There is much more to email metrics than how many people opened it or clicked through to something, although those are important. You want to dig deeper than vanity metrics. Some of the most unreliable metrics you can glance at are open and unsubscribe rates. Which metrics will really tell you how successful your campaigns are?
Calls to action
Most emails have a call to action attached. They ask you to click on a link, subscribe or buy a product. Whichever it is, they point to a landing page. If you want to really know how effective your emails are, don’t look at the click-through rate. Instead, look at the bounce rate on those landing pages. It’s pointless if a person reads a mail and clicks on a link, only to land on a page to abandon it immediately. Your bounce rate will tell you if your emails and landing pages are in alignment and working.
You can tell how successful email campaigns are by looking at the percentage of total website traffic that comes from email marketing campaigns. To set this up, you need to tell Google the difference between ‘direct’ and ‘email’ traffic because it will lump them together. Follow this link to set up campaign tracking in Google. The data will help you figure out what percentage of your website traffic comes from email campaigns.
Conversion rates measure how many people opened a mail and completed a desired action by either buying something, downloading or filling out a form or signing up for a webinar. This rate tells you how well your mail communicates the benefits of your products. To calculate conversion rates, you need to divide the number of emails you sent out that were delivered by the number of people who took the action you asked them to do. Then multiply that number by 100.
List growth rate
It stands to reason that a winning list will grow. The more effective your mail campaigns are, the more people will subscribe. To calculate your list growth rate, use this formula:
number of new subscribers (A); number of unsubscribes (B); and the total number of subscribers on your list (C). The formula is A – B/C x 100.
If you have 100 new subscribers, 50 unsubscribes and 1000 people on your list, the calculation will look like this: 100 – 50/1000 x 100 = 5. So your list growth rate is 5%.
Forward or share rate
If people like something, they share it. All email campaigns are not aimed at selling a product or service. Sometimes you want to share an opinion piece with customers to build trust. If this is the case, look at the forward and share rate of the campaign. To calculate it, work out what percentage of people shared or forwarded the mail. Here’s the formula to work it out. The number of people who clicked on share or forward, divided by the total number of delivered emails multiplied by 100.
Return on Investment ROI
All the stats in the world are meaningless unless you’re making money. That’s pretty much the bottom line of all your marketing efforts. It’s no different for email. To calculate ROI on your email campaigns, take the amount of money you spent on the campaign multiplied by 100, and divide by the total number of sales the campaign generated. So, if you invested 100 in your campaign and increased sales by 200, the campaign delivered a 100% return on investment.
A holistic approach to marketing and email campaigns is always much better than tunnel vision. Think about integrating email with other platforms in your tech stack like marketing analytics (website traffic), sales, social media and search marketing. This approach will give you a more accurate view of your marketing efforts.