Email Marketing

Essential considerations for measuring success with acquisition email

CRM email vs. acquisition email: The key differences (and superpowers) to know. Email marketing is tremendously valuable in and of itself. But one of the features that up-levels that value to marketers beyond its top- and bottom-line impact is that the channel is so immensely measurable. Thanks to the many meaningful metrics that can be compiled around the effectiveness of email campaigns, marketers are able to continually optimize their efforts and, importantly, demonstrate the power of email tactics to their broader organizations.

Due to the powerful measurability and ROI of email, the channel’s prominence continues to grow within brands’ marketing programs, despite its “traditional” reputation. An impressive 77 percent of marketers say they have seen an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months. At the same time, 37 percent say they are increasing their email budgets, compared to just 1.3 percent who are trimming spend in the channel.

Increasing investment in email as a marketing channel makes a lot of sense, given its proven strong ROI and continued effectiveness. But in addition to increasing overall spend in the channel, it’s also imperative for marketers, if they haven’t already, to be broadening their email programs to encompass both customer retention and acquisition efforts. As they do so, they also need to be broadening how they think about measurement in order to harness the full power of Acquisition Email.

The role of email within broader acquisition programs

When it comes to CRM Email—that is, email marketing programs directed to customers and prospects within a brand’s existing files—a lot of measurement is focused on retention goals, such as reengaging existing customers, sparking deeper interactions and additional sales, as well as overall increases in loyalty and lifetime value. When it comes to Acquisition Email, things get a little more complicated.

Acquisition Email represents a powerful extension of a brand’s broader acquisition programs—programs that span multiple channels, both traditional and digital. In fact, according to a recent Data Axle survey, 77 percent of marketers believe acquisition campaigns that include email deliver higher ROI than those that don’t.

For acquisition programs to be most effective—and, importantly, to become more effective over time—it’s absolutely vital for marketers to have a holistic understanding of how their various acquisition channels work together to drive a brand toward its goals and KPIs. This can be a complicated process, given the number of inputs that go into acquisition efforts, including display, social, TV and CTV, OOH and DOOH, and so much more.

Without a holistic look at how marketing efforts across the full spectrum of a brand’s acquisition efforts contribute to a consumer’s deeper engagement and ultimate conversion, it’s challenging for marketers to optimize their campaigns and rebalance their spend across channels to improve results. Certain attribution methodologies—such as “last click” attribution, in which credit for a consumer engagement goes to the channel where the last interaction occurred—can be particularly problematic in that regard because they don’t take into consideration the many brand touchpoints that influenced the consumer along their journey.

For example, a brand might see that its social ads are driving a tremendous proportion of clicks that ultimately lead to a sale, and it would be easy to assume the social ads themselves were responsible for that conversion. However, what if those consumers were only ready to make a purchase because they had been the recipients of Acquisition Email campaigns earlier in their awareness and consideration phase? To not have visibility into that fact could lead a brand to funnel more money to social ads at the expense of Acquisition Email, thereby throttling performance in the process.

Tips for getting Acquisition Email measurement right

To maximize the effectiveness of a brand’s cross-channel acquisition efforts, marketers need to have a solid measurement plan in place. Let’s take a look at a few tips for laying a strong foundation, particularly as it relates to Acquisition Email.

Know your goals first. If you want to know what to measure, you have to set your goals. This should always be the first step when developing a campaign. Are you looking to drive brand awareness? Or are you most interested in driving consumers to your website? It’s possible that a given campaign can have multiple goals (as it’s likely that ads will drive different reactions and actions from different people), but marketers still need to take the time to identify those goals and prioritize them. Only then can they figure out how to best measure effectiveness.

When it comes to Acquisition Email in particular, it’s unlikely that many consumers will open the first message they receive from a brand and make a purchase right off the bat. So in that regard, it’s important to think about the action that’s most likely and worth capturing within the brand’s measurement program. For example, it might make the most sense to try to drive email recipients to a dedicated landing page where deeper activation or reactivation messaging can be provided.

Employ matchback attribution. As mentioned earlier, email is an immensely measurable channel. From delivery and open rates to click-throughs and other engagements, there are a number of metrics that marketers can capture from their campaigns. But when it comes to Acquisition Email, particularly in terms of its role within broader acquisition efforts, matchback analysis is perhaps the most powerful form of measurement a brand can employ. With matchback analysis, we’re able to look at a brand’s transaction file and determine whether those who converted received Acquisition Emails somewhere along their journey.

At Data Axle, we emphasize the importance of matchback analysis because of its power to give insight into not only overall revenue, but also average order value, net new customers, reactivation (bringing lapsed customers back), and retention (house records). These insights enable customization based on clients’ KPIs, which differ considerably from brand to brand. We’ve seen this integrated approach dramatically lift overall revenue for our clients and drive results that brands can’t find elsewhere.

Look for partners that are a one-stop shop. Today’s brands are too often asked to operate their measurement and attribution efforts in a vacuum—detached from the actual planning and execution of their campaigns. But in doing so, brands miss opportunities for seamless and nimble optimization, as well as overall efficiencies within their marketing programs.

That’s why it’s so important to look for a one-stop shop when it comes to Acquisition Email and related channels—a partner that can help you across data, creative, execution and performance measurement. At Data Axle, we pride ourselves on being this type of well-rounded, comprehensive partner to brands. We don’t want to just show you the results achieved by your Acquisition Emails in a vacuum. We want to help you understand how your email efforts affect your display ad performance, your social campaigns, your CTV efforts and more.

Taking the time to integrate and understand your Acquisition Email efforts in a holistic manner is well worth the effort. In fact, when email is combined with other channels, such as display or social, we see clients experience an average 20 percent increase in engagement rates.

Unleash the power of acquisition email: 2024 edition
Best practices for incorporating or expanding acquisition email’s role in your broader acquisition program.

The Data Axle measurement difference

At Data Axle, we take measurement seriously. We know that thoughtful, holistic measurement of acquisition programs is the only way to maximize a brand’s return on investment over time, and to do so in a way that marketers can demonstrate the value of every dollar spent to their executive counterparts.

Data Axle has a full analytics team on hand to assist clients in evaluating performance to make ongoing campaign optimizations based on data. By using our privacy-compliant, permission-based Acquisition Email solution in concert with other marketing channels, you can maximize your campaign’s ROI with proven results. With Acquisition Email, we give you full visibility into the performance of your campaign, including exactly who opened and clicked in your emails, as well as attributing recent sales to those individuals via matchback analysis.

Data Axle knows how to leverage Acquisition Email as a part of your omnichannel campaign and can provide you with strategic guidance on everything from strategy and audience development to creative and execution.

We’d love to talk! Contact us to learn more.

Natasia Langfelder
Content Marketing Manager

As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.