Print Plus: 12 Benchmarks Across Integrated Channels
For Email Programs
1. Open Rate. This differs by industry segment, but higher rates indicate effective subject line copy with compelling offers, incentives or calls to action.
2. Clickthrough Rate. A higher percentage means that once the email has been opened, customers are interested enough to clickthrough to your website to learn more or make purchases.
3. Conversion Rate. The best indicator of effectiveness because these are actual orders/sales.
4. Average Order Value (AOV). This is a traditional historical tracking statistic that's meaningful for any company. Compare the AOV from email campaigns with your catalog AOV.
5. Bounce Rate. This benchmarks your list management/maintenance tool. Rising bounce rates over time mean you're not keeping up with the general email address turnover rate, which is about 30 percent per year. It points to the need to perform appropriate periodic email list hygiene.
Search Engine Optimization Benchmarks
1. Site Traffic Origins. Compare percentages of traffic driven by organic searches, direct access, referrals from other sites, email, pay per click and other specific sources. A high percentage of direct traffic speaks well for brand awareness. High organic search traffic generally indicates good website content optimization for search engines.
2. Conversion Rates. To verify actual sales from these sources.
The bottom-line dollar return from each of these marketing methods is the ultimate indicator of its effectiveness. But the numbers behind these benchmarks and their trends tell you how to maximize the return on your marketing investment.
Financial performance against budget and last year's year-to-date sales is another critical benchmark. Compare key ratios on the income statement with your historical ratios. There are industry guidelines to compare your ratios against as well.
By setting benchmarks — there are many to consider beyond what I've discussed here — you'll improve your customers' order experiences and, therefore, loyalty. You'll also find opportunities to save money by improving efficiency. In short, benchmarks help you manage your business.