You’ve mastered the challenge of setting up your first email campaign but are not sure where to go from here? It’s time to move on to step two: Tracking your email campaign performance and learning to use the data to take things to the next level. Let’s take a close look at how marketing analytics drives campaign success and what metrics you should be tracking.
Many marketers seem to underestimate the importance of having a roadmap to help you understand if what you’re doing is working and how you can do better in the future. The truth is, measuring the performance of your email campaigns is essential to succeed in your digital marketing efforts. Needless to say, at Anchor Digital, we strongly believe that decision making should always be data-driven.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a data scientist to understand how your email campaigns perform. Every email marketing software we’ve worked with in the past provides easy to use analytics tools that can drive your email marketing strategy – if you know how to use them.
Marketing analytics, as Mailchimp (one of the biggest names in email marketing software) puts it, “is critical to understanding and predicting user behaviour and optimising the user experience (UX) to drive sales.” But that’s not it. So let’s have a look at what else marketing analytics can do for your email marketing efforts and how you can turn data into actionable knowledge.
Tip: If you feel like you’re missing a few basics on email marketing and creating campaigns that convert, we’ve linked our beginner’s lessons on leveraging the power of email automation.
Why Bother Tracking Your Email Marketing Performance?
- Stay Focused on Your Goal
Thanks to marketing analytics we know that email marketing is a powerful, yet often underestimated tool. Whilst 20 per cent of internet users have made a purchase because of social media, a whopping 66 per cent purchased because of a brand’s email efforts.
The explanation is straightforward: Tailor-made communications received by subscribers that are already familiar with your brand and opted in to receive your messages, give you a unique chance to keep proofing your value to them.
- Get the Data to Support Your Claims
As a marketing manager, analytics allows you to get the relevant statistics you need to quantify your claims. After all, little is more convincing than having the black and white proof that sales skyrocketed while your campaign was running.
Taking it a step further, marketing analytics allows you to compare and contrast your data to your own expectations, understand differences in demographics, compare email campaigns to PPC and Facebook advertising efforts – and so much more. What’s not to love about the power of marketing analytics?
- Use the Data to Set Yourself Up for Success
It’s not just about having access to the data, it’s also about knowing what to do with it. Marketing analytics can give you answers to your most pressing questions and help you make hard decisions, but first, you have to understand how to interpret and use the valuable data you’re getting from it.
And that’s why in today’s blog post, we’re giving you the opportunity to learn about the top key metrics to track in each of your email marketing campaigns.
There is a lot to learn, so let’s get straight to it.
The Top Four Email Campaign Metrics to Measure
1. Email Delivery Rate
The email delivery rate of your campaign describes the percentage of emails that made it into your subscribers’ inboxes. Please note, we are not talking about how many of your emails have actually been opened, but simply, if they have been delivered. Just like a letter that made its journey to your mailbox, but hasn’t been read by you yet (quite possibly because you know it’s a hefty bill or speeding ticket and you’re actively avoiding it…).
You are wondering why that should even be an issue in the world of email automation? Emails can be returned as a hard or soft bounce, for example when an email address is no longer valid, the mailbox is full or your email is blocked by a spam filter and sent to the recipient’s spam folder. Your email campaign’s deliverability plays a crucial role in getting your emails to their designated destination and giving it the best chance to be opened.
You’ll only know how your emails are faring if you take a close look at your delivery rates. It’ll help you make decisions based on facts instead of suspicions.
Here is an example of what average email delivery and deliverability rates look like in 2020:
- 95 per cent or more is considered a good delivery rate by most email service providers
- Email marketers reported an average email delivery rate of 77 per cent in 2017
- The average worldwide email deliverability rate is 80 per cent
- About 8 per cent of emails are sent to subscribers’ spam folders
- 16 per cent of emails are blocked as spam
2. Email Opening Rate
Your email opening rate describes the percentage of emails that have been opened by your subscribers, because of a catchy subject line or because they love your brand and have already been waiting to hear from you.
Your email service of choice calculates the opening rate by taking the number of subscribers who opened your email and dividing it by the number of emails that were sent and didn’t bounce. The average open rate across industries is 17.8 per cent.
Now, you might say: “Cool, so I’ll just focus on building a huge subscriber list, then I don’t have to worry about opening rates”. Unfortunately, you’re not getting away that easily. A massive list is really of no use if your subscribers don’t interact with your email campaigns.
Email marketing only works if your subscribers want to receive your emails. As a smart, results-oriented marketer, you’ll want to focus on growing high-quality lists of engaged subscribers. Once again, it’s quality over quantity.
When you understand what your email campaign data is telling you, you can make well-informed marketing decisions. A high opening rate shows you that your recipients are engaging with your campaign, and that is one of the best indicators that you’re on the right track.
Tip: Did you know that you can find out how effective your email subject lines are using CoSchedule’s email subject line tester?
3. Click-Through Rate
How do you know that your email campaigns are engaging people to visit your website or take you up on a special offer? This is where your campaigns’ click-through-rates become relevant.
As the percentage of total subscribers who opened your email and clicked on a link, click-through-rates offer valuable insights on:
- How many subscribers are engaging with your campaign?
- What type of content are your subscribers interested in?
- Where do you need to spice things up for your content to perform better?
Click-through rates are very useful to measure subscriber engagement and you should constantly be striving to improve it. One way to do this is with A/B testing.
What are average email campaign click-through rates?
Click-through rates vary from industry to industry. Museums and galleries, for example, have average rates of 4.75 per cent whereas the marketing and advertising industry (which is maybe little surprising), rack up a whopping 9.21 per cent rate on average.
- The average click-through rate across industries was 7 per cent in April 2020
But, no matter what industry you operate in, for most brands having solid click-through rates will really make a difference and validate your email marketing strategy.
4. Conversion Rate
After discussing clicks, let’s have a look at conversion rates. Let’s say you’re a marketing consultant and you’ve sent out an email to your subscriber list to inform them about a new service you’re offering. You’ve intentionally drafted the email with your subscribers’ interests in mind and included a compelling call-to-action.
A couple of hours later, you start receiving emails and getting calls from the email recipients asking for a meeting with you to discuss how you can help their business thrive. This is an obvious telltale sign of an email campaign that does what it was intended to do.
Your campaign’s conversion rate measures the percentage of subscribers that takes the action you want them to. It’s a great tool that helps you to gauge to what extent you’re achieving your marketing goals.
Did you know? Email marketing generates an average of $38 in ROI and marketers are 6x more likely to click on a link from an email than from a social media post.
Other Email Marketing Metrics to Track
As the average rate of bounced emails relative to the total number of sent emails in the campaign, the bounce rate indicates how many subscribers didn’t get a chance to see the information you want to get in front of them. The benchmark for bounces is less than 2 per cent. Anything above 5 per cent is an indicator of a serious problem with your campaign and deserves immediate attention.
Subscriber List Activity
To find out more about the health status of your subscriber list, it helps looking at your subscriber statistics.
- Number of Unsubscribes
If you find an unusual amount of subscribers leaving your list all at once, check in with yourself: Did you email too often/not enough? Did you promise one thing and deliver another? There are many reasons why people unsubscribe from a brand’s email list, and you shouldn’t be cross with them if they do. Instead, look at your possible shortcomings and do better in the future.
- Unengaged Subscribers
Unengaged subscribers can be a problem, too. If someone hasn’t opened your emails in months or accidentally typed in @gail instead of @gmail, why let them skew your email marketing metrics? Sometimes, it’s best to purge your subscriber list to build high-quality lists of engaged recipients.
How people chose to read your messages matters when you’re designing a new website, but it also plays a huge role in email marketing. If you’ve ever checked a newsletter on your phone that wasn’t optimised for mobile, you’ll perfectly understand what we’re getting at.
70 per cent of readers delete an email that’s not optimised for mobile. As mobile technology is becoming more essential, you can expect this number to grow.
And Where Do You Find These Metrics?
Email marketing software such as Mailchimp, (our not-so-secret in-house favourite), offer a range of marketing analytics reports to help you track performance and monitor trends. Some of the best email tools will also give you an insight into how your campaigns are doing in comparison to those of your competitors.
If you’re signed up, go to “Reports” on Mailchimp and generate a report to help you and your client identify where you need to make changes in your campaign.
If you wanted to calculate these metrics yourself, CoSchedule has a handy infographic that helps you with all the formulas! Click here to check it out.
Time to Master Email Marketing Analytics
There is only one way to go forward from here, and that is by gaining some boots-on-the-ground experience. You’ll quickly realise, once you start measuring your performance, you’ll quickly get hooked and try to improve with every email you send.
There are a lot of great resources that can help you on your way, including some of our recent posts:
- How to create click-worthy automated emails
- Landing pages – The ultimate call-to-action
- As good as new – 5 easy ways to repurpose blog content
- Communicating with empathy – Managing marketing efforts in times of crisis
Ready to try the most measurable marketing tactics on the planet? If you need some help meeting your marketing goals, we’d love to wrangle these email marketing metrics for you (so you don’t have to)!
Get in touch with us today and let’s have a chat about all things email marketing! We’re looking forward to meeting you!