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Measuring Email Marketing Success

Measuring email marketing success is so much more than having a large email list. In fact, a bigger list isn’t always better, especially if your metrics aren’t good. Before you plan your next email campaign, learn more about which metrics you should watch to know if your newsletter is successful.

Why are Email Metrics Important?

Email is an integral part of your company’s marketing strategy. It’s the one communication channel where you don’t have to fight an algorithm like you do with social media and search traffic. Understanding email marketing metrics can help you maximize the effects of your email messages.

Metrics help you monitor your email campaigns and understand their effectiveness. You can see how many subscribers open your email, how many click the links you include, and how many people unsubscribe, among other things. You can also use metrics to find the best time to send your emails so they don’t get lost in your subscribers’ inboxes. This information can help you write better emails that actually reach your subscribers.

Metrics also help you see the benefits of the work you’re doing. Sending emails can feel like screaming into the void, especially since your subscribers won’t often respond. But metrics let you see who received your messages and your most engaged subscribers.

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Measuring Email Marketing Success

It may seem like the only thing that really matters with email marketing is a large subscriber base. But if those subscribers don’t read your emails or worse – report your emails as spam – they do more harm than good. There are some metrics to look at when you’re trying to determine if your email marketing efforts measure up.

Delivery Rate

You may think your emails go out to every subscriber on your list. That would be ideal. But if you check your delivery rate, you may find it’s not the case. The delivery rate is the number of emails that are actually delivered to your subscribers.

Sometimes, when your emails are received by the gateway servers of your subscribers’ internet service provider, they may bounce, meaning they’re sent back. And in some cases, even if the gateway server receives your emails, they may go to your subscribers’ spam folders, not the inbox.

A high delivery rate shows you have a good list of subscribers that receive your emails. A low delivery rate means you may need to clean up your subscriber list, so your emails don’t bounce.

Open Rate

When you have a high delivery rate, the next hurdle is getting your subscribers to read your email. The open rate is the percentage of your subscribers that actually opened the email you sent.

There are tons of ways to improve your open rate. Using an enticing subject line that your subscribers feel compelled to click on is a good start. Using a person’s name rather than your company’s name as the sender can help too.

The higher your open rate, the more your emails are being read. So improving your open rate can boost the effects of your email marketing campaigns.

Click-Through Rate

You send your emails for a reason, not just to communicate with your subscribers. You want them to click the links in your emails. You want them to take action. That’s what click-through rate is all about.

A high click-through rate means that a high percentage of your subscribers are clicking the links in your emails. A surefire way to improve your click-through rate is to segment your email list by the topics your customers are interested in. You could create segments based on specific product interests or stage of the customer journey. Then, you send emails with content tailored to a segment and only that segment. 

This approach gives subscribers emails that are incredibly relevant to their needs, making them more likely to click links in the emails and make a purchase.

Bounce Rate

High bounce rates can negatively impact your delivery rate because a bounced email wasn’t successfully delivered to your subscribers. There are two kinds of bounces:

  • Soft Bounce. The email address is valid, but the email is returned because of a full inbox or a down server.
  • Hard Bounce. The email address isn’t valid.

Tracking your bounce rate can help keep your delivery rate high, especially when you remove email addresses that hard bounce.

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of email recipients that clicked unsubscribe in a given email. Keeping your unsubscribe rate low means you have a subscriber base that’s interested in what you have to say.

While some unsubscribes are inevitable, there are ways to keep your unsubscribe rate low. If you email too frequently or not often enough, there’s a high possibility that your subscribers won’t appreciate it and will want to leave your list. And while enticing subject lines are important, you don’t want to be misleading or scammy. That can lead to unsubscribes as well.

Consistently sending relevant, helpful content to your list is key to keeping your unsubscribe rate low.

List Growth Rate

Building your email list is an ongoing project. Bringing in new subscribers is crucial because you’ll naturally have some people unsubscribe, and you’ll actively remove bad email addresses. 

Your list growth rate considers how many subscribers you’ve lost and shows the percentage of new net subscribers during a certain period. Keeping an eye on this metric can help you see if your lead magnets are working and if you need to attract more subscribers for a healthy list.

Conversion Rate

Ideally, all your email subscribers would also be paying customers. While that’s unlikely, you can understand more about those subscribers who make purchases by looking at your conversion rate.

Conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who did what you wanted them to do. So, if you sent an email with a survey, your conversion rate would be the percentage of subscribers who took the survey.

A high conversion rate can mean your email content resonates with your subscribers, and you sent the email at the optimal time. A low conversion rate can mean it’s time to return to the drawing board to see what you can do better.

Complaint Rate

Even though you’re not a spammer, some people may think you are. Your complaint rate is the percentage of your subscribers who marked your email as spam.

Your complaint rate will most likely be low, but if you find it creeping up, there are some likely culprits. If you don’t include an unsubscribe link in your emails or you email too often, your subscribers will mark your email as spam. Where your subscribers come from could be a factor as well. Ideally, all your subscribers would sign up on your website. But if you purchased an email list, they’ll likely think you’re spamming them.

Benefits of a Well-Executed Email Campaign

Measuring email marketing success helps you learn about your subscribers and the best tactics to keep them engaged. Your metrics will help you shape your strategy when building your next email campaign.

A well-executed email campaign can:

  • Increase Sales. Using data you have about your click-through and conversion rates can lead to an increase in your sales. 
  • Generate Leads. Your subscribers are all potential leads. Creating valuable, helpful email content can encourage them to purchase or send your content to their friends and colleagues, which widens your reach.
  • Reduce Marketing Costs. Email marketing is an affordable communication channel that gives you direct access to your audience. Effective email marketing means you can spend less on ad campaigns.
  • Increase Client Loyalty. When your subscribers are engaged with your email, they have a stronger connection to your brand. This connection makes them choose you over the competition.

How to Improve Email Marketing Success

It’s obvious that email marketing is important, but it’s not always easy to figure out how to improve your metrics. These tips will help you see greater returns from your email marketing efforts.

Improve your email marketing by:

  • Using Split Testing. If you aren’t sure which subject line or call to action will resonate with your subscribers, split testing can help you try two options. Those options are sent to sample groups, and you can use the higher-performing option for your full list.
  • Sending Relevant Content. Make sure you’re sending content your subscribers want. Segment your list into groups and create content specifically for each group.
  • Telling Stories. Invoke feelings in your subscribers by telling stories. That emotional connection can encourage your readers to take you up on that call to action.
  • Using CTAs to Introduce Users to Your Funnel. Your calls to action are instructions you give your audience, and the funnel is the stages of the customer journey. Encourage your subscribers to purchase to move them onto the next customer stage.
  • Writing Effective Welcome Emails. Once someone subscribes, creating a welcome sequence that gives them information about your company and what you do can help build loyalty and keep them on the list for years.

Need Help with Your Email Marketing?

Do you want some help creating or monitoring email marketing? We get it. At Content Journey, we totally nerd out about that kind of thing. Contact us today to see how we can help you put those metrics to work and craft newsletters your subscribers love.

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