MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
Running an email marketing campaign takes a lot of planning and hard work. So when it’s time to monitor your campaign’s success, you need to know precisely what to look for, or else your efforts will be in vain. The metrics to watch are called email marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While there are many types, there are three you should always be tracking – deliverability, open rates, and click-through rates.
The importance of email deliverability
Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscribers inboxes. While email deliverability is often mistaken for delivery rate, they are not the same. The delivery rate shows the percentage of your emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent.
Deliverability depends on a variety of elements such as the service provider, the accuracy of your email list, the domain from which you’re sending the emails, frequency, and your IP address.
If your email isn’t delivered, then open rates and click-through rates don’t matter.
Now that we’ve established what deliverability is, what qualifies as a good deliverability rate? Your goal should always be 100% deliverability. However, this usually isn’t the case. Sometimes your email will, for various reasons, not be delivered successfully or bounce back. This is called your bounce rate, and on average, almost 11% of emails over all industries experience it. Bounces happen if your subscribers have a full inbox, there’s a problem with the recipient’s server, or if you’re using an invalid email address. When tracking your overall email deliverability rate, follow these KPIs:
- 95% or higher is a good deliverability rate
- Your bounce rate shouldn’t be more than 3%
- Don’t exceed 0.08% for your spam rate
Keep in mind that your deliverability rate depends on the platform you use to send your email campaigns. Not all of them are created equal, though most providers typically hover between a 88% to 89% delivery rate. Here’s a list of 7 email marketing services for small businesses.
Measuring your open rates
Your open rate measures the percentage of your recipients who open your emails. If you have a large portion of your audience opening your emails, it’s a good indication that your subject lines attract attention. It’s also a way to know if your emails are relevant to the people you’re sending them to. An open rate to aspire to is anywhere above 25%, though between 20% to 25% is acceptable. Of course, you can always drill down by measuring the different types of open rates. Here are a few to think about:
- Mobile opens – This measures how many users open your emails on their mobile devices versus desktops. If you find most of your recipients are opening them on mobile, you can optimize your messages with larger font sizes, less text, and more graphics.
- Open times – Knowing how soon your audience is opening your emails after receiving them can help you decide the best time and day to send them. Here is data to assist with this.
- Unique opens versus total opens – Comparing how many recipients opened your email once to how many opened it multiple times is useful. Ask yourself, why would a single subscriber open an email multiple times? A few answers include, a recipient likes what they read and wants to follow up in some way or share the email with a colleague (both good) or bots are opening the email (not so good).
To improve your open rates, analyze your subject line. Try using your recipient’s first name in the subject line. Avoid using a question mark (?) or hashtag (#). Keep your subject between 6 to 10 words.
Measure your content quality with your click-through rate
Your click-through rate (CTR) measures how many people click through an email in relation to how many emails were delivered. This gives you direct insight into how many people engage with your content and are interested in learning more. So, in essence, you’re measuring engagement. You can calculate your CTR by taking the number of clicks your email received divided by the number of times your email was successfully delivered multiplied by 100.
Here’s an example:
500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails x 100 = 5%.
HubSpot provides a great post about what constitutes a reasonable click-through rate, depending on your company’s size.
If your CTR is lower than you’d like it to be, then consider looking at the quality of your email content and your CTAs. What are you requesting your readers to do when they click on a link? How engaging was your message?
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