Email Marketing Metrics to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through key email marketing metrics to improve sales and marketing alignment.

Sales and marketing alignment is vital to any company focused on growth. Without alignment, opportunities are missed, and your team can’t express a united message. 

In fact, 85% of sales and marketing leaders say that improving alignment is the largest opportunity for improving business performance.

Increased sales and marketing alignment leads to:

  • More consistent messaging
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Happier customers
  • Increased revenue.

    Let’s jump in.

Why Your Email Marketing Is a Key Area for Alignment

Every B2B business uses email in their marketing and sales efforts.

Even if you don’t have a weekly newsletter, you’re still sending drip emails to customers when they sign up. Your sales team is using email to engage and communicate with leads.

Dive into how you’re using email marketing, and there are likely opportunities for increased sales and marketing alignment. If you can leverage those opportunities, you will improve your bottom-line.

Companies who align their sales and marketing increase their closing sales by 67%.

You’ll also save money and energy. Poorly aligned sales and marketing teams result in B2B teams wasting up to 60%-70% of their marketing budget every year. 

With aligned teams, messaging is consistent, simple, and resonates with your customers. Your calls-to-action can be based on real data from what your customer finds compelling. Your marketing-to-sales handoff will be smooth.

To start, identify the key email metrics you’re going to track, and link their performance to the end goal — revenue.

Let’s dig into five key email marketing metrics that reflect how well-aligned your teams are.

Email Metrics To Improve Your Sales and Marketing Alignment

1. Email Engagement Rate

Why it matters: Aligning sales and marketing ensures your emails provide what your customers want from you.

First, start measuring your email engagement.

Look at metrics including:

  • Open rate
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Forward rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

The most popular metrics to track are CTR and Open Rate. However, depending on your business, there are a variety of other metrics that could be worth measuring.

Key metrics for email marketing campaigns
Source: Smartinsights.com

These are all indicators to understand what type of content your customers enjoy and find valuable.

Your marketing team can hand that data to your sales team with clear advice:

  • “Remote work productivity content always interests our subscribers.”
  • “Content on improving sales lead quality gets clicked more than anything else.”

With this, sales can update their pitch/demo deck to mention points your customers care about, according to your email marketing data.

Reps could also send your most popular content to their current leads. A follow-up email with a link to an interesting article or webinar adds more value than a generic follow up.

By analyzing your email engagement metrics, you will be able to make more informed decisions over the type of content your audience (and sales leads) should be receiving.

2. Email Time To Reply

Why it matters: Reply quickly and consistently, for a greater chance to close the deal.

Decreasing the time it takes to respond to incoming emails from sales leads is vital.

Companies that reply to leads within an hour are 7x as likely to qualify the lead, and more than 60x as likely to have a meaningful engagement with the lead compared with companies that wait 24 hours (or more) to reply.

email time to reply by companies
Source: hbr.org

It’s an important metric for email marketers, too.

If you’re sending newsletters or product updates to subscribers, at some point, they will reply with a question. 

Whether they have feedback on the content or a question more suited to customer support, it’s still landing in marketing’s inbox.

If you ignore them, they will feel dissatisfied and ignored.

On the other hand, if you provide quick instructions on how to solve their problem, it’ll build positive sentiment and they’ll be satisfied.

Sometimes the speed is more important than the content of the message.

For example, if someone replies to a marketing email with a question about pricing, reply with:

“Thanks for reaching out — I’m looping in {{name}} from our sales team who will send you an email with details. They will be with you in 10 minutes.”

Behind the scenes, you can raise an action item in your CRM or helpdesk, notifying your sales team to respond quickly.

Ensuring your team is responsive and able to reply quikly will strengthen the relationship with your leads and customers.

You can easily set reply time goals and KPIs using timetoreply. The visibility into your average reply times helps your team take actionable steps to improve it, resulting in happier customers.

Slow reply times likely means your team doesn’t know what to do, or there are holes in your processes.

For example, if your marketing team isn’t letting your sales team know about MQLs fast enough, your conversion rate will drop. These MQLs will tire of waiting and head to a competitor website. 

Through visibility, teams can build systems that ensure every customer, lead, and subscriber gets a response quickly.

3. Email Reply Rate

Why it matters: Reply rate is a key indicator of how compelling your value propositions are to your ideal customer.

If your sales team uses cold outreach to engage with leads, then the data they have on their campaigns is a goldmine for your marketing team.

Most sales reps will A/B test various subject lines, value propositions, and calls-to-action.

Marketers should be asking for the results of those tests.

If one email campaign that mentions a Value Proposition A gets a 10% higher reply rate than a campaign mentioning Value Proposition B, it’s more compelling to your customer.

Your marketing team can then create more content around that Value Proposition A and the pain point it’s solving for your customer.

Your marketing team can use similar content in your newsletter or Facebook ad copy, and it should improve conversion rates from those channels, too.

If your sales and marketing team can consistently share information on what’s working in their email marketing, the whole business will benefit.

4. Email Subscriber to SQL Conversion Rate

Why it matters: Subscriber to SQL rate shows how aligned your emails are with the expectations of your sales team.

Determine how aligned your sales and marketing teams are with Subscriber to SQL rate.

For companies investing in email marketing, this is vital. After all, if no one moves from subscriber to lead, you don’t have a sales pipeline, and there won’t be ROI from your efforts.

Your sales and marketing team should collaborate to ensure your email subscribers eventually turn into SQLs.

Work together to set goals around:

  • What conversion rate you expect from your campaigns
  • What conversion moments you need (e.g., key emails you send)

By having both teams understand factors that turn subscribers into SQLs, you’ll be able to align on the content you produce. In turn, the content you send to people will lead to results.

For example, if your sales team knows that customers are compelled to buy when you aggravate a specific pain point, then your marketing team should include that in their emails.

Collaboration and alignment in these areas will lead to improved campaigns, higher conversion rates, and more revenue. It’s a win-win for everyone.

5. Email Marketing Campaign ROI

Why it matters: Find out which campaigns have the highest return on investment.

At the end of the day, you don’t care about open rates, reply rates, or any other metric if there’s no ROI.

Determine your marketing and sales alignment by focusing on revenue generated by each campaign.

Your teams are well aligned when your campaigns consistently generate high ROI.

Your marketing team knows what value propositions to include in their emails, and your sales team is easily able to close leads coming from the campaign.

However, if your campaigns generate hundreds of leads, but your sales team can’t close them because they’re a bad fit, there’s clear misalignment.

This could be due to:

  • Value propositions are unclear.
  • Content attracts leads that aren’t a fit for your solution.
  • The content isn’t attracting decision-makers.
  • The calls-to-action aren’t compelling.

Your teams should be working together to assess the performance of past campaigns.

Find out what your successful campaigns have in common.

Then, implement those learnings when creating new email campaigns. You can be confident hitting “Send” once your campaigns are data backed, driving ROI, and consistent with your sales strategy.

If you’re only going to focus on one metric to judge how well your teams are aligned, this is it.

Overcoming Common Sales and Marketing Alignment Challenges

In fast-growing companies, it’s hard to find time to sit down and go over these metrics.

Your sales reps are sure they’re right, and your marketing team knows their strategies work.

But, there’s always room for improvement.

Encourage your team to focus on aligning their efforts, and everyone’s metrics will improve. 

  • Feedback from sales on email CTAs can improve your email CTR.
  • Data from email marketing campaigns will help your sales team create effective demo presentations.

Alignment leads to more efficient and effective sales and marketing. 

Wrapping Up On Email Marketing

Aligning your sales and marketing team is key to closing deals and keeping your customers and leads happy.

These email metrics will help assess how effective your campaigns are and the extent to which your teams are aligned.

The end goal should be to have your marketing team create email content that’s engaging, useful, and drives qualified leads your sales reps can engage with into your sales funnel.

You’ll need to look at these metrics qualitatively, as well as quantitatively. Find out your team members’ unique perspectives on each one, and work on ways to link the metrics to revenue.

By the end of the process, your marketing team will know how to create valuable content that’s closely aligned to customer needs. Your sales team will know how to engage with MQLs and turn them into SQLs and, eventually, customers.




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