Email remains one of the most popular and effective methods of communicating and engaging with your customers between visits. With one study reporting a potential ROI yield of 4300% for email marketing, it’s clear that this is an area worth investing in. In this three-part series, we’ll take you through the stages for starting, refining and evaluating your email campaigns. Be sure to check back each Tuesday for the latest insights.
Marketing your local business is an ongoing process that’s never really finished, and email marketing is no exception. Even in the most successful campaigns, there is always room for improvement. As marketers, we’re constantly learning from our experiences and continuing to refine our approach. For this reason it’s essential to be tracking the right metrics, and optimizing campaigns that are always a work in progress. Most email service providers deliver no shortage of data, but with so many different figures being reported, it can be overwhelming. By measuring the data points below, and using these insights to inform future efforts, you’ll improve your success rate for all your upcoming email marketing campaigns.
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Formula: (# of emails sent – # of emails that bounced back) / # of emails sent
Average: 86-99% (varies by industry)
Sometimes customers change and delete email accounts, or there’s a typo in the form submission. Due to these reasons and many more, not everyone on your list will receive your email. This helps you to gauge the quality of your list. If your delivery rate is below the industry standard, you might want to change the way you ask customers to signup, or simply prune your list if it hasn’t been updated in a while to remove the inactive addresses.
Formula: # of emails opened / # of emails delivered
Average: 10-30% (varies by industry)
This is the best way to evaluate the efficacy of your subject line. What seems like a small piece of copy is monumental in its marketing impact. If you’re noticing low open rates, try writing more compelling subject lines that convey a sense of urgency and will prompt your subscribers to eagerly read the email.
As we mentioned in Part Two, many people don’t bother opening emails that they feel have irrelevant or stale content. If people aren’t opening your emails, it could be they feel you’ve missed the mark in either of those categories. Although it might be too late to convince them otherwise, it’s an important lesson to learn from and help inform your future marketing strategy. Take extra care to personalize content and send out emails your customers will delight in receiving, reading and sharing.
One caveat about Open Rate: An email won’t register as “opened” if the images don’t load. This could be due to spotty wifi or default settings in the recipient’s email service, which won’t autoload images for security reasons.
Formula: # of clicks / # of emails delivered
Average: 1-5% (varies by industry)
Click-through rate (CTR) is a great indicator of your content’s success. There are many different factors to monitor and test. You can see how text links perform vs. CTA buttons vs. video or image links and even test to see what resonates best with your subscribers. It’s often best to focus on one call to action in any non-newsletter email. A message with multiple links to many different locations can have weaker results, and higher drop-offs prior to buying.
You can utilize this metric to track different layouts, copy, images, etc. Oftentimes, succinct copy and prominent images and/or videos tend to be popular with recipients, but each business is different. Test and optimize frequently to keep your correspondence as appealing to your audience as possible.
Social Sharing buttons are known to drive CTR rates, but they’re also a great way to spread word of mouth about your business and promotions. It proves that the content of your newsletters is resonating with your audience, so much so that they believe their friends and social followers can also gain value from your insights. Or, it could be a great way to drive a referral campaign. By creating custom links that track who is referring new clients to your business, it makes it easy for existing clients and subscribers to participate in such a program. It also allows you to track who your most passionate advocates are and what motivates them to promote your business.
Formula: # of people who unsubscribed from your list / # of emails delivered
Average: .02-.5% (varies by industry)
Although worth keeping an eye on, you should resist the urge to mourn each unsubscribe that comes your way. People receive so many emails, it’s normal for them to routinely pare down their lists. As long as your unsubscribe numbers are not accelerating faster than your signups, there’s usually no cause for alarm. Unsubscribes are a growing pain associated with scaling and increasing your list.
However, if you are seeing a high percentage of unsubscribes, it could be a clear indicator that your content isn’t what your customers are looking for. Or, perhaps you’re simply sending emails too frequently and your recipients feel inundated by your correspondence. If they’re getting emails faster than they can read them, many people will opt-out. Try segmenting the types of emails you send to give them options to choose from. The more control your audience has over their email preferences, the more engaged they’ll be.
Are my campaigns driving website traffic and revenue?
Finally, the hard question we always have to ask ourselves to measure the ultimate performance of any marketing campaign. All email efforts should be moving the needle to accomplish this goal. Whether it’s filling out a form online to contact your business for a quote or more information on a service, redeeming a promotion code online, or shopping a sale, track as many of these transactions as possible so that you can gain insight into your customers’ buying behavior and better determine the outcome of various email marketing campaigns. Continue to track, analyze, optimize and repeat, and your campaigns will grow stronger in each iteration.
As a reminder, Signpost automatically tracks and displays the results of your emails in the merchant center, so you can effectively evaluate and compare outcomes.