I think the following analogy is helpful for thinking about the stats your email marketing software shows you:
Open rate, unsubscribe rate, and spam complaint rate: these are like the oil pressure gauge on a car. It mostly just tells you if something is wrong. It’s not a gauge you constantly monitor while driving. If you’ve never seen an oil pressure gauge because the only kind of car you’ve ever been in is a new one that has an oil pressure warning light instead of a gauge, consider yourself lucky and try to imagine something like your fuel gauge but for oil pressure. Or Google it and remember what we had to put up with in the “good old days” 🙂
Replies to your emails: these are like the tachometer. They’re a leading indicator; a sign of life; a feedback mechanism that tells you how well you’re doing at connecting with those on your email list. Back in the days of stick shift cars, you would pay some attention to the tachometer, either with your eyes or more likely your ears. Don’t rev the engine too fast, don’t shift too soon with the RPM too low in the power band. Too many replies could be unproductive; too few could mean you’re not challenging your list to think and consider new possibilities.
Sales or desirable opportunities (speaking, referrals etc.) originating from emails you send your list: these are like the speedometer on your car. They’re the ultimate measure of what’s happening with the machine. Just like the engine on a car is a subsystem that participates in the “job to be done” of the car–which is moving you around with flexibility, privacy, comfort, and safety–your email marketing is a subsystem that participates in the job to be done of your business, which is… well, that’s up to you, but a part of that job is certainly financially supporting you and your family, and sales certainly help with that.
That webinar with Val Giesler last week–on the subject of email marketing for services businesses–went really well.
Here’s the replay if you didn’t catch it: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/email-marketing-for-4