Podcast interview with Jeanne Jennings

Jeanne Jennings is the General Manager of Only Influencers, the original community of email industry professionals.

Jeanne is also the Chair of Email Innovations world, and the Founder and CEO, Email Optimization Shop.

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Video from the podcast:

Main Topics

Future Outlook for Email Marketing

Addresses concerns about the future relevance of email amidst technological advancements. Explores factors such as privacy regulations, disillusionment with social media platforms, and ownership of subscriber relationships favoring email marketing’s longevity. Draws parallels between historical predictions about email’s decline and its continued resilience over time.

Role of Email Innovation World in advancing email marketing strategies

The conference focuses on providing advanced insights for successful email programs rather than covering basic concepts. It offers opportunities for experienced professionals to learn how to elevate their programs to the next level. The event aims to set itself apart by focusing on innovation within the field.

Only Influencers email community and its role in the email marketing industry

Only Influencers is a community for email industry professionals to network, discuss email-related topics, and share knowledge. The community provides resources such as newsletters, blogs, webinars, and special reports to benefit both members and non-members. It aims to promote collaboration and support within the industry.

Importance of understanding email marketing metrics

The OI Metrics project was launched as a resource for understanding email marketing metrics. A recent quiz revealed a need for better comprehension of these metrics among industry professionals. Understanding these numbers can significantly improve one’s ability to manage an email program effectively.

Revenue per Email Metric

Revenue per email (RPE) is favored over open rate or click-through rate as it directly impacts business bottom lines. RPE serves as a clear KPI for determining which emails drive more revenue per sent mail. Open and click-through rates are diagnostic metrics useful for improving RPE but should not be used as primary KPIs.

Understanding Email Metrics and Calculation

Emphasizes the significance of accurately calculating metrics like open rates and click-through rates. Highlights common misconceptions about unique opens, total opens, and their implications on interpreting metrics. Discusses how Apple MPP impacts traditional email metrics like open rates and CTOR.

Importance of Click Reach and Unique Clickers

Click Reach measures unique clickers across multiple email sends, providing insights for multi-effort series. Identifying the growth in new clickers helps in evaluating the effectiveness of email campaigns. Lack of new clickers may indicate the need to modify or eliminate certain email efforts.

Email List Growth

New names on the email list perform better than long-term subscribers, leading to higher open rates, click rates, and conversions. Moving the email sign-up from the footer to above the fold resulted in a 46% increase in email list growth. Placing the call-to-action above the fold is crucial for growing an email list.

A/B Split Testing

It’s important to AB split test even if you’re sure that a change will improve performance, as it ensures audience agreement. AB testing is done differently in each email platform. The functionality for AB split testing built into ESP software is often ineffective and can lead in the wrong direction.

Open Reach and Click Reach Metrics

Analyzing open reach and click reach metrics collectively provides insights into multi-effort series performance rather than individual emails alone.


👥 Only Influencers 🔐 First Party Data 📧 Email Marketing 📊 Open Reach 🖱️ Click Reach 🌐 Email Innovation World
👨‍💼 email Industry Professionals 📈 Email List Growth 👆 Unique Clickers 🍪 Third Party Cookies 💰 Revenue Per Email 🍏 Apple MPP
🔀 A/B Split Testing 🎯 Marketing Strategy ✉️ Email Deliverability

Questions / Answers

What is the role of Only Influencers in the email marketing industry?
Only Influencers serves as a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and discussions among members while also providing valuable resources such as newsletters, blogs, webinars, and special reports.

How does OI Metrics project contribute to improving understanding of email marketing metrics?
The OI Metrics project serves as a resource aimed at helping individuals understand essential email marketing metrics better through quizzes and educational content available even for non-members.

Can you share more about your journey into working with emails?
Jim Jennings shared her journey into working with emails starting from her early career experiences at CompuServe up until becoming deeply involved in the field through writing columns about it.

Can you provide another example of a small detail worth paying attention to?
Moving an email sign-up from footer to above-the-fold led to a 46% increase in list growth, highlighting its significance.

What’s your favorite metric?
Revenue per Email (RPE) is my favorite metric due to its direct impact on business bottom lines compared to open or click-through rates.

Why are Open Reach and Click Reach metrics important?
Analyzing these metrics collectively provides insights into multi-effort series performance rather than individual emails alone.

Will email eventually be replaced?
Despite challenges like Apple MPP, third-party cookies ban, and social media disillusionment, various factors indicate a promising future for emails due to direct subscriber relationships and first-party data collection opportunities.

Key points and Insights

Revenue per Email (RPE) serves as a clear KPI for determining which emails drive more revenue per sent mail compared to open or click-through rates, being diagnostic metrics only useful for improving RPE but not suitable as primary KPIs.

Community platforms like Only Influencers play a crucial role in fostering collaboration among professionals within specific industries such as email marketing.

Events like Email Innovation World focus on providing advanced insights tailored towards experienced professionals looking to elevate their existing programs further.

AB split testing functionality built into ESP software can be ineffective due to small sample sizes leading to statistically insignificant results.

Understanding key performance metrics is vital for enhancing one’s ability to manage an effective email program successfully.

Placing call-to-action above-the-fold significantly increases email list growth compared to placing it in the footer.

Ownership of subscriber relationships distinguishes emails from social media platforms.

Accurate calculation of metrics is crucial to understanding campaign performance.

Technological shifts such as Apple MPP impact traditional email marketing practices.


Only Influencers is really neat; it’s basically anyone who’s in the email industry can join… it’s a place where people can go talk about emails.

Understanding these numbers makes you even better at your job; it makes you much more powerful.

The conference focuses on innovations… to take [email] programs to the next level.

Moving an email sign-up from footer led us got a 46% increase in list growth.

Revenue per Email (RPE) goes directly towards your bottom line.

Analyzing open reach & click reach together gives insights into multi-effort series performance.

I think it’s really important… You’ve got to understand what’s behind them.

People are becoming disillusioned with these social media networks.

Email has been around for over 50 years… I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon.


Only Influencers email community

OI Metric Project

Email Innovation World

Email Optimization Shop

Follow Jeanne on LinkedIn


Email Marketing Strategies Success

The dialog discusses the success of card abandonment emails generating revenue and the importance of email marketing strategies in driving business growth. [00:06]

The dialog discusses the experience of a boutique email marketing consultant, including working with various brands, attending industry conferences, and the importance of AB split testing for determining effectiveness. [12:24]

Benefits of Joining OI Community

The dialog discusses the benefits of joining Only Influencers, a community for professionals in the email industry to network, discuss industry topics, and support each other’s careers. [02:12]

The dialog discusses how the speaker’s career in the email marketing industry began with a promising opportunity and eventually led to a long-standing passion for the field. [10:58]

The dialog discusses the importance of email in the modern business world, comparing it to other forms of communication like text messaging and television. [36:04]

Email Collaboration Initiatives

The dialog discusses the importance of collaboration and support within the email industry, highlighting initiatives such as a weekly newsletter, blog, webinars, special reports on diversity, and a Metrics Project aimed at improving email marketing metrics. [04:43]

Membership Benefits for Email Marketers

The dialog discusses the benefits of joining a membership for email marketers, including networking opportunities, valuable discussions, and access to resources such as webinars and special reports. [07:02]

Email Marketing Strategies

The dialog discusses the Email Innovation World event, focusing on providing advanced information and strategies for successful email marketing programs. [08:52]

Effective A/B Testing for Emails

AB split testing is important for determining which emails generate the most leads and make the most money, but many email platforms’ built-in functionality for AB testing is often ineffective and can lead to misleading results. [14:36]

Email Sign Up Placement

Moving the email sign up above the fold on a website can significantly increase email list growth, as visitors are more likely to sign up for emails before leaving the site. [19:32]

Email Marketing’s Growing Importance

The dialog discusses the importance of collecting email addresses to build relationships with customers and increase the likelihood of them returning to make a purchase, highlighting revenue per email as a favorite metric for measuring success in email marketing. [21:45]

The dialog discusses the shift away from third-party cookies in digital advertising and the potential for email marketing to thrive due to its reliance on zero and first-party data, as well as people’s disillusionment with social media platforms. [32:35]

Email KPI Metrics Importance

The dialog discusses the importance of using revenue per email as a key performance indicator (KPI) in email marketing, rather than relying on open rates or click-through rates, and emphasizes the significance of metrics like Click Reach in evaluating the overall success of multi-effort email campaigns.[23:17]

Email Open Rates Importance

The dialog discusses the importance of open rates in email marketing, the challenges of calculating and interpreting these metrics, and the potential impact of changes like Apple MPP and the banning of third party cookies on email marketing’s future. [28:45]

Email vs Social Media

The dialog discusses the importance of email platforms over social media networks due to the direct relationship between sender and subscriber, highlighting the potential pitfalls of investing too heavily in platforms where users can easily leave and sever ties. [34:12]

Effective Communication Strategies

The dialog discusses the importance of choosing the right communication channel and avoiding sending irrelevant messages, ultimately ending with a polite exchange of thanks and well wishes. [37:45]


Jeanne Jennings    00:06

I had a client that we were doing card abandonment emails. Every card abandonment email we sent generated sixteen dollars. Well, how would you like it if every email you sent generated sixteen dollars? I mean, we’d all be very wealthy. There were other emails that generated point O one six. And so when you talk to management about what we need to be doing, stuff like that makes it really clear and it’s hard for them to argue with those numbers like I said, unless it’s like, Oh well that was the message from the president we need to keep doing it but it’s hard to argue with you know, this is a limited resource. If we over mail our list, they’re going to stop opening and responding there’s erosion that happens.

Sella Yoffe    00:47

Hello and welcome to episode number three of email geeks dot show. The podcast where once a month the leading email experts share the knowledge about email marketing email deliverability and marketing my name is Sella Yoffe and I’m an email deliverability consultant working with global email senders, startups and email platforms about their email deliverability, email authentication, and strategy, and. I’m the host of this podcast. My guest today is Jeanne Jennings, the General Manager of Only Influencers, the original community of email industry professionals. She’s also the chair of email Innovation World and the founder and CEO of email optimization shop, based in, washington DC, good morning Jeanne. It’s great to have you on the show.

Jeanne Jenningds    01:42

Hey, well first of all thank you for having me on the podcast today Sella, I’m really honoured to be here. And yeah, it’s been great getting to know you through only influencers which we call OI for short i think it’s really neat. Oi is the original community of email industry professionals started about 13 years ago officially but there was actually an unofficial core group of us that were on the list before that by Bill McCloskey and I took it over when he retired. But only influencers is really neat it’s basically anyone who’s in the email industry can join and it’s a way to meet other people in the industry and network, which is great for your career, whether you’re looking to hire people or whether you’re looking for your own next job move. But more than that, it’s a place where people can go to talk about email so we have some really interesting discussions. When the pandemic started, we started doing a Thursday live zoom, which I often see you on. And we bring in people who have authored industry columns and we talk about topics and I think it’s really neat to get the chance to talk to people who are writing about these things like Apple’s MPP acquisitions when they come up, any kind of new technology that comes in, we talk about. So it’s really a neat group and I there’s a lot of people like you that I’ve met through there that I’ve never actually met in person, But I consider you industry friends ’cause you just get to know people. A lot of the people that you read in the email marketing world are members of only influencers, people like Chad White with Oracle Marketing Consulting and Jenna Tiffany with Let’s Talk Strategy and Gavin Legini from dot Digital. And so really we just, we’re a group of email marketing industry professionals, We want to help members with their careers, but members also have very much in an outward perspective of trying to do things that are in the best interest of the industry.

Sella Yoffe    03:35

I find it fascinating how the email community is always ready to help each other.

Jeanne Jenningds    03:42

Yeah, Well, you know, the industry is always been one where people help each other i think it’s because a lot of us started in this industry very early i started my career in online in 1989 with CompuServe, which was really early. And so a lot of us kind of grew up in this industry and when you’re doing that, you know, at CompuServe, we used to call online bleeding edge it wasn’t cutting edge it was bleeding edge and you were trying to figure it out and it was really neat because as people figured it out, they were very generous with writing about it. So you know you have people like Jacob Nielsen who was very early in the usability and websites and things like that. You also have a lot of people in the email industry that they were very, they’re very early i was sort of on that early group but also Karen Talavera who’s Synchronicity Marketing and Kath Pay with holistic email and Lauren McDonald who’s been with who’s now left us for the electric car vehicle industry but was very active when he was with Silver Pop. And it’s neat because even when people were at competitive organizations they were friendly and that’s really what only influencers really wants to continue and make sure doesn’t leave the industry the idea of people helping each other, the idea of people working together for the greater good of the industry which has always been part of it and you know to that end we do a lot of things that benefit members but we also do a lot of things that benefit non members so things like our only influencers newsletter which gets published once a week, Janet Roberts who is a well known name in the industry is actually our newsletter editor and does a great job. We usually have anywhere from nine to twelve articles about what’s hot and going on in the industry typically the first two or three are from our blog and then we actively feature our members articles cause a lot of our members are influencers. So that’s really great we also have as I mentioned our blog and that’s another thing that’s free even if you’re not a member you can read those and then we do webinars, it’s actually we’re calling it a community update and then we do special reports another area of interest for the industry is diversity, primarily racial diversity so we recently published our second annual racial diversity in the email industry report and we actually have a goal to try to make the industry match the population at large by January 2025 We’re also having a gender diversity special report and then we have the OI Metrics project, which is actually oimetrics.com that we launched, which is basically a resource for people to get to understand email marketing metrics more i think that numbers are really important to this channel and that’s how you’re gonna improve. And that’s what the Metrics Project is set up for and we actually recently did Masters of email Marketing Metrics quiz where we invited people to answer 10 questions. All of the answers to these questions were available on oimetrics.com and we actually linked to it and it was interesting out of about, I think 79 people who took it, only six got them all right. So there’s a real media.

Sella Yoffe    06:51

People from the industry.

Jeanne Jenningds    06:53

People from the industry, yeah, the average score was like ADI, think the average score was like less than 7 out of 10, right? So there’s a real need out there to understand these numbers, ’cause once you understand them, it makes you even better at your job, it makes you much more powerful, it gives you the ability to do a lot more with your program so that’s another thing again, all these things are available for people who aren’t members. I think the thing that you miss if you’re not a member is the networking opportunities, which I think is actually quite valuable so yeah, we invite people to join it’s 200 a year, or if you want to join in a monthly basis, it’s 20$ a month and literally anyone who’s in the email marketing industry can join you don’t have to be someone who’s blogged for 20 years about it, who’s been working in the industry for 30 years really, anyone is welcome and we love to have new people.

Sella Yoffe    07:41

I always find that Tuesday calls very valuable and I almost never miss that.

Jeanne Jenningds    07:47

Yeah and that’s one thing we want to keep alive. And you know, the other nice thing about the Thursday calls is, first of all, it’s cameras on. So it’s not a webinar, it’s not a lecture, It’s literally a discussion. And we really, we don’t record them so if you want to be a part of it, you have to be there. But yeah, a lot of friendships have been made, a lot of business deals have been struck from those Thursday events and when else are you going to have the chance to be in a group of typically we have, you know, around 20 people talking to a Chad White or whoever is the author and even just, you know, sharing ideas and thoughts so it’s really kind of a special thing we’re very proud of it. I’m so glad that you’re a part of it too. But just to be sure, yeah, it’s only influencers.com so O N L Y I N F L U E N C E R S dot com and if you go there you can read the blog. You can sign up for the newsletter and you can also register to join us. And also we have our past webinars they’re available on demand as well as our special reports for download and you can also see about our upcoming webinars which are which are free. So yeah, I encourage everyone to check it out it’s really great resource. I should say that I was a member from the start and I was a huge fan and then when Bill retired and asked me to step in, it was they were big shoes to fill but I was honored to do it so I’ve been a fan of OI long before I was the general manager.

Sella Yoffe    09:09

You’re also the programming chair and moderator for email innovation world. Can you share more on that?

Jeanne Jenningds    09:16

The idea behind our conference, we really try to set ourselves apart there’s a lot of conferences where you can go to learn the basics of, you know, email marketing and you know what is deliverability and we don’t really cover that we really are focused on innovations we want to provide people who have successful programs with the information they need to take them to the next level. So it’s really a place to come not if you’re a newbie and you don’t really know email, marketing but if you’ve got a successful program, you know you know enough to be dangerous. Come here and learn what you really need to know to take your program to the next level.

Sella Yoffe    09:52

The email Innovation World event will take place from June 5 to June 7, 2024 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, arizona. You can register by going to email innovation world dot com and I’ll put the link in the shell notes. In the email, industry many people say they unintentionally ended up walking in email they fell into email. There is even AT shirt with this slogan. What did your journey into email look like?

Jeanne Jenningds    10:27

Wow well you know I started an online right out of Graduate School i went to work for CompuServe and I was working at a dot com and i was doing email, but I was also doing other channels and my boss there left and went to read business information, which is read Elsevier, B2B publisher largest one of the country back then and it was actually called Connor’s before it was called Read Business Information, which some people know the Connor’s name. And I’ll never forget ’cause i went up to New York and I had lunch with him and he said I really want to hire you here and I said I would really love to work for you here. And he said here’s the thing, he’s like I’ve got approval for a few positions right now and he’s like one of them is email. Marketing and you would be head of all email marketing for product development and you’d have a dotted line to the marketing team to do email marketing with them. I have confidence in you and I know that you can do this. So you know, why don’t you take this role and I’ll make you a promise if in six months you’re not happy with email by that time I’ll have some other positions I can hire and I will I will move you somewhere because I know that I want you on my team and you know, but this is just this is what I have and i think you’ll like it but if you don’t and I was like you know what i’m happy to do it to work with you let’s do this let’s give it a shot. And I gotta tell you I have never looked back. I just, I love email. Once i had, you know, I knew a little bit about it but I really dove into the industry back then click Z was one of the main publications and I remember every morning going to Click Z and reading what was there about email. Marketing and then about a year in, I actually met some folks at Click Z and they asked if I would write a column, which was thrilling to me so I got to write a column there for I wrote for them for like over 12 years every other week. So yeah, I guess I kind of fell into it i have Mark Potts who is now back in the consulting world to thank for it. But yeah, it’s been it’s just been really great and you know, I remember going to my first conference and seeing Lauren McDonald at the bar and I ran up to Lauren and I said hi, you don’t know me but I’ve been reading your stuff and I think you’re so smart and he looks at me and he goes, oh, you’re Gene Jennings he said, I am and he said I’ve been reading your stuff. So stuff like that I think was really cool that you know back in the day. So yeah, it’s been a fun ride and just super nice people in the industry i think that’s the other reason I’ve really stayed some of my very best friends are in the industry now and that’s just how the industry is.

Sella Yoffe    13:10

You have worked with interesting brands as a boutique email marketing consultant for many years.

Jeanne Jenningds    13:16

I do i do i actually started my boutique consultancy email back in two thousand, one so it’s been about 20 years now amazing. And I’ve been, I’ve worked really hard, but i’ve been really lucky i’ve worked with some great brands like Hasbro and Verizon and Synchrony Financial and Capital One PayPal. So it’s been a really fun ride and I feel really lucky. I’ve done I do B to BI, do B to CI, do all sorts of industries, AARP, National Association of Realtors National Education Association. So it’s been really great.

Sella Yoffe    13:59

One of your areas of expertise is assisting brands in determining what’s effective and what’s not. Could you provide a case study?

Jeanne Jenningds    14:07

I would love that A big part of my work with clients is actually doing AB split testing for them. It’s important to AB split test even if you’re sure that a change you’re going to make, is it going to improve performance, you want to make sure your audience agrees with you on that. The other nice thing about AB split testing is if every anyone ever asks why you made that change last year questions it, you can just pull the report and say we made this change ’cause it increased revenue by 46 %. And usually people go, oh OK, so it really gets it out of the realm but the other thing that I run into is, you know, obviously we want our emails to be attractive, but mostly I want them to make money so what is attractive is very subjective i might like an email and you might dislike it or vice versa, but which one made more money is not subjective at all and that’s typically what it’s about or which one generated the most leads or whatever so that’s the other reason AB split testing is really good.

Sella Yoffe    15:08

Yeah, AB testing is done differently in each email platform.

Jeanne Jenningds    15:13

So here’s the thing of it, right? I would say in most cases, perhaps not all, but in most cases that AB split test functionality that your ESP builds into its software. In most cases it’s absolutely useless. And worse than that it actually can send you in the wrong direction. And they you know, I know that they’re trying, I know that they are. But you know I have a client right now that does an AB split test on their subject line before every send and what they do is they do a pre send so they take out a small portion of the list they split it into. They send two different subject lines, like two or three hours later, whichever subject line has the highest click through rate. So this at least is going to click through rate. That’s what they send to everyone. But what I found out was that in most cases, the sample sizes they’re using are so small that the results are not statistically significant. And if they’re not statistically significant, it means there’s no difference so again, it’s a coin flip, what they’re telling you to use and then you go back to the fact that you know and they’re better than most people if it’s a subject line test, they’re gonna wanna use open rate as your KPI, which is awful. They’re using click through rate but again, going back to that analysis that I did, that is only accurate 7 % of the time. Well, so with those two factors, you know, I basically said to them you just need to stop doing this because you could be hurting yourself, you could be helping yourself. We have no idea. In order to do a good AB split test, you’re actually gonna need to go outside of the functionality that your ESP provides you’re gonna need to take a look at your list my rule is at least 20.000 thousand per cell, which means you’ll need at least 40.000 thousand to test. If you have less than that on your list, you can test something that’s universal over a few cents, but you can also use the sample size calculator to figure out what your sample size should be tim Watson has one on online that’s really great, but that’s the problem i rarely end up using any of those AB split tests that are built into the ES PS because they’re just useless i had a client years ago that was doing the same thing with subject lines before every send. And you know, again, same problems, not stat sig, not working off, you know, in that case they were just trying to drive traffic to a site so their KPI was total clicks, not click through rate, but total clicks. Not basing it on that. And the other great thing is they had it set up to do a test before every send and one option was newsletter 4 and today’s date and the other option was the title of the first article in the newsletter. And literally when we looked back the title of the article in the of the first newsletter article always won. Always beat the static, which is not surprising and I said it’s time to turn it off and they said, but what if that when they set it up, they told us we should always do this and I said why it never wins, It never wins. So that’s another thing with there’s a lot of misunderstanding about how to do an AB split testing out there there’s a lot of, he said even the ESP vendors, I know they have the best intentions, but the things that they’re setting up for clients are typically not very good and they’re giving clients a false sense of security that they’re doing a good job on their AB split testing. Yeah, it’s just a shame it’s got to stop you’ve got to do it manually right now or you’ve got to use the third party software but yeah, that functionality in your ESP for AV split testing, just ignore it. Definitely don’t pay extra for it.

Sella Yoffe    18:46

Can you provide another example of a small details worth paying attention to?

Jeanne Jenningds    18:51

One of the things I did a while ago was a case study I wrote up from my blog, which is an email OP shop dot. Com was about email list growth, which I think is really important to any program you always want to be bringing new names on file and there’s a couple of reasons it’s not just to keep your list a decent size ’cause you want to make sure that you’re bringing on more people than you lose through unsubscribes and attrition. But the other reason that it’s very important to have good list growth is that those new names, they perform a lot better than people who’ve been on your list awhile. They open at a much higher rate, they click at a much higher rate, they convert at a much higher rate. So that’s another reason the higher percentage of your list that is, you know, newer, the better your performance is gonna be. So it’s interesting because a few years ago it was actually when I was consulting for the American Institute of Architects it’s the first time I heard this. We were going through a site redesign with them and the site designer put the email sign up in the footer and I was like no it needs to be above the fold. And they were like no no, it belongs in the.

Sella Yoffe    20:05

Footer, that’s the best part is.

Jeanne Jenningds    20:08

Yeah, it belongs in the footer and I was sort of shocked. And so one of the things that I started testing was when I ran into people like AIA and other places where it was in the footer is we started testing putting it above the fold and every time, every time I am able to test moving that call to action from the footer to above the fold, we see a lift in list growth because people are only going to the footer if they’re looking for return policy or complain about something. The case study that I wrote up earlier this year, we actually got a 46 % increase in email list growth just by moving that email sign up from the footer to the to above the fold to the header we didn’t make any other changes to it and I’ve seen similar increases, like I said, every time I test it so you know, if you’re a web designer, it may be a best practice in your world, but if you actually want to grow your list, it needs to be above the fold. And I think the biggest reason I hear for people not wanting it above the fold is that it’s not their primary goal for the website well, but I don’t want to, you know, deter people from buying i don’t want to deter people from filling out a lead Gen form. And I hear that, but a very small percentage of your site visitors are probably going to be able ready to do that on the first visit. And if they’re not ready to take that action that you want on the first visit, it’s much better if they sign up for email before they leave then if they don’t, because if they don’t sign up for email, you have no way to go contact them again and reach out. And the chances of them coming back to your site are very slim whereas if you get the ability to get their email address you can email them you can, start building your relationship. I kind of think of it back in the day, we used to have a lot of fun at conferences because there were a lot of dating analogies that we used for email. So I almost feel like it’s kind of like, no, if they come to the site, I want them to buy. If they’re not gonna buy, I don’t want to distract them from that but that’s a high commitment there’s a high level of commitment there it’s almost saying like I’m gonna go to a bar and I’m just gonna start asking people to marry me. If they’re not willing to marry me, that’s it. I don’t care. And that’s not how it works with relationships so getting someone’s email address is sort of like getting your digits and it gives you the ability to start building a relationship with them then the more they know about your brand through an excellent welcome series and informational content as well as you know sales content, the more likely they are to come back and buy and that’s really what email’s about.

Sella Yoffe    22:43

You said earlier that even people in the email industry find email metrics unclear. What’s your favorite email metric?

Jeanne Jenningds    22:51

Yeah so RPE revenue per email is my very favorite metric of all time, hands down, no question. It’s easy to calculate. You take the revenue that campaign generated and you divide it by the number of emails that you sent. So it’s very easy to calculate it’s much easier to calculate than return on investment ROI or even return on ad spend Roas. And it’s a great you know if you do an AB split test and you use your revenue per email as your KPI, you’re very clearly gonna see which email drove more revenue for every email that you sent. And that’s why it’s my very favorite metric it’s a much better KPI than an open rate or a click through rate or anything like that. Revenue for email is a business metric it goes directly to your bottom line. Revenue for most companies is what keep the lights keeps the lights on in their business. If you are looking for lead Gen from your email if you need a sales Rep to become involved before a sales done then you want to take a look at you know leads generated but open and click through rates are great diagnostic metrics which means if you are looking to improve your revenue per email you can look at your open and click through rates and you can kind of figure out which levers you need to shift to make that happen. So for instance if you look at your open and click through rates and you have a really good open rate and you have a poor click through rate then it’s very clear you need to work on the body of your email and get that click through rate up. A lot of people are using an open rate or a click through rate as a KPI which is a really bad idea. And we actually found when I look back at a series of testing I had done for a client in late 2020 I looked at all of the tests. I looked at the winners based on based on revenue per email and then I looked at the click through rates for those. And what I found was only in 7 % of the cases did the did a higher click through rate indicate a higher revenue per email.

Sella Yoffe    24:49


Jeanne Jenningds    24:50

Seven, 7 % of the cases so if you’ve got a program right now and you’re relying on click through rate as your KPI, you could be getting it wrong 93 % of the time. And that’s pretty scary and open rates too, especially now with MPPI, mean open rates were never an absolute measure. There was always a margin of error. Now there’s an even higher one. If you’re testing subject lines, you do not want to be using Open Rate as your KPI because it’s not about getting them to open the email, it’s about getting them to convert or turn into a lead or whatever you need past the email. And so even if you’re testing subject lines, you want to use a business metric, not a diagnostic metric like Open rate to be your KPI. It’s also a great way to convince management of things because if you can say this email that we sent, and this is an actual, I had a client that we were doing card abandonment emails. Every card abandonment email we sent generated sixteen. Dollars well, how would you like it if every email you sent generated sixteen dollars i mean, we’d all be very wealthy. There were other emails that generated point O1 6 And so when you talk to management about what we need to be doing, stuff like that makes it really clear and it’s hard for them to argue with those numbers like I said, unless it’s like, Oh well, that was the message from the president we need to keep doing it but it’s hard to argue with you know this is a limited resource. If we over mail our list, they’re going to stop opening and responding there’s erosion that happens and so you know you need to make sure you’re not over mailing. You could be under mailing, that happens, but in general if you’re over mailing you want to get rid of those things that aren’t generating enough revenue for every hit i also have had clients where this is the best. Or you’re sending an email and the number of unsubscribes is greater than the number of clicks. So you’re sending this email and more people are raising their hand and saying take me off your list, don’t ever email me again that are saying, Oh yeah, this is interesting, let me learn more. So that’s another thing you can take a look at and you need to decide and that’s, you know, typically if it’s an email like that, it’s going to have a very low revenue per email. But if it’s got a low revenue per email and your unsubscribe rate is higher than your click through rate, cause unsubscribes are not included in click through rate, then that’s definitely an email that needs to either be dramatically changed or just go away ’cause that’s doing more harm than good.

Sella Yoffe    27:06

I often hear you talk about two email, metrics open Reach and Click Reach. Can you explain why these metrics are important?

Jeanne Jenningds    27:15

So if you’re doing a multi effort series, let’s say you have a three effort Welcome series or even more common, let’s say you have a three effort Abandoned Cart series. Rather than or in addition to looking at each performance of each one individually, which you should do, what you really want to get to is the performance of the three of them together, ’cause that’s really what matters it’s like every email stands alone, but together they’re supposed to be greater than the sum of their parts. So for instance, let’s say that for each of those emails you get a 4 % click through rate. So then you have to ask yourself, well, is it a different 4 % of people every time? Is it really a 12 % that I’ve got clicking, or is it the same 4 %? Because that’s a big difference, right if it’s the same 4 %, that’s OK. But if it’s a different 4 %, or, you know, significantly so that’s what that’s what click Reach tells you because Click Reach takes a look at the number of people you send to so not the email, sent but the number of people you send to. And then every send, it adds the new people who clicked who didn’t click on the first one. So if you’re doing a multi effort series, that’s really what you want because in the multi effort series you want to see the number of unique clickers grow with each email, That also gives you a good idea if you still, let’s say you’re doing a three effort series and let’s say you still see significant growth in new clickers on that last email that, suggests you should be doing another effort because there’s the potential for even more. So that’s why click reach is really important and I think it’s a shame not many ESPS, we’ll give you that right out of the box and in fact it’s a little bit daunting to try to calculate if you’re working with really big lists, which a lot of my clients are you need to get a data analytics person involved ’cause you got to de dupe the unique clickers for each one, but it can be really useful to see what’s going on the other thing we find is sometimes there’s an effort in the middle where we really don’t get any new clickers at all. So for that one, you’d look at that and go, wow, so maybe we should move it, maybe we should get rid of it, maybe we should change it. So it gives you a lot more insight into what’s happening with that series, and it gives you a lot more avenues to consider for hypotheses to do AB split testing to boost performance.

Sella Yoffe    29:33

You know, I never seen an email platform that offers these metrics it’s up to you to do the calculation yourself.

Jeanne Jenningds    29:41

Yeah, I think this is really important. You’ve got to know how to calculate these metrics and you’ve got to understand what’s behind them. I can’t tell you how many times I it happened like a month or two ago i was working with a client, they sent me over their metrics and I had to send a note back and say, so I I’m pretty sure these are total opens, not unique opens and the answer came back, Nope, Nope, those are unique opens. And I said, well, your open rates are coming in at 109 to 194 %, which tells me that they can’t be unique opens, ’cause you can’t have unique people. You understand, right. If you’re sending to 100 people and you’re telling me you had 194 unique opens, that’s just not possible. And so I think that’s one thing that people need to know enough about the metrics that they that they know, oh, an open rate can’t be greater than 100 % and they have to understand the difference between a total open and a unique open and you have to understand how to calculate these things i talked to another person the other day and we were talking about, you know we’re going to get into Apple MPP more a little bit later. But we were talking about open rates and how they’re not useful anymore. And then I asked about her click through rates and she said oh, we don’t, we don’t look at our click through rates we focus on our Click to open rates, which is calculated by clicks divided by opens and I said, well, you understand that’s tainted now too with Apple MPP, you can’t rely on CTOR anymore. And she said, Oh yes, we can because it’s not open rate. Yeah, but the reason open rate’s bad is because the opens are inflated and so anything you’re using opens for is now going to be wrong it’s going to inflate your denominator, which is going to make the whole number smaller and she was like, I never thought about that.

Sella Yoffe    31:30

Email has been around for over 50 years. Do you think it will eventually be replaced?

Jeanne Jenningds    31:37

It’s funny, years ago I was talking with family members who I, who I love, and I had started my consultancy a few years earlier and I’ll never forget because it was over dinner one night and they were like, so since email’s dying, like what are you going to do are you going to switch to like, search engine marketing like, and I’m like, I don’t dying it’s not dying and they’re like, Oh yeah, no, it’s totally dying we read about that in the newspaper. It’s dying. But yeah, I no, I don’t think it’s dying i’ll tell you, as much as there’s things like Apple MPP that are making it more difficult for us to do a good job for our subscribers, ’cause that’s really what Apple MPP does it interferes with that relationship between you and your subscribers. There are a lot of other things going on which suggest a very bright future for email so one of the big ones is basically the banning of third party cookies, which if you’ve been reading anything about that, a lot of the browsers now there are third party cookies on there that have information about all of us as we browse. And then there are ad networks and other people who you can buy in to get that information on the third party cookie and then you can serve ads based on it programmatic marketing is for digital display advertising is completely dependent on that. That’s actually going away the end date got pushed out a bit, but it’s still gonna go away and i believe it with the increased concerns over privacy. So that’s one thing that works well for email because you don’t need a third party cookie to send email to your subscriber list. You also, if you’re in email marketing and have a subscriber list, it’s an amazing opportunity to get zero and first party data on those folks, which is data that they themselves provide to you. So for instance, my brother’s a big Dave Matthews Band fan and so I signed up for emails and texts from them. They asked me when my birthday was what month. I was happy to let them know what month my birthday is. They gave me a discount on my birthday month in return for that. So that’s a an idea of them collecting 00 zero party data they asked me, I told them I got you know a discount for it. So that is gonna bode very well for the future of email the other thing that bodes very well for the future of email is people ‘s disillusionment with social media platforms. I don’t know about you Sela, but when Elon Musk announced that he was buying Twitter, I had a bunch of people that I follow and a bunch of people that I know personally who left the Twitter platform they were like, we are just done with this. I have had, I had another friend a week or two ago who left Facebook, no longer doing Facebook and I I’ve had people leaving Facebook for years now. So people are becoming disillusioned with these social media networks, a lot of companies, you know, social media has been very sexy for a long time email’s not sexy. Social media is sexy, you know, tik, tok oh we gotta be on tik tok. The problem with those platforms is that the user the person that you’re trying to reach has a relationship with that platform, not with you. So when you’re communicating with someone, you know they’re you’re on Twitter and you’re trying to sell to your twitter followers and you want them to buy. When they leave the platform, they leave you and you have no way to find them again. And that’s not something that happens in email no one owns the email platform the, relationship between you and the subscriber directly if the subscriber doesn’t want to have that relationship anymore, they can unsubscribe. But that’s the problem with these social media platforms that’s the problem with investing a lot of people listening to this probably aren’t old enough to remember Myspace, but I remember Myspace. Everyone was on Myspace and then Facebook launched and then no one was on Myspace. And I think that we’re going to see that happen with a lot of these platforms like I said, we’re already seeing it. And so you don’t want to put too much of your focus and resources into building relationships on these platforms where you don’t own these subscribers and if they leave the platform that they have the relationship with, you have no way to get back in touch with them. So I think that also bodes well for email because it is that one to one relationship between you and the subscriber so I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. You know, years ago people were saying, well, high school students don’t use email, so it must be dead. And Lauren McDonald, who was with Silver Pop, who now does EV adoption, said really because high school students don’t drink really high quality red wine but I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. So it it’s really just a preference i have nieces and nephews, you know, and agreed they didn’t use email when they were in high school, but now that they’re out of college and they have jobs, they use email because business runs on. Email so no i, don’t think email ‘s going away anytime soon i think it’s going to continue to change and morph, but that’s what makes it fun that’s why we all love being in this industry. But yeah, no, email’s not going anywhere. And you know, I think it’s like it’s like television television didn’t kill the radio because there are times when you can’t or you don’t want to see the image often times if I can’t be at a hockey game, I’m a big Washington Capitals fan, You know, I will listen to games because the hockey announcers are really good at giving you a visual in your head about what’s going on the ice. And if I’m listening to a game, I can be working or cooking or multitasking and driving around doing errands. So I think emails very much like that i mean, i use text messaging i get text messages from brands. It just depends on what information you want to convey i mean, going back to the Dave Matthews example, they sent me a text message to ask for what month I was born in and I responded immediately that was an easy answer i knew the answer off the top of my head. If they had sent that via email, it would have been a really short email and it probably wouldn’t have gotten as much response if they had piggybacked it on another message in an email, it probably would have gotten missed. So for quick communications like that, SMS text is great, but it’s not so good for longer form stuff i mean, we talked earlier about my client who was sending, you know, multiple product information about multiple products in an email that would be a terrible text message. Hi, let me tell you about our six new products with images that would be a terrible text message nobody would want that so you just want to pick the right channel for your communications and there’s place for all the channels?

Sella Yoffe    37:56

Perfect. cool. thank you very much, Jeanne.

Jeanne Jenningds    38:01

Thank you, Sella take care have a good day.

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