Conversation between marketers (names have been modified to protect identities)

Kermit The Frog: Just look at these statistics from our last email campaign! They are terrific! 100 percent of the emails we sent went out, 90% were delivered and 40% were opened! 

Batman: How many responded or converted into click throughs?

Kermit The Frog: Mmmm less than 1% but we achieved a delivery rate of 90% percent which means we had a great target list with accurate email addresses. Thats impressive huh?

Batman: Kermit, dont you think you are missing the point here? How can you say you had a great target list when less than 1% converted to click throughs or some action.

Kermit The Frog: Uhh well we did everything right, we had a big list of contacts, we had a good level of accuracy in email addresses, we had an eye catching subject line and a great copy…

Batman: Who were those contacts on your big list?

Kermit The Frog: They were key executive decision makers from a bunch of companies…what kind of question is that?

Batman: Were they the right decision makers?


[Fade out with swirling Batman cut scene graphics]  Batman made a good point. It’s easy to miss the point when it comes to analyzing results on any kind of campaign whether its email or direct mail. High delivery rates mean your email address data must have been quite accurate and its fair to consider some margin for emails that get blocked by spam filters or other reasons. High open rates could mean the subject line was effective in grabbing the receivers attention and made them curious enough to open it. Poor end results still mean something went wrong somewhere no matter how great things seem on the surface.

Having a large target list of business contacts or decision makers isn’t a good enough foundation for any campaign. Simply because they are list of decision makers it doesn’t mean they are the right decision makers for what you have to offer their company. If you are a regular reader of the blog, one of the things you see us stress on over and over again here at DirectContact is keeping focus on the roles and responsibilities rather than job titles when building target lists and focusing on building high quality “rich” data rather than quantity lists hoping some will be the right decision makers. When you target someone in the “right role” with the “right message” you benefit from better results and better ROI.

A 90% delivery rate means very little when those 90% of the list were not the right person within a target account to hit with your email campaign.  Even a smaller campaign carefully executed on a very qualified list of decision makers could see better results than a large unqualified one. As great as analytics figures are it’s good practice to translate what they mean to you rather than look at them at face value. The next time you see something didn’t quite work out in terms of responses look beyond the delivery rates and go back to where it starts: the data…and ask yourself “who is on this target list?, are they the right people?”

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