To execute an effective email marketing campaign, you need to monitor and understand key email metrics such as Open Rate, Click-Through Rate (CTR), Bounce Back Rate, Closure Rate, etc. Knowing the principle metrics used to evaluate a successful campaign will allow you to improve your ROI and achieve better results. One of the great benefits of digital marketing or email marketing is it delivers measurable metrics.
Fundamental Metrics: You should know and use these metrics to judge the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Open Rate – this is the total number of emails opened (in HTML format) divided by total emails delivered/distributed.
Click-Thru Rate (CTR) – this is calculated as the number of unique clicks on links in the email divided by the number of emails opened. It basically shows you how many people interacted with your email.
Bounce Rate – gives you the total number of emails that were not delivered and bounced back. There is several reason why an email can be rejected such as the email address is no longer valid, a server filtered the email out, or the recipient’s mailbox was full and would not accept the email.
Based on your specific email marketing campaign objectives, you can also measure more advanced statistics such as: CTR by region/country, conversion (click to sales) rate, total revenue per campaign, return on investment (ROI) per campaign and other metrics.
Which Metrics are the Most Important: It depends on the objectives of your campaigns. Open rate is a very important indicator, however to get a true picture of your campaigns performance, it should be analyzed in combination with other metrics – such as click through rate (CTR) and click to action rate (conversion rate).
These are important because CTR and conversion rates are able to tell you how many recipients took an action you wanted them to take, such as purchased your product, signed up for your newsletter, downloaded a whitepaper etc. The open rate will only tell you how many people read your email. In order to measure the effectiveness of your message, you need to go beyond the open rate down to the action level.
How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate (CTR): Experienced email marketers not only want to get the email opened and read but they also want to know how many people clicked through (measured by CTR) in order to take action. You obviously want this number to be as high as possible. There are few tips that are critical to the success of your emails that will influence the open rate and CTR. Those are:
Subject Line: Make your subject line interesting and appealing. Subject line is one of the most important factors that affect your email campaign results. However, please do not over “optimize” your subject line or use the word “free” otherwise it may look like spam email and your recipient may not open or it may be filtered out and go directly into the spam file. Keep the subject line short and specific, and if possible address the subscriber by his/her name.
Compelling Offer: You should make it very obvious in the first paragraph of your email what your offer is and why the offer is important to the recipient. The first paragraph should be compelling and grab the attention of the reader so do not make it too long. Include your offer at the top of your email and make your offer attractive to the recipient (a discount or a free offer will stimulate higher click rates).
Auto-Responder Functionality: Depending on how sophisticated your campaign management tools are, you can set up auto-responder programs that can automate many of the follow-up functions that can also improve your conversion rates. Email follow-up messages can be triggered and sent based on what actions the responder took once they clicked to your site. They can be customized based on the pages the resipient viewed on your Website, materials that were downloaded or based on products purchased. Once you have a history of behavior, you can set up your system to send “next best product” emails, targeted messages based on lifestyle data and other criteria. All will increase your chances of closing a sale and increasing the long-term value of the customers you acquire.
Like most digital marketing programs, you should test various approaches (called A/B testing) in order to find the right combination of elements that work best for your company and your offer. Email marketing is not rocket science, it takes having an in-depth insight about your target audience, promoting a unique value proposition or point of differentiation, providing an offer and tracking your metrics. Stay focused on the fundamentals and your email CTR and closure rates will increase making your email marketing more effective over time. Knowing how to use email marketing metrics to your advantage, is the key to your success.
About Metricsboard: We are an online benchmark company that provides free business performance benchmark assessments. The benchmarks are automated and take less than 10 minutes online to complete. In return, you receive a full results report with comparison data on best practices, a maturity rating against your competitors (peer group) and strategic recommendations. There is a complimentary benchmark you can take for Web 2.0 Marketing, B2B Sales, IT Infrastructure, Human Resources, Procurement and Corporate Communications. Your privacy is protected and you will not receive any sales follow-up calls.
Find out how you compare against your competitors? Learn the latest best practices and performance tips. Visit our benchmark services page Sign up for our RSS feed or newsletter to get regular updates on trend data covering Marketing, Sales, HR, IT and other operational areas. Please share this blog.