There are innumerable email marketing metrics that you can track through your email platform and web analytics program – but which metrics should you pay attention to? You follow your campaign’s metrics to determine which ones are the most successful and to find out why others failed. Once you have this data, you can remove ineffective elements and replicate successful elements in your future marketing campaigns.
Some metrics have been specifically designed to show you how and why your email campaign is failing. Whether it’s a failure of the overall campaign, or single elements of the campaign in particular that have failed, these metrics can give you insight into what went wrong and how to fix it.
- Bounce rate: the number of emails you send that don’t make it into your customers’ inboxes. Sent messages can “hard bounce” when an email address is incorrect or expired. A “soft bounce” occurs when a legitimate email inbox is full, or when your message is flagged by their ISP as spam. This rate can negatively affect your reputation, so remove expired addresses from your list and remove elements of emails that are being flagged by firewalls as spam.
- Spam rate : calculated from number of people who flag your email as spam. If a certain type of message you send has a high spam rate, you should take a second look at it and remove any spammy elements.
Your emails may make it to customers’ inboxes without bouncing or getting flagged as spam, but that doesn’t mean that your marketing messages are successfully engaging your audience. Success metrics can give you a much better idea of how effective your emails are at getting customers engaged.
- Click-through rate: the proportion of your audience that clicked on one or more links in your email. This is the most-tracked email metric because it indicates whether your message was relevant or compelling. If you integrate your email platform with a CRM or web analytics system, you can use this rate to measure post-click conversions, revenue per email, and email ROI.
- Conversion rate: the percent of people who click a link and complete a desired action, like filling out a form or purchasing a product. The conversion rate is the ultimate measure of an email campaign’s effectiveness – the higher the rate, the more relevant and compelling the offer was.
- Email sharing/forwarding rate: the number of emails that are forwarded to others or shared on social media. This rate indicates the value and relevance of email messages. Use it to determine what type of content gets shared the most so that you can replicate it in future campaigns.
Metrics to Ignore
There are some metrics that you need not pay attention to. Your open rate is one of those metrics. It relies on graphics to load in the email client before it will register in your analytics program. Since many email clients automatically block images, this rate is unreliable in most cases.
Your unsubscribe rate is another metric that you can afford to ignore. It takes effort for a customer to opt out of an email list. They are more likely to keep deleting your emails rather than formally unsubscribe, so this rate is not a good indication of your customer retention and engagement.
Whenever you start tracking your email marketing campaign metrics, you should first establish benchmarks and objectives in order to accurately track your campaign’s progress. You should also integrate your email platform and web analytics programs in order to get the most out of your data.