June 4, 2018

Measuring Success: Email Metrics That Matter

Written by
Mallory McGuinness
Tags: CRM

If you’re not currently running an email campaign, you may have heard rumors that the era of email marketing is over. You may be asking yourself if email marketing is still worth it. If you’re on the fence about launching an email campaign, put your fears to rest: email marketing is definitely still worth it.

The potential reach of an email campaign is massive: there are 3.7 billion email recipients worldwide who receive and send around 269 billion emails every day. Perhaps this capacity to reach a large audience makes email marketing so lucrative. On average, every dollar spent on an email campaign yields an ROI of $44.

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These facts make it clear that you should be running at least one email campaign if you’d like to engage with an audience, gather leads, and increase conversions. If you’d like to discover how to create successful emails, there are plenty of blogs and articles on the Internet that will be happy to educate you on the subject matter.

But how do you define success in the first place? And how exactly do you know your campaign is even successful? You’ll need to have a clear idea of what your marketing goal is, and you’ll have to measure what’s working and what’s not along the way so your next email or campaign will be even better. This blog is about how to measure your success when it comes to accomplishing your business goals.

Know your goals

Your goals will guide your campaign process and will show you what to measure. For example, if you’d like to grow the top of your funnel, your team should produce valuable, sharable content that focuses on solving recipients’ problems. To measure success, focus on the health of your subscriber list.

If you’d like to boost the bottom of your funnel, offer content that is linked to your business and your service or product. To determine how well you’re doing, focus on conversion rate.

Here is a quick summary of the most important metrics you should be using to measure success for every stage of the marketing funnel:

Top of the Funnel – Keeping a Healthy Subscriber List

The main metric you will want to follow is:

Subscriber List Growth Rate

Definition: The rate at which your email list is growing

Noteworthy Information: Email marketing lists naturally decay, so always stay focused on growing your subscriber list.

Bounce Rate

Definition: The rate at which emails don’t arrive at their intended destination.

Noteworthy Information: There are two kinds of bounces; hard bounces and soft bounces. Soft bounces occur for a number of acceptable reasons, like a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server. Hard bounces should be addressed right away – ISPs use hard bounce rate as a measuring tool for reputation and may blacklist you if you have too many bounces of this type.

Unengaged subscribers

Definition: People who are receiving your emails but aren’t opening them or interacting with them.

Noteworthy Information: Sending emails to these recipients can hurt deliverability. Email clients like Gmail may take note of low engagement and send them directly to recipients’ junk folder.

Unsubscribe Rate

Definition: How many users unsubscribe from your email list

Noteworthy Information: A healthy unsubscribe rate is less than 2%, and the number of unsubscribed users should always be lower than the number of new users.

Tips for a Healthy Email List

Try to get to the root cause of each problematic issue. Also, make it very easy to unsubscribe from your list to avoid unengaged subscribers or your messages being labeled as junk mail. If you can, try to ask people to explain why they are unsubscribing. This will deliver insight and will alert you to red flag issues, such as recipients unsubscribing because they have not given permission for you to email them.

Middle of the Funnel – Engagement Metrics

The main metric to track is:

Click Through Rate

Definition – Percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email.

Noteworthy Information: Use A/B tests to find ways to obtain more clicks in future emails. You’ll also want to track how CTR changes over time, because it’s an easy way to gauge every individual email’s performance.

Email Sharing and Forwarding

Definition – The number of email recipients who clicked on a “share this” button or forwarded your email.

Noteworthy information: This is an important metric, because not only does this demonstrate engagement, this is how you will grow your subscriber list.

Reply Rate

Definition – The number of people responding to outreach emails by sending a solicited message back.

Noteworthy information: This metric depends on what you want your subscribers to do. Having email recipients reply to a message is a great way to engage with them.

Tips for Good Engagement

In order to engage with recipients, your emails have to be opened in the first place. Two major elements that affect opening rates are the subject and preheader. Test these frequently, and write email content that strikes curiosity and urges subscribers to open your message.

Bottom of the Funnel – Business Results

Metrics to keep an eye on include:

Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition – ROI is how much you have earned compared to the costs incurred to implement the campaign. This metric measures cost effectiveness of your email campaign.

Noteworthy information: To obtain the ROI rate, take the sales value, subtract cost, like email platform, time put in, and human resources, and divide the result by the same cost. Multiply by 100.

Number of New Leads Generated

Definition – The number of new leads your email campaign has generated

Noteworthy information: Many times, leads will come to you through form captures that recipients fill out to receive content like eBooks, white papers, etc.

Conversion Rate

Definition – The percentage of recipients who clicked on a link and completed a desired action such as: making a purchase, spending time on your blog, signing up for an event, or requesting a quote.

Noteworthy Information: Conversions are intertwined with a call-to-action’s quality. It’s crucial that you experiment with and frequently test CTAs to guarantee maximum effectiveness.

Tracking conversions from email requires the integration of your email platform and web analytic tools such as Google Analytics. Standalone email marketing tools that send out emails only simply monitor clicks that have been made but don’t give you an idea of what your bottom line looks like.

CRMs present a platform that combines both email and web analytics. Not only that, but with a CRM you may follow subscribers through links to your website in real time and monitor any purchases, or customer questions that arise.

Mallory McGuinness has been writing professionally for over ten years and is a marketing associate at LeadMaster.