Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods that exists today, but that doesn’t mean that any marketing email you produce is going to succeed. There are many email marketing best practices to ensure you get the results you want — but what are those results, and how do you measure them? This post will go over key metrics in your email analytics that will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of your emails and their impact on your marketing goals.
When it comes to performance, email marketing metrics are fairly straight forward. You want to know how many people opened your email, how many people clicked on an offer, and how many people took action. Email success indicators include:
• Open rate
• Click through rate
• Click to open rate
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these metrics.
Open rate is the number, by percent, of emails that are opened out of the total number of emails that were delivered. Open rate is best calculated when doing a large email send, rather than one-off emails. Most email programs calculate open rate for you but in case you need the formula:
Open rate = number of emails opened/number of emails delivered x 100
Open rates differ by industry but when it comes to open rate. Needless to say, the more emails that are opened, the better. Aim for at least a 20% open rate. If you’re experiencing a low or stagnant open rate, here are three steps you can take to improve your email effectiveness:
A subject line is the first thing viewers see when receiving an email. Some tips for writing a good email subject line:
• Keep it short: Subject lines shouldn’t be long. A quick phrase will jump out to a person skimming their inbox.
• Ask a question: A question as the subject line of an email will make people curious and increase their likelihood of opening it. Just make sure the question is relevant to your email!
• Use numbers: Amidst the sea of text flooding every user’s inbox, the use of numbers in headers will diversify and attract the individual’s eye. To take advantage of this, consider using percentages or statistics when promoting a sale, giving a discount, or inviting customers to an event.
The day and time at which you send out your emails can also have a significant impact on open rate. We suggest aiming to send your emails around 11:00am or between 8:00 PM to midnight on a Tuesday, as these generally are the times when individuals are most prone to open them. However, optimal times vary for different audiences, so your best bet is to test various times and days, keeping track of the data in order to see what works best for your business.
A third explanation for unopened emails is unfamiliarity with the sender’s name. A great way to make sure the sender name for your emails is being recognized by your recipients is to employ an A/B test. Segment your list and send the email to half of your recipients from one name, and half from the other.
Sender names to test include:
• Company Name (ThriveHive)
• Your Full Name
• First Name From Company (Emily from ThriveHive)
Data-driven testing is the only way to fully understand what best resonates with the customers on your email list.
Click to open rate is the number of people who clicked on the call to action in your email, out of the number of people who opened your email. It is similar to click-through rate, which is described below.
Click to open rate = the number of people who clicked on your call to action / total number of people who opened your email x 100
Click-through rate is the measure of how many people clicked on the links you put in your emails, out of the number of people the email was delivered to. If you’re sending out an email with a call to action (download, claim an offer, signup, buy now), the goal is to get the recipient to click on the offer. As with open rate, most email programs will calculate this for you, but here is the formula just in case:
Click-through rate = the number of unique clicks on the link in your email / total number of emails delivered x 100
If you’re noticing that plenty of people are opening your emails, but few people are clicking on the links in your emails, then your emails can use some improvement. To improve your click-through rate (CTR), take the following actions:
To get more people to click through an email to your website or landing page, create an obvious call to action with a relevant incentive. The call to action should include a direct action word and make its purpose in the email clear. For example, if you are linking a specific an offer or deal, have the call to action read “Click here to receive our exclusive offer!”
It’s easy to get carried away with including too much information in an email, and one of the biggest causes of low CTR is too many links in an email. If you have too many links to click or your CTA isn’t obvious, the reader may be overwhelmed or confused. Aim for three or fewer links. By directing the reader toward more specific action, more action will be taken.
Another reason for low CTR is due to the CTA not being “above the fold”. “Above the fold” refers to something being visible before the reader has to scroll. If you want the reader to take an action, make the email CTA obvious by putting it above the fold. You can test the position, context, and text for the link to maximize your email marketing strategy.
A conversion refers to the completion of an action that you want your email recipients to take, such as filling out a form. For the purposes of email marketing, conversions are the number of people who act on your call to action (they click and actually sign up, download, purchase, etc.)
If you’re seeing that people are opening your emails and clicking on the links, but aren’t generating many conversions, there are several ways to improve this. To get more email recipients to convert into leads (or even customers):
• Use effective CTAs: Direct your readers to take an action that will convert them.
• Use landing pages: Instead of sending readers to your website where they have to search for the download, create a landing page dedicated to only that download, where they can get more details about the offer and then easily fill out a form.
• Improve landing page content: If people are clicking through on the CTA to a landing page, but not filling out a form on the page, there may be a disconnect between the messaging. Or, you may have too many fields in your form.
• Make a valuable offer: A person’s contact information is something of value to them, so you must provide something for which they would be willing to exchange their contact information.
• Nurture: Just because all of your leads don’t instantly become customers doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. It often takes leads a few engagements with your business before they decide to become a customer. Nurture your leads by following up with them and continuing to send valuable content.
Email marketing is an effective strategy for businesses big and small, but it requires that you do it right. Use the above metrics to better understand what does and doesn’t work for your marketing emails, and you’ll be on the path to success with your readers.