If you’re reading this, then you hopefully appreciate the value of email marketing.
Many companies understand the importance of communicating directly with their audience — both current customers and potential ones. Beyond blogs, advertising and social media, the storied tradition of the newsletter still lives on, only now in e-form. Newsletters like this one, along with direct pitches about sales events or company news, arrive in a subscriber’s email inbox loaded with information pertinent to them.
Standing out and being read
The challenge, of course, is making sure your e-communications are being delivered to the right people — and being read.
Metrics are analytical tools available through Google, or email services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, that allow you to see exactly how your messages are faring. You can use this feedback to adapt your e-marketing for maximum effect: changing the look, topics, length, frequency, time of distribution and so forth.
But which metrics matter the most, and why?
The meaning behind the metrics
Delivery rate: This indicates what percentage of your database actually received your email. People change email addresses, leave their company, etc. You should aim for as close to 100% as possible. “Monitoring this helps you keep your list up to date,” said Coles Web Designer Kevin Moore. “If the percentage rate is low, then it’s time to get rid of old or bad email addresses from your database.”
- Bounces: These emails are returned as undeliverable, and this metric is helpful in culling your email lists. Some bounces are “soft” and usually temporary, such as an “out of office” reply. “Hard” bounces generally indicate an email address is no longer valid.
- Open rate: This refers to how many people opened your email. This metric can be somewhat murky, since some email clients (Yahoo, iPhone) automatically open emails, skewing measurement. Other clients use a preview pane, and if an impression pixel (a 1×1 pixel image included in the email) is not tracked, it won’t count as an open. In general, an open rate above 20% is considered good.
- Click-through rate: Whenever a reader clicks on a hyperlinked item in your email, that’s a click. The most common click-throughs are on “read more” links that take the clicker to read the rest of an article after a teaser paragraph or two. “This gives you a sense of the kind of content that users like to read,” Moore said. Anything above 10% is stellar.
Unsubscribe: These are people who received your email and have indicated they no longer wish to be included on your database of receivers. You should do them the courtesy of removing them ASAP. If you consistently get many unsubscribes, it may mean your content isn’t properly tailored to your audience, said Vice President Marketing Brian Coles.
- Campaign codes: Tracking codes within the email. “These allow you to integrate your email links into Google Analytics, so you can further track or attribute emails to action that happens on your website like purchases and contact signup,” Coles said.
Navigation of email traffic
If you’re unfamiliar with how email metrics work, Coles Marketing can give you a primer and walk you through your recent results. We can also shoulder the entire burden of e-marketing for you!