Apparently, there’s no longer any such thing as “gut feel” in business, marketing or picking the next destination for a vacation. We all rely on data, analytics & colourful graphs. Thank God we made the move because my gut is very moody.
With email marketing, you own the content, list and all your data. It’s one of the most measurable ways of marketing. As a smart marketer, you should be taking drawing insights out of that data and taking actions.
So in this post, I’ve written about the most important email analytics, how to calculate them, and a few things you can do to shine those numbers and thus drive up your business growth.
Open Rate (OR)
It’s the percentage of people who opened your emails, out of everyone who received it in their inbox.
How to calculate
Open Rate = (Total emails opened/Total emails delivered)*100
No. of people who received the email = 1,000
No. of Unique people who opened it = 100
Open Rate = 100/1000*100 = 10%
Dependent upon: Subject line
How to improve: Go through your mailbox once and see other examples of interesting headlines. What do they have in common?
Here are some interesting patterns I could note from my inbox:
- Using my first name
- Numbers to show listicle, offer or discount
- Highlighting if something is new, updated or latest
- Thoughtful questions
- Use of words that will invoke excitement, urgency or exclusivity
However, don’t use the same tactic each time. If you put your subscriber’s name in the subject in each email, they will start tuning it out. So keep innovating and rotating your tactics.
Now, some don’ts.
- Don’t use vague or too-good-to-be-true subject lines.
- Don’t SCREAM in your subject lines with capital letters.
- And of course, don’t be thirsty for high open rate and use dirty tricks. Meaning, keep them relatable to the topic of your email content. You can’t say ‘cute cat pics’ in the subject line to get people to open and then sell a kitchen sponge in your email. It will hurt in the long term.
It’s the percentage of recipients who clicked on one of the links in your email.
How to calculate
Click-through rate = (Total unique clicks/Total emails delivered)*100
Total emails delivered: 1,000
Unique clicks on link #1: 150
Unique clicks on link #2: 50
Total clicks: 200
CTR = ((150+50)/1000)*100 = 20%
Dependent upon: Content, CTA, Responsiveness of your email design
This metric tells you how ‘engaged’ your audience is in your brand and content. CTR helps you judge the performance of your A/B testing or multivariate testing emails.
The content of your relational email should be inspiring, informational, or educational. Are you telling them something new or something they already know, but in a fun and simple way? People should bother enough to read it.
Just providing great content and value in emails is not enough. You have to lead the reader to the next step. The next step is guided with a clear call to action.
What do we mean by clear CTA?
It means that:
- It is distinctly visible among the rest of the content. Draw people’s attention to it by making it clearly visible with enough white space around it.
- If you are using it as a hyperlink, make the copy obvious.
- It is specific. Use a precise copy of what will happen when the reader clicks on the button/link.
- It is placed after you have given some context about the emails.
- Use text that’s not too pushy, e.g. choose to say ‘Learn More’ instead of ‘Buy Now’.
- Have one CTA above the fold.
It’s the percentage of people who didn’t receive the email in their inbox.
How to calculate
Bounce Rate = (Total number of emails bounced/Number of emails sent) * 100
Total emails sent by you: 1,000
Emails that reached the inbox: 970
Total Emails that bounced = 1000-970 = 30
Bounce Rate = (30/1000)*100 = 3%
Dependent Upon: Sender’s IP reputation or validity of email address
A soft bounce occurs when either the recipient's mailbox is full or the server is down or the message is too large for the recipient’s inbox. This is a temporary issue and you can ignore it if it’s not too high.
A hard bounce occurs when the email address is invalid or doesn’t exist. Sometimes, people might make a typo or intentionally add an invalid address to just get a hold of your free lead magnet.
So the best thing to do is to immediately remove hard-bounced email addresses. This will improve your sender’s reputation too, eventually ensuring high delivery rate.
The rate at which your email list is growing. You can calculate it weekly or monthly. Once you choose a time period, then stick to it to make accurate comparisons each time.
How to calculate
List Growth = [((Number of new subscribers - (Number of unsubscribes)) ÷ Total email addresses on your list] * 100
No. of Total email addresses on the list = 1,000
No. of new subscribers = 200
No. of unsubscribers = 10
List growth = ((200-10)/1000)*100 = 19%
Dependent Upon:It is dependent upon your subscriber acquisition strategy.
You should optimise all the sources to gather emails. Like, look at the conversion rate of your landing page. You can run some social media ads directing people to your signup form or landing page.
List growth is important because eventually some people will churn out of the list or become non-engaged so you should keep adding new contacts. And of course, higher the list size, more the business and impact of your work.
List growth won’t always go upwards, especially if you are in seasonal business or your volume is very high. Here is a snapshot from a list of 100K members. As you can see, the list growth keeps fluctuating.
It’s the percentage of people who opted out of receiving your emails.
How to calculate
Unsubscribe Rate = (No. Of unsubscribers/Total email delivered into the inbox) * 100
No. of total email addresses on the list: 1,000
No. of unsubscribers: 5
Unsubscribe rate = (5/1000)*100 = 0.5%
Dependent Upon: Content, Quality of your email list, Frequency of emails
If your content is not adding value to the subscriber, or it’s too hard for them to go through the content, they will unsubscribe. So make sure you get some feedback on your content.
If your content is valuable but still if your unsubscribe rate is high, then maybe the audience you are targeting is not right. This is where you focus on the quality of the list for your particular business or content.
The frequency of your emails is also important. It shouldn’t be so frequent that people get irritated. Also, it shouldn’t be so delayed that they don’t remember signing up or relating to your brand. Thus, unsubscribing.
Every time you send an email, there will be some churn, so don’t worry if someone unsubscribes. It’s better than a non-engaged audience. But if there are unusually high unsubscribes then you need to look at your strategy, content, and the kind of audience you are attracting.
To find out why your subscribers are leaving, you can add a short survey for people to fill out when they hit the unsubscribe button.
But make it optional. If unsubscribing it too hard, then the next step the reader will take is to mark your emails as spam. And we want to avoid that to maintain a good sender’s reputation.
How to compare?
There are two kinds of benchmark to see if your metrics are good or not: Industry benchmarks, and your own benchmarks.
Industry benchmarks can be looked at once and then you just try to stay in the ballpark figures. But you should pay attention to your own benchmarks.
The best way to have your own benchmarks is to compile data over a period of time - over a few months. Then you can compare weekly numbers with your benchmark to see if they are on track, growing or declining.
Paying attention to email analytics will help you better grow, maintain, and convert your email lists. That will boost revenue, impact and your influence. So don’t just send an email and forget. Track the key metrics we discussed above.
You don’t have to deal with calculations and spreadsheets of numbers all by yourself. These days, most email marketing softwares provide an analytics dashboard that you can look at after every campaign or over a period of time.
If you are looking for an email marketing software that can help you gather these important pieces of data and provide them in easy to understand dashboards, then you should try SendX. You can take a 14-day free trial that will give you access to all the features, analytics, reporting and charts. You don’t even need a credit card to access the free trial. So give it a try today.