It takes time to get the hang of email marketing. Certainly, it entails applying best practices to every campaign you build, avoiding frequent rookie blunders, and optimising emails for higher engagement.
These methods, however, do not guarantee success. You must also know how to evaluate the outcomes of your efforts by knowing which key metrics to measure. This not just helps to track the performance, but also to identify the pitfalls.
You plan to do email marketing.
Next, you decide your goal that you want to achieve with email marketing.
The next step is to establish which metrics you'll need to track in order to see how far you've progressed toward your set goals.
Why are Metrics Important?
Metrics or key performance indicators are crucial because they help brands decide whether the email marketing campaigns are successful and provide information that can be used to improve the future initiatives. They help marketers figure out how their efforts are helping to achieve their company's goals and make decisions on how to better their campaigns and marketing channels.
These insights can assist an email marketer determine whether the set objectives have been met in terms of attracting new clients, increasing awareness, boosting engagement, increasing sales, enhancing lead creation, and more. These analytics can also be used as an early warning system if marketing efforts aren't operating as intended, and they can aid in making informed decisions to change campaigns in real time.
Gain Better and Allround Understanding of your Audience
One of the most important reasons that make email marketing metrics important is that they help to understand your audience thoroughly.
The only information you have when you start an email marketing campaign is the email addresses of subscribers and the fact that they are interested in anything your company offers. Tracking and analysing your email campaigns allows you to put the puzzle pieces together and create a more detailed profile of your customers, which is a significant advantage. It would be analogous to trying to catch a specific type of fish without knowing what kind of bait they prefer.
You can adapt and craft your emails to what customers value, what they're interested in, and how they interact with each piece of your emails when you create a more comprehensive customer profile.
Coupons, for example, may be an email element that works particularly effectively in drawing customers to your store. Perhaps a shorter subject line is more appealing to your customers than a lengthier one. You can gather all these kinds of information and many others with the help of email marketing metrics. Consequently, you will be in a better position to tailor all of the email components as per a particular segment of your target audience.
Knowing Which Metrics to Measure is Equally Important
Which email marketing metrics to track for evaluating how the email campaigns are performing and what are its success rates? A straight answer to this is - the right email marketing metrics that you need to track entirely depends upon your goal.
Take into account that when your business's objectives and goals evolve and change, the email metrics that you are tracking may need to change as well. Focus on specific email key metrics as you deploy, monitor, and grow with email marketing
There are dozens of metrics that email marketers can use to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. The trick, however, is to figure out which one is best for each of your set goals and adopted way of approach. Different metrics provide you with different types of insights.
Email marketing metrics show how well campaigns are performing in relation to the respective objectives. Despite the fact that email marketers track a wide range of metrics, each campaign should only contain a few. They should be measurable, precise, and realistic within the campaign's timeframe.
Metrics evolve over time, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every campaign. Furthermore, the metrics and their levels of assessment vary depending on the stage of the marketing funnel.
Talking about the statistics and industry benchmarks, the top email marketing metrics are click through rate, email open rate, and email delivery rate.
Every Marketer Should Be Cognizant Of These Email Marketing Metrics
What you examine depends on what you want to achieve with email marketing. However, there are a few tried-and-true metrics you should be monitoring to track the progress of your campaigns.
1. Email Open Rate
The very first stage of tracking the email marketing success rates is analysing the email open rate. The open rate has long been one of the most basic and widely utilised KPIs among email marketers. It is the measure of the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email. Certainly, it also indicates how effective different subject lines are and provides insights on how engaged the users are.
It's a good idea to keep an eye on your email open rate because a low open rate could signal a problem with your subject lines. Your email marketing campaign is likely to fail if you can't convince your recipients to open your emails. If you're having trouble getting people to open your emails, try experimenting with different subject lines to find which ones work best for you.
Note: As Apple makes Mail Privacy Protection widely available, it will effectively deactivate open-tracking for customers who opt in, making open rate a somewhat unreliable and inaccurate metric. And, as other email providers follow the lead, open rate will become increasingly questionable.
Standard Email Open Rates:
Depending on the business niche, a healthy email open rate should be in the range 17% and 28%. While knowing these figures is a good place to start, it's also worthwhile to research your specifc industry averages and compare your metrics to those in your business.
Tips to Improve:
- A/B test different subject lines to better gauge what attracts the email recipients’ attention the most.
- Experiment with different send times and days. There are particular times of the day when you can get better email open rates. Conduct A/B testing to eliminate assumptions and establish a solid foundation for your campaign.
The majority of email marketers are still bending over backwards to improve their subject lines in order to increase open rates. While this can be beneficial - and more opens are always a good thing - businesses should instead focus on improving their click - through rates.
The truth is that open rate is a highly misleading indicator for a variety of reasons. Above all, an email is only considered "opened" if the recipient also views the photos included in it. Furthermore, image-blocking is likely to be enabled in a large number of your email subscribers' email clients.
This means that even if they open the email, their open rate will be underreported, making it an inaccurate and untrustworthy indicator for email marketers. If you utilise open rate as a comparative metric, though, you can gain some value out of it.
2. Click-through rate
Another common statistic for determining how effectively your email marketing campaigns are functioning is click-through rate (CTR). Most probably, if you ask any email marketer, which email metric they track the most, the CTR is likely to come up first.
CTR is a measure that determines how many people clicked on the links that you have included in your marketing emails. The goal of any email campaign is to persuade as many people as possible to click the links in the emails and eventually convert – and knowing how many people click the links in your emails is crucial to knowing how well you're doing.
It's a decent indicator of how interested a portion of your audience is in your email content over time. The click-through rate can be used to determine whether or not your campaign was successful in generating engagement. It's also a first step toward increasing your conversion rate.
CTR is the "day-to-day" email marketing measure since it allows you to simply calculate performance for each email you send. Thereafter, you can track how your CTR fluctuates over time. CTR is also commonly used to determine the results of A/B tests, which are frequently built with the goal of discovering new ways to obtain more clicks in your emails.
Standard Click-through Rates:
The email open rate is frequently far greater than the click-through rate. The average click-through rate for most email marketing campaigns is barely more than 2%. Moreover, depending upon the industry, a respectable click-through rate should be between 2% and 5%.
Tips to Improve:
There are a few strategies to increase click-through rates while creating an email. Include links in relevant places throughout the email, as well as an eye-catching and prominent call-to-action button that subscribers may use to click it.
- Make the email preview text perfect.
- Implement effective email list segmentation tactics and personalise the email communications.
- Craft the email content in such a way that it provides utmost value to the email recipient.
3. Email Conversion Rate
The click-through rate indicates how many individuals clicked on the email's link. The email conversion rate, on the other hand, measures how many users took a specific action after clicking on that link.
For example, if you included a link in your email inviting your subscribers to join in a Black Friday sale, the conversion rate would indicate what proportion of those who followed the link actually purchased something.
Conversion rates provide you a completely different view on your ROI. When you know how much you've invested and how many subscribers are converting, it's simple to see if the investment you've put into your campaign is paying off.
Conversion rate is one of the most essential metrics for calculating the extent to which you're reaching your set objectives because the definition of a conversion is immediately related to the call-to-action in an email, and the call-to-action should indeed be tied directly to the core objective of the email marketing.
Standard email conversion rate:
A healthy email conversion rate is generally considered to be between 2% and 5%, but, again, this largely depends on the industry.
Surprisingly, there is seldom a clear answer to a good email conversion rate. However, the best way to go is to consider anything that is higher than your present email conversion rate to be better, and to attempt to enhance it as much as possible. Work in a way so that your email conversion rates stay above the industry average at all times. If your email conversion rate is low, it's time to rethink and update your email efforts.
Tips to improve:
Even if not every email marketing campaign's end goal is to get a sale, you'll still need to track goals and conversions. It's vital to remember that, while each email will have a goal, each one should provide immediate value to your recipients. In today's consumer-driven world, sending a blatantly sales-oriented email is unlikely to result in the conversion rate you desire. Instead, focus on creating your campaign based on the value this product provides to your subscribers and persuade them to buy.
Nobody wants to feel as though a business is simply interested in their money. Your marketing emails should be written and executed as if it were a human being communicating with other humans. When you keep your email copy and design centred on conveying value to your subscribers, you'll notice far greater results from your email marketing campaigns.
There are numerous approaches to crafting email campaigns that will increase conversion rates. The first - and possibly most important - step is to ensure that you have a single, clear goal in mind and that you select a format, layout, and design that is aligned with the goal. Plus, it must enhance the overall recipient’s experience with the email.
Even if you have secondary or tertiary CTAs in your email, one should be the clear primary action you want readers to take, because too many alternatives can be intimidating, especially in a product-related email. The catch to this is that if you want to attract traffic to a website and don't care where they go, incorporating secondary and tertiary CTAs will be more effective.
- Harness email list segmentation to target the right people.
- Send personalised emails to the people on your email contact list who are most likely to respond.
- Maintain the flow of email content.
- Maintain optimal length of the email.
- Emphasise the benefits or provide value in the emails from the recipient’s standpoint.
- Send content that matches the recipient's stage in the marketing funnel and their customer journey.
- Have in place a dedicated post-click landing page, where the email recipients are directed after they click the link in the email.
- Optimise the post-click landing page - this is where the real action takes place.
Clearly, there is no quick fix for increasing your email conversion rate. Rather, concentrate on providing value to subscribers and prioritising their wants and desires. An engaged audience will always produce better outcomes (conversions) over time.
4. Bounce Rate
The email bounce rate is a metric that indicates how many of your subscribers' email addresses did not receive your email. The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that are returned to your Email Service Provider (ESP). It's the percentage of your total emails sent that didn't make it into the recipient's inbox. This indicator shows how many bad email addresses are in your email list. When emails bounce, you may observe if the email contacts are having temporary or permanent troubles.
While an email bounce rate isn't directly related to your end email marketing objectives, you should nonetheless check at it to ensure that your emails aren't having any serious issues. They have an impact on the overall success rates of email marketing.
There are two types of bounces:
Soft bounces: These are a result of temporary reasons with a valid email address, such as a server issue at the recipient’s end, a full inbox or the email message is too large.
Hard bounces: Hard bounces occur when an email address is invalid, inactive, or does not exist anymore. Consequently, the emails, in this case, will never be delivered. Because bounce rates are one of the primary indicators used by internet service providers (ISPs) to determine an email sender's reputation, you should remove hard bounce addresses from your email list as soon as possible. In the viewpoint of an ISP, having too many hard bounces can make your company look like a spammer.
When you compare bounce rates to open rates, you may get a better understanding of the quality of your subscriber lists. If you're getting a lot of hard bounces, it's possible that your list consists of bogus email addresses, old email addresses, or addresses with typos.
Standard bounce rate:
Several research on the bounce rates of emails from various industries have found that neither hard nor soft bounces hit 2%. In general, a bounce rate of 2% or less is considered a tolerable level.
Tips to improve:
The way to resolve soft bounce issues is by trying to re-send the emails. Also, the recipient’s server may keep those emails in queue for delivery after the temporary issue is resolved.
- Use opt-in, permission-based email contacts.
- Use incentive signups and contests wisely. Give individuals a reason to sign up that goes beyond any benefits for becoming a new subscriber, and make sure they understand exactly what they're getting into.
- Confirmed double opt-in is a good option.
- Use a paid domain send-from address instead of a free one.
- Send emails on a regular and consistent basis.
- Follow proper email authentication.
- Regularly clean your email list.
- Adopt email verification approaches.
5. Spam Complaints
The rate at which the contacts designate your emails as spam is measured by the spam complaints rate or score. A high spam score signals that your recipients aren't keen on hearing what you have to say through your emails. This informs ISPs that the target demographic is no longer fascinated with receiving any sort of communications from your business. This can have a negative effect on your sender reputation, which in turn has an effect on the email deliverability rate.
It might be demoralising to have your emails labelled as spam. You may wish to ignore these cases, but spam complaints must be taken seriously.
ISPs want to ensure that their services are of high quality and keep track of spam complaints. It's likely that your email service provider will take some action against you and block your account if this rate rises too high.
Although the email service provider that you work with will most likely keep track of this figure for you, you may want to keep an eye on it yourself to ensure that your emails are technically sound and that your email copywriting comply with all the anti-spam standards. Your emails should be able to dodge the spam filters, if you wish to receive high email opens, clicks, and conversions from your email marketing campaigns.
Accurately speaking, most individuals flag emails as spam when they're either of very poor quality or highly intrusive about their sales goals. So the best thing about keeping the email quality up still applies.
Acceptable spam complaint range:
The spam complaint score must be as low as possible. Otherwise, you, as an email marketer, risk losing your ability to send marketing emails. Plus, you risk getting on the blacklist as well. The industry standard for email spam complaint rates, according to a study, is less than 0.02%.
Tips to improve:
- Turn on double opt-in: So you've chosen to launch a brand-new email campaign to reach out to your customers. You've prepped the entire database, conducted market research, and are ready to launch. However, if you simply do so, your email will be sent to the spam folder. This can happen if some recipients forget they signed up for your emails and decide it's easier to mark them as spam.
Enabling double opt-in ensures that your consumers are aware that they have agreed to receive your communications. Every subscriber is requested to confirm their subscription to your emails during this procedure. Some individuals will provide incorrect information, or a spam bot will add bogus addresses to your subscriber list. The double opt-in method ensures that only those who are interested in your business offerings are added to your email list.
- Permit global unsubscribe: Enabling worldwide unsubscribes is an underappreciated and frequently missed strategy. Some people will unsubscribe from a specific email category, figuring they are no longer on your mailing list. The latter option can be ensured by enabling global unsubscribe. Otherwise, rather than unsubscribing from each mailing category one at a time, a subscriber may mark your email as spam.
- Devote special attention to the email subject line. Avoid using any spam-triggering words or phrases in the subject line.
6. Unsubscribe Rate
The percentage of email recipients that unsubscribe from your list after receiving an email campaign is known as the unsubscribe rate.
Unsubscribes have a two-pronged effect. People are unsubscribing on one hand, which is never good for the ego. Your list, on the other hand, is performing some self-cleaning. Unsubscribes are a type of self-cleaning for your mailing list, in which uninterested individuals just cease to receive any communications from you. However, the more people that unsubscribe, the worse your sender reputation becomes.
A high unsubscribe rate suggests that some aspects of your strategy are weak, and you should examine your email marketing tactics more closely. Your email deliverability and domain reputation will suffer as a result of a high unsubscribe rate, and your ISP or email service provider will designate you as spam. Perhaps the volume of emails being sent is excessive, the content is irrelevant to users' expectations, or your email templates are sloppy and obsolete - these may be some of the reasons behind the high unsubscribe rates.
Acceptable unsubscribe rate:
An unsubscribe rate of less than 0.5% is considered an acceptable unsubscribe rate for an email marketing campaign. A rate of less than 0.2% shows that you are within the usual norm, while a rate of more than 0.5% suggests that you have some effort to do. According to a survey, the average industry rate of email unsubscribes is 0.17%.
Ways to improve:
- Adopt effective list segmentation tactics.
- Maintain a list of only double opt-in contacts.
- Adopt a strong personalization approach.
- Allow users to choose the frequency with which they want to receive the emails.
- Create mobile-responsive emails.
- Run win-back or re-engage email campaigns to re-activate the subscribers.
7. Email List Growth Rate
The list growth rate is a metric that measures what is the rate with which your email list is growing. The goal should always be to continuously grow your email list. Examine the number of new subscribers you're gaining over time, as well as how that figure compares to the number of people who are unsubscribing. While the email list size doesn't matter, the volume of active, engaged, and high-quality leads you can reach is crucial.
It's natural to have some churn. Therefore, focus on strategies to increase your list organically, rather than buying it from the web. Engage your subscribers, and find new devoted subscribers on a regular basis. Most email contact lists naturally deteriorate, which is why you need to add new subscribers on a regular basis.
Organically growing your email list using legitimate and proactive techniques results in a more engaged audience that truly wants to hear from you. This means your subscribers are far more likely to be receptive, will convert into customers and remain loyal to your company.
That, combined with the fact that all businesses lose an average of 20% of their email list each year due to attrition, should be sufficient to make you take email list growth seriously.
8. Email Sharing and Forward Rate
The percentage of recipients who shared your email on social media or passed it to another person in their circle is measured by the email sharing and forwarding rate.
The email forwarding or sharing rate is an important measure to track since it indicates how many brand advocates you have. It tells you what proportion of your subscribers refer your emails to their friends and family.
Developing brand supporters through email marketing is a smart tactic, especially considering that 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends' social media posts and references when making purchase-related decisions.
Sharing an email takes it a step farther than simply responding to it. It indicates that the recipient considered the email content valuable enough to want others to view it as well. It can inform you which elements or parts of the email content your audience responds to the most.
Tips to boost email forward/share rate:
- Send emails that are extremely targeted and relevant.
- Ensure that the appropriate email is sent to the appropriate recipient at the appropriate time. To achieve this, you can make use of email automation as well.
- Keep your emails simple and to the point. Emails with a single theme or plot are more likely to be shared because they don't require any additional context.
9. Device Statistics
Device statistics show you which devices your recipients use to open and read your emails. Studying this data is extremely important as different devices display the emails and its content in different ways. Therefore, while creating emails, it's crucial to optimise them for the most probable devices.
If certain devices can be broadly matched to specific email list segments, this might have a significant impact on how these segments' audience interact with the email they're sent. If younger demographics are more likely to open emails on a smartphone, for instance, email for this segment should be created with smartphones in mind.
In your emails, it's also a good idea to utilise short paragraphs and plenty of white space. It's preferable to keep the quantity of images and other graphics to a minimum; if you must utilise those, make them small and easily visible. Use responsive email templates and test the emails multiple times. This ensures that your emails are easily accessible, scannable, and readable. Most importantly, optimise the CTAs as well according to different screen sizes and devices, so that they are easy to click.
Why is analysing the device statistics important?
As per a study, mobile clients account for 41.6% of email opens. Furthermore, 47% of consumers check their email using a mobile application.
Thus, researching this metric can prove to be helping hand in optimising the emails for mobiles as well as other devices. This, consequently, will improve your recipient's entire experience with your email, resulting in higher engagement rates.
When designing an email, keep in mind that it may not seem the same on all devices, and the appearance of the email may vary depending on the email client. Before you send an email, most email services allow you to preview how it will appear on various devices and inbox types.
Email Marketing Metrics Depicting Impact on Overall Business
Return on Investment (ROI)
The cost-effectiveness of an email marketing campaign is measured by its return on investment (ROI). If a campaign's goal is to make money, evaluating ROI is critical. Email marketing is an investment, but it provides the best return on investment in comparison to any other digital marketing strategy.
Analysing the ROI will help to accurately measure the email marketing success rates. Knowing how much you've made back on your investment might help you uncover new methods to expand your business in a variety of ways:
- Boost the business revenue.
- Amplified levels of brand awareness.
- Increase in website traffic.
- Better and improved sales conversions.
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value refers to the amount of money a customer is expected to spend with your business over the course of their engagement time with you. The computation is based on their average purchase value, average frequency of purchases from you, average customer value, and customer lifespan with your business. This is a crucial indicator that acknowledges the importance of retaining specific contacts in your email list database.
The metric considers a customer's revenue and compares it to the company's predicted client longevity. The higher a customer's lifetime value rises the longer they continue to engage with the business and make purchases.
Why is it vital to measure and analyse CLV?
- It can assist you in identifying difficulties in order to improve client loyalty and retention.
- Gain a better understanding about your most profitable and valuable clients.
- Obtain the capacity to measure channel impact to enable budget allocation.
- Create chances for cross-selling and up-selling.
- Identify the high-value customers and target them with referral and loyalty programs.
When you know a customer's lifetime value, you also know how much money they spend with your business over time. You may use this data to develop a customer acquisition strategy that focuses on customers who are likely to spend the most money on your brand or your business offerings.
Customer acquisition costs can be reduced by increasing CLV. It's critical that your firm recognises and nurtures the most valued consumers that contact it. You'll have larger profit margins, higher client lifetime values, and lower customer acquisition expenses if you execute it this way.
Cost Per Acquisition
The cost per acquisition (CPA) is the cost of acquiring a new customer. This financial metric can be calculated using the following formula for email marketing campaigns: total campaign cost divided by conversions (number of customers who have made a purchase or have converted). This also demonstrates the effectiveness of your campaign.
Why is measuring and analysing CPA important?
Without an awareness of your cost per acquisition, you run the risk of overpaying for client acquisition in your email marketing campaigns. While every business values its customers, you may find yourself spending more than required to obtain a customer.
Every business is distinct, which makes computing an effective CPA even more vital, if not essential. In the long term, this aids in the development of solid client acquisition plans, which are crucial to your company's long-term success.
To consider your email marketing campaign effective, you should reduce your CPA to the lowest level possible while sustaining your entire marketing budget. This means making the smallest investment possible in order to maintain a high conversion rate, or the number of visitors who become customers.
Goals that Different Email Marketing Metrics Help Accomplish
Goal: Revenue generation
- Metric to be measured:
- Conversion rate
- Revenue per email
- Return on investment
Goal: Product or service promotion
- Metric to be measured:
- Click through rate
Goal: Build and maintain a high-quality email contact list
- Metric to be measured:
- Bounce rate
- Spam complaints
- Unsubscribe rate
- Email deliverability rate
- List growth rate
Goal: Enhance brand awareness
- Metric to be measured:
- Email forward and share rates
- Email open rate
Goal: Generate and increase website traffic
- Metric to be measured:
- Click rate
Few Pointers on How to Improve the Key Metrics and Email Marketing Success
- Concentrate on growing opt-in email lists. This ensures that those who receive your emails genuinely want to receive them, increasing deliverability and lowering email bounce and unsubscribe rates.
- Take into account how the volume and frequency of emails you send affects your email conversion rate, deliverability rate, click-through rate, and other metrics.
- Clean your email lists on a regular basis to eliminate bad email addresses. This can significantly enhance deliverability rates and reduce bounce rates.
- Keep your core email message length to a minimum. Your email will not be viewed if it is too long, and it may even result in a bounce or unsubscribe.
Understand ins and outs about the email marketing metrics - what are they, how they work and their usefulness. Smartly pick the right metrics that you are going to track. The metrics should be able to:
- Provide insights about subscriber behaviour and activity
- Help in every possible way to guide you, as an email marketer, in the right direction
- Provide minute details about each email marketing campaign.
Make sure you can track your individual email performance, the health of your email list, and your overall progress toward your end objectives. If you can figure out each of them, you're on the right path to more efficient email marketing.
Of course, even the most precise email marketing metrics data are meaningless if they aren't used to drive some real change. Measuring the proper metrics, gaining perspectives from them, and applying them in useful ways is the actual talent in performance tracking of the email campaigns.