Guide to Analytics for Email Marketing 

In 2015, we like our dashboard analytics. Today we are going to take a look at useful analytics to be tracking for your email Campaigns. Your ESP be able to give you a host of statistics on delivery and engagement of your subscriber lists & target segments. The information should be easy to find and be relevant to your campaigns and be able to provide you quick summaries as well as real-time tracking. 

Let’s quickly define some of the major ones:

The Big Four

Bounce Rate 

A bounce is an undelivered email that is either “hard” (permanent, the email no longer exists) or “soft” (temporary, the email inbox is full).  Soft bounces can also occur if there are server errors and are often rescheduled for later delivery.

Hard bounces often occur in subsciber lists that are old and not up to date. Normally, lists will have a significant amount of churtn and turnover, with a constant flow of unsubsribes, emails going inactive (think of the job-market and people changing positions) and so forth. Hard bounces also occur when there are typos in the Email, or the “@” sign is missing.

Hardbounce Emails usualy are removed from your list automatically and put in a supression list. Some ESPs show this list and for others it’s considered a virtual supression list (VSL) that is not necessarily listed, but automatically cleans your list of faulty Emails that have no valid destination to be sent to.

Hard bounces are invalid Emails and are removed automatically to maintain good relations with ISP providers to continue to be white listed. Sometimes, your Campaign will not bounce but will be stopped by “Spam-Filters”, this suggests you are using suspect text, caplocks or other violoations in the subject line or content that spammers often use. Bounce management is essential to manage properly to maintain high delivery rates.

Delivery Rates

These refer to the percentage of emails that reach the email inbox of your subscriber list. The calculation is total email sent minus the emails that were not sent + your bounced emails.

Possible reasons of why emails don’t reach their intended inboxes are spam filters, bounces, that or the emails were already placed in a virtual supression list due to permanent bounces in a previous blast.

Click Rates

Also refered to as CTR (click-through rates), this is the number of people who click on a link or image in your email message. This could be a URL, a link to a website or article, it could be a PDF or other kind of embedded document (attachments are not secure) or to an image that leads to a video, or to a podcast, for example. Often the link will have a “button”, an image that looks like it should be clicked. Often the links are on a header to other parts of the corporate website like the blog or to a social media channel.

The click rate refers to the percentage of people that click on one of the links in your email. Your ESP should be easily able to tell you

  • how many unique clicks
  • who (which recipient)
  • which link (if you have several links)
  • when (day of week & time of day can be important)
  • what device (PC, mobile phone, tablet, or smartwatch)

a given link was clicked on. This is because in general, CTRs are better indicators of engagement than open-rates. Click-Through-Rates give you engagement data on your CTA, Call to actions. CTRs is an important part of your behaviorla data of your subscribers to know their customer interests & preferences based upon what they click on, their engagement levels, etc….

On a site like LinkedIn, you will notice views are called impressions. In email marketing they are called opens. Anyalzing clicks may help you create segments of your subscriber lists based on their interests & the TOD and DOW (when) they are usually active in combination with demographic data like gender and age of which promotions to offer to which recipients.

Conversion Rate

This is a sales metric that is key to determining the ROI of email marekting in relation to your marketing budget. This is specifically, a rate of how many people complete a certain action you want them to do.

This could be:

  • use a coupon (retail & ecommerce)
  • download a free ebook or white paper (B2B)
  • sign up for a webinar (SaaS)
  • sign up for a service (register an account, SaaS)
  • share on social media (improve your brand’s social authority)
  • undertake user-generated content (UGC) thus becoming a brand ‘advocate’

The more CTRs you have, the better chance those will develop into actions and leads that you can quatify as “conversions”. Conversions is the barametrer of your Campaign’s sucess and of the email marekting compontent of your inbound marketing strategy. It’s important you quantify your conversations of your Email Marketing campaign, so you can give your Marketing director a figure of the ROI.

As you can see from this short introduction, email marekting analytics are pretty important to analyze properly in your marketing and omni channel content strategy. Stayed tuned, in a future article will go deeper and explore the the future of analytics & additional stats in greater detail for Email marketing.

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