Data from email marketing reports is often misjudged and even misused. Instead of using statistics to improve campaigns, marketers often use email marketing metrics to show the highest quarter (i.e. their boss) that email marketing is, in fact, efficient.
Statistics are too often used to make excuses, not to benefit email marketing campaigns. For example, to avoid misuse of statistics, marketing expert Avinash Kaushik suggests an interesting approach to email marketing metrics: apply a “so what?” test to each and every web metric you look at.
Email marketing is such an efficient marketing method because it, unlike other marketing channels, gives you hard to ignore, straight-to-the-point numbers on how you are doing with your email marketing campaigns.
A few email marketing metrics you can use to make your campaigns more efficient:
The conversion rate is a down-to-earth statistic, which tells you how much the clients are investing in you.
The conversion rate is often mistaken for a meaningful email marketing statistic by itself. Well, it is nice if subscribers like your products, sure.
But if you sell $500 worth of products to 1% of your list, or $50 worth of products to 2% of your list, the conversion rate — although higher in the latter case — can lead you to believe that you are doing better in terms of money.
Here’s a well-known “secret”. You can boost the conversion rate by offering samples of your products, or trials if you are offering services. Give your clients a taste of what you really are.
The email delivery rate is naturally amongst the most important email marketing’s metrics. Spam complaints, network failures and mistyped addresses all contribute to worsening your delivery rate. The industry standard delivery rate varies, depending on the niche, but it can be as high as 96%, and the overall number is continually improving in the industry.
To improve the delivery rate, follow basic email list hygiene procedures — purge your list from mistyped addresses, and reengage inactive subscribers. As email delivery is dependant on the quality of your email service provider, choose a reputable provider for sending your campaigns.
The email open rate is another straight-forward statistic. The open rate is how many per cent of your subscribers (that have received your emails) actually open your emails. Now, it doesn’t mean that they read your emails — the subscribers simply open them.
The open rate tells how good you are in catching the subscriber’s attention. A good open rate also implies trust and recognition from the client.
If the recipient knows your address, he/she is likely to open the email you have sent–if the subject line is interesting, you will probably get an open as well. Also, if your email has numerous images and text, the recipient might not open the images (or they can be blocked by the email client), so you can become clueless as to whether the recipient has actually opened the email if you spice up your email with images.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The CTR of a campaign is how many subscribers from your list click on links in emails. The value is expressed in per cent. A high CTR means that you are doing good in personalizing your emails, and vice versa.
The “how do you improve your CTR?” question should be put this way: how do you write more appealing emails? You do it by making your emails personal, making your emails an experience. In short, making your emails a real conversation. For more about making articles more interesting, see our article on email personalization.
The unsubscribe rate, like the open rate, can signal if anything has gone wrong with your campaign. If your content has become weak, there will be a peak in unsubscribes. If your offers are too pushy, all the same.
Again, the unsubscribe rate signals that something is not right with your content. That means that you are most likely not sending what you were supposed to send to the subscriber. Segmentation, content revisions and new offers should keep the subscriber’s interest at bay.
CPC is an email marketing metric that tells you how much you “pay” for each click a user makes. So let’s say your campaign costs $250 (money for copywriting, email marketing software, marketing, etc), and gets 50 clicks. You wind up paying $5 for a click — which would be quite reasonable for some businesses.
However, if you feel your CPC rate is too high, you should either reduce your costs or revise your content, emphasizing clear calls to action.
Statistics without a proper context are what they are: mere numbers; what actually counts is what you do with these numbers.
Which is the most important email marketing metric for you?