Wednesday 26 October 2016

How to track and improve email marketing campaigns

Ian Dodson

Published 13/05/2015 | 08:43

Group of smiling business people in a meeting together.
Group of smiling business people in a meeting together.

Tracking the right email metrics can help you understand which tactics work best for your business and which strategies are not working as well and might need to be re-examined.

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Now that you've mastered building your email marketing database and producing compelling email marketing copy, finding out the best ways to track and measure success over time is crucial so that you can iterate your email campaigns.  Below, I’ll reveal the four most important email metrics to measure. I’ll also explain how you can interpret your results to create more inspiring email campaigns and help deliver stronger leads to your sales team.

Important Metrics & How You Can Interpret Them:  

1. Open Rate: The open rate is the percentage of recipients who opened your email. By tracking this over time you can understand how engaged your subscriber base is with your email marketing.

To Increase Your Open Rate:

Your subject line is the most important factor affecting your open rate so if your open rate is particularly low you might want to re-examine your subject line strategy. This needs to be compelling and attention-grabbing, yet clear, concise and to the point. You can also try split testing to determine which subject lines work best for your target audience. Decent open rates range between 15 percent and 25 percent.

2. Click-Through Rate: The click-through rate is the percentage of subscribers who clicked on a link within your email. Measuring this will give you an idea of how engaged subscribers are with your calls to take further action.

To Increase Your Click-Through Rate:

Create compelling content that inspires your subscribers to take action. For example, your anchor text (text that includes a link to your offer, product or article) should be compelling and inspire readers to click through. It’s also important to draw the reader’s eye to your call to action so consider highlighting and emboldening the text to help it stand out. If these tactics don’t work, it’s worth re-examining your offer and ensuring that it provides the maximum value possible for your target audience.  

3. Unsubscribe Rate: The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of recipients who have unsubscribed from your emails. Tracking this will allow you to see how relevant your email marketing is over time and whether it keeps audiences engaged.

To Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate:

This is a good indication of how invested your subscribers are in your content. If your unsubscribe rate is particularly high you’ll need to investigate how you can hold your reader's attention by creating contextually relevant emails based on their needs and wants. Or maybe your content is spot on, and yet you’re still annoying subscribers by sending out too many emails. A good way to discover the true reason why your subscribers are leaving is to add a question or very short survey people can fill out when they hit your unsubscribe button. Their answers should guide you toward a resolution. 

4. Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who clicked through your email and went on to achieve a certain goal (for example, filled out a form). This is the crucial goal, measuring how effective you’ve been at convincing subscribers to take the ultimate action you’ve aimed for.

To Improve Your Conversion Rate:

To improve your conversion rate you will first need to ensure that your subscribers click through to your offer. To do so, you can follow the tips outlined in point two of this article. The second factor that influences your conversion rate is the design and content of the landing page you are sending your subscribers to. For example, if you’re sending your subscribers to a form it should be quick and easy to fill out and should contain as few required fields as possible. Your landing page should be visually appealing and needs to draw your subscriber’s eye toward the goal you would like them to complete. 

How the Right Metrics Can Help Your Sales Team

Your email metrics can also create a more streamlined sales process. For example, by understanding and interpreting the correct email metrics you can offer more qualified (and more interested) leads to your sales team. By providing them with a list of people who completed certain actions upon receiving the email, they can decide upon the most invested leads to call. It’s important to tell your sales team who opened your email, who clicked through to an offer and who completed a desired conversion like filling out a form, for example.

This concludes our email marketing section of the series; stay tuned for next week’s article where I’ll talk you through how to get started with social media marketing. 

Ian Dodson

Co-founder and Director, Digital Marketing Institute

Ian Dodson is Director and Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing Institute. He has been at the forefront of the Irish digital industry for the past 10 years and has been instrumental in the setup and success of a number of groundbreaking online businesses. Ian writes for various well-known digital and marketing journals on all topics digital.

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