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Is your email marketing working? 5 key metrics you should be measuring

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 27, 2018

A good email marketing campaign can drive sales and engagement. But how do you measure how well you’re doing?

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to email marketing. It is a relatively cheap channel that allows you to reach a large number of people, and it’s highly effective at driving revenue—revenue contribution from email marketing represents more than 20% of overall revenue for many companies. By using techniques like segmentation, data analytics, and customized content, you can optimize your email marketing campaigns to greatly improve customer engagement, strengthen your brand image, and reach new potential customers.

As we discovered in our article on email marketing tips, there are many things you can do to make your campaigns more successful. In this piece, we’ll dive into the metrics you should be tracking to measure and evaluate the impact of those changes. Some metrics are more valuable than others and some metrics might sound useful, but on their own, don’t offer much insight. For example, you might think that your Open Rate is a good indicator of success, but just because someone opens your email does not necessarily mean they’re reading it.

Let’s take a look at five important metrics you should be paying attention to when measuring your email marketing efforts.

Click Through Rate

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is always the first metric that email marketers look at. It tells you what percentage of email recipients clicked on a link in an email you sent out. For example, if you send an email with info about what new used cars have arrived on the lot this month to 1,000 people, and 100 of those people clicked a link in it, your CTR for that particular email would be 10%.

By tracking your CTR over time, you can see how it rises and falls. You can also get more granular and see how it has changed for each individual on your mailing list. That will allow you to figure out what gets one person to click—and what does not make them click—so you can personalize future emails you send to them.

One way to increase your CTR is to segment your mailing list by interests. More than 80% of marketers use at least a basic level of segmentation with their contact lists. As an auto dealership, you could organize contacts by what vehicle type they’re interested in, whether they want new or used vehicles, or whether they want to be sent how-to information about maintenance, or industry news.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate goes a step beyond Click-Through Rate. It’s the percentage of people who clicked a link in your email and completed a desired action. It could be filling out a lead form for a vehicle, purchasing a product, or even something as simple as watching a demo video on a new vehicle. You don’t always have to sell something to make a conversion, but the conversion should be in line with the call to action contained in your email.

To track your conversion rate, you need to integrate your email marketing platform with web analytics. You can create unique tracking URLs for each email you send, that way you can see what email each click-through and conversion is coming from.

List Growth Rate

Your List Growth Rate is the rate at which your email contact list is growing. You should be constantly paying attention to your subscriber list and working to build it. Inevitably, people will unsubscribe for various reasons over time, so if you aren’t growing your list, it could dwindle down to nothing. HubSpot estimates that email lists decay at a rate of 22.5% per year.

To grow your contact list, prompt people with a call to action to share your content with their friends and family over social media. That brings us to our next metric…

Email Sharing Rate

Your Email Sharing Rate goes hand in hand with your List Growth Rate, and it’s one of the most important metrics to look at. Your primary goal is conversion, but conversion doesn’t earn you new customers. By having current customers share your email marketing materials over social media, or by forwarding those emails to their friends and colleagues, you extend your reach and attract new contacts.

To get people to share your emails, include useful and interesting content. If it’s summertime, you could share content about the best places to go on a road trip this year and what to do in those locations. If it’s wintertime, consider including essential tips about winterizing your vehicle. Of course you should also include bold, eye-catching call to action buttons prompting people to share over social media channels.

Bounce Rate

A “bounce” is when an email cannot be delivered to the address on your list. There are two different types of bounces: hard and soft.

A soft bounce is when the email can’t be delivered due to a temporary technical issue. Maybe the recipient’s inbox is full, or maybe there’s a server problem. Generally, soft bounces aren’t a huge concern, and you may try resending your email message to the recipient at a later date.

A hard bounce, on the other hand, is when a message is not delivered because of an invalid email address. Any hard bounce addresses should be immediately removed from your contact list. Internet Service Providers use bounce rates as a way to determine the legitimacy and reputation of a sender, so it’s important to monitor and reduce your bounce rate as much as possible. A high bounce rate can make your company look like a spammer, and nobody wants that.

There are other metrics such as open rate, delivery rate, and revenue per email, but most marketers will agree these are the five most important ones to look at. Optimize these factors and you’ll be on your way to email marketing success.

Topics: digital marketing, email marketing, Marketing tips