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How to Measure the Success of an Email Marketing Campaign

Jan 19, 2022
The best way to get to know your audience and get better results from your email marketing campaigns is to track and evaluate your email marketing performance.
Any plans to measure, evaluate, and analyze should be included in your email marketing campaigns from the very start, and marketers need to consider measurability right from the get-go. It’s important to be aware of the metrics that are likely to be the most useful key performance indicators (KPIs), how to get the best insights from your measurements, and how to track and evaluate your ongoing performance.

Email Reporting Metrics – How to Create a Measurement Plan

  1. Choose Your Timing

It’s important to track your email marketing performance on an ongoing basis. However, it’s important to establish a tracking schedule before you set KPIs. This could be on a weekly, monthly, or campaign basis. Whichever you choose, you can check your progress against previous performance and benchmarks, which makes it easier for you to determine any patterns of improvement or issues that need to be addressed. These can then be marked against various factors such as product types, email campaign types, or customer segments that might impact the overall performance of the campaign.

  1. Outline Objectives and Goals

Any performance tracking needs to be relevant to the objectives and goals of the campaign. This is why it is extremely important to establish clear goals and objectives at the earliest possible stage. When defining your objectives and goals, it is crucial to consider how measurable they are, and how they can be measured.

  1. Conduct Analysis

A thorough analysis allows you to see what works and does not by shedding light on the content types that engage your subscribers most. This can be done by analyzing images or links that have driven the most click-throughs, for example. It’s important to analyze the behavior of your audience to learn more about them, finding out more about what they are interested in and what types of content they are less likely to act on.

Email Marketing Metrics Definitions

Email KPIs refer to metrics that you can use to get a better understanding of the performance of your email campaigns. If you are using an email marketing platform to send emails, it will track the rate at which emails are received, opened, clicked, and more. You will get a summary of this data in reports that demonstrate how your marketing emails are performing over time, in comparison with each other, and in comparison with industry statistics. Knowing what each KPI means, and which ones are most useful for your company is important to help you get the most from your reports and create a measurement plan that works.

Open Rate: This refers to the number of emails that are opened by recipients in comparison with the total number of emails delivered. You can use A/B testing of subject lines to get a better idea of what type of emails your subscribers are more likely to open.

Click Rate: This refers to the percentage of recipients that clicked a tracked link in the campaign. Clicking on a link indicates that the recipient is interested in your content, so this can be a useful engagement-tracking metric. You may also find it useful to track which contacts click on links, the number of clicks per each unique open, the most clicked links in your campaign, and the most times a link was clicked by somebody.

Bounce Rate: Bounces happen when emails are rejected by the server. Understanding your bounce rate is important to keep your audience organized by cleaning your email list. A low bounce rate will boost your sender reputation, while on the other hand, a high bounce rate can damage your sender score and increase your risk of having emails sent to spam by indicating that your content is not being delivered. Hard bounces happen when emails cannot be delivered due to permanent reasons such as a non-existent email address, while soft bounces occur due to temporary reasons such as full inboxes.

Unsubscribes: This refers to the subscribers who have decided to opt-out of receiving any more email content from you. There are always going to be people who choose to unsubscribe, and it is not always a bad thing since it allows you to ensure that you are only sending marketing emails to engaged and interested recipients. Tracking this data can help you get a better idea of whether or not the content you are sending is providing value to your audience. A short survey on the opt-out page can help you gather reasons and feedback to use in future.

Spam Score: This measures the rate at which your emails are being marked as spam by your recipients. A high spam score could mean that ESPs view your messages as spammy and they are not getting through the spam filter, or that your audience is not finding any value in what you are sending them and marking your emails as spam. This will impact your sender score and affect deliverability.

Device Statistics: These statistics tell you more about the devices that your subscribers are using to read your emails and can be useful to analyze since different devices display content differently. Understanding which devices your recipients are using can help you optimize for the most likely device when designing your email content, which can make a difference to how certain segments experience and interact with the content that they are sent.  

Email Marketing Metric List

Understanding how your email campaigns impact your marketing KPIs will involve gathering more data but this is also important to measure. Some go-to marketing KPIs can be used to get more information on how your email campaigns are contributing to your overall company objectives.

Return on Investment (ROI): This measures the cost-effectiveness of your email campaigns. On average, email is the digital marketing method with the highest ROI.

Conversion Rate: This refers to the percentage of your audience that takes the action that you wanted them to. For example, if your marketing emails have the main goal of getting people to sign up for a subscription on your website, your conversion rate will measure the number of people who do so as a percentage of everybody who received the email. It’s important to establish a clear conversion rate for evaluating the overall success of any email marketing campaign.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): This refers to the amount that you spend to get a new customer. To calculate your CPA with an email marketing campaign, divide the number of conversions by the total campaign cost.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This metric indicates how much money a customer is likely to spend with your business for the duration of the relationship that you have with them. It is based on various factors such as the average frequency that they purchase from your company, their average purchase value, their average customer value, and the customer lifespan for your business.

Mailer Mailer Email Marketing Metrics – What to Test to Improve

Once you have set benchmarks for each email marketing metric and know what the normal numbers look like for your mailing list, you may be wondering what you can do to go about improving each metric. If you want to improve the performance of your email campaigns, there are some key variables to test. These include:

Time: What day and time you send an email can have a direct impact on the open rates. If you’re sending emails at a time when most subscribers are going to be busy, you might see much lower open rates compared to sending at a time when subscribers are in a better position to open and read messages. Early mornings, lunch hours, and just after work are times when most people are not going to be interested in reading emails or could even be cleaning out their mailboxes. Bear in mind that the best time to send can vary based on the list, so A/B testing is useful here.

Topic: Your email topic will have a significant effect on several metrics including open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates. It’s important to segment and tag email subscribers based on their interests to ensure that you are only sending them topics that are relevant and interesting to them. Once you have segmented your email list, continue monitoring which topics subscribers respond to the best to get a better idea of what is relevant to them.

Subject Line: This is one of the biggest factors to impact your open rate. Direct subject lines are to the point and focus on the benefits that the recipient will get from opening the message, while curiosity subject lines can be used to tell the recipient just enough to get them curious enough to open the email and find out more.

To get the most success with your email marketing campaign, it’s important to know what the most important metrics are and how to track them to improve your performance.

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