To be honest many of the small business owners I speak to don’t really bother to look at those pesky email campaign reports, loads of data gobbledygook, and they haven’t got the time or simply don’t know what all the data is telling them.
Typically, they have breathed a HUGE sigh of relief at actually getting the email campaign out of the door, and will rest easy until they have to worry about the next one, that is!
Email marketing is one of my specialisms and I actually love (sad! – I know) the campaign reports because that’s when you see whether you have created a successful campaign, converted it into actual sales, and can most importantly, learn so you incorporate new ideas and approaches into your next campaign to improve its results even further.
Email Marketing is all about Evolution not Revolution…
You have to approach it in a disciplined way and test and learn, to improve the results you achieve each time. A bit like using Google Analytics and other tracking tools to learn what is and isn’t working on your website, SEO, blogging and social media activity, email is no different.
The fact that you can track and measure literally EVERYTHING with email marketing means we have no excuse really for not constantly looking to improve what we do.
BUT do you know what all that data means in your email campaign report?
If not, here is my quick guide to the key email campaign metrics you should be looking at and importantly, what they are telling you.
This can be a Hard or a Soft bounce. Hard means you or the subscriber have entered an incorrect email address. Soft can be due to server issues or mailboxes being full. If you get consistently high bounce levels you have data quality issues my friend! Then it’s time to review your data sources.
2. Open Rate
In my humble opinion, everyone gets a little obsessed by open rates and clients always ask me what a good open rate percentage is. There is no right answer here. It varies considerably by industry sector, I have one client where the industry average is around 14% and another where we achieve 60%+ with every campaign. Most rates typically hover around 20 – 40% level.
Measured in percentage terms it shows the number of recipients of your campaign that actually opened and viewed your email – but unfortuntely it doesn’t mean they actually read it!
High open rates do not equal email success. However, if you find your open rates are starting to decline over time, there may be an issue around your subject line not being relevant or appealling enough to make the recipient want to open it. Time to review.
You will see Unique Opens and these equate to individual people. Total Open Rates often reflect someone opening an email multiple times to view it themselves and/or they may have forwarded the original email on to several people, without using the trackable Forward to a Friend link.
3. Clicks or CTR
CTR = Click Through Rate and indicates how many recipients have clicked on a weblink (ideally your call to actions and key Goals, like register, buy now, visit website, request a quote).
Again CTRs vary considerably like open rates and again there is no magic number. Measured in percentage terms they are a key metric and more important than the open rate itself. It is much harder to get a person to click on the content that you want and both template design and email copy can highly influence whether the desired action is followed through.
4. Conversion Rate
You need to integrate your email activity with your Google Analytics so that you can see what happens once a person clicks on that link and lands on your website.
To do this, use Goals in Google Analytics to track this. Make sure you set the key Goals for your business, that doesn’t have to be a sale, it could be downloading a report, registering on the site, or sending an email to request a quotation.
The main thing is to know what your conversion goals and desired rate is and then measure your performance against it.
5. Cost per conversion (CPC)
Email is very cost-effective as a marketing method but you must look at how much each conversion that you get actually costs you. If your email cost £100 to send out and you got one sale on your website, the cost per conversion is obviously £100. If you have a high value product, this may be acceptable but if your average basket value on your website or service transaction cost, is say £30, this isn’t an acceptable CPC.
Each business is different and the CPC will vary accordingly.
Are your email campaigns getting disappointing results?
Are you finding that your email campaigns or newsletters are simply not generating the results you need – low website visits, no email enquiries or actual purchases?