It’s no secret that the MSROI team firmly believes that email remains a core channel for digital marketing. Furthermore, most email marketing platforms now provide a ton of data and feedback, theoretically making it easy to track your email marketing successes and failures.
The tough part is determining how to properly read these numbers: which numbers are important to your goals, which numbers provide feedback about your customers, which indicate true digital growth, etc.
That’s why I’ve put together a guide to email marketing’s key metrics and how to use them to track the success of your email marketing.
Delivery Rate is a simple but fundamental metric in tracking email success. Simply put, it is the percentage of emails sent which have actually been delivered. This percentage reflects the strength of your list as well as your domain’s relationship with spam filters.
For example, let’s say you’ve decided to revive a dormant business and you pull out an old list of subscribers or past customers and send them an email blast telling them you’re back. The analytics indicate that the delivery rate is at 60%. This indicates that your list is outdated, as 40% of the email addresses are no longer active. Your email has reached 40% fewer people than anticipated.
In order for your email marketing to be effective, your emails need to actually end up in the inboxes of your audience. Track delivery rates to consistently check in on your list strength and domain standing.
Once you’ve determined that your emails are in fact making it to the inboxes of your audience, then you want to make sure your emails are getting opened.
The open rate indicates the percentage of subscribers who’ve opened your email. They are often used to determine the strength of your subject line or test which time of day is best to reach your subscribers.
But, it’s also a metric that can be skewed as many email platforms automatically open emails as you scroll through previews of the messages. Use open rates as a rough comparative indicator of campaign strength.
Track open rates to learn more about which subject line or offers resonate with your audience as well as using them to test out different times of day for sending.
Contrasting the more rough estimate Open Rate, a Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is a very accurate measure of the strength of your email marketing. The CTR measures how many people click a link in your email.
This provides data on how engaging your email’s content is as well as its ability to induce the desired action; for example “click here” to claim an offer or “sign up now” to get started with a service. Strong copy, a compelling call to action and design all help to boost click-through-rates.
Use click-through-rates to track which type of content compels subscribers to act as well as to ensure that you’re connecting with the right audience.
The largest challenge in Email Marketing is continuously connecting to your audience with new and creative campaigns. The key is to not only get new people on your list but also to keep them engaged once they’ve opted in.
Focus on creating high-quality content to put in your emails. Sharing compelling offers, relevant products and services, and interesting news can be effective ways to keep your audience engaged.
If you can achieve a continuous and long-term connection with your audience, your list will organically grow and become a continuous source of value for your subscribers. Furthermore, funneled-in new users from other digital properties will be much easier to retain.
Use List Growth to track the overall consistency and strength of your email marketing program as well as your ability to draw subscribers in from your websites or other platforms.
Be motivated by this metric but, also, don’t take it too personally! The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of subscribers who’ve removed themselves from your list after receiving a given email. This metric can indicate a poor connection with your subscriber’s needs and should be assessed as a trend over time, not as a direct result of one campaign. However, if a specific type of campaign causes a spike in unsubscribe rates, it could indicate that the content or style of the campaign doesn’t resonate with your audience.
A consistent negative unsubscribe rate calls for a reassessment of your email strategy. Start by looking through your best performing campaigns for clues on which techniques or types of content most resonate with your audience and restructure your strategy accordingly.
The king of email marketing metrics is conversion rates. This is the metric that indicates a direct line between an email campaign and sales.
Conversion rate has particular relevance for eCommerce businesses which consistently inform their customer base of new products, sales, offers, etc. via email campaigns. For service businesses, you can track the number of leads and clients generated from email promotions.
Use conversion rates as a dialed out metric. That is to say, conversion rates don’t tell the whole story and should be used for tracking overall success and failure.
The first step to data-driven email marketing success is deciding which data is important for your business. A company focused on expanding brand awareness might primarily care about list growth while an eCommerce company might track their success by the rise of conversion rates. Hone in on the numbers which matter most for your business and focus on incremental improvement month after month.
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