What Email Marketing Metrics to Track for Beginners 

Today, since we’ve been talking about email follow-up lately,  let’s take a minute to cover what you should be tracking to make sure your follow-up is working. Talk about how it’s important to track these metrics to make sure your emails are:

 1. Getting delivered

 2. Being open and

 3. Have an appealing CTA (call to action - more on this below) to get them to click through

Email marketing KPIs help you understand your customers and audience, build on what works, and eliminate what doesn't.

To be effective, it’s important to remember that different email metrics will be right for you at different times, depending on your goals and how far you are in your marketing journey.

When do you set email marketing KPIs?

Set email marketing KPIs as you create your email strategy. Before you send out any email campaigns, consider what you want them to achieve. This will influence the email marketing metrics you select.

Again, keep in mind that email metrics may change as business needs and goals evolve. As you implement, monitor, and make progress with email marketing, focus on specific email KPIs. Once you're clear on your marketing goals, choose the most relevant and critical email marketing metrics to monitor your progress. 

Your main goal may be generating sales while you work on smaller goals such as audience re-engagement, growing your email list, spreading brand awareness, gathering data about subscribers, collecting feedback from customers, and so on.

If you're a small business building your brand reputation and email list, metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and list growth rate are crucial to your marketing success. An established business with a strong brand presence and market reputation may, in contrast, prioritize metrics such as conversion rate, bounce rate, or overall ROI.

Email metrics will help you look for opportunities to improve your email content — and your business’s overall email marketing strategy — by identifying trends in your data. Email metrics can give you valuable insights into your customers’ preferences, highlight opportunities you may not have noticed, and flag unforeseen pitfalls.

Here are a few questions to consider when looking at your email data:

Did one email outperform another in open rates?

If one email (or a certain type) massively outperforms or underperforms another, take notice. For instance, if your emails with a subject line about product tips are outperforming other emails, it could be a sign that your customers are especially interested in receiving helpful product how-to info.

Are open rates changing with certain factors like time of day or frequency?

Factors like when and how often you send emails can impact their effectiveness, and you can often spot the impact in your open rate.

If you notice that emails sent at a specific time of day (or a certain day of the week) have a much higher open rate than others, you can use that information to improve your campaign success by rescheduling your other emails for the same time and/or day. 

Do customers click through more often on particular types of content?

Usually, the goal of most emails is to drive customers to your website. If you notice your click-through rates dramatically spiking or dropping, it may be telling you something valuable about the content you’re sharing.

With email marketing, your business has a simple and powerful way to stay connected and engaged with your audience while offering them continuous value that builds a real relationship- which is ultimately your goal.

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Email Metrics to Track

Here are four of the simplest and most important email metrics to know about.

Response Rate

At Connect 365 we use email for various purposes, including sending mass outreach and prospecting emails that appear as though they are 1-to-1 emails. both to your prospect and to their email service provider (this is like the gatekeeper - see info deliverability rates below). When we look at response rates, we’re not only hoping they’ll get the email, that they’ll open it and read it, but that they’ll respond too. 

The ask is bigger here, you're not asking them to just click a link and read a blog post. The reason you want to look at responses is if you’re ultimately aiming to have a conversation, get them on the phone, get a new client, find partnerships… you need them to respond. So when you see low response rates, it’s a key that may e you need to change your approach in your messaging.

Email delivery rate

This metric tracks the number of emails successfully delivered to a recipient's inbox. Your email delivery rate depends on many elements, such as email service provider, email list quality, email frequency, and IP reputation. Successful marketers aim for a delivery rate of 95% or higher.

We recently wrote a Marketing Minute all about how to ensure your emails are actually getting delivered. (Most marketers and salespeople learn the hard way that their emails are just going to spam!)

Open rate

Your open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email. This is important for a few reasons. First, it gives you a bit of an idea about the quality of your email list. After all, if you emailed 10,000 people and only five opened your message, you may not be talking to people who are actually interested in hearing from your business. In other words, there’s a disconnect between the people your sending emails to and your message.

But more importantly, it helps you understand which of your email subject lines are working the best. Subject lines are important; a compelling subject line lets customers know what an email is about, entices them to open it, and helps them know if its contents are going to be relevant and interesting to them.

Click-through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of people who clicked on a link (often known as a “Call to Action” [CTA]) in your email. If your links are a bridge to where you want your customers to go, you can think of CTR as the percentage of people who crossed the bridge. Similar to response rates, click through rates are some of the best things to look at because you want engagement. You want to know your emails aren’t completely falling flat. 

Also, CTR is a great way to judge the effectiveness of your content. For example, if 90 percent of recipients clicked a link to a specific promotion or type of content on your website, you can assume that type of email is effective and you can cater future emails in a similar fashion to increase their interest (and deepen your relationship with your prospects).

If lots of people are clicking on your links, chances are you’re sending them information that they care about. On the other hand, if your CTR is low, you may be sending emails to people at a time when they don’t need them, sending them to those who don’t want them, or including information about your business that isn’t particularly useful to them.

Conversion rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who perform the specific action you want them to take after reading your email. It’s a bit more involved than open rate and CTR, but it’s one of the most valuable email marketing metrics for your business.

What counts as a “conversion” depends on what your business’s goals are for an email. If you’re looking to drum up more reviews for your website, a recipient’s action becomes a conversion when they leave you a review. If you want them to purchase your program or online course, their action becomes a conversion when they hit the “purchase” button on your website.

Unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who asked to be unsubscribed from your email list after getting your email.

It’s normal for a small percentage of your customers to unsubscribe after an email — their needs change, they may have overflowing inboxes, or they may no longer be interested in whatever led them to your business in the first place.

However, if you suddenly see a large spike in people unsubscribing after one (or a few) of your emails, take note. It can be an important clue about what type of content, language, design, or offers to avoid sending in the future.

Your Turn: You Can Set This Up, Too

Want a better way to get leads and clients? Sign up for my upcoming workshop that goes step by step through our lead generation process that has been so successful in our clients’ businesses -- the L.E.A.D. Blueprint. 

In the workshop, I’ll be teaching:

  • Exactly what an Authority Leadership Platform is and how you can leverage our Authority Amplifier process to position yourself above the competition, putting your business on an entirely different playing field.
  • How to target high-end prospects using online platforms (social media + email) in a unique way that builds instant trust by doing the polar opposite of what most ‘salespeople’ try
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  • The right way to automate processes that build trust, improve credibility, and increase responsiveness in your campaigns.

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