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The most important marketing KPI


When running a business or non-profit, there are many KPIs-Key Performance Indicators—you need to track. How many new contacts is your sales team making each week? What is your revenue YTD? What is your profitability?

Marketing has just as many potential KPIs as any other area of your business, maybe more. But there's one that is generally far more important than the others:

How many sales prospects are you adding to your email list?

Or, if you want to be more behavior-oriented, how many sales prospects are you asking if they want you to add them to your email list?

For most organizations, email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with prospects, suspects, and strategic partners. But it doesn't work if you're not growing your list through consistent behaviors!

Here are some tips:

  • Start asking! It's not going to get any more comfortable if you don't begin. If you're doing things right, it should get easier over time.
  • Make it about them. Asking something like, "Should I add you to our email list?" isn't making it about them. Instead, use a talk track similar to this: "We regularly share best practices with our clients and others. You mentioned X, and that's something we've actually shared tips about in the past. We also make it easy to unsubscribe if you end up not liking them. Feel free to say 'no,' but would you like to receive emails with those best practices?"
  • Start tracking how many times you ask and how many say yes, but focus on the asking. Definitely tweak your talk track over time and find ways that work better, but start by focusing on the behavior of asking.

Email marketing can be a great way to support the sales process, but you have to have a list to make it work! And naturally, a list of prospects, suspects, and strategic partners is a lot more effective than a list you pulled from some online database. So start asking!

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About the Authors

Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall

Sandler of Oklahoma

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Sales, Management, and Leadership Development.

He's also the owner of Sandler Oklahoma, a world leader in innovative sales, management, and leadership training. They offer consulting, coaching, and training for individuals and organizations serious about professional development and growth.

Mike is the author of "Motivational Management The Sandler Way" and has written a sales column for several years.

Tim Priebe

Tim Priebe

T&S Online Marketing

Tim Priebe is a public speaker, author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim’s company helps with websites, social media, blogging, email newsletters, Google rankings, and online video. Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."