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You’ve heard about web traffic, but have you ever heard of email traffic? While there’s no one specific metric to tell you how much email traffic you’re receiving (there are actually several), one way to measure your email traffic is by measuring the effectiveness of your email list.

With 99% of consumers reportedly checking their emails daily, you want to ensure that you’re staying relevant in your subscriber’s inboxes, and the best way to do that is to monitor your email list engagement carefully.

Email traffic: How engaged is your email list?

Marketing professionals already understand that having a massive email list means nothing if their list is filled with inactive subscribers. This drags down vital numbers such as your:

  • Sender score
  • Deliverability rate
  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • List growth rate
  • Overall conversion rate

Recap: How to measure subscriber engagement

If you’re looking to monitor your email traffic, you’ll want to pay special attention to your email engagement rates. To do this, you’ll want to carefully monitor several key performance indicators (KPIs), including your email opens, click-throughs, bounces, and subscribes/unsubscribes. This is extremely simple for those utilizing email marketing software that includes insights and analytics, such as that provided to Campaign Monitor customers.

Email engagement metrics

Source: Campaign Monitor

When monitoring for engaged subscribers, you should expect to see increasing (or, at the very least, steady) numbers in several KPIs, including your:

  • Deliverability rate
  • Open rate
  • Unique opens
  • Click rate
  • Click-to-open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Shares

That means you’ll also want to see overall numbers decreasing in several KPIs, including your:

  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Bounce rate

If you start to see increases in these numbers, or decreases in the above-mentioned numbers, then you can assume that your subscribers are either unhappy with the content you’re sending or have simply gone inactive.

Why you need an engaged email list

Aside from losing out on valuable ROI, you want to ensure that you have an engaged email list for several reasons. With approximately 3.9 million active email users in 2019 and a projected 4 million by the end of 2020, email marketing is one of the top methods of reaching your customers. In fact, during a recent study, we found that email marketing came in second place amongst small businesses when it came to their biggest opportunity to build brand awareness, being beat by 12% by social media.

Small businesses ranked their biggest opportunity for brand awareness

Source: Campaign Monitor

Once you’ve adequately built your email list, you can further your brand awareness and start building strong relationships with each subscriber through various campaigns. However, if your list is full of inactive subscribers—those who haven’t opened an email from you in some time—then your deliverability rates will decline rapidly. It’ll also result in you spending more money and resources on an effort that’s going nowhere.

Whether you’re ready to give your email list an overhaul to increase your email traffic, or you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to learn how to build not just an email list, but an engaged email list.

Increase your email traffic: How to build an engaged email list naturally

To create an engaged email list, you need to be aware of the simple, two-part formula for success:

Formula for building an email list

Source: Campaign Monitor

Now, if you’ve already built an email list and are looking to overhaul it to increase your email traffic, you’ll want to start by practicing good email list hygiene. That means you’ll want to go through your current list and start purging it of any email that has bounced back, and then identify your inactive subscribers. Before you decide to purge any inactive email addresses, you should first consider re-engaging them through a re-engagement email campaign. This allows your inactive subscribers a chance to become engaged once again. If they don’t, then it’s safe to go ahead and remove them from your list permanently. Once your list is up to date, you’re ready to move forward.

For those who are starting from scratch and/or your list is cleaned up and ready to go, you can start implementing some of these five methods to help you build an engaged email list naturally.

1. Start a blog.

Individuals don’t come across your brand randomly in their inbox (unless someone forwarded them an email). In most cases, new leads will come across your brand online, either through a search on sites like Google or via social media through cleverly placed ads.

Either way, consumers will happen across your brand while they’re searching for something—a product, service, or advice to help them with a pain point. That means they’re searching for quality content, and the best way to provide it with them is through blogging. Blogs provide plenty of opportunities to encourage potential leads to join your email list, many of which are included in this list.

However, one of the most ideal ways to encourage an email opt-in is to provide outstanding, quality content. Then, once you’ve wowed your reader, present them with the option at the end of the blog to continue receiving content by signing up for your newsletter. This can be through a written CTA or a CTA content box placed at the bottom of each of your blog posts.

 Blog CTA

Source: Campaign Monitor

2. Utilize your social media pages.

With social media quickly becoming the preferred method for growing brand awareness, it’d be smart to include an email newsletter opt-in link on your social media pages. This can be done in several different ways, including:

  • In your profile information as your website link
  • In your “about me” page or bio
  • Through the posts you share via each of your pages

In the following example, the brand Hallmark utilized their “about” section to include a link to not only their VIP list, but also their email opt-in link.

Social media opt-in link

Source: Hallmark/Facebook

3. Offer a free tool/irresistible lead magnet.

Consumers love getting something for nothing. So, if you’re looking for great ways to build your email list, you’ll want to consider offering new subscribers’ access to gated content, such as a free tool or another irresistible lead magnet.

An excellent lead magnet can come in dozens of different forms, including:

  • Free samples of your best-selling products
  • Training videos
  • A template
  • A free trial offer
  • Case studies
  • A checklist
  • An industry report

The options truly are endless. Just take this example by fitness trainer and motivational speaker, Chalene Johnson:

Lead magnet example

Source: Instagram

4. Incentivize website visitors.

Consumers love incentives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a freebie download or a special coupon code exclusive to new subscribers. Studies have shown that 60% of consumers sign up for an email newsletter to receive offers and sales. Just remember, when you promise something in an effort to build your email list, you absolutely must deliver.

For example, Walgreens promises “exclusive offers, valuable health information, and more,” for those who choose to sign up for their email newsletter.

On-page incentives for email signup

Source: Walgreens

Once a subscriber opts in to their email list, does Walgreens deliver on their promise? The answer is yes. For example, at the time of this publishing, thousands of individuals are currently adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Walgreens responded by offering all subscribers access to their exclusive Prescription Savings Club.

Email Newsletter

Source: Walmart

5. Utilize website pop-ups or overlay forms.

Although website pop-ups and overlays are rather controversial in digital marketing, when utilized right, they can be extremely effective. In fact, according to a recent study by Sumo, the average conversion rate for pop-ups (including overlays, slide-ins, and the traditional popup) is approximately 3.09%. However, the studies also showed that the highest-performing (the top 10%) averaged a 9.28% conversion rate.

Overlay Subscribe Form

Source: Campaign Monitor

So, if popups and overlays are so controversial, how do they work? It all comes down to a few different factors, including the timing it shows up and the value of the offer. Remember, you don’t want to promise something you can’t deliver. You also don’t want to bombard your site visitors with the popup or overlay as soon as they arrive on your page.

Wrap up

When utilized correctly, each of the ideas we covered today can and will help you build your email list naturally, therefore increasing your overall email traffic.

To recap, the concepts we covered include:

  • Starting a blog
  • Utilizing your social media pages
  • Offering a free tool/irresistible lead magnet
  • Incentivizing website visitors
  • Utilizing popups or overlay forms

When it comes to each of these methods, it’s essential to remember to never promise something you can’t supply and that quality content is what’ll convince your potential leads to take that leap of faith and join your email list.

Ready to take your email list to the next level? Be sure to check out the Modern Marketer’s Guide to Growing an Email list today.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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