Email Marketing: How to Use Analytics for Better Conversions through Emails

If you’re reading this article, it means that you’ve just avoided making a big mistake: launching an email marketing campaign without knowing how and what to analyze to define its impact.

Any experienced digital marketer will tell you that marketing effort without measuring performance indicators is a waste of time because you have no way of knowing what kind of effect your campaign has.

If you don’t know how well your email campaign is performing, then you won’t know what techniques actually worked and what didn’t. In other words, your use of this tremendously important and effective marketing channel won’t be as effective as it can be.

And you could be losing big, since email is the digital marketing channel that generates the most ROI (return on investment) for businesses, according to the 2018 Email Marketing Industry Report.

On the other hand, using analytics will help you to:

  • Understand how your leads and customers behave
  • Identify techniques that have the most effect on them
  • Determine the strongest features of your marketing offer that subscribers respond to best
  • Achieve maximum return on investment.

If this sounds like something your business could benefit from, let’s see what you need to know to define if your email marketing strategy is actually working and bringing new leads.

The Most Important Email Marketing Metrics

An analysis of any email marketing campaign starts with checking its metrics. These are the characteristics that determine how recipients respond and interact with the emails they receive.

Even though they may sound like something you’ll have to spend hours to calculate, they are actually pretty simple but provide a valuable opportunity to adjust your campaign based on performance results. Besides, they’re not just interesting but crucial to your success.

In fact, they are the best ways to measure the effectiveness of email marketing, so we’re going to focus on the following metrics in this article:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • ROI (Return on Investment)

>> Open Rate

This indicator refers to the number of your subscribers who clicked on your emails in their inboxes and read them. Obviously, knowing this is pretty important because if no one opens your messages, the campaign won’t do well.

Besides, it defines how effective your subject line is at persuading the subscribers to open your messages. Since 47 percent of people say that a subject line is the most important factor in getting them to open and read an email (source: SuperOffice), you should definitely measure the open rate to identify the lines that perform best.

To calculate your campaign’s open rate, you need to use this simple formula:

Number of opened emails / Number of delivered emails.

Tips to Increase Open Rate

Testing different subject lines is one of the best ways to make your emails more attractive. Unfortunately, there’s no universal formula of the most effective subject line, but the aforementioned SuperOffice’s study has identified the following best practices that you should consider:

  • Including a recipient’s name in a subject line can increase the open rate by up to 20 percent
  • The best performing number of words in a subject line is between 6 and 10
  • Most popular emails include the following words in their subject line: “awesome,” “e-sales,” and “secrets”
  • Send your emails on the best open rate days. While the universal formula on the best sending times doesn’t exist, SuperOffice’s research found the following rates you can use to start your campaign:

>> Click-Through Rate

Let’s suppose that you’ve created a great subject line and convinced a recipient to open your email. The main task at this point is to get them to click on links that you’ve placed inside the message and lead them to a landing page/product page or another place you want them to visit.

Clearly, this indicator is very important for defining the success of your conversion effort, so you need to calculate it by using this formula:

Number of clicks / delivered emails x 100

Even though the click-through rate varies across industries, a typical average value is between 2 and 5 percent.

Tips for Increasing Click-Through Rate

This critical indicator should be tracked on a weekly basis and it totally depends on how relevant and persuasive the content inside your emails is.

The best way to increase it is to send out highly relevant content, based on interests or purchasing behavior of your recipients,” recommends Anthony McGregor, a content specialist from PickWriters.

The following email by Coursera is a simple example of relevant content because it provides the recipient with course options based on their preferences.

You can do the same: for example, send out personalized offers and products that the recipients might be interested in based on their browsing history on your website.

Some points you need to focus on to improve the click through rate are –

  • Keep the email content short and crisp
  • Create an action oriented email
  • Add relevant links – not more than 2 / 3
  • Make the call-to-action stand out

>> Unsubscribe Rate

Your email marketing campaign won’t generate any conversions unless people are interested in interacting with your messages, so you need to track the number of people leaving the list of your subscribers. This allows you to discover possible reasons for rejection and eliminate them.

Calculating unsubscribe rate is easy:

Number of unsubscribers / number of delivered emails

Tips for Reducing Unsubscribe Rate

Unfortunately, there’s a number of factors impacting your unsubscribe rate, so you’ll have to track your campaign to find out a real reason. You can scan your emails and take the following actions that will help reduce your unsubscribe rate.

  • Eliminate Uninteresting or irrelevant content
  • Improve content formatting
  • Avoid Irregularly timed campaigns
  • Avoid misleading subject lines
  • Do not send emails too often. Take time!

>> ROI (Return on Investment)

This is the overall return on your investment into a specific email marketing campaign. Simply explained, this is the total profits divided by the money you used to implement that campaign. to calculate it, use this formula:

Additional sales – campaign cost * 100

For example, let’s say the campaign contributed to an additional $500 in sales while costing you $100. This means that the return on the investment is 400 percent (500 – 100 *100).

Clearly, being able to calculate this indicator is critical to defining the success of the entire campaign.

How to Track these Metrics?

There are two ways to track email marketing metrics described above. The first one is to use the formulas provided, you just need to do that regularly to ensure a consistent flow of information. The second one is to use email marketing software (read the reviews of the most popular software on Capterra to know more). The email marketing softwares often calculate most of these metrics automatically, thus allowing you to see the big picture.

Data is Your Friend

Undoubtedly, tracking these metrics will help you to get insights into your subscribers’ behavior and interests, so you’ll know how to craft offers they’ll find relevant. Whether you’ll decide to track them manually or use a software product, take some time to get familiar with the metrics and learn how to identify trends.

This will be incredibly helpful for you to achieve better conversions because once you learn how to recognize them and predict the outcomes, the effectiveness of your email marketing will increase dramatically.

Again, all this is just the tip of an iceberg! There is a lot more that you will come across with a little more research and experience. After all, its all about implementing it first, tracking how it goes and improving your mistakes to become the best!

This is a great article contributed by Kristin Savage!

She nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors.

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