Analyzing the Impact of the Ecommerce Newsletter

“A lot of people will tell you that sending newsletters isn’t worth the effort. They’ll say it’s time consuming, expensive, and doesn’t provide enough of a return on investment. I disagree.”  – Opening lines from the Guide to Email Newsletters by Mark Hayes on the Shopify blog

The line above is a pretty accurate summary of the opinions on whether any business should put the time into sending a newsletter.  In a world where content and quality is very important, sending email newsletters isn’t free, but many of us have a sense that they are worth that effort.

Ending the debate

The problem is that both viewpoints make a lot of sense and each is probably right for some businesses. So what do you do?  At Klaviyo, we’ve been spending a lot of our time lately figuring out how businesses can understand the impact of their emails on the metrics that matter (look out for more on that soon from us). We’re convinced the answer is measuring the impact of newsletters on purchases (as well as opens, clicks, website visits, unsubscribes, etc though all of this is secondary).

Defining Success

A good first step is figuring out what your goal with your newsletter is.  If you’re going to send a newsletter no matter what anyways, measurement is a good way to compare which content does better than other content…but measurement is a lower priority because you can get the basics from opens and clicks.  That said, if you’re either strapped for time and debating the value or you’re store has been off the ground for awhile, there’s a good chance measurement can generate sizeable profits.

Based on what you decide, you should also get a sense for whether your goal is short term gain (meaning purchases alone are probably king) or long term customer engagement (in which case unsubscribes, opens, clicks and website visits gain in importance).  Track what you think is important.

Next steps

Most importantly, you need to stop debating, get emails out the door and then commit to listening to whatever analysis result you get back. You can always dismiss measurement based on methodology or specific circumstances – so if you don’t commit not to do this ahead of time, don’t waste lots of time doing analysis.

At the end of the day, you write newsletters for the customers.  Make them happy.


Try Klaviyo today to measure the impact of your newsletters and other customer outreach with our 2 week no commitment trial.



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