News and tips from the industry leaders in email compliance.

Published on 11/19/19 on

As marketers, most of us spend our time focusing on the positive. When a campaign delivers results (more clicks, leads, sales, etc.), we want to try to optimize the campaign and make it even more successful. We are constantly on the lookout for new strategies, tactics and channels to test that will perform even better than our current programs. Call it a marketer’s optimism.

However, this constant focus on optimizing those positive marketing outcomes can also lead to marketers wearing their own figurative blinders when it comes to all of the performance metrics created by their campaigns. While click rate, conversion rate and, of course, return on investment (ROI) or return on ad spend (ROAS) are vital metrics to measure and optimize toward, there are just as many metrics that measure negative outcomes that should be given more attention than they typically receive.

Marketers, especially those in the performance marketing arena, are always looking at campaign performance metrics. They are the keys to determining if a campaign is successful and essential in making decisions on marketing budget allocation. Largely, those metrics can be split into positive (views, opens, clicks, conversions, etc.) and negative (unsubscribes, spam reports or simply nonengagement) signals.

Many marketers spend most of their time focusing on the positives, but there is actually a wealth of information and insight that can be gathered by taking a closer look at those negative signals, which can be used to optimize future campaigns. Here are just a few examples of negative marketing metrics that can be used to improve campaign performance, often in conjunction with other marketing data.


If you’re using email or text message (SMS) marketing, an unsubscribe request is definitely on the negative side of the marketing signal spectrum. These requests represent members of your audience who actively don’t want to hear from you anymore. Because of this, some marketers treat the metric itself as a request not to interact with it.

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