I'm new here, but I've been around a long time. I've seen the confusion and frustration that non-uniform report metrics can cause, both for marketers and for agencies and vendors providing email services and technology.
Email marketers are almost universally judged based on program performance. For them, every click, open, delivered, bounced and sent matters. So when there are multiple email systems in play or marketers are considering a new email solution from a different vendor, there are always headaches around what the report metrics are and why they don't match.
The marketer gets mad because things are different and there's no way to compare apples to apples. The vendor gets mad because some performance metric in their system is not coming out as well as some other vendor's, so they look bad. The marketer's boss gets mad because the numbers don't match up between systems, so they lose confidence in ALL of the metrics.
It's all around bad for everyone.
I volunteered for the eec's Measurement Accuracy Roundtable because I believe that accurate and consistent reporting is key to improving not only email marketing programs, but all marketing programs. Metrics that marketers have faith in and trust provide the data they need to do more advanced targeting and segmentation, which creates a unique and more engaging experience for recipients.
Isn't that what email marketing has promised all along?
Accurate and consistent metrics give marketers the confidence to add bold elements to their programs because they can count on the data on which they make their decisions. Reporting data that is consistent across programs and providers lets businesses make informed decisions about which solutions best serve their needs, not just which one has the most forgiving formulas in their reports.
But now I put on my vendor hat and say, "Why should I do this? It's not a competitive differentiator. I haven't seen this on any RFP. What's in it for me?"
On the surface, nothing, but underneath, it says a lot about what's important: the email marketer. Your customers. Your users. Your industry.
Sure, as a vendor, there are a ton of new features, enhancements, and fixes that need to be added to the application, but this one is not just about your current users or prospects. It's about the email community. It's about making A = A. It's about fixing something that is broken with our industry.
What will you do for your industry? Will you join us in helping fix a long-time issue that affects all email marketers? Together, we can do it!
- Ivan Chalif
Director of Email Product Marketing
The S.A.M.E. Project or Support the Adoption of Metrics for Email was created and is administered by the eec's Email Measurement Accuracy Roundtable. The purpose of project is to create a standardized framework for the reporting of email metrics across the industry.
S.A.M.E. is not only an acronym for the project’s name; it is also its goal – to have all email metrics reported by ESPs the same way under a uniform industry standard. For email marketers in the field the standard provides four key benefits:
- The standard improves testing validity by limiting environmental variance.
- The standard improves industry benchmarking through increased data conformity and validity across samples.
- The standard improves internal historical reporting for benchmarking by easing the transition between vendors.
- Use of the standards will eventually normalize data across the industry, a key assumption required for statistical analysis of email data.