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Email Marketing Metrics

Published by Charles Brodeur

How do you interpret your results? What metrics are available and which are the best metrics to determine success? The
following is a list of the basics, their priority, how to read them and how to use them to refine content:


Open Rate

This metric indicates how often a recipient opened your email. Since so many emails go ignored, it’s good to know how many got subscribers› attention. However, don’t be misled into believing that every opened email was actually read and digested – in some cases, email is scanned and dumped, opened by mistake or only opened to find the unsubscribe link. Open rate is not the best indicator of email success; however, it can be a great pre-response indicator and also a great way to get results on content or subject line testing.

Click-Through Rate

This is a metric that lets you know how often a recipient clicked on a specific link in your email to either go to your website or to take another action. Again, it’s a pre-response indicator, but it can let you know what content and actions in your email are the most attractive to the reader and give you a good idea of what part of the email was of most interest. Be sure and look at each link separately to determine the winners. Also look at the comparison of click-through to conversion or response. Did people click on your email links (showing interest) and lose it when  they got to the response area? This could be an indication that your response form either asks for too much information, the offer doesn’t pay off as promised in your email or that somehow you lost the reader’s interest.

Conversion or Response Rate

This is absolutely the most important metric. All email has a call-to-action, and this metric answers the question, “Did recipients convert to the action you wanted them to take?” Did they sign up for a subscription? Make a purchase? For most email marketers, the question about whether or not someone bought is the most important metric of all.

Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints

The unsubscribe metric is becoming less important over time. Since consumers are getting so overwhelmed with email, many don’t even take the time to unsubscribe or report email as spam. So in most cases, you’ll find that those people not interested will simply delete your email without reading it. But watch this metric for spikes that could indicate that your content is off base. And any spikes in spam complaints can adversely affect your deliverability so it’s important that you pay attention and take action to avoid this.

Bounces

This is a deliverability metric and can help you keep watch on how current your email opt-in list is. Soft bounces are temporary – a full mailbox or server that is down – and hard bounces are permanent – a mailbox that is no longer in existence. Delete any hard bounces, and if an address provides a soft bounce over time, remove it. Not keeping your list current can mean that you are relying on a skewed picture of your email universe and also can affect your reputation with an ISP over time.

The beauty of email marketing is that it is trackable, measurable and you can test programs to improve results. Get comfortable running your metrics, and spend some time interpreting them for increased email success.

Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1
info@BigTurns.com

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