Email marketing metrics offer priceless data on the performance of email campaigns. Measuring the success (and sometimes failure) of email marketing and informing your digital efforts can help you fine-tune content, increase conversions, and even grow your subscribers. By first understanding these various email marketing metrics, you can leverage them for success and optimize future campaigns.
Here are six metrics you should be tracking.
Leveraging and Understanding Email Marketing Metrics
Tracking your open rates is one of the simplest KPIs of email marketing metrics and can give insight into the effectiveness of your subject lines. It’s a good metric to track your reach and an easy way to compare different campaigns.
While some argue that open rates matter more than most metrics, many refer to open rates as a vanity metric; it’s nice to see your reach, but it doesn’t measure the impact of your campaign.
Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, open rates can track the percentage of recipients who open your email via mobile. This may help in determining the direction of the design and layout of your campaigns if the majority of your recipients are mobile. The appearance of mobile emails will vary in comparison to those opened on a desktop. If your list is mostly mobile, it may be smart to design with that in mind.
In email marketing metrics, a bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails sent that were not successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes. There are two different kinds of bounces you can track: a soft bounce and a hard bounce.
- A soft bounce is the result of a temporary issue with a valid email address, like a full inbox or server failure. Emails that receive a soft bounce may still end up delivering once the problem is resolved.
- A hard bounce, however, is the result of an invalid or non-existent email address. Hard bounces will never deliver successfully, and addresses that receive a hard bounce should be permanently removed from all email lists. Bounce rates are often used by ISPs to determine how reputable a sender is and may affect whether your email goes to a recipient’s primary inbox or junk and spam folders.
A click-through rate measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email campaign. It’s a key metric to track and measure the response of recipients in how they engage with your content from one campaign to the next. You can track which links are clicked and gain more insight into the kind of content that piques your recipients’ interest.
This is the big one. A conversion rate in email marketing metrics calculates the percentage of recipients who took the desired action after clicking a link in your email campaign, such as purchasing a product, filling out a lead generation form, or requesting a free service quote. This metric is especially important for those looking to generate leads and gain traction with prospective customers with their email marketing efforts.
While many are often discouraged by the dreaded unsubscribe rate—a metric used to indicate how many recipients have, well, unsubscribed from your email list—it should not be entirely relied upon to check the pulse of your campaigns.
It’s a good idea to keep track of your unsub rate, however, it’s more important to measure the health of your email lists and campaigns by tracking your click-throughs and conversions. You want your email list to consist of those who engage with your content. Unsubs help weed out those who won’t.
List Growth Rate
Tracking the ebb and flow of your email list growth and decay should be a common checkpoint referenced in email marketing metrics. The average email list will experience organic decay at a rate of 22.55% per year, making it more important than ever to focus on growing your lists and expanding your reach.
Quick trick to calculate your list growth rate: Subtract the number of new subscribers from the number of unsubscribes. Take that number and divide it by the number of subscribers you currently have on your list. Multiply that number by 100, and you have your current growth rate.
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