Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool for companies of all sizes — but especially for small businesses. Not only does it build trust in consumers and foster more meaningful connections, but it can also drive traffic to your site and convert leads into loyal paying customers.
However, sending out emails and hoping you make an impression is not enough. To reap the benefits of email marketing, learn how to track email analytics so you can improve your results. Some key metrics to track include open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and conversion rates. Regularly monitoring and analyzing these analytics can help you optimize email campaigns for better engagement and higher return on investment (ROI). Here’s how to properly track your email analytics.
Email analytics are metrics that show how your audience engages with the marketing emails you send them. Your metrics should tie into your short- and long-term business goals.
The metrics that you deem important to determine the success of your campaigns are known as key performance indicators (KPIs).
Business owners often wonder what the most important metric to track in email marketing is, and the answer is: It depends.
The most important metric to track in email marketing depends on what your goals are. For example, a new business may be happy with high open rates, while more established businesses that have been doing email marketing for a while might focus on conversions as a success factor.
All the following metrics are important and tell a story.
Deliverability is defined as how many emails reach subscribers’ inboxes over the number of emails that were sent. Just because an email is sent does not mean it gets delivered.
Variables that affect email deliverability include the following:
The mail delivery rate is calculated by dividing the number of delivered emails by the total number of emails sent and then multiplying that number by 100. Most email marketing software platforms automatically calculate this data for you. Mailchimp’s reports, for example, have a reporting line called “Successful Deliveries” that include the total number of emails that were successfully delivered along with a percentage.
The email open rate is the number of emails that subscribers actually open. This metric can be analyzed via a trackable URL. The open rate is considered an engagement rate. A successful engagement rate is determined by what your email marketing goals are.
Here are some variables that affect the email open rate:
The click-through rate is the ratio of users who click on a link in your email. Here’s how to improve your click-through rates:
Include links to additional resources and calls to action in your emails so your customers are compelled to interact with your content and visit your website.
The bounce rate refers to emails that are not delivered. There are two different types of bounces: hard and soft.
A hard bounce means that the email address or domain is not valid. A soft bounce signifies a temporary issue such as the subscriber’s inbox being full.
A high bounce rate (more than 2 percent) could raise suspicions from your email provider, which could then ban your domain from sending emails. To avoid this, only use the most updated email list data, and monitor this analytic.
In addition, try the following to keep your bounce rate down:
The unsubscribe rate is the number (or percentage) of subscribers who opt out of receiving emails. If your unsubscribe rate exceeds 5 percent, you’ll receive a warning on your email marketing tool account. Multiple warnings result in you being banned from your email account, or your domain will be placed on a blacklist, which prevents anyone from receiving your emails in the future, even if you switch email tools. While 5 percent is the top number, all unsubscribes need to be monitored and should not exceed the average rate of 0.05 percent.
To reduce the number of unsubscribes, follow these tips:
The email conversion rate shows which of your subscribers turned into customers or took the next step in the buyer journey, bringing them one step closer to the final sale.
To increase the number of conversions from your email marketing campaigns, follow these four tips:
While you’ll set your own goals for determining the success of your campaigns, comparing metrics against industry benchmarks offers helpful insight into the goals you should set.
Campaign Monitor offers benchmark data that includes the following:
Results also vary by country.
Now that you know which data to track, here are some tools to help you track it.
Use email marketing templates to create more organized and visually appealing campaigns for your readers.
Accurately monitoring your email marketing campaigns can help you understand how to increase your efforts. Without a solid email marketing plan with actionable insights, your emails will likely go unread. Here are some important reasons to track your email analytics and improve your campaigns.
By analyzing the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, you ensure you’re staying in touch with your audience through consistent communication and engaging content. Simply sending an email every other week and hoping it sticks is not enough. Your customers appreciate well-thought-out, interactive material in their inboxes. Thankfully, email analytics can highlight the parts of your campaign that need improvement and which are already successful.
To keep in touch with your audience via email, share company updates, upcoming events and special offers so you can remain top-of-mind. Additionally, track your deliverability rate and open rate to determine whether your emails are actually reaching your subscribers’ inboxes and, if so, whether they are actually opening your emails.
Audience engagement should be your primary focus when crafting email marketing campaigns. If your readers aren’t engaged with your content, they’ll likely click out of your email or unsubscribe altogether. Your email analytics can tell you which parts of your campaigns are most engaging for your readers so you can continue to build on those areas and focus less on other sections of your newsletters.
For instance, your click-through rate can show you the percentage of recipients who actually read your content and clicked on embedded links. Making your emails more interactive (and measuring how well-received they are by your audience) can significantly increase your engagement. Additionally, a high unsubscribe rate is a clear indicator of low engagement, which means you’ll want to change tactics and try a different approach in your email campaigns.
While social media is a great tool to market your business and connect with your target audience, email offers a more personalized way to achieve the same benefits. Increasing your brand awareness via email starts by showcasing your involvement in your community, your industry expertise and your solutions to common customer problems.
You can use the comprehensive data from your email marketing reports to improve your reach and increase your brand awareness through email marketing campaigns.
If you analyze email metrics like open rate, click-through rate and unsubscribe rate, you can get a good read on who benefits most from your content. Understand the demographics of your most loyal readers to determine who your target audience is so you can continue to focus on and retarget them when you craft campaigns.
Marisa Sanfilippo contributed to this article.