When small business owners look at their email statistics they usually focus on one specific metric: the open rate. It’s reasonable to assume this is an important metric. After all, those who’ve opened the email will have read it.
However, email marketing should always go far beyond reading an email. Your business should be looking at generating more interaction and results, and for that you need more metrics. The more you measure and assess, the better you can tailor your future campaigns for your audience for greater results.
So what are the other metrics you might need and what are you looking for in them?
1. Click Through Rate
Most, if not all, small business owners know this is an important metric. Not only does it signify that your business’ emails are being read, but people are clicking through for further action. If you aren’t monitoring this, then you need to immediately look at.
A good click through rate can be tough to generate. Some industries have low rates, while others can have high achievements.
It can also depend on the type of email you are sending. If you are sending a notice about store opening times, you can expect lower clicks than if you were offering a special discount.
2. Unsubscribe Rate
This is another important metric which should be high on your list to monitor. The problem is that very few business owners really take notice. Essentially this metric is the number of people who have unsubscribed from your mailing list and will no longer receive information from you.
There are numerous reasons why they might unsubscribe, such as no longer being interested in your brand, or they have all the information they need from you. Alternatively, they may feel that your emails are an intrusion into their day or that they never subscribed in the first place.
You need to monitor this. If your unsubscribe rate goes above 0.5% then you need to consider changing tactics and looking at your emails for better content.
3. Bounce Rate
Another vital statistic is the bounce rate. There are two types of bounce rates: soft and hard. Soft is where there’s a temporary problem with delivery of your email (full inbox, their server isn’t working, etc.). A hard bounce is more long lasting and demonstrates that you’ve been blocked from sending them mail or the email address is no longer active.
Any, and all, hard bounces should be removed immediately. If you have a significant number (more than 0.5%) than you need to investigate why. Someone could have reported your emails as spam or you could have an old list.
Monitor the soft bounce rate too. Find those who continuously soft bounce and remove them as well.
4. Return On Investment
This is probably one of the more interesting metrics that small business owners want to measure, but often forget to. The Return on Investment is the amount of money made for the cost of sending the email.
Don’t forget to include all costs including time to create, format, test and send the email as well as the cost for any images, text etc. you’ve purchased.
Most businesses can expect to receive an ROI of about $44 for every $1 they spend on email marketing, but it does depend on your industry and the type of email you send.
In addition, it can be harder to determine email ROI if you offer long-term services. For instance, if you sell a monthly subscription, the ROI is about the lifetime value of the customer, not that first purchase.
Monitoring the performance of your email marketing campaigns is vital for the successful continuation of your business. However, you need to know what you should be monitoring and what are the best benchmarks.
Use the above metrics as a quick guide of the essential metrics you should be looking at.
What do you use to monitor email marketing performance? Do you perform better or worse than expected?
Let us know in the comments below.
Image supplied by Pixabay.
Sending emails to your subscribers is only half the battle; you should also ensure the recipients are opening and acting on your mail. This can be trickier than you might think. Open rates vary between industries and even demographics, yet there are common elements and tactics that can usually help you improve your statistics.
So what tactics do we recommend for improving your open rates and click-throughs?
How do you get your audience to care about your message? Make the message about them with personalisation. This can be done with a simple insertion of the recipient’s name; though that isn’t always enough.
Sometimes you have to try something more advanced, such as sending campaigns that are segmented based on subscriber behaviour or demographics. The more specific the information to the reader, the greater the chance they will take action.
2. Pre-header Text
Sometimes a subject line isn’t enough for your audience to act; they need more information. While information within the email is probably sufficient, some mail browsers aren’t going to display this. Instead, you need to use pre-header texts.
These should be about 100 characters long and give detailed information about what is included in the email including a strong call-to-action.
3. Use Powerful Call-To-Actions
A call to action is the tool you use to ensure your audience takes further action. However, too many small brands don’t use the best call-to-actions when encouraging readers to carry on the purchasing journey. For instance, many use ‘click here’ which is overused.
A call-to-action should have three parts to it:
- Urgency (so the user doesn’t wait for fear of missing out).
- Definition of the action to take (so they know what to do).
- Value (so they know what their reward is going to be).
Without these elements, call-to-actions are pointless.
4. Mobile Friendly
More than half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device. If your email isn’t optimised for mobile devices, which includes phones and tablets, then you can lose out as when the customer gets to a desktop, they’ve received other emails which they want to deal with.
Some of the major issues with emails on mobiles is the image size. If it is too big then it will consume time and data limit on mobile devices. Limit images to the proper size, no more than 600 pixels wide, and minimise their memory usage.
5. Send Your Emails At The Right Time
Different audiences will read and respond to emails at different times. If you don’t send emails at the right time, then you will find that less emails will be read. There are numerous studies into when the best time to send emails is; however, they rarely agree.
The only way to ensure you are sending your emails at the best time for your audience is to test. This should be done via split testing, where two times are tested and the result analysed. This should be done several times with the best time from the previous test pitted against a new time.
The test should also be done with regards to day. Some brands find that weekends are better than weekdays.
6. Be Concise
Try to limit your emails so they are only about 150-200 words long. This gives the audience enough data to make an informed decision but isn’t too long that they get bored while reading the message.
If your content needs more information, try linking it to a landing page where users can read more.
Your emails are the best marketing platform you have. They consistently have the best return on investment and you can monitor direct results.
However, that doesn’t mean your campaigns will automatically be great. You will need to optimise your campaigns to ensure audiences are opening and responding to your campaigns. Use the tips above to help guide you to improve your email campaigns and get the best results.
Do you have any email marketing tips? Do you optimise your emails for mobiles?
Let us know in the comments below.