Now that you’ve built your email list and segmented them, designed a cohesive email template, and developed a content plan, you’re now ready to send your first-ever email campaign but, before you click the send button, take a step back and ask yourself: how do I know if it’s going to be successful?
Determining the success of your campaign goes beyond sending an optimized email. You also need to track and measure your email’s performance and figure out if it’s progressing toward your marketing goals or away from them. To do that, you need to analyze your email’s key performance indicators (KPIs)—click-through rates, open rates, and unsubscribes are some of them.
However, first, where do you get this data? You don’t need an overly complicated algorithm or equation. When you use popular email marketing platforms, you don’t have to do all of the legwork because a performance report is available after the campaign. It doesn’t mean that you have to monitor, measure and interpret every bit of data that’s been presented to you. As a marketer or business owner, the key is determining which metrics you need to focus on, interpret, assess, and use to improve your efforts.
We’ve outlined these key metrics and what they are for:
1. Is my subject line encouraging subscribers to open?
Open rate lets you know how many of your subscribers opened your email. The average open rate varies by industry, although 15%-25% open rates are generally accepted as standard. If you are not in this tier, one way of improving your open rates is personalizing your subject line, but don’t just add the first name of your subscriber —it’s already outdated, overused, and sounds robotic. You can use customer information like key interests, location, and product interests to get their attention.
You can be more human-like if there is a sense of urgency in your copy. For instance, “Special coupon for you” versus “Your 25% discount ends in 30 minutes.” Both offer special promos, but the latter’s time-constraint copy builds curiosity and urgency. This subject line prompts open rates, and if there is any value, generates clicks. Subject lines with urgency have 22% higher open rates.
2. Is my content interesting and valuable?
Click-through rate (CTR) is the number or percentage of clicks from your email’s links or call-to-action (CTA) button. Although open rates can help measure your target audience’s interest in your email, CTR provides more concrete evidence because your subscribers take the extra step to click and read the provided content.
However, don’t be surprised if your CTR is lower than your open rates – the average CTR is only 3.42%. One way you can improve your CTR is to make your emails mobile-friendly or responsive. 46% of email users are now opening their inboxes as opposed to webmail and desktop opens.
3. Am I making any sales?
The conversion rate determines if a subscriber clicked on a link and completed a specific action. Let’s say you have a pre-holiday sale. 100 out of your 150 subscribers clicked the promo and made a purchase: that’s the conversion rate. The higher the percentage, the more valuable and relevant content is for your email recipients.
How do you make a sale then? It all boils down to how effectively you present your product or service in resolving customer pain points. For instance, Christmas is approaching. You don’t want to offer spring or summer clothing— it’s not weather-appropriate. You should provide deals on winter clothing instead.
Keep in mind that email conversion rates go hand in hand with your website, and not solely on the design or message of your email. Let’s say the click-through rates of the promo is high, yet there is a low number of conversion. You may need to improve the landing page or the checkout process that causes your subscribers not to complete the action.
Is my email list high-quality?
If there are no opens, clicks, and conversions, you should look out for your bounce rate. This metric uncovers problems with the quality of your email list. When an email “bounce,” it means it failed to reach the inbox. In email marketing, you want to see high email delivery success rates since email is the only medium you can use to get in touch with subscribers— if your email doesn’t really reach who it’s intended for, who’s going to know about your ongoing promo, new product launch, and brand announcements?
There are two primary reasons—
- the email server of your subscriber is down (soft bounce), or
- you have an inactive email address (hard bounce)
You should make it a habit of purging or removing invalid emails, or else Internet Service Providers (ISPs) tag you as spam. You can also have a double opt-in, which is a simple confirmation email after a visitor subscribes to your list.
Am I making money?
Return on Investment (ROI) determines if your campaign is bringing you money. To find out, all you need to do is add the generated sales and subtract it to your email campaign expenditures. Then, divide it with your invested campaign money and multiply by 100.
Wrapping It Up
Whether your goal is generating brand awareness or acquiring new leads, email marketing goes beyond the attention-grabbing subject line, organized design layout, clear call-to-action (CTA), and a well-written copy, nor does it end when you click the send button. You need to continuously track the performance of your email campaigns so you can understand your strategy’s strong and weak points and execute a data-driven improvement.