69% of US businesses harness the benefits of email marketing. And why wouldn’t they? It has one of the highest ROI’s of any marketing channel, and with such a low price it’s available to businesses of any size.
But an email marketing campaign isn’t a sure thing. You need to stay on top of email marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators, to measure its success. These data can help you locate room for improvement and refine your email strategy.
Take your email campaign to the next level with these useful metrics. Here are 7 email marketing KPIs essential to any business.
1. Conversion Rate
Whether you’re selling a service or a product, conversions are the primary goal of most email marketing campaigns. And that’s why if there’s one performance indicator to watch like a hawk, it’s your conversion rate. This provides a quick and thorough insight into the health of your newsletter content.
But what is the conversion rate, exactly? It’s the number of subscribers who interacted with the CTA you provided in the email.
Take note that some of these subscribers won’t follow through with the prompt on the redirected webpage. For that reason, you’ll want to keep an eye on the bounce rate for the corresponding landing page.
2. Open Rate
The open rate tracks how many subscribers actually opened the email. Even if they glanced at it for a moment, that’s proof enough that your email campaign caught some attention.
A high open rate is generally an indication of an effective subject line or a great reputation, so your newsletters draw eyes by name alone. An email for business is an effective way to incorporate a formal sender address.
You may be tempted to judge the success of your email marketing by open rate alone. But remember: The goal is to drive conversions. If you have a low conversion rate, that means the subject line is doing work but the actual content leaves something to be desired.
3. Click-to-Open Rate
For a good look at the overall effectiveness of a specific email, turn to the click-to-open rate. This is the number of clicks (subscribers interacting with in-line hyperlinks) compared to the number of opens.
In a perfect world, your click-to-open rate would be 100%. But a good rule of thumb is to sit around 25%. High click-to-open rates signify that the subject line was enthralling, and the content within the email was relevant and enticing enough to earn clicks.
4. Delivery Rate
Let’s say you have a mailing list of over 50,000 email addresses. Not bad. Unfortunately, 50,000 subscribers won’t receive your newsletter.
Why not? Some subscribers may have given you false information when signing up for the newsletter, likely to snag whatever signing incentive was on the table. Other emails may become lost in transit or sent to spam folders — which don’t count as deliveries.
It’s in your best interest to remove these dead accounts from your mailing list, as you’re just throwing money away. They’ll never arrive at their intended destination. But if you’re really stubborn, you can try to improve your sender reputation, increasing the odds that your emails won’t be filtered into spam folders.
5. Spam Rate
Speaking of spam, you don’t want to be known for it. Subscribers can send a spam complaint to their email providers, knocking down your sender reputation and directing your newsletters to the spam box.
To avoid the number of spam complaints your emails accrue, make an effort not to push them out too frequently. Stick to a schedule, once or twice a week, and avoid stuffing the subject lines with headlines some may associate with spam.
Putting out relevant, high-quality emails should deter most users from marking you as spam. Even though it may hurt, consider making it easy to unsubscribe through the email. If your subscribers can’t, they’ll be more tempted to mark it as spam so they no longer have to get your notifications.
6. Unengaged Subscribers
The fact of the matter is some people subscribed knowing full well they’d never interact with your emails. They may make your subscriber list seem chunky, but these people have never opened an email over the span of a year.
That’s probably not going to change.
Rather than paying to send out emails to these users, save the money and take them off the list.
But why bother? Because by keeping them on, these users are throwing off the rest of your KPIs and may make them appear far lower than they are in reality.
7. Bounce Rate
We talked about the delivery rate earlier in the article. That rate is good for a glance, but it’s important to look at the bounce rate for deeper insights. Why aren’t all your users getting your emails?
Well, there are two separate types of bounces. Soft bounces are usually related to an issue with the email provider or the software you’re using to send out the emails. Many of these soft bounces will be resent at a later time.
But hard bounces are the scary ones. These are emails that were supposed to be sent correctly, but there was no address to send them to. Basically, these addresses are fake and they never had an actual destination to arrive at.
Of all the email marketing tips, be sure to follow this one: Remove these bad addresses. A high hard bounce rate can set off algorithms that make you look like a spammy provider, and we’ve already discussed the negative effects of that.
Monitoring Email Marketing KPIs
It’s a good idea to observe essential email marketing KPIs following every delivery. Give your subscribers time to check their email, as well as time for email providers to attend to some of the soft bounces. About a week after delivery is ample time, though you may want to look earlier if you have concerns about the delivery and bounce rates.
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