine business objectives. As Antoine Heftler highlighted, understanding the "why" behind metrics can be the key to real growth and customer retention.


So, find your WHY, and let it guide every decision you make in your email marketing. 


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Csilla Fehér
Csilla Fehér
Public Relations and SaaS Enthusiast | PR Coordinator at SAAS First

Your go-to source for SaaS insights-eager to network with SaaS leaders and fellow wordsmiths!