Since the beginning of time, marketers have struggled to justify the value of analytics within organizations. In the Mad Men era, measurement relied heavily on third-party sources and the hope that an uptick in sales was due to a direct mail piece, circulation of an ad, or PR.
Luckily, we are 20+ years into the digital age with an overwhelming amount of technologies to choose from, allowing us to track and understand prospects more than ever. While many marketers believed email was dead, disbelievers have continued to be proven wrong, with 59% of marketers citing analytics as the top ROI-generating marketing method for their organizations.
Both sales and marketing teams have the same goal when it comes to emails: to know if people are opening the emails and, if they open them, the actions they are taking. This is why using email service providers to track emails is essential in today’s digital age.
How does email marketing work?
For most email providers, an email “open” is counted when the images in the email load. If the images don’t load, but the user clicks on a link in the email, an open will be counted, as well as a click. This works as well for clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, conversions, spam, and revenue.
Why does email tracking matter?
By using email tracking, you gain insight not only into if the email did or did not send, but if it was opened and how the receiver interacted with your email. This can lead to some interesting analytics that allow you know not only which emails perform the best, but also who is the most interested in what you’re offering.
Many email providers have taken this a step further by allowing you to track marketing emails such as newsletters, announcements, and sales notices, but they are also allowing you to track one-to-one sales emails. This change has been revolutionary for sales teams, enabling them to see a full picture and gain all the insight that marketers had when sending mass emails.
What metrics should your organization be tracking?
With email service providers, tracking emails has become easier than ever—but how do you know which metrics really matter? We recommend using the following email metrics to avoid wasting time and resources on content and emails that aren't productive.
1. Email Open Rate – How many subscribers open the email sent.
2. Email Click-Through Rate (CTR) – How many people clicked on the links in your email.
3. Bounce Rate – How many email addresses didn’t receive your email (due to temporary or permanent problems with the email address).
4. Unsubscribes – How many people unsubscribed upon receiving an email from you.
5. Conversion Rate – How many people clicked a link and then completed a specific action.
6. Spam Reports – The number of times your email was marked as spam by a recipient.
7. Revenue/Sales Rate – How many orders were generated from an email campaign.
8. Forwarding/Share Rate – Perfect age of recipients who shared or forwarded your email to someone else.
9. Return on Investment (ROI) – Overall return on investment of your email campaign (total revenue divided by total spend).
And, as a bonus, here are 7 ways you can improve your email metrics:
1. Stop sending to unengaged lists.
2. Segment your lists to serve appropriate content that is relevant to the receiver.
3. Stop using long subject lines.
4. Abide by GDPR laws even if you aren’t in the UK.
5. Start A/B testing.
6. Stop using “firstname.lastname@example.org”—people want emails from real people.
7. Make your email about them, not you.
By listening to your subscribers, you can ensure you are feeding them content to improve and help their lives. Although email is changing, that doesn’t mean it's dead. It is now an email marketer’s job to listen, adapt and change as they learn more about their subscribers.
Sagepath analysts can unlock valuable insights behind your data using content management system, marketing automation, and customer relationship management reporting tools. If you’re ready to access dashboards and scorecards that visually illustrate trends and conversions, drop us a line.