How to Use Email Analytics to Improve Your Marketing Strategy
May 11, 2020
Email marketing is incredibly important to every marketing strategy but especially right now; it’s the most effective way to reach your customers when you can’t meet face-to-face. Even if your company is already sending email marketing on a regular basis, having a “send it and forget it” mentality keeps you from growing your list and improving your strategies. Whether you’ve been slacking on analyzing your recent campaigns or have no idea what you should even be tracking, we’ve put together the most important email analytics and how you can use them to make your marketing even more effective!
Let’s begin with some benchmarks so you have something to compare your analytics to once you get started. Benchmarks are industry-specific averages to help you understand how your emails stack up next to your competitors.
Now let’s get into how you can calculate these analytics for your emails and how you can use them to better your business!
Email Open Rates
Your email open rate is probably the most talked-about marketing metric. It means the total number of times your message is opened by those you’ve sent it to.
To find your open rate for an email campaign, take the number of email opens and divide it by the total number of emails sent, minus any that bounced back. The formula looks something like this:
email open rate = (emails opened / [emails sent – bounced]) x 100
How It Works
Open rates show you how effective your subject line and pre-header text are. So this is your reminder to make sure you’re using clever and informative subject lines and pre-header text. If it gets deleted before they open it, then it doesn’t matter how great the content inside the email is!
If you want to test a couple of different subject line options you can implement A/B testing to see which subject line your audience responds to. Take the same email and send it with subject line A to one group and subject line B to another. Once you know which subject line had a better open rate you can use that for the rest of your marketing list and you should receive more opens!
Email Click-Through Rates (CTR)
Your CTR is the number of times someone clicks on a link within your email and is used to track your audience’s interest in what you’re sending them. The higher the CTR, the more your subscribers will feel encouraged to click a link or call-to-action. For example, on this email, the “Register for free” button is the call-to-action and the number of clicks that link gets compared to the number of email opens is the CTR.
The formula for your CTR is simple. All you need is your total email opens and your total links clicked. The formula looks like this:
CTR = (total number of clicks / total opens) x 100
How It Works
If your emails are getting a good open rate but low CTR, that means the content in your emails isn’t driving engagement so you’ll need to revamp your email design or what you’re offering your customers to give them an incentive to click.
To make sure you’re offering your customers the kind of content that resonates with them and gets them to engage with your emails, you can try segmenting your list so you can tailor the content to a specific group of customers.
You can segment by industry, location, or even separate lists for prospective customers, customers who have ordered recently, or customers that you’re hoping to re-engage.
Email Unsubscribe Rates
When someone feels that they no longer want to receive your content, they’ll hit that unsubscribe button (make sure it’s included in every email you send per the CAN-SPAM Act), which is totally ok! Your email’s content may no longer be relevant to them, or they get too many emails and haven’t been opening yours.
To find your unsubscribe rate, take the total number of email unsubscribes and divide that by the total number of emails sent, minus any that have bounced back. To get the full percentage, multiply by 100. This is the formula:
unsubscribe rate = (number of unsubscribes / [total number of messages – bounced messages]) x 100
How It Works
Sending emails to inactive subscribers can negatively impact other statistics like your open rates, so keeping your list up to date and removing unsubscribes is very helpful!
If you find that you’re getting over 2-3% of your list unsubscribing after each email you send, it likely means you’re either sending too many emails, not sending enough emails (your company is no longer top of mind), or your content is not interesting or relevant to your customers. Use your unsubscribe data to analyze how frequently you send out emails and compare it with your CTR data to see if you’re keeping your customer’s attention with the content!
Email Bounce Rates
Email bounces have come up a few times so it’s clearly an important factor in keeping a healthy email list.
There are two kinds of email bounces:
Soft bounces: These are emails that get returned due to an issue like a file being too large that prevents your message from being delivered.
Hard bounces: These are messages that have failed to deliver for a serious reason, like an invalid email address.
Here’s the formula to find your email bounce rate:
bounce rate = (undelivered emails / total emails sent) x 100
How It Works
Clean up your list and make sure you are sending to active email addresses that opted into your content rather than an old list or purchased list that’s likely getting a lot of bounces. You worked hard on your email so make sure people are actually getting it by removing all your hard bounces from your marketing list! Also, having too many hard bounces can lead to your emails getting marked as spam (which you want to avoid at all costs). So make sure you remove any hard bounces from your list immediately.
Crafting a fantastic email or series is only one step of your email marketing strategy. Knowing your audience, what they’re looking for, and maintaining your standards are all essential to a successful email marketing campaign. We hope these email analytics will help you maximize your marketing efforts! If you want to learn more about how to design an effective email, check out this blog.