Email Marketing Expectations

phone-and-email-logo-pngThere is one question I am asked almost every day; What return can I expect from my email marketing investment?

Usually I will decline to answer, that is not to say it is not a valid question. A huge part of my job is to manage expectations but 90% of the factors affecting the result are usually out of my control!

I provide lists, profiled, clean, opted in, ready to use. B2B or more often B2C. They are the meat in the marketing sandwich. Lets face it, the best conceived email marketing campaign in the world is going no where if you don’t have anyone to send it to so lets be realistic, whatever the popular email blast platform people tell you, when you are launching a product you need exposure, you need a list.

Not sure a list is for you? Think about it; If you made 30 second TV or radio commercials no one would blink when you pay to have it delivered to a million living rooms all over the country but when you design a great email and rent a list to send it to, people start complaining. I should say, this is a very English [British] problem. Most of the rest of the world accept your email marketing message with an inquiring, consumerist, optimism.


Before we can deal with expectations we have to talk about objective. You need to decide what you want to achieve with your email. For example, are you trying to drive people to your web site, a specially designed landing page that continues the story you started in your email? Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to reinforce a brand? Do you want recipients to pick up the phone or fill in an inquiry form?

There are many ways you could use your email but the most effective type of message is the one that pitches a product or service. Let’s concentrate on that for now.


Why? Why is anyone going to click through to your order page? If you are lucky you have exactly the right product at exactly the right price on exactly the right day pitched to exactly the right customer.

The reality is, your product is OK, its about the right price, you have lots of competition and small margins. It’s the run up to Christmas and people are guarded about spending their money.

While you build your message think about the flow from enticing subject line to opening to comprehension of the message and action. There is a lot you can do to influence the action, the most effective is to offer and incentive, consider offering something appropriate in return for the click through to your site. If you are selling something offer a lottery; 1 in 500 get their money back, or buy today and get 30% off.


You are not marketing because you like sending email, you are sending these messages to drive clicks to your buy now page and so make sales and profit!

The results of sending an email campaign are usually instant, literally. With our blast platform you can see the opens as they happen. You can see the landing on your web site in real time as your suspects click through from the email and there is nothing more satisfying that watching the order confirmations coming in before the platform has even finished sending the job.

Over the first 24 hours you can expect the majority of the opens and click throughs to have happened. Its as rapid as that. Over the following week you will see more opens and people re reading your message. If your web site has deployed persistent cookies when they clicked through you will be able to track people who return to your site after the initial action.

All this is great fun and incredibly satisfying and if you got your pitch right it brings immediate results in the form of orders.

Amazingly, its almost impossible to fail at email marketing, it doesnt matter how badly framed your message is or how bad a deal it is as long as you send out enough! This is much the same a phishing, send enough and you will get what you want.

It does however cost money to send email so getting the message right, sending it to the right people and doing it at the right moment will ensure you get the best return for your investment.

So, what can you expect?

Ah yes, the question I didn’t want to answer so lets put this answer in context; You will send at least 10,000 emails, you are trying to sell a consumer product, you have invested in a good message, creative and landing page. You have a well crafted subject line and finally, you use a professional blast platform to send the message.

All that said, we have seen open rates from a minimum of 5% to over 80% although you will probably see about 30% and click through should be about 1 in 10 of those opened.

What next?

Do you need to launch a product or sell more of what you already have? Call me, the entire consultancy process is free so there is nothing to loose. The worst that can happen is you learn something.

Stephen Spencer, BDM and Marketing Consultant
UK Datahouse. +44(0) 7522 395 666

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Stephen Spencer

Journalist, curator and creator. ReadBetween is my outlet, your welcome to join in. I have also built a sporting web site for runners, riders and swimmers.

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