[Editorial Notes: Guest article by kenscio team. This is part 2 of the series that will focus on helping you improve your email marketing campaign. Read the first part :How to accurately measure the success of your email campaigns?].
Click Through Rate (CTR): This is a measure of the action of the recipient seeking more information by clicking the links embedded in the email message sent. This is a measure of the interest of the recipient. It doesn’t necessarily convert to a sale or registration, but it is a step closer.
It is defined as CTR = (Number of unique Emails clicked / (Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%
Does your email marketing software or provider give you the measure of both total number of link clicks (for all links, by each link) in the message and unique number of clicks for each link. You should be considering the total number of unique clicks more than the total clicks because a recipient may be clicking the same link twice or thrice doesn’t mean anything for the marketer.
The industry standard benchmarks for the click through rates are between 2 to 3%. If you are getting better than these results through your current email marketing software or provider, you are doing great. If you are getting way too less, you should be seeking answers from your email marketing software or provider.
Strong call to action can greatly improve your click through rates.
Unsubscribe Rate: This is the number of unique email addresses that do not want further emails from you. They didn’t have an interest in your message so they unsubscribed. Unsubscribe rates are key to recognizing whether or not your content sucks. Just as important, though, is calculating when people unsubscribe. Perhaps it’s on the 2nd email or perhaps it’s the 4th… you need to figure that out and ensure that you provide some great content, especially at danger points when people are more likely to unsubscribe.
It is defined as Unsubscribe Rate = (Number of Email Addresses who unsubscribed / (Number of Email Addresses Sent – Number of Email Addresses Bounced)) * 100%
Does your email marketing software provide you the details of unsubscriptions? Does it provide policies for setting the limit on the emails sent to each recipient irrespective of how many campaigns you may be doing? Does it provide policies to unsubscribe across multiple lists? If not, you are dealing with lot of manual effort in unsubscription and may be not effectively taking actions on
unsubscriptions. If you don’t take action on unsubscriptions quickly, your next email marketing campaign may be marked as SPAM by the recipient and complained to ISPs, which could hurt your reputation of being a good marketer.
Viral Rate: Hopefully you’ve got some viral component to your emails where they can be forwarded and measured. Don’t dismiss your viral rate… it’s a great way to acquire subscribers who stick as well as add additional revenue to a great campaign. You have to make sure that your method for Forwarding is simple, though.
It is defined as Viral Rate = (Number of Emails forwarded / (Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%
Your email marketing software or provider should provide a mechanism to capture all of the forwarded email addresses for later analysis and targeting.
Conversions: This is the number of unique email addresses that ’registered’ or ‘bought’. For a retailer, this is pretty simple… it can be the actual registrations or dollar amount that resulted in a web site purchase. For other businesses, a conversion could be different, though. It might be how many people subscribed to your podcast if that’s the call to action. Watching your conversion rate will tell you how well you are ’selling’ your call to action.
It is defined as Conversion Rate = (Number of unique Emails resulting in a Conversion /(Number of Emails Sent – Number of Emails Bounced)) * 100%
This metrics depends on the earlier metrics. If the earlier metrics are good, naturally this metric will improve. This metric also depends on the marketer’s value proposition, attractiveness of the offer and meeting the needs of the customer.
Visual Reporting: Providing metrics like clicks visually on your HTML message itself, provides much greater visibility on the performance of your creative in the eyes of the recipients. The marketer can visualize where the interests of the recipients are more or appealing depending on the clicks. The marketer with this knowledge can optimize the creative further for future campaigns.
Time Distribution: Do you get to know how are your recipients reading your message over the different hours of the day or days of the week after the message was sent out? Can you recognize a pattern?
The marketing message is all about relevance and timing. Do you want send a campaign that sits in the recipient inbox for hours before they read? It would have lost its timing if it not sent at an appropriate time, when the recipient will have just an hour in the morning 10 AM to read all his personal mails. In today’s world, if your email is not in the first page, then it may not be read at all. With so much spam escaping filtering or irrelevant mails in the inbox, the marketer has to know the recipient reading and clicking behavior during the time of the day and day of the week. The marketer can appropriately time the message during the day or on a particular day.
Drill Down Reporting: Can you drill through the opens or clicks by domains, target attributes of the recipients like city, gender, etc., within the email platform itself, so that you can measure the performance of your marketing campaigns based on target attribute values? Whether males perform for a marketing campaign vs females, or gmail users perform better vs yahoo or hotmail users?
If your email platform doesn’t provide such capabilities, then you would need to extract raw campaign reports in to an analytic system to get these metrics. It will be an expensive and time consuming solution.
Hence working with an email marketing software or provider who provides all the relevant metrics for measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns is absolutely essential. The metrics provide you with all the data to measure the success and returns from your campaigns against the money you spent.
What has been your experience?
» More Resources on Email Marketing.