If you are anything like me, you’ll find yourself in the analytics suite of your email marketing platform within minutes of sending a campaign. There is no better feeling than seeing the almost instantaneous results an email marketing campaign can deliver. But those email analytics aren’t just there to give you a brief lift in feel-good serotonin levels.  

When you dig deep into your email marketing analytics and understand what all the data means, you can start actively planning and optimizing your route toward a better Return on Investment (ROI). And in business, nothing feels better than making more money. 

Email Marketing Success Starts with a Simple Objective

Every successful email marketing campaign starts with an objective. That objective could be to drive more traffic to a particular piece of content on your website, generate registrations for an event, prompt subscribers to download an eBook or whitepaper, or sell more of a specific product or service. Once you have set this objective, you can start looking at defining more granular KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) based on your business’s immediate and long-term needs before deciding what email marketing metrics you’ll need to measure to gauge your success.  

Essential Email Marketing Metrics and KPIs

Key email marketing metrics include: 

Clickthrough Rate

Your clickthrough rate refers to the percentage of recipients who click on a link within an email message. This is typically measured against the total number of delivered emails. The clickthrough rate serves as a vital metric in evaluating the effectiveness of an email campaign, indicating the level of engagement and interest generated by your email campaigns. A higher clickthrough rate implies that a larger portion of recipients found the email compelling enough to take action and explore the provided links, such as visiting a website, making a purchase, or downloading additional resources.  

Conversion Rate

Your email marketing conversion rate refers to the percentage of recipients who not only click on a link but also complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or filling out a form. It is an essential metric that measures the effectiveness of an email campaign in driving desired outcomes and generating tangible results. A higher conversion rate indicates that a more significant proportion of recipients not only engaged with the email content but also took the desired action, ultimately leading to the attainment of your business goals.  

Bounce Rate

Your email marketing bounce rate represents the portion of emails that “bounce back” due to various reasons, such as invalid or inactive email addresses, full mailboxes, or blocked domains. A high bounce rate indicates a potential issue with the quality of the email list, the accuracy of the provided email addresses, or the email delivery infrastructure. Monitoring and analyzing the bounce rate is essential for maintaining a healthy email marketing list. By regularly assessing and addressing bounce-related issues, marketers can improve email deliverability, maintain a clean and up-to-date email list, and ensure that their messages reach the intended audience effectively. Bounce rates can be split into two groups: 

Hard Bounce Rate

The hard bounce rate refers to the percentage of sent email messages that are returned as undeliverable due to permanent issues. It occurs when the email cannot be delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox for reasons like an invalid or non-existent email address, a blocked domain, or an inactive email account. A high hard bounce rate indicates a significant problem with the quality of the email list, such as outdated or improperly collected email addresses. 

Soft Bounce Rate

The soft bounce rate refers to the percentage of sent email messages that are temporarily undeliverable to the recipients’ inboxes. Unlike hard bounces, which are caused by permanent issues, soft bounces occur due to temporary conditions such as a full mailbox, a server issue, or a temporarily unavailable email server. Soft bounces suggest that the email has not been successfully delivered at that specific moment but may be deliverable in the future. 

List Growth Rate

Your email marketing list growth rate refers to the rate at which an email subscriber list is expanding over a specific period of time. It is a critical metric that measures the growth and size of an email subscriber base. The growth rate indicates the effectiveness of strategies and efforts employed to attract new subscribers and expand the reach of your email marketing campaigns. By tracking and analyzing the list growth rate, marketers can evaluate the performance of their lead generation tactics, optimize their sign-up processes and incentives, and implement strategies to continuously attract new subscribers, ensuring the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of their email marketing efforts. 

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

Your email marketing sharing/forwarding rate refers to the measurement of how frequently email recipients share or forward an email to others. It indicates the level of engagement and interest generated by the email content, compelling recipients to share it with their network. A higher sharing/forwarding rate suggests that the email content resonated with the target audience, encouraging them to spread the message further. 

Overall ROI

Your email marketing overall ROI (Return on Investment) rate refers to the measurement of the profitability and financial performance of an email marketing campaign. The overall ROI rate considers the costs associated with the email campaign, such as designing and sending emails, email marketing software, and any additional expenses incurred against the revenue generated as a result of the campaign. A higher overall ROI rate indicates that the email campaign has been successful in generating a significant return on the investment made.  

Open Rate

Your email marketing open rate refers to the percentage of recipients who open an email message out of the total number of delivered emails. This was once considered an essential email marketing metric. However, changes in the privacy settings on many devices used to access email, including Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection, mean this metric is no longer as reliable as it once was. 

Unsubscribe Rate

Your email marketing unsubscribe rate refers to the percentage of recipients who choose to unsubscribe or opt out of receiving future email communications from a particular sender or email list. It represents the level of disengagement or dissatisfaction among the email recipients, indicating that they no longer wish to receive emails from the sender or feel that the content is no longer relevant or valuable to them. A higher unsubscribe rate can be a cause for concern as it suggests potential issues with email content, frequency, or targeting. 

Email Audience Trend Rate

Your email marketing audience trend rate measures how your audience is evolving or changing over time. This could include factors such as the growth rate of the email subscriber base, changes in demographics or preferences of the audience, shifts in engagement patterns, or variations in response rates. By analyzing audience trend rates, marketers can gain insights into the dynamics of their target audience, identify emerging trends or patterns, and adapt their email marketing strategies accordingly. 

Delivery Rate

Your email marketing delivery rate refers to the percentage of sent email messages that successfully reach the recipients’ inboxes without being bounced or filtered out by spam filters. It is a crucial metric that measures the effectiveness of email delivery infrastructure, sender reputation, and adherence to email best practices. A high delivery rate indicates that the majority of sent emails are successfully delivered, ensuring that the intended recipients have the opportunity to see and engage with your email content. On the other hand, a low delivery rate may indicate potential issues such as incorrect or inactive email addresses, spam filtering problems, or a poor sender reputation. 

Spam Complaint Rate

Your email marketing spam complaint rate refers to the percentage of recipients who mark an email as spam or report it as unsolicited or unwanted. It measures the level of dissatisfaction or perception of the email as unsolicited or irrelevant by the recipients. A high spam complaint rate indicates potential issues with the email content, frequency, or list quality. Monitoring and analyzing the spam complaint rate is crucial for maintaining the sender’s reputation, ensuring deliverability, and complying with anti-spam regulations. 

Creating SMART Goals Based on Your Email Marketing Analytics

Now that you have a good understanding of your essential email marketing metrics, it’s time to set those all-important KPIs. Setting email marketing KPIs involves a process that establishes measurable goals and benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness and success of your email marketing campaigns.  

Your KPIs should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By setting appropriate KPIs and tracking them consistently, you can effectively measure the success of your email marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns. 

6 Steps to Setting Email Marketing KPIs

  1. Define objectives: Begin by clarifying the specific goals you want to achieve through email marketing. As previously discussed, examples include increasing website traffic, boosting sales conversions, improving customer retention, or expanding brand awareness. 
  1. Identify relevant metrics: Determine which metrics (all featured above) align with your objectives and provide meaningful insights.  
  1. Set specific targets: Establish clear, measurable targets for each chosen metric. For instance, you may aim for a 20% increase in click-through rate or a 10% reduction in unsubscribe rate. Ensure that your targets are realistic and aligned with your overall marketing goals. 
  1. Track and analyze data: Utilize your email marketing platform or analytics tools to gather data on your email campaigns. Regularly track and analyze the chosen metrics to monitor progress toward your goals and identify areas for improvement. 
  1. Adjust and optimize: Based on your analysis, make adjustments to your email marketing strategy, content, design, segmentation, or targeting to improve performance. Experiment with different approaches and monitor the impact on the selected KPIs. 
  1. Regularly review and refine: Continuously review and refine your KPIs as your email marketing campaigns evolve. Reassess your objectives, metrics, and targets periodically to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with your business goals. 

Email Marketing Analytics Best Practices

To get the best out of your email marketing analytics, you have to treat the process like a campaign. This means scheduling time to access analytic tools, knowing what information you are looking for, and how it relates to your KPIs.  

Automated reports are great but are only ever truly useful if you take the time to study them. Scheduling a specific time each week to dedicate to analytics will ensure the process becomes part of your weekly routine. 

Remember to document any positive or negative trends and take the time to figure out precisely what your metrics are telling you. With this information in hand, you can then start optimizing your content and campaign strategy accordingly.    

Email Marketing Analytics Tools

Marketers using the emfluence Marketing Platform have access to a comprehensive set of analytics tools. This enables them to analyze and report on metrics from across their entire digital marketing campaign output, including everything from email marketing and social media to campaign performance and website traffic.  

If you require regular reports delivered to your inbox at a specific time every day, the platform can seamlessly handle that for you as well. With emfluence, you have the power to gain valuable insights and stay informed about the success of your digital marketing strategies in a convenient and timely manner. 

To learn more about how the emfluence marketing platform can help you harness your email marketing analytics for better ROI, schedule a demo or contact our email marketing experts today at expert@emfluence.com

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