Email marketing is an excellent platform to reach new potential customers as well as a great way to maximize existing customer engagement. But how do you measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign? Measurement is the key to proving success! Here are 11 email marketing metrics you should be tracking to help prove your ROI in 2015. Using email for marketing also gives valuable insights into who your audience is, which helps inform other marketing channels.
1. Delivery Rate
This is one of the more basic metrics, but it’s sometimes misunderstood. Not everyone understands what makes a “good” delivery rate. Some companies will even make it a company goal to improve deliverability. A good delivery rate is usually somewhere around 97%. If a company tells you they can get you a 100% delivery rate, they are not being upfront and honest with you. If you’re below, say, 90%, you should dig in and solve possible underlying issues with your provider or list.
2. Bounce Rate
Tied directly to delivery rate, the bounce rate will tell you how many of the emails you sent hit an inbox that no longer exists or is full. These can also be referred to as a hard bounce or a soft bounce. While that level of granularity is appreciated, your email marketing isn’t going to benefit too much from the distinction. If you notice your bounce rate climbing, it means your delivery rate is dropping and it’s time to clean up your email lists.
Usually, click-through-rate (CTR) is one of the primary email marketing metrics that companies use to set campaign goals around. That’s because it works. With CTR, you know how many emails were delivered and you can see how many people actually took the desired action (clicking on a link for example) included within the email. It also allows you to A/B test different messaging and layouts. This is a great way to test which headlines and copy resonate most with your target audience. This can help inform most other digital channels as well.
4. Conversion Rate
Your email has been successfully delivered, you convinced the user to click, and now you need to know if they took the next step and actually bought something, which is known as Conversion. It’s crucial that you track your conversion rate from email. If you’re offering a product or service you can quickly calculate the ROI based on conversion rate. Of course, you can always set a conversion goal around something that doesn’t tie directly to revenue growth right away. Use email to massage users down the funnel on their purchase journey. As long as you have a clear goal, you can calculate conversion rate. Just make sure it has a tangible benefit!
The metrics we’ve already mentioned tell you how your email marketing campaign is performing, but there are even more metrics that can help you understand how the email channel is performing for your business. One metric for this is growth. It’s important to track your email list growth over time so that you know the size of your audience and how many people actually want information from you. Growth is a good indicator that the subscribers trust your brand and that the content you are creating is resonating with them.
6. Forward Rate
People open, click, and convert, but how do you figure out how many people are truly brand advocates for your company, product, or service? This is where forward rate shines as an email metric. If the messaging and offer are powerful enough that a user wants to share it with their network, you know you’ve really nailed your campaign. Plus, if you find these users, you can delight them with special offers or gifts. It’s a great way to build raving fans!
7. Unsubscribe Rate
Sometimes your email marketing efforts will annoy some subscribers. They might have mismatched expectations, think that you send too many emails, or the subscriber may have a change in behavior. All of these are valid reasons for why someone might unsubscribe from your email list. If you notice your unsubscribe rate climbing, it may be time to evaluate your messaging and distribution frequency as these are the two most common reasons for unsubscribes. However, there could be something deeper going on. The only way to know is to track your unsubscribe rate and look into it when necessary.
8. Device Type
You can learn a lot about your audience by looking at different email metrics. One such metric is device type. With the explosive growth of mobile, it’s worth exploring the percentage of users that view your email on a mobile device vs. desktop vs. tablet. For example, you may find that most of your audience favors one device type over another, which gives you an extra level of granularity for targeting other digital campaigns. You’ll also be able to A/B test different audiences and campaign types.
9. Email Client
There’s also the preferred email client, which helps you understand even more about your audience. With all of the numerous email clients out there, it’s impossible to optimize for all of them. This lets you focus on the top email clients used by your audience and work down from there, ensuring a great experience for your subscribers right from the start.
Most businesses look at leads, and if you’re not measuring how many of those leads come from email, you’re missing out on an opportunity to calculate your true ROI analysis. Your list, conversions, and forwards may be growing, but if you’re not generating many leads you’ll want to explore how to develop a stronger lead capture process as part of your nurturing campaigns. You might find that email seems great, but that it isn’t a channel that generates many leads for you or vice versa. Either way, you’ll know how to better allocate resources to get the results you are looking for.
11. Engagement Over Time
Measuring engagement is the ultimate email marketing metric. More valuable than leads because it applies to any business or email campaign type, engagement measures if your efforts to improve all other metrics is driving more engagement over time. If some of your metrics are going up while some are going down, you’ll see your engagement is stagnant. This might be a resource allocation issue or something deeper that might require some audience testing and targeting. Either way, you’ll see how well you are doing over time.
All of these metrics can be evaluated in most email marketing service providers, but if you use Dynamics CRM and MailChimp, PowerObjects has the perfect add-on that lets you marry the two. PowerMailChimp lets you to tie data together for deep analysis and tracking.
What are some email marketing metrics that you find helpful? Add them in the comments below! We always love to hear from our readers! Want to learn more about digital marketing? Our very own Dean Jones, PowerObjects CEO, has a great article on LinkedIn about digitally marketing in CRM! Check it out here.