How to Calculate the True Value of Email Signature Marketing Campaigns
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Few, if any, marketing activities are executed without first planning how success will be evaluated. Though marketing is closely aligned with sales in most organizations, sales ROI is typically a more straightforward calculation than marketing ROI. Whatever the sales department spends can be justified by what it recoups; it’s often as simple as that. However, marketing budgets, particularly those related to communications, are more closely scrutinized for their ability to reach audiences, qualify leads, and alter market sentiment.
Determining the value of any investment demands measurements that translate into monetary figures. Marketing is no different, but many activities are difficult to assess without resorting to highly subjective judgments.
The adage, “I know half my advertising is a waste of money, I just don’t know which half,” is especially true in untrackable media like print and broadcast advertising. If an advert reaches 100,000 people, does that make it worth a $10,000 investment? How much does it depend on who those people are? If no subsequent sales are attributed to that advert, does that mean its value is zero? And if so, does that now overlook the considerable, but hard to calculate, monetary value associated with brand awareness, market education, and churn prevention?
The dynamics of digital marketing allow for a much greater analysis of marketing campaigns. Plus, they provide certainty over how many and (to a lesser extent) who engages with them. All this is budgeted per impression or click at rates that fluctuate based on prevailing market value.
Marketers and business decision-makers keen to understand the value of email signature marketing campaigns can begin by applying the same principles used in other marketing value calculations. However, while there are similarities regarding contacts, clicks, and impressions, it is vital to acknowledge the differences.
Commonalities between email signature marketing campaigns and other digital marketing
- Known quantities of emails sent.
- Known size and capability of marketing/advertising space (i.e., banners).
- Number of impressions.
- Number of clicks.
Differences between email signature marketing campaigns and regular email marketing
- Standard corporate emails (i.e., containing email signatures) sent that are typically all received and opened. This is not the case in other email marketing scenarios.
- Email signatures form part of expected correspondence that comes from a known source. Opted-in email recipients of mass email campaigns are not engaged comparably.
Differences between email signature marketing campaigns and other digital marketing
- Many recipients receiving email signatures invariably reply, with the email signature visible to them as they communicate. By contrast, this level of engagement is rarely accomplished in digital marketing.
- Email signature recipients will frequently be customers, prospects, and partners. This means they are significantly more likely to purchase/take action when compared to a standard digital marketing contact when presented with offers, product information, content, webinar invitations, demos, etc.
- Email signatures form part of highly personalized, one-to-one communications exchanges attached to an individual rather than a corporate identity.
- Email signatures are positioned as a controlled brand experience, not running on a third-party ad platform.
The implications of all this are that the value of email signature marketing campaigns may be higher than other comparable digital marketing forms. At the very least, it would seem a safe hypothesis to treat the values as equal on a per-contact or impression basis.
Equivalent Advertising Value: The metric for email signature marketing campaigns
Equivalent Advertising Value (known as EAV) is a metric unique to email signature marketing campaigns. It recognizes the email signature space as an untapped, native advertising space that organizations already own and unlocks an opportunity to reach a unique, high-quality audience without incremental advertising spending.
EAV quantifies the value of advertising placed in an organization’s email signatures in any outgoing business email messages. EAV also evaluates the savings gained from targeting customers and prospects with promotional messaging and interactive elements that are highly likely to be viewed and engaged with because you are a trusted source.
The argument for EAV goes beyond adding a valuable piece of corporate hygiene that ensures organizations recognize the exploitable value of their digital assets. Such a metric can equip email signature marketing campaigns with a comparable measure of budgetary return.
For every $1 spent on a given digital marketing program, marketing leaders will be able to determine the relative value of exploiting their email signature arsenal. Then, for every $1 of email signature marketing campaigns utilized, marketers will be able to demonstrate the ROI of maximizing this unique and highly trusted customer and prospect communications channel.
Simply put, the Equivalent Advertising Value of your email signature marketing campaigns is calculated by multiplying the number of emails you send that carry a signature by a dollar amount each ‘eyeball’ is worth to your business.
EAV harnesses CPM (cost per mille, or cost per 1,000 impressions/views), a universally adopted measure for the monetary cost of digital marketing.
With typical CPMs on high-quality inventory anywhere from $5 to $100, it is possible to determine the equivalent advertising value (EAV) of the email signature marketing campaigns already at your fingertips.
To calculate EAV, you need a multiplier. You can draw upon any best-fit CPM that you currently use in marketing budgets to come up with one. For example, if the CPM (i.e., cost per 1,000) is $50, the multiplier would be $0.05 (0.001/one one-thousandth). Using this EAV multiplier, if your organization sent 32,568 emails (with signatures) over a week, the total EAV would be $1,628.40.
We strongly recommend weighing EAV multipliers at a higher level than standard advertising CPMs. In the same way that paid content (e.g., advertorial) is worth less per word than earned content (e.g., editorial), a page impression for a digital ad is imbued with lower trust, integrity, likely engagement, and value than personal email correspondence. Also, bear in mind the twin assets of trust and deliverability brought by one-to-one email communications.
EAV multipliers could therefore be set around the $0.50 mark. Using the figures above, the total EAV value is $16,284. We have used this $0.50 figure as the default in our Exclaimer Signature Marketing Cloud dashboards, but you can change this to suit the needs of your own business.
Applying EAV to your outbound email
The number of emails your company sends can easily be ascertained using the Exclaimer Signature Marketing Cloud dashboards. This gives businesses an accurate and real-time picture of the potential value of the emails the company sends. You can then ensure every employee uses an email signature with marketing-approved messaging and content.
Also, EAV is best applied as a perpetually occurring value that can be segmented by time interval (e.g., month/year). This relates directly to how the volume of email signature messages is determined as part of the EAV calculation:
$$ EAV = (No. employees) x (externally sent emails per employee/interval) x (EAV multiplier)
Let’s take an example with an EAV multiplier of $0.50 where there are 100 employees in an organization, and each employee on average sends 40 external emails daily.
= (100 x 40/day) x $0.50
= 4,000/day x $0.50
= $2,000/day (approximately $60,000/month)
Sizing your EAV opportunity
A key benefit of EAV is demonstrating the potential exploitable value available to organizations through email signature marketing campaigns. Sizing this value opportunity relies upon the following:
- Maximizing the use of email signature marketing campaigns to the greatest number of employee email accounts
- Utilizing the digital real estate of email signatures to create marketing programs with the greatest impact.
Email usage will continue to grow from 319.6 billion sent and received in 2021 to a staggering 376.4 billion in 2025. Email has never been more critical than in the new, post-pandemic, remote/hybrid working environment.
The figure of 40 emails per employee per day given in the calculation above reflects current research and expected market norms. This represents a significant number of precious advertising opportunities to target messaging to prospective and existing customers via a trusted and personally delivered medium.
To learn more about how to get the most out of your email signature marketing campaigns, check out our white paper, “A Strategic View on the Marketing Value of Email Signatures.”
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