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So, you’ve launched an email marketing campaign. Kudos. Now what? It’s been a month and a half. Still, you can’t tell if it’s successful or not. Were all your emails delivered? Did the recipients open your email? Can you tell whether they took an action?
As a business owner, do you know how well your marketing efforts are performing?
You could have the perfect subject line and catchy designs. But, if you can’t see real results, all your efforts will be futile. If you can’t tell how your email marketing strategy is contributing to your business goals, you might want to check your strategy.
To maintain a healthy email list and improve your campaign ROI, it’s important you keep track of certain metrics.
It’s dangerous to carry out a marketing campaign without measuring how well you’re performing.
As a business owner trying to reap the full benefits of email marketing, there are some key metrics you should measure.
If you’re still in doubt about whether to engage in email marketing or measure your efforts, let me share this with you. Are you ready?
Email marketing has an ROI of 4300%. It’s no joke. The rewards of email marketing are mind-blowing. More reason you should track your efforts to see if you’re hitting those goals.
Before we dive in, let me reiterate some of the benefits of email marketing. Email marketing is cost-effective; it’s measurable and personal. For a better understanding of email marketing, click here.
Now, to the main question. “What metric should I be looking at?” How do I tell that my email marketing campaign is working?” Here are some of the important metrics you should pay attention to in your next email marketing campaign.
- Open rate
- Click through rate
- Bounce rate
- Campaign ROI
- Conversion rate
- Unsubscribe rate
This is the most important metric you should measure. This tells you the number of people who opened your email. What’s the point of sending emails if no one opens them? If all they do is to hit the delete button without viewing it. Your email campaigns can only be successful when people are opening and reading your emails. This is an important metric because it tells you which subject lines are the most effective.
Your open rate is key to understanding how well subscribers are receiving your messages.
Subject lines that use the subscriber’s first names are 26% likely to be opened.
How to calculate: Total number of emails opened / number of emails delivered
Factors that affect open rate include your subject line, use of emojis and personalization,
Click through rate
This is the percentage of recipients who clicked a link on your site. They didn’t only open your email but interacted with it by clicking on a link or some links back to your website. For example, if you included a blog post link, the click-through rate would measure what percentage of subscribers clicked on it. The reason for tracking this metric is to see which campaign leads visitors back to your website.
Your goal is to get them to take an action, which in this case, is to click a link in your email.
How to calculate it: Total number of clicks/number of delivered emails x 100
This is an important metric to track because it tells how good or bad your emails are performing. It also tells you the performance of every individual email you send. Then you can either tweak or improve next time. This metric gives you an insight into how many recipients are engaging with your content and interested in your services or product.
Factors that determine click-through rate include the email’s content such as image, copy and call-to-action.
How to calculate: Number of click-throughs/number of emails delivered
Number of click-throughs/number of emails opened
The bounce rate tells the number of email subscribers that didn’t receive your email. This could either be because of server issues or spam issues.
A bounce rate can either be soft or hard. A soft bounce rate tracks temporary problems with email addresses. For example, if the subscriber’s email address is full or the server is down. But, a hard bounce rate tracks permanent problems with email addresses. This can be because of a fake or incorrect email address.
If you have a high percentage of bounce rates, it tells that your email list is full of fake or incorrect email addresses. It can also be that the email addresses on your list are old or misspelt.
One way to solve this is by asking subscribers to verify their email address and confirm if they want to receive emails from you.
Formula: (Number of bounced emails/ number of emails) x 100
Every email you send has a goal. Do you want subscribers to read a blog, answer some questions, register for an event? The ability of subscribers to carry out that action determines your conversion rate.
In other words, your conversion rate is the number of subscribers who not only clicked on a link but completed a specific action. For example, you might include a link to download an Ebook. The conversion rate would tell you what percentage of people that not only clicked the linked but downloaded the ebook.
This is an important metric because it tells you how many subscribers are actually converting. This, in turn, throws light on your return on investment. It becomes easy to tell if your campaign is working when your subscribers start converting.
The question you should ask is “is my campaign driving sales?” If all that people do is click a link but never take action, your campaign wouldn’t be successful. The goal is to get them to the landing page and actually take an action.
Formula: (number of users who have completed the action/emails delivered)x100
This is the total return on investment for your email campaign. It tells you how much money you’re generating compared to what you put in. This is one of the most important metrics to track because it shows how cost-effective email can be for driving revenue or achieving other goals for your company.
Formula: (Money earned from campaign – money spent on the campaign) / (Money spent on the campaign).
While you want to stay on track with how many subscribers you have, you also want to keep a close eye on those unsubscribing.
Your email marketing software will notify you once someone unsubscribes from receiving any email from you. It’s important to measure this metric to track. It tells you which topic, subject lines or offer subscribers are least interested in. If your unsubscribe rate keeps increasing, you might want to check the content of your message or the frequency of your emails.
Formula: Number of unsubscribes/ number of messages delivered
Aside from tracking the 6 metric listed above, here are two extra email marketing metrics to keep an eye on.
List growth rate
It’s important you keep track of how fast/slow your email list is growing. Your email list growth rate tells you the rate at which your email list has grown over time.
Formula: (New subscribes – unsubscribes)/ total number of email addresses x 100
Forwarding rate/sharing rate
This metric measures the percentage of recipients who either shared your post by clicking on the share button or forwarded it to a friend. This tells you how many subscribers are recommending your emails to others. Having a brand advocate is key to a successful email marketing campaign. This is because 81% of a consumer’s purchasing decision is influenced by a friend’s social media posts.
Formula: total forwards/emails delivered
What to test to measure your email marketing campaigns
Want to improve your email marketing campaign? Here are some factors to test and watch.
So now you have a fair idea of what metrics to be tracking. But, to improve your email marketing campaigns, here are some factors to test and improve.
- Time: The time you send your emails has a direct impact on your open rate. An email sent at the wrong time will result in a lower open rate. The best time to send an email will vary depending on your email list.
- Topic: The topic of your email has an impact on open rate, click-through rate and unsubscribe rate. Send topics that are only relevant to your email list.
- Subject Line: Your subject plays a huge role in determining who opens your email. It can be a direct subject line, personalized, curious or social proofed.
- Link anchor text: Your links have an impact on your click-through rate. You want to be sure all links are working. To inspire people to click on a link, add a strong call-to-action.
When it comes to email marketing, there are key numbers you should be watching. Be conscious about which metrics you’re tracking. In the end, you should be able to measure your individual email performance, the health of your email list and progress toward your overall goals.
What email marketing metrics do you pay attention to? Leave a comment below. To get started on email marketing, download our free Ebook below.
Judith is a content marketing manager at Sidekick Social Media and also writes for She Leads Africa. She loves to write and when not writing, she loves to listen to a long playlist of good music.