When creating an email marketing campaign, most people determine the actions they want their email subscribers to take (such as making a purchase or clicking a link), as well as the goals you’ve achieved when they take said actions (such as attaining a certain number of site visits or increasing sales) but how do you determine when those goals have been achieved? By establishing and reading your email metrics beyond just the open and click rates, you’ll be able to see your goals being achieved and measure your success. You may be surprised at how many different metrics there are, so read on to discover the basic metrics, then read ‘Email Marketing – Advanced Metrics to Measure Your Success’ to delve deeper.
Your open rate is – of course – a very important metric, as the rest of the metrics are pointless if nobody is opening your emails in the first place! Having said that, this is only relevant if your open rates are accurately measured, as sometimes they are not. When analysing these metrics, be sure to check your overall trend line (comparing the current campaign’s open rate to previous campaign’s open rates). If there are noticeable variations, there are a number of reasons why this may be so, such as what your subject line contains and the tactics you use for this, what time you send your emails or whether you’re sending your emails to different audience subsets. Other lesser-known reasons may include:
Deliverability – if you suddenly see a huge drop in open rates, it could be because your emails never made it to subscribers inboxes. This could be due to a few things, such as blacklisting, spam reports (see below) or other errors.
Measurement errors – As mentioned, sometimes open rates are not accurately measured by your software. To prevent this, you could utilise a reliable server and monitoring platform such as that provided by Swift Digital.
Image blocking – open rates are generally measured only once the images in an email are downloaded. This means that if subscribers are opting to not download email images or if plain text is used, you’ll see a drop in open rates.
Your clickthrough rates tell you how many people clicked the call to action (CTA) links within your emails. As with open rates, be sure to analyse your overall trends (comparing current rates to rates from all previous campaigns) when looking at your clickthrough rates. If they have dropped, it could be due to things like:
Where you’ve placed your CTAs and how many there are – are they above the fold or at the bottom? Have you used too many or too few?
The design of your CTAs – buttons vs text, for instance.
Language of CTAs – using simple vs complicated messages or high commitment language vs low commitment language, for example.
The layout of your email – where are your CTAs placed and how does this email vary from more successful ones?
The content of your email – how has this email varied from more successful emails? Is it relevant or personalised to your subscribers?
The readability of your emails on all devices – this is something many people overlook. Make sure you cater to people using all sizes of devices.
If you’re experiencing a high clickthrough rate but poor conversion rate, this will likely be caused by either a broken link or an issue with your landing page or some other site aspect, so be sure to look into the cause.
Activity after Clickthrough
If you link site analytics to your email links, you’ll be able to see what subscribers do after they click your email links. This is great for determining your site’s bounce rate, page popularity and other events which can greatly assist you in improving site elements.
Your conversion rates will be measured based on the goals of your email campaign, so for instance, you’d check to see how many subscribers made a purchase if your goal was selling, or you’d check how many downloads were made if your goal was content downloads. To measure these rates, you compare the percentage of subscribers who met your goals during this email campaign to those of previous campaigns. It’s not surprising that conversion rates are considered the most important measures of success when analysing email metrics; however, they are only one aspect and do not tell the whole story.
By checking to see if your unsubscribe rates are higher than previous campaigns, you’ll be able to gauge the relevance of your emails to your subscribers. If you’re losing subscribers, it might be time to re-evaluate your email content or segmentation strategy. If you’re seeing drop-offs from all segments at a large rate, you might want to investigate whether you’ve somehow offended your audience or whether the unsubscribes are due to another cause not related to your emails. If you look at ‘reason for unsubscribing’ data, you’ll be able to use this to determine what to avoid in the future.
Results of A/B testing
A/B testing is a highly valuable tool for any email marketing campaign, as it allows you to determine what your subscribers like the best. A/B testing can range from performing quite basic tests to testing complex aspects of your emails so the sky’s the limit. Analysing the results of your A/B tests will help you see the most successful strategies, allowing you to utilise them in future email campaigns.
These are the basic metrics that should be measured in order to run successful email campaigns. There are many more though, so check out ‘Email Marketing – Advanced Metrics to Measure Your Success’ to discover some of them. If you’d like to learn more about simplifying metric measurements or succeeding with your email marketing, give Swift Digital a call on 1300 878 289 or click here to message us.