Analyzing Your Emails: 7 Key Metrics to Watch
This post is the eighth installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing – an eight-week series that covers the fundamentals of email marketing. Get the full experience by checking out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing!
If you send an email out into the wild and don’t review the analytics, did it really happen?
Of course it did! But it does make it difficult to know what kind of impact your email had. Did a lot of subscribers open it? Did they click any links? Did they make a purchase as a result?
To answer these questions and discover if your emails are helping you connect with customers and grow your business, checking the performance of your emails is essential. Like any other business strategy, analytics are the key to identifying success.
Plus, your email analytics can tell you different stories about subscriber engagement and the kind of content that resonates with them. With that kind of intel, you’ll be able to discover opportunities to make improvements, deliver more value and increase the effectiveness of your emails.
Interpreting the data from your email analytics may seem daunting, but don’t be afraid to delve into it. When reviewing your analytics, here are seven key email metrics you’ll want to follow.
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1. Open rates
Open rates measure the number of people who opened your messages and provide several insights into your email’s overall performance, including whether your subject lines are effective and the best times to email subscribers.
If your open rates aren’t as high as you want them to be, there are simple steps you can take to try to improve them. For example, try emphasizing urgency in your subject lines to make them more compelling. Or, add specific details that tell subscribers exactly what they’ll get in your emails. Your goal is to stand out in the inbox, so you need to convince subscribers that your content is worth engaging with.
Low open rates could also mean that you’re not sending emails at an ideal time for your subscribers. Instead of Mondays at 5 p.m., try sending emails in the morning or on different days. Once you find what works, stick with it!
To find out the number of subscribers going from your emails to your website, you’ll want to review your traffic metrics. These are particularly useful if your goal is to drive subscribers to a specific blog post to generate leads or product page to increase sales.
It’s important to include one clear, compelling call-to-action (CTA) in every email to ensure a steady flow of traffic to your website. Also, make sure your CTA stands out from the rest of your email. If your CTA is too small or blends in, subscribers might miss it as they scan your content.
Click-through metrics reveal how many subscribers clicked a link in an email, as well as how many times they clicked it. As a result, this metric sheds light on the type of content your subscribers find valuable.
If you find your subscribers are opening your emails but not clicking the links within them, there are a few actions you can take to fix this issue. Segmenting subscribers and sending targeted emails, for example, can work wonders for improving the click-through rate in your emails.
I also encourage you to feature popular blog posts, new ebooks and exclusive product promotions to promote engagement. As you test different types of content, make note of what works and what doesn’t. Your email content calendar should begin to focus your emails around the things your subscribers love most.
If you need help identifying trends in your analytics or setting an email strategy, we created a few resources to help you along the way. Best of all? They’re free when you sign up below!
Sales metrics track how much revenue each email creates. Using this information, you can improve emails to increase profits over time.
To make your emails more profitable, review messages that created higher-than-average and lower-than-average revenue. Identifying the key differences between successful and unsuccessful emails allows you to bring more value to your audience, which can eventually lead to increased sales.
Keep in mind that not everyone who receives your emails is ready to buy, and that’s okay. You can target these people by sending exclusive discounts, coupons or product information from a new angle.
A high unsubscribe rate can be discouraging for email marketers, but I encourage you to find out why people are opting out of your list. There may be a chance for you to bring them back or prevent others from leaving.
When someone opts out of your list, include a question on your unsubscribe page that asks why they’ve decided to leave. You can make this an open-ended question, or include specific options that ask whether you’re sending emails too frequently, or if a subscriber is receiving content that’s no longer relevant to them.
As you gather feedback from subscribers, you could reveal a weak spot in your email marketing strategy that can be improved upon.
If you find that your email open rates are unusually low and spam complaints are high, there may be an issue with deliverability, which influences whether or not your emails make it into your subscribers’ inboxes.
There are several factors that influence the deliverability of your emails, but the best way to maintain a good email deliverability rate is by adhering to the CAN-SPAM Act and email marketing best practices.
According to the CAN-SPAM Act, a U.S. law that regulates commercial emails, senders must:
- Include a way for subscribers to unsubscribe
- Contain the sender’s valid postal address
- Be clear about who is sending the email
- Label the message as an advertisement
- Avoid misleading subject lines
Additionally, be sure to follow basic email marketing best practices, such as:
- Send valuable content
- Email regularly (at least once a month)
- Set expectations on your sign up form and deliver what you promised in your emails
This will make your emails more desirable and encourage subscriber engagement.
7. Revenue per email
Tracking the return on investment from your emails isn’t always easy, but it’s a helpful way to track the success of your email marketing strategy.
To help you get a clear sense of how your emails are driving revenue to your business, try using the following formula:
As you identify which emails are driving the most revenue, you can make tweaks to your overall strategy to send more similar emails and optimize success.
Optimize your emails for success
These metrics provide an accurate, comprehensive overview of how your messages are performing, and I encourage you to use them to optimize your future email sends.
Want more tips for improving your email marketing strategy? Read last week’s post, 4 Novel Ways to Get More Out of Your Automated Campaigns. Or, get the full experience by checking out the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing!