With its recent iOS 15 update, Apple has made tracking email open rates even more difficult. But in terms of email marketing, your open rate isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the be-all, end-all for your email metrics. There are plenty of other data points you can use to help you measure and improve your email campaign’s performance.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven additional email metrics (other than open rate) that will equip you with valuable data as you look to get the most out of your email marketing strategy.
Opening an email is your prospect or customer’s first step in engaging with the message you’ve sent. But beyond that, you’ll want to know how they engage with the message once they’ve opened it.
Many of us open any email we receive. That doesn’t necessarily mean we care about what’s inside the email itself.
Click-through rate tells you if your audience is clicking on links included in the email, and specifically which links they’re clicking on. This is useful in any circumstance, but it becomes particularly useful when you have multiple links in one email.
This tells you what links they’re interested in. If you’ve only got one tailored call-to-action in the message, you can gauge the effectiveness of your copy by looking at the click-through rate for that single link.
The open rate tells you who’s taken the first step in the journey with you. Click-through rate helps you explore who wants to take it a step further, investing more time in figuring out what you have to offer.
Your bounce rate is the number of times your email “bounces” to addresses on your email list. This can be for a number of reasons – may be the email is inactive or the inbox is full.
Either way, knowing what percentage of your list isn’t receiving the messages is a critical email metric to pay attention to, and to learn how to fix. Repeated bounces tell you that you’ll need to cull your list.
It’s never easy to delete people from your email list, but sometimes it’s necessary to keep your list loaded with active, engaged users. Routine review and maintenance of your bounce rate help you better understand what percentage of your audience is actively engaged with your messaging.
Knowing how many people are signing up for your email list is also one of the better email metrics to track.
This helps you evaluate multiple aspects of your list maintenance. For one, it helps you understand how many people are forwarding your message. That speaks to the effectiveness of your content – if your existing subscriber list can’t wait to share it with others, you know you’re doing something right.
It also helps you understand how well your signup funnel is performing. If your subscribers are lagging, you may need to adjust your strategy for attracting new ones by using different digital tools or creating more enticing offers for signing up.
Unsubscribers act as a “mirror metric” for your new subscriber count. It’s never fun to examine how many people no longer want to receive your messages, but it can be helpful. If there’s a specific email that saw an unusual uptick in unsubscribes, you’ll want to analyze that message to better understand why it led to that.
Knowing how many people are unsubscribing from your email list helps you evaluate your email campaign’s performance. You’ll be able to see which content isn’t resonating with your audience, and in some cases, why it led to more people opting out.
Tracking your unsubscribes as one of your email metrics over the course of a campaign helps you map out the overall health of your email marketing strategy. Major dips will highlight a need to course correct.
Ultimately, your email list is more than a marketing tool – it’s a sales tool. If you offer deals or discounts through your email list, you can see how many people on your list are actually biting on those offers.
Furthermore, if you’re including direct links within your emails prompting your prospects to buy, you can look at the click-through rate on who is buying from your email.
This helps you know how effective your marketing copy is within your emails. If you’re getting sales from social media and not as many through your email list, you can look to include more persuasive writing in your email campaigns.
Ultimately, sales are what businesses are after. If you’re using your emails as a sales tool (and directly or indirectly, all of them are precisely that), then you’ll want to use the sales from your emails as a metric.
While it’s not exactly qualitative, the responses you get from your emails are also a valuable metric to consider. The number of people responding to your emails – especially when you prompt them to engage with you in that way – can also help you determine how well an email executes on the desired action you want the reader to take.
The sheer number of responses is one email metric you’ll want to consider. You’ll also want to look at what people are saying when they give you feedback on your emails. Overwhelmingly positive feedback means you should continue on the path on which you’re going. Negative feedback may demonstrate the need for some changes.
When you experiment on when you send your emails, the best performing dates and times will allow you to understand when your audience is most likely to engage with your messages.
For example, if your messages are best received before 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday mornings, you can continue sending at that time. Seeing when your audience is most responsive to your content enables you to know what type of activity to mimic going forward.
In and of itself, knowing the best-performing times for your emails is useful. But when viewed with your other email metrics (click-through rates, new subscribers, etc.) it becomes particularly effective at helping you improve your overall strategy.
The bottom line is that while examining your email open rate can be helpful, it shouldn’t be the only thing you’re looking at anyway. The metrics listed above give you a holistic, comprehensive view of how your individual emails (and overall campaign) are performing, so be sure to look at all of them when you’re evaluating them.
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