The 3 Most Important Email Marketing Metrics to Follow

Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Email Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

email marketing metricsFollowing your email marketing metrics is one of the most effective ways to assess the success of your email campaigns. Your email analytics platform can provide you with unnumbered amounts of data for you to assess. Don’t have an analytics program? Get started with one of our hand-picked vendors today.

Because some of this data is more valuable than others, it’s important to understand which matters and which doesn’t.

In order to accurately determine how well your campaign is doing, you need to know which metrics you should pay attention to: those that track clicks, sharing, and bounces are at the top of the list.

1. Clicks and Conversions

Your email tracking program will get pinged every time a customer opens your email – but only if the customer’s email client loads all of your graphics.

Given the prevalence of email clients that block graphics, your open rate can’t give you an accurate picture of how well your campaign engages customers. Instead, pay attention to:

  • The click-through rate: tracks the proportion of your audience that clicked a link in your email. Because actions like clicking indicate engagement, the click-through rate is an accurate metric for showing how relevant or compelling your messages are. By integrating your email platform with your website analytics, you can follow these clicks all the way through to a conversion.
  • The conversion rate: tracks the proportion of your audience that clicked a link in your email and completed a desired action such as filling out a form or making a purchase. This rate is another way to track how compelling your email message is.
  • Used in conjunction, these rates can also measure effectiveness of your link’s landing page. If you are getting a lot of clicks but not a lot of conversions, the problem may be in your landing page, not your email content.

Related: Email Marketing: Simple and Cost Effective

2. Sharing and Forwarding

Your email sharing/forwarding rate is another metric for analyzing how compelling or effective your email content is. You want to replicate the types of messages that get the most clicks and conversions. You also want to replicate those messages that get shared a lot, because that indicates the value and relevance of those messages to your audience.

Related: Email Marketing 101: How to Run an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

3. Hard and Soft Bounces

As well as tracking those metrics that indicate success, you also need to keep an eye on metrics that will alert you to mistakes or failures in your marketing campaign, such as your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the proportion of emails you send that never make it into your customers’ email inboxes.

A high bounce rate can give your campaign a bad reputation with email clients and internet service providers, so you want to take action to keep this rate as low as possible.

  • “Hard” bounces occur when an email address on your mailing list is incorrect or expired. This is a normal occurrence, as people change email addresses for a variety of reasons. You can easily fix this rate by regularly purging your list of bad emails.
  • “Soft” bounces are more difficult to contend with, as they occur when a legitimate email inbox is full, or when an ISP or email client rejects the message as spam. Try waiting a few hours and sending the message again. If it still results in a soft bounce, analyze the message for elements that may be considered spammy and remove them.

Your goal in tracking your email metrics is to find out what types of messages are most effective in getting your audience to make a conversion. It is an ongoing process of testing, weeding out  failures, and repeating successes. Over time, your conversion rate should improve as your messages become more compelling and focused on your audience.


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