Email Marketing eCommerce Benchmarks: How to Compare Yourself

March 7, 2023
5 min read

Email Marketing eCommerce benchmarks are your checkpoints. 

If you run or manage eCommerce businesses, you have competition. Knowing and keeping track of competition acts as guard rails for your own campaigns and business growth. 

What truly matters is whether you compare yourself at all, how you compare yourself with competitors, the parameters you judge your competitors (and the growth of your business), and the specific aspects of your business you measure. 

Compare to Improve [Not to smash yourself down] 

We all know what happens when you try to compare yourself with someone else.

When you try to do marketing benchmarking, you are essentially doing something very similar to comparing yourself with friends or colleagues. 

You might see that they have an ever-growing list of evangelical customers. Social media networks are abuzz with lots of chatter around the brand and/or products, and so on. 

“Aww. There’s no way we can do this…”

“How is this even possible?”

You could run these responses in your head the moment you see your competition doing better (or seemingly better) than you are, when it comes to content marketing, email marketing, branding, and so on. 

As far as competitor benchmarking goes, it’s critical that you start out with a specific intent: Set new goal posts and do better. 

  • learn quickly
  • Implement strategies you missed out on
  • Identify gaps in your marketing strategy
  • Improve, tweak, and test. 

Pit yourself Up against Reliable Data

Let’s say you are trying to get a bearing on just how many promotional email marketing messages you ought to send? Or just how your ads should be? How would you even know this? 

Normally, you’d have to actually sign up with one of those campaigns that your competitors rolled out and wait out weeks to understand the flow of these campaigns, to determine how many emails are sent in a week (or month), and to ascertain the quality of ads. 

Anything goes as long as you follow the “guerilla way”. Get instant access to all sorts of pertinent information such as ads, emails, website data, marketing tools used, number of emails sent, the time (+ days of week) emails are sent, and more. 

Compare Marketing Strategy 

At the outset, there are certainly a few aspects of competitor marketing that’s visible to you: the website, the blog posts, any content published, the products (and relevant [product descriptions), a few ads, lead generation elements, and so on. 

There’s a lot that’s still not visible to you (but equally critical, if not more): actual number of ads and the actual ad copy (+ images or videos used for ads)? The subject lines of all the emails sent over the last few months? How about tracking any design or structural changes made on your competitors’ websites?

When you are benchmarking and learning, compare your existing strategy with that of your competitors: the number of ads, frequency of ads, landing pages used, email marketing campaigns rolled out, marketing tools used, and more. 

Retention & Consistency 

Success in business (and marketing) is all about consistency. It can never be about “one-time” campaigns. 

Everything you are looking at, the data you are collecting, and aspects of marketing you compare yourself with competition makes a lot more sense if it’s all done over a period of time. 

This way, you not only get more data but you have a complete picture about how your competitors do marketing overall. 

When you are comparing yourself then, look for long-term aspects of marketing campaigns that shine light on consistency, customer satisfaction, and retention statistics given all those marketing strategies deployed. 

Communities & Audiences 

Marketing tactics and strategies might or might not be permanent; communities certainly are. Loyal audiences and communities are powerful. Some of the largest brands (and so do several smaller brands) depend on loyal communities for their success. 

Typically, you’d look out for tactical data -- number of emails sent, time stamps of individual emails, days of the week campaigns are active, subject lines, emojis, visuals used, SEO data, advertising samples, and so on.

Go beyond tactical data: look out for hints of communities, social media conversations, groups on social networks, and discussions on forums. 

For all of the tactical data on competition and for several aspects of competitor benchmarking, take advantage of Panoramata --  a continuously updated database of information on several hundreds of marketing campaigns that actual brands use including (but not limited to)  ads, emails, websites, landing pages, marketing technology used, email content, SEO, and more.