Tracking emails – the 5 metrics you should be looking out for

Without any doubt, email marketing is one of the most effective and most direct channels of digital marketing in 2018. Email marketing is also considered to be one of the cheapest channels of communication within the world of business. It brings efficiency to multiple levels of your business. You can send it automatically, do different groups of customers. You can integrate it with other channels of communication and marketing for further engagement. It allows you to increase the frequency and relevance of communication with your customers.

The levels of marketing and communication achieved via email cannot be replaced with other strategies at the same cost. We also know by now that, for a successful campaign, our emails need to be optimized, automated and sent out timely to different target groups of our customers. We are also aware of the fact that our email strategy needs to be aligned with our marketing goals. But how can we measure the success of an email campaign and actually find out if it’s helping us to hit our goals? The answer is quite clear: By tracking emails!

Before getting into the types of metrics, ask yourself a question. What are the goals of our email marketing campaign? Is to get more subscribers? Convert more customers? Sell more to existing customers?

After deciding on goals, it will be much easier to use the collected data and effectively measure the progress toward the goal(s) we have.

To make this as simple as possible, we selected five metrics you should always use when tracking emails:

1. Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate, or the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email. This is the metric everyone uses when tracking emails.

Click-through rate gives you a direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offer and/or your brand. According to a research, email CTR is actually is one of the top performance indicators used to evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaign.

It’s important to add that email CTR doesn’t depend only on the interesting subject lines (this mostly affects email open rates) but also on the various other things such as creative copy, time of day, email length and the strategic link positioning.

IBM’s and Epsilon’s research on the matter tells us that the average CTR for newsletters is between 3 and 3.5%, which is something you should aim for. So you would want to strive to either hit, or go beyond these numbers.
To make sure you’re doing it right, experienced marketers suggest to employ following hacks:

#Send only relevant emails

Relevent emails

Segment your customer’s database based on different parameters such as their location, purchase history and engagement with your business and send out different, strategically crafted emails to their inboxes. Also, pay attention to the frequency of your emails and try not to cause the so called “email fatigue”. Find a formula that works for your business, but advice is to keep it to 5 messages per month overall.

#Design great content

You probably know that the content of your emails needs to be creative, inviting and visually striking, but that’s not all! Add a few relevant and strategically-positioned links. That way you will increase your customer engagement, and find out your recipients’ interests. Work on your Call-to-Action and make sure it’s visible, clear and that, once they’ve clicked on it, offers something valuable to your customers.

#Make sure you have a responsive design

Today, businesses value every click so get on board with technology and make your emails look the same and respond well to any device your customers may use. This especially goes for mobile phones, devices we carry everywhere we go.

CTR is also frequently used for determining the results of A/B testing. The usual goal of these tests is to find new ways to make your campaign more successful.

A/B testing allows you to make a smart decision when you must choose between two options of the same category (such as subject line, CTA button, coloring and so on) as well as send them out to a selected number of your contacts.
With this simple tool, your contacts list will get the more popular option, automatically. You can choose between the one that users opened the most, and the one that triggered more action. By displaying two variations of one campaign, you can use tools for tracking emails, to see which one attracts more interaction and conversions from your customers so that you can later create more efficient strategy to reach more customers and boost your sales.

2. Conversion rate

This metric represents the percentage of email recipients who did two things. One – clicked on a link and/or CTA within an email and two – completed a desired action. That can be purchasing a product or filling a form on your landing page. Or, becoming a new subscriber to your business offers.

These rates vary, based on a bunch of parameters, so it’s quite the challenge to set up a figure to aim for. Basic newsletters, for example, have an average conversion rate of one percent, according to Marketing Insider Group.

Order follow-ups do better with five percent, same as with emails related to cart abandonment. Depending on the type of newsletter you’re sending, average figures are between one and five percent, so try to move beyond those figures.

To increase your conversion rates you will also need to optimize your website and your offers by doing the following:

#Segmenting your customer’s database

Segment your subscribers based on their demographics, preferences and previous purchases and send out different emails. Not all customers are ready to buy from you straight away. You will need different approaches to make their buying journey truly unique and delightful.

#Personalize and customize the content

Use your customer first name in the first sentence, craft an interesting subject line and make sure your copy is both useful and interesting. When crafting a subject line, experienced marketers suggest to employ a so called CURVE principle (curiosity, urgency, relevance, value, or emotion) as each of these principles, when used the right way, has the power to increase your conversion rates.

Also, along with the company name, include your own name in the sender field. This is much more effective than generic company address. Marketing automation software, such as smoove, offer these possibilities, and are an indispensable part of every serious marketer’s arsenal. These tools offer easily integrated and managed personalization features, as well as automation.

#Use double opt-in

Double opt-in or the practice of asking people to confirm that they’ve signed up for a newsletter by clicking on a confirmation link they receive via email is actually a very effective way to generate strong leads – future customers which are really interested in your products and your brand.

Double opt-in helps you avoid the spam folder, increases the recipient’s engagement and moreover – provides you with a direct opportunity to introduce your business in the opt-in email. Opt-in mail can be a great marketing opportunity as well if you, for example, include special offers for new subscribers.

Automate emails as responses to other triggers, as well. These can be welcome emails to your new subscribers. Or “thank you” emails after a purchase. Upselling emails, reminders on shopping cart abandonment, stuff like that. Make sure you personalize these emails and make them relevant to certain customers. Only that will increase the chances of conversion.

3. Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate is the number of people who opted-out from your marketing offers. As every marketer, you are probably wondering: Why is this happening again?

Well, there is no universal answer to this one.

Sometimes, people are just tired from receiving emails from different brands or have no need to purchase from you again. Also, maybe you had a great initial offer, so the people gave you their email only for that. It doesn’t mean they have any interest in purchasing from you at all. This happens all the time and the trick is to not become too overwhelmed with this occurrence.

Another, more serious reason why customers leave can be that your emails weren’t properly segmented. There is a reason we talk about segmentation over and over again. People will open personalized, relevant emails. They (most likely) won’t open generic, irrelevant ones. It’s simple as that.

Also, there is another common reason people unsubscribe – you send emails too often. Be moderate and don’t let you customers leave because of this. Set the expectation for when and how often you’re going to email your audience and be consistent.

However, tracking emails when people unsubscribe won’t suffice. To find out if there is something you’re doing wrong, just ask them! Think about conducting more surveys via emails, social media or other communication channels you may have.

By finding out why people unsubscribe, you have a chance to improve the weak points of your business and decrease the unsubscribe rates in the future.

4. Inbox placement

Inbox placement

Inbox Placement Rate is gaining prominence among marketers as one of the most important metrics to evaluate email marketing campaigns. It is based on the deliverability of emails and is used to determine the percentage of emails that reached the recipient’s inbox.

As stats show, 205 billion emails are sent every day (which is around 2.4 million emails sent every second). Of course, people don’t open and read every single one of these emails. Also, engagement levels and recepient levels are important for another reason. They determine which emails make it to the inbox. Lately, spam filtering has become more rigorous and it’s getting harder for businesses to avoid their emails going to spam.

Still, there are few tips on how to increase the chances your email reaches the customer’s inbox:
#Avoid spam trigger words and phrases such as “great offer”, “earn”, “money”, “incredible”, “free gift”, “order”, “please read” and more
#Never use all caps in your subject line and/or your email offer
#Forget the exclamation points, especially in the subject line
#Don’t be overly graphic and make sure your email actually contains text, not only images. Emails with images only and no text just about guarantee your email will never see your customer’s inbox.
#Avoid using attachments in marketing emails as filters usually send those to spam as well. If you want to offer something, do so with a link rather than an attachment.

5. Email Sharing/Forwarding rate

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate is the percentage of email recipients who shared the email content on social media. It’s also the percentage of those who clicked on the “forward” button. Even though this may not seem that important, we can ensure you: It is!

Tracking emails to how many people shared or forwarded them is how you generate new leads. Doesn’t matter if this is the goal or your campaign or not. Having your existing prospects and customers forward your emails means they are actually becoming ambassadors of your brand and generating new leads for you.

Along with getting new leads, this is how you find most shared types of emails and offers. Use that information when designing the strategy for your future campaigns.

If you notice that certain customers are often sharing and forwarding your email content, nurture these relationships! Reward the customers for their loyalty. This way you can increase the customer loyalty to your brand, get some new customers and, most importantly, increase your sales.

Wrap Up

A well-executed email campaign can increase sales and customer loyalty. It can generate new leads and reduce marketing costs, too. This is especially when compared with other digital marketing channels. Marketing automation tools like smoove help marketers achieve these goals with less effort and cost, while helping them be more efficient.
Email metrics help us successfully measure the results of our email marketing. They also help us improve our future email marketing campaigns.

In order to do this, we always need to be tracking emails the following ways:
Click-through rate, which gives you direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and are interested in your offer
Conversion rate, which shows how many people clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as purchasing a productUnsubscribe rate, whose tracking can help you discover weak points of your campaigns and/or your business
Inbox placement rate which, with regularly tracking emails, helps you improve the content of your email offers and prevent them going to spam
Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate, which helps you discover what kinds of emails are likely to be shared the most but also to find out which customers are loyal to your brand.

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