What is the optimum conversion rate for a successful email campaign? FACT: there isn’t one!
Everything depends on cost per unit. If you’re selling an e-book at £20, for instance, you can expect a very different response rate than if you’re selling, say, IT infrastructures at £20,000 apiece. But while you may need to sell 200+ e-books to make your email campaign profitable, you may only need to sell one IT infrastructure to achieve the same result.
What matters is that your email campaign is profitable, not the conversion rate. Also bear in mind that it’s impossible to correctly predict the response from a campaign until you’ve conducted a test. Testing is critical to any email campaign, because it is statistically predictable. For example, if you send 2,000 emails and receive 20 responses, you can predict with a high degree of probability that if you send 10,000 emails to the same list profile you’ll receive around 100 responses.
The reverse logic applies: if you send 2,000 emails and receive just two responses it is unlikely that if you send 20,000 emails you will receive any more than 10 responses. Always test your email campaigns on a small scale first. For example, if your list contains 5,000 addresses, send a test email to 500. Experiment by sending different emails and subject headers to the same sample list. As well as measuring your direct response, monitor click-through, open and unsubscribe rates. But be careful to change just one element of your email at a time (eg subject line, headline, sub-head, guarantee, offer, product description, etc, etc,) otherwise it will not be clear exactly which changes are affecting response rates.