Are you struggling to make email marketing reports that actually who your return on investment (ROI)?
Or, like most marketers, are you simply tracking opens, click-through rates (CTR), and unsubscribes, hoping things automagically get better over time?
The truth is that email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. And yet, so many marketers are getting it wrong because they aren’t focused on the right key performance indicators (KPIs).
So, today, I’m going to share 7 tips for making a profitable email marketing report. But before we begin, I want to get clear on why most marketers avoid building these reports in the first place.
There are many talented marketers out there who do a great job, but don’t realize the amount of leads and money they leave on the table every single day.
Why? Because they focus so much on creating campaigns that they forget to track them–which makes sense.
A lot of marketers get into the field because they’re creative. And, for the most part, the “creative types” struggle more with analyzing data and creating detailed spreadsheets.
But creating email marketing reports is incredibly valuable for your team and clients. In fact, if you’re running an agency, then building those reports is an absolute must.
For more on that topic, check out this post on 7 reasons to keep your clients “in the know” with marketing reports.
The real problem isn’t that marketers are lazy or don’t know how to build the reports.
The real problem is a combination of time, energy, and perceived pay-off.
We’re going to cover the “perceived pay-off” in just a minute, but now let’s talk about dealing with the time and energy.
These can both be easily solved with a report building tool like Metrics Watch:
Metrics Watch allows you to quickly build automated reports that are sent directly via email. Plus, these reports can include valuable KPIs from all of your favorite marketing channels, such as:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Facebook (paid and organic)
- Instagram (paid and organic)
- And many others…
This gives marketers and agencies the unique opportunity to create email marketing reports for their team or clients.
With a drag and drop builder, you can load all of your KPIs in minutes. Then you decide who needs these reports, when they need them, and have them sent automatically on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
And the best part is that Metrics Watch offers the least amount of friction in the report-sharing process.
Unlike many report builders on the market, Metrics Watch sends your reports directly via email.
That means no more messy PDFs to organize, and no more sharing usernames and passwords for clients to log into 3rd-party dashboards.
Instead, you send the data people need in a format they already know. It’s really that simple.
Want to see it in action for yourself? Click below to start your 100% risk-free trial of Metrics Watch (no credit card required):
Now, let’s cover the perceived pay-off so you can understand how to create a profitable email marketing report.
Do you know what common error I see all the time with email marketing reports? They are too focused on vanity metrics like the number of subscribers and open rates. They’re not focused enough on KPIs that help you evaluate your success in generating revenue.
Look, I’m not saying tracking open rates and click-throughs is pointless. It isn’t. There are things you can learn from these about how your audience responds to different subject lines or to email designs and copy.
But if your focus is on making your email marketing as profitable as possible, you need to put revenue at the center of your reports.
Include KPIs that help you evaluate the revenue generated by your email campaigns. Examples might be:
- Number of sales
- Value of sales (as a total and as an average)
- Conversion rate from email click-throughs
- Number of leads generated
- Lifetime value of email subscribers
- Percentage of overall conversions that come from email subscribers
By making sure your reports are revenue-driven, you won’t fall into the trap of relying on vanity metrics.
Monitoring the success of your email campaigns is important. But email marketing isn’t a standalone activity. And that means your reports shouldn’t be limited to just email metrics.
Email may be your focus. But to create a marketing report that gives you the detail you need to increase profits, you need to put your email campaigns in context.
You’ll want to know, for example, whether you get more sales from email subscribers or from other channels. This means you can see where your most profitable audiences are and invest your time and money accordingly.
And you’ll have spotted that most of the KPIs under point 1 aren’t things that your email platform can tell you. To monitor these, you’ll need to gather data from Google Analytics and perhaps your CRM too.
In other words, a truly profitable email marketing report pulls together KPIs from multiple channels, so you can see your campaigns in context.
That’s why we recommend a report building tool like Metrics Watch that can help pull data from all of your sources automatically.
As we’ve already seen, email marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
Apart from anything else, you need to have collected those email addresses from somewhere. And knowing which sources bring you the most profitable subscribers is a valuable piece of information.
With this knowledge in hand, you can adjust your other marketing campaigns to maximize your ROI.
Perhaps social media doesn’t bring you many direct sales but does bring you plenty of high-value subscribers. You’ll know you should focus your social media on driving new email sign-ups instead of trying to sell.
It is easy to get excited by a high-performing campaign. Or deflated by a poorly performing one.
But marketing isn’t about one success or failure. It is about sustained, long-term investment and growth.
This might not sound as flashy and exciting as seeing a new idea bring a sudden spike in engagement. But building a profitable email marketing strategy means keeping your focus on the long game, not just short-term wins.
Your email marketing reports should reflect this. Instead of focusing just on this week or this month, you need to grow your body of data, giving you a solid evidence base to draw on when you are coming up with new strategies and ideas.
This is where regular, consistent reporting is so valuable. Don’t simply produce a summary report at the end of a big campaign. Instead, track your KPIs on a weekly or monthly basis, so you build that long-term picture.
It will serve you well in maximizing the profitability of your email marketing.
Regular reports are excellent tools for generating insights that can really help you make the most of your email marketing.
But do you know what’s not so brilliant? Reports that never get read. Full of vital insights that never get implemented.
It’s not enough to build a beautiful report that showcases all your essential KPIs and think, "job done." You need to use that information or the whole exercise has been a waste of everyone’s time.
Part of this is about making evidence-based marketing a cornerstone of how you work. But there are some basics you can implement to make this easier to do.
First, make it easy to access reports. Getting them straight into your inbox is my preferred method, so there’s no barrier between you and the information you need.
Second, make it easy for other decision-makers to access the reports, too. It keeps you all up-to-date and on the same page.
Finally, present your reports in a way that is visually appealing and helps you quickly identify key trends. Make sure they contain only the essential KPIs so that you don’t get distracted by vanity metrics.
A lot about making your email marketing reports more profitable is to do with the information you put in them.
But some things are purely practical.
If you want to build email marketing reports that help you maximize your ROI, you need to consider the value of your own time.
Is it best spent compiling metrics from lots of different platforms and turning them into beautiful graphs? Or might it be more useful (and profitable) for you to have more time to actually analyze those metrics and apply them to refining your email marketing strategy?
A good reporting tool can pull together your KPIs and display them for you in a matter of seconds. Once you have your templates set up, you never have to worry about it again. That saves you hours each month which can more usefully be spent elsewhere.
Automate your reports (and thank me later 😉 ).
A final practical consideration before I finish. If you, or your team, are still compiling your reports manually, you are leaving yourself open to human error.
A typo here, a misread number there, and that data set you have spent months amassing is no longer accurate or useful.
Humans make mistakes. We just do. Especially when carrying out routine tasks that are, let’s face it, pretty boring.
We get distracted. And that’s why I strongly recommend using a reporting tool to pull all your data together.
It eliminates that margin of human error and ensures you’ll have accurate reports to work from. Saving you from costly mistakes.
And that’s all for today! I hope this article has helped convince you why you need a report building tool. Even if you don’t use Metrics Watch, I still recommend going with SOME kind of report building tool.
And if you did find this post helpful, you might want to check out the following resources:
- The Best AgencyAnalytics Alternatives for Marketing Reports
- Mailchimp Reports: How to Consolidate Data into ONE Report
- How to Maximize Mailchimp Open Rates
These resources will have even more information to help you build better, data-driven email marketing reports.