Email marketing can be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Though it does take time to maximize its effectiveness. Being able to accurately understand how your e-mail marketing campaign is performing requires minding a multitude of important metrics.

Knowing how to measure the results of your e-mail marketing campaign, starts with clearly defining your goals in the short and long-term. It also means proactively watching a variety of factors to clearly understand how they are performing. You can then use this information to make changes in your strategy, as well as use that information to develop an even more effective e-mail marketing campaign in the future.

It’s important to understand that every email marketing campaign is slightly different, and can have different goals. This might include things like boosting lead generation, growing your subscriber base, improving sales, or as part of an awareness campaign.

So, while your e-mail marketing campaign might be unique, you still need to use the following metrics to monitor its performance.

Open Rate

As the term implies, the Open Rate is a simple metric that tracks the percentage of subscribers who open a specific email. This provides you with insight into how engaged your subscribers are. In many cases, it can also be used to gauge the effectiveness of different subject lines.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if your open rate is very low, a lot of the other metrics of your e-mail campaign will also be obscured. The higher your open rate is the more valuable marketing metrics you’ll be able to glean. Many e-mail marketers who have a low open rate shortly after launch will consider altering their subject lines in hopes of seeing an increase.

It’s also important to note that a lot of e-mail marketing providers will give you the general open rate as well as mobile open rate data. You can compare these numbers to determine if you need to retool your mobile version of the e-mail in the future.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that tells you how many subscribers’ email addresses didn’t receive the email. Sometimes these are soft bounces that are related to temporary problems with a specific email address. Whereas hard bounces track permanent problems with a subscriber’s email address.

You can also compare bounce rate data with open rate data to get a more accurate idea of the quality of your subscriber lists. If your e-mail marketing campaign has a high percentage of hard bounces, your list may be full of fake email addresses, or outdated email addresses. You can then adjust this information to get a more accurate evaluation of your open rate.

Sometimes you can improve the soft bounce rate of an e-mail marketing campaign by using a double opt-in strategy. This is where you ask subscribers to verify their email addresses and confirm that they want to receive emails from you in the future. It’s a great option to help ensure higher quality email lists and lower bounce rates.

CTR – Click-Through Rate

Short for “Click-Through Rate,” CTR is one of the more common metrics you can use to evaluate the performance of your e-mail marketing campaign. It specifically measures just how many people clicked on the links inside your email. There are several different ways to increase your e-mail CTR.

This might be something like a link to redeem a special subscriber offer, the opportunity to subscribe to a weekly newsletter or links to an in-depth article with more information.

As a metric CTR tells you just how engaging your copy and internal links are. As a baseline metric, the CTR of most e-mail campaigns tends to hover right around 2%. If it’s significantly higher than that, you can use your content generation strategy as a primer for future e-mails with confidence.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is another critical metric for assessing the success of an e-mail marketing campaign. It tells you exactly how many people clicked on the link and then completed a specific action. This might be a link in your email for your subscribers to participate in a timed sales event, or a special offer they can redeem only thanks to having read through the e-mail.

The conversion rate will tell you exactly what percentage of the people used the link to make a purchase. Taken in this light the conversion rates give you hard data that you can use to evaluate your return on investment. You can use it to determine exactly how much you have spent and how many subscribers you are converting. Most effective e-mail marketers view conversion rate as their ultimate metric for success as it is translating into hard sales data.

Number of Unsubscribe Requests

Unsubscribe requests are a simple metric that tells you exactly how many people unsubscribed shortly after receiving an email from you. If you are experiencing a high number of unsubscribe requests can be discouraging. Yet a lot of experienced email marketers will actually prioritize this email marketing metric and often view unsubscribes as a good thing because they indicate that you are fine-tuning your subscriber list.

Number of Spam Complaints

The number of spam complaints and the number of unsubscribes usually go hand-in-hand. If you’ve gone a long time without reaching out to your existing subscribers, they might have forgotten about you. When they see what they perceive to be a low-quality e-mail from you or one with what they consider to be suspicious wording, they might simply consider your message to be spam.

This can be discouraging. If your spam complaint rate gets too high, your email service provider may take action against you and block your account. If you see it increasing early in your e-mail marketing campaign, it might be time to retool your message.

At the same time, careful crafting will also help you avoid spam filters while also maximizing the opens, clicks, and conversions you get from your email marketing message.

Engagement Over Time

Tracking engagement over time provides you with information on the best times of day to send messages. It can be used as part of an automation strategy, set up through your email service provider. This lets you send emails based on subscribers’ behavior or trigger. Just keep in mind that tracking engagement over time also tells you when you get the highest click rates for emails that are not automated.

Evaluating Your Overall Return On Investment

Your e-mail campaign’s overall ROI is a critical metric that you need to actively track. This interpretive data will tell you the overall return on investment for each of your specific e-mail marketing campaigns.

You can then use this data to calculate the profits you made from sales from the campaign, subtracted from the money you invested to execute it. You can compare this information with your target goals to determine if you want to continue with future e-mail marketing efforts, or retool them for greater effectiveness.

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