Building Your Own Sales Email Benchmarks

Published on December 18, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

Building Your Own Sales Email Benchmarks

In an ever-competitive business landscape, establishing benchmarks for sales emails is not just beneficial, it’s essential. While industry standards can provide a general guideline, crafting your own benchmarks allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your email campaigns in a way that’s tailored to your unique audience and objectives.

So, why are benchmarks so important? Put simply, they’re the navigational stars of your sales email strategy. Without them, you're navigating blindfolded, unable to adjust to the ever-changing currents of your market's attention.

Let’s embark on a journey to uncover why building your own sales email benchmarks is crucial and, more importantly, how to establish these benchmarks to ensure your sales strategies thrive.

Understanding Sales Email Benchmarks

Sales email benchmarks are pivotal sets of data points that provide insight into how well your email campaigns are performing. These metrics should govern critical factors such as open rates, click-through rates, reply rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Each metric offers a snapshot of audience engagement and behavior. For instance, open rates tell you how well your subject lines resonate with recipients, while reply rates provide feedback on how compelling your email body is.

Why are open rates often considered the most critical metric? They serve as the entry point to your sales pitch—if an email isn’t opened, your carefully crafted message won’t even be seen.

Yet, it's not all about open rates. Click-through and conversion rates indicate if your calls-to-action (CTAs) are persuasive enough to elicit the desired action. Reply rates, on the other hand, offer insight into the effectiveness of your two-way engagement.

The Issue with “Average” Benchmarks

Depending on your industry, product, or service, ‘average’ benchmarks can be incredibly misleading. That’s because every audience is unique, with specific preferences and behaviors.

Thus, while industry averages can provide some context, they can also obstruct your view of true performance. For instance, if the average open rate in your industry is 20%, aiming for this number might seem satisfactory. However, what if, with the right strategy, your specific audience yields an average open rate of 35%? Relying on general benchmarks might cap your potential.

Adopting a personalized benchmark approach allows you to outpace competitors by focusing on the continuous improvement of your own metrics, rather than settling for industry averages.

Crafting Your Own Sales Email Benchmarks

Let’s delve into the steps required to establish tailor-made benchmarks for your sales email strategy.

Step 1: Data Collection & Segmentation

The foundation of relevant benchmarks is data—lots of it, spanning various campaigns, time frames, and audience segments. It's important to collect data both quantitatively and qualitatively. This means tracking metrics, but also gathering feedback on what prospects are saying in replies.

Segment your data by variables like industry verticals, job titles, or geographical regions. This will allow you to see which segments respond best and where there's room for improvement.

Step 2: Define Clear Goals & KPIs

Identify what successful engagement looks like for your business. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) might include targets for lead generation, upselling, customer retention, or re-engagement.

For example, a goal could be increasing the open rate of cold outreach emails by 10% quarter over quarter. By setting clear KPIs, you create a tangible goalpost to measure performance against.

Step 3: Initial Analysis & Benchmark Establishment

Upon gathering a robust dataset, perform an initial analysis to establish your starting benchmarks. Take an average over a significant period—say 3 to 6 months—to account for any anomalies or seasonal variations.

This baseline then becomes the benchmark for future comparison. It’s imperative to consider the context of each campaign: Was there a sale period? Did an industry event perhaps skew interest?

Step 4: Monitor & Regularly Review Performance

Establish a rhythm for monitoring these benchmarks. This could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your sales cycles. The key is to look for trends that indicate success or opportunities for optimization.

During these review periods, dissect campaigns that performed significantly above or below average to understand what drove those results. Was it the timing, the subject line, or perhaps the offer itself?

Step 5: Adapt & Evolve

The final step is to apply what you've learned. If a certain type of subject line consistently outperforms others, make it a standard practice in your email outreach.

Use A/B testing to try and beat your own benchmarks regularly. Experiment with different aspects of the email—such as subject lines, body copy, CTAs, or even send times.

The Role of Technology

Advancements in AI and machine learning can greatly assist in benchmarking. Platforms like Aomni can analyze your sales emails, providing actionable insights on buyer engagement preferences. They use algorithms to predict the best time to send an email, the likelihood of a reply, and even the most effective messaging for different personas.

In conclusion, building your own sales email benchmarks is an ongoing process of data analytics, evaluation, and iteration. By understanding and leveraging your unique data, you position your sales strategy to be flexible, responsive, and increasingly effective.

Personalized benchmarks allow you to operate on a level playing field, informed by your own successes and challenges rather than an aggregated industry average that may not reflect your reality. In the realm of sales emails, knowledge truly is power—use it to chart bold, new paths to wins for your organization.

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