Thriving at email marketing requires a certain level of proficiency. It involves employing best practices for all your marketing campaign efforts, learning from mistakes, and getting emails optimized for higher engagement. However, achieving success is not entirely dependent on these practices alone.
Regardless of the type and motive of your email marketing campaigns (e.g. lead generation, lead nurturing, brand awareness, etc.), there are some basic metrics you should learn how to track. You have to be able to measure and monitor the performance of your marketing efforts by keeping track of these email marketing metrics. Doing this will help you figure out which strategies are most effective and are worth investing in, and which are not worth the effort.
Below are the top 6 email marketing metrics you should be paying attention to in your email marketing efforts.
Open rate is one of the easiest and most commonly used email marketing metrics by email marketers. It basically tells you the percentage of email recipients that opened a particular email, giving you a general idea of how engaged your subscribers are, and how well your subject lines are performing.
You can get your open rate by dividing the number of opened emails by the number of emails delivered, and then multiplying the result by 100. Compare your result with the average open rate in your industry and see if you are doing good on this metric or if you need to improve on it.
A good way to improve a low open rate is to personalize your emails more, e.g. adding recipients’ names to the subject lines. List segmentation is also another proven way of improving open rates, as it ensures that your recipients are targeted with content relevant to them.
A marketing email is not complete without a “call to action (CTA)” prompting the recipient to take action or informing them of the next line of action. For example, if your email is trying to get recipients to sign up for an event, your CTA should lead them to the event’s registration page. It is usually in the form of a clickable link that takes the recipient to another site.
Click-through rate measures how many of your email recipients clicked on the CTA in your email. It is only when your leads click on CTAs that they are likely to convert into paying customers. This makes click-through rates one of the most important email marketing metrics you should track and optimize.
You can optimize your click-through rates by paying extra attention to your CTAs and making sure they effectively reflect the purpose of your email.
Conversion rate helps you determine how well you are achieving your campaign goals. While the click-through rate tells you how many of your email recipients clicked your CTA, the conversion rate goes a step further to measure how many of them actually completed the action specified in the CTA. For example, if your CTA is a registration prompt for an event, the conversion rate would tell you the percentage of your email recipients that actually registered for the event after clicking on the CTA.
With conversion rates, you can get a clearer idea of what you are gaining on your investments by monitoring how much you are spending versus how many prospects are converting.
Your emails may fail to deliver for a number of reasons. If your emails are not getting delivered, then they are not providing much value to your business. Bounce rate lets you know how many of your recipient email addresses received your email and how many did not.
A delivery failure in a sent email could be a soft bounce or a hard bounce. Soft bounces are delivery problems based on temporary reasons like server downtime, while hard bounces are due to permanent reasons like a wrong email address or an invalid domain.
It goes without saying that your bounce rate needs to be as low as possible. A high bounce rate badly affects your campaign performance and your Sender Reputation. With a poor sender reputation, your emails are more likely to end up in the spam folders of your recipients.
List Growth rate
You also need to pay attention to the rate at which your subscriber list is growing. As you would have guessed, you can measure this with the list growth rate. In addition to keeping tabs on your click-through rate and conversion rate, you need to make sure you keep your list consistently growing. Growing your list helps you to extend your reach and gain new customers.
When it comes to investments, primary concerns are usually centered around the (possible) returns from them. In email marketing, a lot of investments go into creating and executing campaigns, and tracking and monitoring the returns on these investments is how you evaluate the success of your campaigns.
Your overall return on investment (RoI) is what you are left with after you take out the money spent on a campaign from the total money you made from it. To state the obvious, you want to end up with a high RoI. Tracking this metric allows you to direct more efforts on campaigns that are more profitable, and to save money on ineffective ones.
Knowing which email marketing metrics to track, and how to track them, can be your most effective asset when it comes to email marketing. When you are able to effectively use these metrics to assess each email performance, keep your email list healthy and growing, and monitor how close you are to your ultimate goal, you would find that email marketing is truly the most profitable form of digital marketing.