Marketers know that strategy ideation and implementation are only half the battle when it comes to building a successful marketing program. Unless your brand or product has no competition (which may be a problem in and of itself) the other half of marketing is keeping your finger on the pulse of what other companies in your space are doing. Do you think a day goes by when Pepsi isn’t looking at what Coca-Cola has up their sleeve? And, there’s no way that Burger King isn’t thinking about how to convert McDonald’s loyalists on the daily! Whether you work for a soda conglomerate, a fast food chain, or literally any other business in any other sector if you’re not thinking critically about your competitors’ marketing strategies you may have a tough time staying in the black. 

We’ve compiled 8 metrics you should be tracking to monitor the success of your competitors’ email marketing programs:

Subject lines, creative and promotions

One of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your competition is by focusing on their subject lines, creative, and promotional strategies. Since you and your competitors are marketing similar products it can be incredibly helpful to see what their creative team is working on. Have they come up with a new and interesting way to market their brand or are they cooking up promotions that you find completely ineffective? Both options can help you keep your brand voice fresh and differentiated from the competition.

List size and segmentation methods

Chances are you already know if you and your competitors are on equal footing when it comes to list size, right? Wrong. You might be surprised to find that your competitors have a much bigger list segmented by a variety of specifications to ensure a high inboxing rate. You may be even more surprised to find that a competing brand has a much smaller but more highly engaged email audience. List size and segmentation are great places to start when understanding your competitors’ email strategies.

Inbox vs. spam rates

Here’s where things get fun! Even if a competitor’s list is 10x the size of yours, their deliverability rates might be less than a 10/10. It’s important to see if your competitors are even making it into their subscribers’ inboxes. Even if your list is much smaller than theirs, if your inboxing rates are higher– your brand may have the same reach as your competitor.

Open/delete rates

Email marketers know that getting into the inbox is only the first battle when it comes to grabbing a subscriber’s attention. Just because an email makes it into a recipient’s inbox doesn’t mean it won’t be deleted right away. Once you’re done looking into your competitor’s deliverability rates, be sure to dive into the open and delete rates of their emails. If recipients aren’t opening your competitor’s messages it could be a clear sign to move in a different direction when it comes to subject line copy.

Where their audience overlaps with yours

When it comes to building an effective email strategy it’s important to understand who else you’re sharing the inbox with. Certainly, you can expect to have many shared subscribers with competitors within your sector but don’t forget that you’re also competing with brands that offer different services than yours. Not only does your email strategy have to beat out direct competitors, but it will also need to break through the noise of an inbox clogged with marketing messages from companies in other verticals.

Best and worst performing campaigns

Learn from your competitor’s missteps and successes. Did they do something that garnered an astronomical read rate? Or, did they send out a message that few people engaged with? These can be quick (and fun) ways to marry the subjectivity of creative with the objectivity of cold-hard analytics.

What days they are sending emails

We know that building an email schedule and sticking to it is no easy feat. When creating your email strategy take a look at when your competition is sending out their messages. Do they send out promotions on Tuesdays? While you may not need to completely rework your strategy based on this information, it’s certainly a great detail to take into consideration before sending out a promotional email or product launch announcement. You may not want to send out a promotion on the same day as a competitor…or maybe you do– we’ll leave that up to you.

Email campaigns by customer journey type

What does your competitor’s welcome email look like? What about their birthday message to a loyal customer? When analyzing your competitor’s email strategy it’s important to think about where the recipient is in the customer journey. Take a closer look at differences in tone and creative between an abandoned cart email versus a purchase confirmation. Through this analysis you can get a better understanding of how your competitor helps recipients get to know their brand through email marketing.

Fortunately, you can find these metrics aggregated inside of Competitive Tracker, the most powerful, comprehensive, and accurate search tool for delivering email intelligence. If you’re interested in taking a closer look at these 8 metrics and getting a leg up on your competitors get started with Competitive Tracker today!

~ Erica