How can behavior tracking help increase e-mail marketing ROI?

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Answer: How do you measure e-mail marketing ROI? By the number of opens, number of clicks or number of hits on your Web site? Real ROI is more than that, and there are a few other metrics that you should track that denote success or its lack. E-mail marketing ROI should be measured by the number of qualified leads or the conversion rate of leads generated to deals sold. How much revenue was generated by that e-mail campaign? In order to get to the point where e-mail marketing generates more than clicks—and generates leads that convert to opportunities and sales—one must differentiate clicks from interest and, further, instill a nurturing process.

Does one click on an e-mail denote interest? Some argue yes, but that’s an old way of thinking. Using behavior tracking along with scoring and nurturing, e-mail clicks can simply indicate a response to an e-mail, a curiosity. Behavior tracking coupled with lead scoring can give you some insight into the potential interest behind an inquiry. You can see what pages they went to, what they downloaded and how much time they spent with you. You can also see if they’ve interacted with your company before in some way (online or off).

With behavior tracking, e-mail marketing ROI does not become a matter of opens and clicks, but truly an indicator of interest. If that lead has progressed through important pages of the Web site and downloaded multiple items, it could represent an interested prospect. Behavior tracking on leads isn’t just a one-time occurrence; the true measure of ROI for that marketing campaign isn’t based on on the initial behavior of the lead, but on interactions over time.

Lisa Cramer is chief sales and marketing officer at FirstWave (, a provider of marketing automation solutions.

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