Estimating email ROI for e-commerce cross-brand promotions

Over the past many years of working in e-commerce, I’ve come across multiple campaigns or possible collaborations on email campaigns that have been brought to my attention.

Usually they go like this.

Hey, X website is offering to promote us on their email campaign, I think it’s interesting, what do you think?

Below I list some of initial questions to ask.

If you work in e-commerce, and especially more junion position, this will elavate your skills and decision making process.

It would even get you a raise.

Continue reading or grab the sheet directly.

Important questions to ask

When trying to evaluate an email, newsletter, campaigns I always ask the following questions.

  • Number of subscribers: This give your an understanding of how big the target audience is. Are you sending the email campaign to 500 or 50 000 subscribers?
  • Email open rate: This is the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email out of the total number of subscribers. A ballpark of how many out of the total subscribers will open the email.
  • CTR: Is the number of clicks that your link on the email receives divided by the number of times the email was opened/viewed: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 people opened the email, then your CTR would be 5%.
  • Length of campaigns: Usually I want to know if it’s going to be sent out just one or multiple time.
  • Date of campaign: Here I just want to make sure that the campaign is not sent on any public holidays.
  • Is it a dedicated or multi-brand campaign: Is our brand going to be the only one featured or are we sharing the space with other brands. Are there any direct competitors also tagging along?
  • Position on the email campaign: Again, if this is a multi-brand campaign, you want to occupy a better position on the campaign. Above the fold is ideal.
  • Assets needed from us: Just so we know what needs to be done and plan accordingly.
  • Cost of the campaign: What is this going to cost us? Below I share a nice calculation on how you can estimate the outcome of such a campaign.
  • Product market penetration: Last but not least, from the people that use your product, how many of them could possibly be part of the email audience?

See, the last point about Product market penetration is really important. If you don’t know the answer, you can skip it but the estimated ROI will be significantly different.

Because your hypothetical 50 000 subscibers pool just became 5 000 for your prouduct.

Understanding Market Penetration

Investopedia defines the understanding of Market Penetration as:

If there are 300 million people in a country and 65 million of them own cell phones, the market penetration of cell phones would be approximately 22%. In theory, there are still 235 million more potential customers for cell phones, or 78% of the population remains untapped. The penetration numbers might indicate the potential for growth for cell phone makers.

We could also simply say that, If you product is “cast iron pan” and 10% of the population uses them, then the market penetration is 10%.

So 10% use cast iron pans.

How to get market penetration data?

This is not easy but try the following:

  • Statista
  • Govermental sites
  • OS Market data by companies
  • Or more premium company such as GfK

Calculate email ROI in Google Sheets

Finally, to the sweet bits.

In the beggining I explained the important questions to ask.

Each point in the list explains the what and the why.

Go ahead make a copy of the Google sheet. If you have any questions, find me on LinkedIn.

My DMs are open.

Grab the Google Sheet

About the author

Klaudio Fejzaj is the Co-Founder of PameDigital where he provides SEO Consultancy and Web Design & Development services with strategic leadership for the agency’s clients. Klaudio Fejzaj performs regular SEO experiments and A/B tests to better understand how search engine algorithms, such as Google, Microsoft Bing, work. Klaudio started his career back in 2015 in ecommerce and has since then worked with an array of clients and projects from B2C to B2B verticals.

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