How to measure the success within email marketing

In any business, or indeed area of business, it is always important to strive to improve. Email marketing is no different; but how do you begin to measure the success of your email campaigns and what key metrics should you look at?

Whilst this may depend on the purpose of your email; engagement, revenue, awareness or one of many others, there are some key metrics you should always look at.

Most email marketing platforms allow you to monitor, track, and analyse your campaign results. We believe some of the most important metrics include; open rate, click through rate, click to open rate, delivery rate, unsubscribe rate, list growth, and where applicable, revenue generated.

Open rate

Open rate refers to the percentage of people who opened your email campaign in comparison to the number of people who received it. This is usually a good indicator of how well, or how poorly, your subject line was received. However, further things can impact this metric, such as timing and segmentation. To ensure you are expanding your learnings, with regards to which subject lines work and which ones do not work, we always recommend testing two or more different options. There are also many other tests you can perform, such as testing the time that you send your email, to ensure you are maximising engagement. Nevertheless, even when your open rate is high, this doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, just because a lot of people opened an email does not always make the campaign a success.

Click-through rate/Click-to-Open rate

Another key metric to look at is click-through rate. This refers to the number of people who clicked a link within your campaign, in comparison to the number of people who were sent the email. Analysing this metric gives you a good indication of both how engaging your content is and how relevant to the audience it was. Monitoring click through also helps when you are including revenue generating content within emails, as it will enable you to determine a conversion rate. You can help increase your click through rate by using clear, bright CTA buttons and links behind[BS1]  accompanying images.

Whilst looking at click through rate is a great indicator of how well your content performed, arguably looking at click-to-open rate is even more telling. This metric looks at the number of clicks each story generated, but as a percentage compared to the number of people who opened the email, rather than those who were sent it. By comparing it to opens, we eliminate all those people who would not have seen the content and therefore could not possibly have clicked it, regardless of whether it would or would not have interested them.

Delivery rate

Whilst not as widely monitored, when considering whether an email has been a success, a campaigns delivery rate is still extremely important. This statistic refers to how many of the emails you have sent made it to recipient’s inboxes’. A low delivery rate could at best, be wasting credits or effort, but even worse, it could actually damage your reputation and put you in danger of being blocked or blacklisted from email service providers. We would therefore recommend that you clean all lists before you import them, with a platform such as neverbounce, and also implement double opt-in confirmation emails and two email confirm boxes on landing pages.

List growth, revenue per email, unsubscribe rate

There are many other metrics to consider depending on your business objectives. For example, if you are looking to engage with more people – you will want to monitor your list growth. If your main aim is to generate income – perhaps the first metric you will look to is revenue per email. The latter could be observed by comparing clicks on revenue generating content, to those who have gone on to purchase, however, there are integrations such as Shopify, or Shopsync, that make this much easier for you. These apps and integrations automatically highlight the revenue that each campaign generateswithin your email marketing platform.

Finally, we recommend you monitor your unsubscribe rate. If you are finding you are losing subscribers in large numbers regularly, we suggest you look at the content you are sending but also the frequency at which you send it. Targeted marketing, such as asking for more information or preferences from your database, can help prevent unsubscribes.  

Additional considerations

Whilst the metrics we have highlighted will give you an indication of how effective your email campaigns are, it is important to consider them all in context. For example, a transactional email is likely to get a higher open rate than a sales message, and an email from someone’s favourite football team, with which you have inbuilt loyalty, would likely entice them to open more than a campaign from a local business. This is where industry benchmarks and standards can be beneficial, and you can find these on most email service providers websites.

If you want to discuss anything in further detail or if you think I can be of any help to you, please get in touch.