In our previous post, we explored the importance of using data within any email marketing campaign and more specifically, why you need to dig deeper than the basic analytics most marketers use for your emails to stand out.
Some of the key metrics you need to focus on include:
- Bounce rate
- List growth rate
- Conversion rate
Read on to explore how to use this key data to your advantage and drive your email marketing toward unprecedented success.
Key data insights to drive your email marketing
First, let’s explore the key metrics you should analyze for each marketing campaign and how you should use them to target your emails for your specific business goals.
1. Click-through rate (CTR)
This is the number of unique users who have clicked on one or more of the links in your email. To calculate, simply divide the total number of clicks by how many emails were sent and multiply by 100.
While the CTR is the most obvious metric to track, it is a simple way to keep on top of the success of your emails by tracking how this number changes over time.
It’s a fantastic way to see how engaged people are with your content. And it’s also an important component to determine the success of your A/B (or split) testing.
2. Conversion rate
This is the number of users who have performed a specific action, e.g. buying a product or signing up for a course. To calculate, simply divide the number of people who performed the action by the number of emails sent and multiply by 100.
After all, the ultimate goal of your marketing campaign is for your subscribers to perform a certain action. Thus, measuring the conversion rate is one of the most important metrics for establishing how well your emails are performing.
Tracking your links shouldn’t be intimidating: simply set up your email links with unique tracking URLs so you know where each click is coming from.
3. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the number of emails that haven’t been delivered successfully. To calculate, simply divide the number of emails that bounce by the total number of emails sent and multiply by 100.
You’ll need to separate these bounces into “hard” or “soft” ones.
Soft bounces come back to you due to temporary issues with a legitimate email address, e.g. an issue with the recipient’s server.
Hard bounces are due to a non-existent, closed, or invalid email address, meaning these emails will never be delivered successfully. Always remove these from your list straight away because they can impact your sender reputation, potentially leading to your emails being mistaken for spam by email providers like Gmail.
4. List growth rate
This is how quickly your list of email subscribers grows. To calculate, simply take the total number of new subscribers you have (removing any complaints or unsubscribes from the figure) and divide by the number of email address you have, then multiply by 100.
It’s crucial you keep an eye on your growth (and potential loss). Even though you’ll be constantly aiming to grow your email address list, there will be a natural decay.
In fact, statistics indicate the natural decay rate is around 25% per year. This means it’s crucial you stay on top of your list so you maintain a growing, healthy size.
5. Email forwarding/sharing rate
This is the number of people who have chosen to forward or share your email with someone they know. To calculate, simply take the number of clicks on your forward/share button, divide by the total number of emails sent and multiply by 100.
While this metric might not seem significant, it can help you measure how valuable your subscriber’s find your content. Sharing is also a great way to increase your reach.
And even though your main aim for your email marketing is to generate conversions, gathering new leads is also imperative. So encourage your recipients to share your information and track how many people are added to your email list this way.
Monitoring this closely will allow you to see what offers and articles are getting shared most frequently, allowing you to tailor your future email campaigns accordingly.
This is how much return on investment (ROI) your email campaigns are generating. To calculate, simply take the amount made in sales minus the amount you’ve invested in the campaign, then divide by the amount invested in the email and multiply by 100.
Assign different values to all of the different categories of leads you get, basing this on how likely it is that they’ll generate revenue.
How many leads have been generated through your email campaigns? How does this translate to actual and potential revenue?
These metrics will work wonders when you’re trying to show your sales team and boss how valuable your email efforts are, and how they are driving real, tangible results.
A/B test your emails for maximum results
As well as monitoring all of the aforementioned metrics, you can gain insight into what does or doesn’t work for your audience when you carry out A/B testing, also known as split testing.
This enables you to make targeted, subtle changes to your email campaigns, providing two subsets of your customers with two different versions of the same email. This allows you to know firsthand which of your versions will lead to better results before you send to your entire list, thus improving the results from your entire campaign.
Some popular examples of A/B testing include changing the color of the CTA button or changing the message of the CTA itself. While these are only slight tweaks, they can be immensely powerful and they’re easy to measure and manage.
But this is just the start.
To ensure your email marketing success, you need to put all of the useful data we’ve discussed to good use. Then, you can boost your ROI and generate more conversions by conducting an experience analysis, which we explain in more detail in the previous article.
Even though all of this may seem overwhelming, once everything’s in place, it’ll be easy to track and the results are well worth the effort.
How to know which data insights you should focus on
Even though all of the data insights we’ve discussed are invaluable for your company, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Now all you need to do is decide what areas you should focus on to gain maximum ROI.
Here are some examples:
Growing your list of subscribers
If you need to grow the number of people visiting your site, the number of people subscribed to a service, the number of people downloading your eBook or so on, the primary aim of your email campaigns will be to gain more subscribers.
Therefore, you’ll likely use CTAs like “Download My eBook” or “Sign Up to Try the Free Tool” and focus on the metrics that show the rate at which your subscriber list is growing.
You’ll also want to track the number of shares to see if you’re emails are getting in front of new prospects.
Getting rid of unengaged subscribers
Even though growth is important, as we’ve already seen, unengaged subscribers can have a detrimental impact on your sender reputation.
While it might be nice to have 10,000 recipients on your list, if 500 of these aren’t engaged, it’s time to remove them.
These emails are what’s known as “graymail” and are likely having a negative effect on the deliverability of your emails. These users might be marking your emails as “spam,” for example. Not to mention, you might be paying for each email you send, so you’re wasting valuable money on these 500 people who remain uninterested.
Use your insights to remove these recipients from your list and you’ll see an improvement in other insights as well —like CTR, conversion rate, lower bounce rate—and, ultimately, higher ROI.
Boosting your conversion rate
Finally, if you’re happy your email list is ticking over nicely and have recently cleansed this list, you may be focusing on trying to convert existing leads into paying customers.
These emails are more likely to showcase your service, product, and your brand in more detail. You may offer free trials, videos of the product, demos, and customer reviews.
In this case, you should look at the conversion rate of your leads to customers.
Even though all of these points may seem obvious, many marketers establish their email goals but then fail to track their progress.
Continue to track your progress throughout the month, making careful notes of any changes to your metrics on a month-by-month basis and you’ll be able to pinpoint the weakest points in your customer journey and sales funnel.
Ultimately, using data insights to drive your email marketing is all about being smart.
You need to make sure you can measure the performance of every single email you send, that you’re able to maintain a healthy email list, and that you know exactly how you’re progressing towards your end goals.
By being able to establish these points, you’ll be well on your way to stellar email marketing.