E-mail marketing has been around for a while now, but it remains one of the most effective ways for business owners to build relationships with prospective customers.

Woessner has four tips for business owners looking to measure the success of their e-mail marketing campaigns. (Daniel Acker/BLOOMBERG NEWS)

Recently, I worked with a business-to-business company that provides professional services and training to leaders. Over the previous months, the owner had offered trips and other high-dollar incentives to her list of 1,676 email addresses, hoping to encourage some of her contacts to sign up for her valuable training courses.

She had dismal results, and the revenue she did make was compromised by the pricey incentives she was offering. She was convinced it was a dead e-mail list.

However, we designed a couple of free webinars and sent an invitation out to her “dead” list. Rather than incessant sales pitches, each webinar offered substantial training to the more than 320 attendees. After the event, we sent out an email that offered a limited number of promotionally-priced training programs for a 48-hour period.

Within eight weeks, the company was starting to capitalize on its “dead” list.

E-mail marketing is still the best medium to move prospects through what John Jantsch, in his book “Duct Tape Marketing,” called “the know, like, and trust funnel.” At the bottom of the funnel are repeat sales and brand evangelism.

By giving and giving to your fans through content distribution, you can create well-prepared prospects. Then, when you offer something great, like a discounted training program for a limited time, you often get immediate and intense conversions for huge revenue.

Still, there are some key metrics you should be watching to make sure your e-mail campaign is getting adequate results. Here are the four measurements to keep an eye on:

1. Bounce rate: How many e-mails bounced versus how many went to good addresses? Cleanse your list, and bring in more subscribers to replace the bad ones. If you create a high-value offer, like a webinar or fact-filled report, 6 to 13 percent of daily visitors will typically opt in if the value exchange is good enough.

2. Open rate: This is actually a measurement of the quality of your subject lines, which get readers to open your e-mails. The first two words are the most critical — that’s where you grab their attention.

3. Click-through rate: How motivated are people to click on the links in your e-mails? If this number is too low, evaluate the link choices.

For example, we helped an automotive parts company convert a blog post about an engine problem, which was solved with a performance part, into an e-mail containing the same content.

We linked the product phrase to the company’s sales page; because it was positioned as the solution to a common problem, it resulted in a 700 percent increase in conversions for that product that day.

4. Conversions: How does e-mail affect the sales, revenue, registrations, or other opportunities you’re evaluating? You should see a measured increase.

Sending an e-mail after prospects have downloaded your free offer or participated in your free webinar gives them the feeling of being VIPs or members of a select group that is seeing something before everyone else. It’s a highly effective method of increasing conversions.

Stephen Woessner is the founder and president of Predictive ROI in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Woessner is a digital marketing professional, bestselling author, speaker and educator.

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