When it comes to email marketing there’s an endless list of metrics you could track. Unfortunately, we are not gifted with endless hours in a day, and if we were who would want to spend them analysing analytics anyway? If you can only make time to track 7 things, let it be the following!!
Note: These are top-line metrics which will have smaller data points that need to be tracked.
- identifying key data points and the small, but important, metrics that fall under them
- Developing an all-inclusive strategy for tracking email metrics
- Maximising your ROI for email campaigns
Metric 1: Conversion Rate from Email
Every email you send has a purpose, to inform your customers of a new product, to provide them with information, or to increase sales etc. Too often we know our purpose but we don’t track the results to determine if we are meeting our end-goal! For example, keeping on eye on sales generated specifically from email will help you better understand if the content you include in your sales-driven emails is what your customers are after.
How you track your conversion rate is dependent on your campaign objective. If you are tracking email generated sales, for example, you could use a unique coupon code. If it is a reactivation campaign you would have the sales team record their new enquiries.
The conversion rate is calculated by taking the number or conversions (recipients that met the final objective), dividing this by the number of click-throughs (in the same time period). The final result displayed as a percentage is your conversion rate.
Metric 2: Click-Through Rate
Constantly monitoring your click-through rate is crucial as it is a good indicator of how well your audience is engaging with your email content. However, Click-through rate can be a pretty useless metric if you’re not analysing the patterns it reveals. To get the most out of this metric you should analyse your 3 emails with the highest clickthrough and the 3 with the lowest each month.
This can be a key indicator of what you are doing wrong, and of course, what you are doing right. Your recipients may engage better with direct CTA buttons than they do hyperlinked copy, or maybe you’ll find readers rarely click on links below the fold. Ask yourself ‘Why are they clicking on these links?’ and use this information to test aspects of design and copy.
Remember CTR is affected by:
- time of day
- day of the week
- type of email
- call-to-action buttons
The small data metrics that fall under CTR should be used to create email segments and A/B testing.
Read my blog on common email marketing challenges to understand some factors that could be affecting your click-through rate.
Your email analytics will reveal which links were clicked, by what recipient, time clicked etc. If you want to feed your email results into Google Analytics try using a UTM tracking link this will indicate where email traffic is leading.
Metric 3: Forward Rate/Total
A click-through is a good indication of reader engagement, a forward is one better. A forward shows that users are not only interacting with your email content, they think it is interesting or important enough to share with friends or colleagues. Keep an eye on your forward rate over time to understand what your audience is interacting with and sharing with their network. An email recipient who is forwarding your emails is an incredibly valuable subscriber and brand advocate. Maybe give a little in return segmenting these subscribers and offering them exclusive content and offers.
Metric 4: ROI Rate for email campaigns
Tracking return on investment (ROI) on email campaigns is a no brainer. In fact, tracking ROI in any aspect of a business is a no brainer! Tracking ROI of an email campaign will allow you to separate your successful campaigns from those that were just ok, and only ok. It will allow you to learn from your top performing campaigns and optimise your emails in the future.
Most email systems will have an integration into your checkout. Mailchimp has a great e-commerce plugin that syncs your Mailchimp API with your Ecommerce site. You can track from where the customer click all the way through to the purchase. Mailchimp then aggregates the information into your campaign report, how easy?!
The metrics displayed in the report include:
- Order number
- Total amount
- Tax amount
- Shipping amount
- Product category
- Product id(s) and name(s)
- Quantity of each item
- Cost of each item
P.S: Google Analytics also has the ability to track conversions from email!!
Tracking ROI For Email
Calculating the overall ROI for email campaigns is easy!
ROI = (sales derived from email – cost of sales derived from email) ÷ cost of sales derived from email = percentage ROI
Metric 5: Deliverability
What Is a ‘Bounce Rate’?
Bounce rate is pretty simple. It is the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s inbox expressed as a percentage. How do you calculate it? Simple! The total number of bounced emails ÷ Total emails sent X 100 = % bounce rate.
There are two types of bounces you need to keep an eye on, soft and hard. A soft bounce is because of a temporary issue with a valid email address. Soft bounces can be caused by a full inbox or other internal issues with the recipient’s server. Once the issue has been resolved the server may deliver your email or you could try re-sending.
A hard bounce is a little trickier. A hard bounce is an indication that the recipient’s email has been typed wrong, closed or non-existent. If you can correct the syntax error and send the email then you can keep them on your list. Otherwise, you should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your mailing list as they can lead to your sending address being considered a spam account. Tracking bounce rate will ensure you maintain a good server reputation.
Metric 6: List Growth
Simple, but important! It’s important to keep track of new subscribers and where they are coming from. This is a great indicator of whether other aspects of your digital marketing strategy are successful. It is important to also track unsubscribes and the reason for unsubscribing. If your Unsubscribe link isn’t redirecting the recipient to a preference centre then you are missing valuable data and opportunities to retain the subscriber.
Your preference centre should prompt the user to identify why they’re unsubscribing and offer them the opportunity to change their preferences instead. Some good options for preferences are:
- limit the frequency of emails –once a week, once a fortnight, only end of season sales
- limit the types of emails – sales, product launches, information based ect.
- or, they choose to snooze your emails for a week, fortnight or month
Alright that my 6 key metrics!! Remember to compare your results with past performance as well as industry benchmarks. Good luck!!