Email remains one of the best ways to reach your audience, but you’re not going to have much luck with a shotgun approach.
Your leads are constantly bombarded by offers and promotions. And to stand out from the noise, you need to create email marketing assets that take individual subscriber behaviors and preferences into account. How do you do it? By carefully studying the data you get from your marketing analytics, which will help you create more compelling marketing emails and, ultimately, better achieve your goals.
What you look at depends on what you want to achieve; however, there are some tried-and-true metrics you should be using to track performance. We’ve assembled some email metrics you should be tracking, along with a breakdown of what metrics you should be tracking based on your email marketing goals. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Email Marketing Metrics To Monitor (and the Goals They Help Achieve)
There are a lot of email marketing metrics you could be tapping into that will ultimately tell you how well your emails are performing. Here are ten that you need to be looking at.
1. Goal: Generate Revenue
Metric: Return on Investment (ROI)
This metric is a big one because it allows you to see if the money you’re putting into your email marketing is worth what you’re getting in return. Obviously, you want to see your return increasing from campaign to campaign. If you invest the same number and get more growth in return, you know you have a very successful strategy.
There are ways you can calculate your email marketing ROI; just make sure you check this metric every quarter or so to ensure you see the right kind of financial return.
Metric: Revenue Per Email
This is how much you earn, on average, for each marketing email that you send. Increases here have the potential to lead to new developments elsewhere. For example, if you’re able to increase your revenue per email, you could potentially expand your product offerings, bring in additional new talent, or expand into new markets.
Segmenting your email list can result in better conversions. With segmentation, you send a different marketing message to different groups of prospects based on their reactions in the past. This sort of highly targeted marketing is more resource-intensive but can also significantly increase your conversion rate and your revenue.
Upselling and cross-selling can also increase your revenue from each prospect who responds. For instance, instead of marketing a single product in each email, you can increase your revenue by offering related products together.
Metric: Conversion Rate
A conversion is when a recipient performs the desired action you want them to perform. This metric illustrates the strength (or lack thereof) of your contact list, as well as your general level of subscriber engagement. When your conversion rate is high, it means you’re message really resonated with your recipients. And, if the desired action is to purchase a product or to upgrade a service, then you’re able to generate more revenue.
2. Goal: Promote a Product or Service
Metric: Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your CTR is how often subscribers click on the links in your email out of the subscribers who opened your email. A high CTR suggests lots of interest in your product or service, and repeat clicks from a single person make it safe to assume they’re a well-qualified lead.
There are a number of variables that can affect your success in this area.
Are your prospects clicking through and buying more often when you feature a single product or several related ones? Does it help when your emails are mobile-friendly? Do you do better when you list a price in the email itself or when it is shown once they’ve clicked through to the page?
Testing these variables to see which gives you the best results can dramatically increase your success in this area. Track your results to learn what your prospects respond to. Test one variable at a time with similar lists to learn more about what works.
3. Goal: Build a High-Quality Email List
Metric: Unsubscribe Rate
People unsubscribe for all sorts of reasons. If you see a pattern of unsubscribes, though, it’s a sign you need to take a look at your emails and try to figure out what might be turning people away.
Metic: Bounce Rate
When an email bounces, that means it never reached its intended recipient. And when lots of emails bounce, that means you might have temporary or longstanding issues with your deliverability rate. This leads us to our next metric…
Metric: Deliverability Rate
Speaking of deliverability, this refers to your overall success in getting in front of your subscribers — i.e., emails that end up in inboxes and not bounced or in the spam folder.
Metric: Spam Complaints
Too many spam complaints can seriously impact long-term deliverability. It might even end up with email service providers blocking your address by placing you on an email blacklist. Make sure your emails aren’t regularly getting flagged as spam, and if they are, take action to determine what’s going on.
Metric: List Growth Rate
The goal should always be ongoing list growth. Look at how many new subscribers you’re gaining over time, and just as importantly, how that number compares to how many people are unsubscribing.
While size isn’t everything, the number of engaged, high-quality leads you reach is important.
Learn whether your emails are turning prospects off by watching your unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, and deliverability rate. People unsubscribing to your list is a normal part of marketing, however, if you are finding that too many people are leaving, your bounce rate is high, or your emails aren’t being delivered, there could be something wrong with your approach as well as the quality of the addresses you’re reaching out to. Make sure you’re practicing opt-in email marketing and that you’re focusing on building your list as opposed to buying it.
4. Goal: Increase Brand Awareness
Metric: Email Share and Forward Rates
It’s hugely helpful to have your current subscribers help you bring on new ones. To see if it’s happening, check out how often your “share” and/or “forward” buttons get clicked on.
Metric: Open Rate
If your goal is increasing awareness of your brand or a new product, aside from having an effective social media strategy, your open rate is one of the most important metrics to look at. This is the measure of how many people are opening your email campaigns and how many are deleting without reading them.
If your open rate is lower than you would like, there are a number of strategies that can increase it. Changing your subject line to something that adds urgency, for instance, can help increase your open rate. You may also wish to vary the times and days that you send your emails. B2B emails may get more responses during morning hours. For B2C communications, weekends may work better for you.
It’s important to note that Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection feature now makes tracking this metric a little tricky. Since subscribers can block senders from accessing their information, which includes email opens, this metric may not be accurate, especially if you have a lot of subscribers that use Apple Mail.
5. Goal: Increase Website Traffic
Metric: Click Rate
If you want to increase traffic to a landing page or product page, measure how many people are clicking links in your email compared to how many people the email was delivered to.
To learn more about who is visiting, create unique tracking codes that go in each email. These codes can tell you which prospects are visiting your website to learn more. When paired with other information that you have about each prospect, you can learn more about what they respond to. At Benchmark Email, we track this metric for you by showing which email recipient clicked which link, so you can see who is visiting which page of your website (as long as the link leads them to a website page).
If one of the links within your email isn’t generating a ton of clicks, try A/B testing different language, colors, or fonts for that particular link.
How Often Should You Check Your Metrics?
To ensure you don’t miss any big swings, check your metrics at least monthly (an automated email marketing software with a built-in analytics dashboard will make this easy to do). You should also be evaluating performance trends on a weekly and monthly basis so you can identify any patterns that might not be obvious on a day-to-day scale.
Quick Tips for Improving your Email Marketing Metrics
- Focus on building opt-in email lists. This ensures those receiving your emails actually want to receive them, which improves your deliverability rate and decreases your bounce and unsubscribe rates.
- Keep in mind the number of emails you’re sending and how that plays into your email conversion rate, deliverability rate, click-through rate, etc.
- Routinely scrub your email lists so that spam accounts are removed. This can greatly improve deliverability rates and decrease the number of bounces.
- Keep your message concise. If your email is too lengthy, it won’t get read — and worse, it could result in a bounce or an unsubscribe.
The shotgun approach to email marketing does not work anymore. Too many of your subscribers are constantly bombarded by offers and promotions. To stand out from the noise, you need to create email marketing assets that take your clients’ behaviors and preferences into account. By carefully studying the data from your marketing analytics, you can create more compelling emails that will help you achieve your goals.