There is a lot to say when it comes to how to do email marketing well. We could talk for says about the email marketing mistakes that you must avoid. However, it will be pointless if you can’t see the results of your email marketing efforts.
I compelled a list of 9 email marketing metrics you should be tracking. Each of the metrics can be an indicator to measure how you are doing towards to your specific email marketing goals.
So before sending your next bulk email to your list, ask yourself few questions. What is the goal of my email marketing? Is it to grow my subscriber? Generate more leads? Or sell more products? No matter what the goals you set, you should always use the email marketing metrics to track and measure your progress toward that goal.
1. Open Rate
Open rate is a percentage of email recipients who open a given email. The open rate metric is an indicator of how well your email subject line does. An optimized email subject line can lead to higher open rates. So what is a good open rate? What is the average email open rate by industry? Smart Insights released the 2018 Email Marketing Engagement and Response Statistics. The average newsletter email open rate overall industry is 22.83%*.
Open rate % = # of emails opened / # of emails sent * 100%
*statistics from Smart Insights
Click this link to GetResponse Email marketing benchmarks shows a worldwide average of open and click-through rates by country and by sector.
2. Unsubscribe Rate
The unsubscribe rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who opt out from an email list. Your email campaign unsubscribes rate should always less than 1%. The average unsubscribe rate for an email newsletter is 0.21% in 2018 according to Smart Insights.
Unsubscribe rate % = # of unsubscriber / # of emails delivered * 100%
The average unsubscribe rate will largely depend on the industry you are in, but anything below 0.5% is considered good, while 0.5-1% is regarded as reasonable but could be improved. A high unsubscribe rate can indicate various problems – you might be targeting the wrong people, the quality of your email content might be poor, your emails might not work on mobile devices or they might be sent at the wrong times.
3. Click-through Rate
The click-through rate or CTR is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links within a given email.
Click-through rate = # of unique clicks / # of emails delivered * 100%
Use the CTR can easily determine the overall performance of your email campaign. The click-through rate is frequently used in A/B tests. Because it lets you easily calculate performance for every individual email you send. In addition, you can judge which is better in an A/B test by tracking the click-through rate over time.
The average click-through rate of newsletter cross all industries is 3.48% in 2018 according to the Smart Insights email benchmarks. Click-through rate is a very important metric for all email marketers to be tracking, as it gives you direct insight into how many people on your list are engaging with your content and interested in learning more about your brand or your offer.
4. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who completed a desired action through a given email. The desired action can be filling out a lead generation form, making a phone call, downloading an e-book, or purchasing a product and so forth.
Conversion rate = # of people who completed the desired action / # of email delivered * 100%
The conversion rate is directly tied to your goal as it reflects the percentage of email recipients who completed a desired action which is your email marketing goal. In order to properly track the email conversion rate, you will need to config your email platform and your web analytics tool like Google Analytics. You can do this by setting up a unique tracking URL for your email link and identify the source as email marketing in the web analytics tool.
5. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of your total emails send that could not successfully deliver to the recipient’s inbox.
Bounce rate = # of bounced emails / # of emails sent * 100%
There are two types of bounces. The hard bounce and the soft bounce. The hard bounces due to invalid, closed, or no-longer-exist email address. You should remove all the hard bounces emails from your subscriber lists immediately. Because the email platforms use bounce rates as one of the key factors to determine the sender’s reputation. Too many hard bounce emails can make you as a spammer. And all of your emails will go to the spam box instead of the inbox.
The soft bounces due to a problem from the email recipients. For example, the email recipient’s inbox is full or the email recipient’s server lost connection.
6. Subscriber Growth Rate
The subscriber growth rate indicates how fast your subscriber list grows. Other than the email marketing performance indicators such as the clickthrough rate, the subscriber growth rate is another number you want to track. As it tells you the list growth and loss. The email marketing is nothing if you have very few subscribers on your list. So you should be aiming to grow your list in order to extend your reach, expand your audience, and position yourself as an expert in your niche.
Subscriber growth rate % = (# of new subscribers – # of unsubscribes – # of bounces – # of spam complaints) / # of subscribers on your list * 100%
7. Return on Investment
What is the return on investment(ROI) in email marketing? It’s the same, thus the total revenue divided by total spend. Although sending an email is free, it comes to other costs such as subscriber acquisition, tool subscription. So you should use the return on investment(ROI) to show your boss and your sales team how valuable email marketing is as a channel that drives real, tangible results.
ROI % = ($ in additional sales made – $ invested in the campaign) / $ invested in the campaign * 100%
8. Device Type
Do all your email templates support mobile device? Responsive design has never been more important. Nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets. Device type is another very important metric you should track to properly deliver your email campaign to your audience. Non-mobile-friendly email can seriously hurt your email marketing efforts.
If you got an email with a high percentage of desktop open rate, consider designing a responsive email template to support the mobile device audience too. The key is to always keep the mobile device in mind.
9. Email Client
Ideally, you would think all the email clients should display your email template exactly as you see. However, in the reality, all all the email clients are the same and some of them have slightly different rules on how to display emails.
So if you are able to track most of the common email clients your subscribers are using, you can use that information to make sure the email templates are displaying properly in those email clients.