Email marketing is in my opinion the business end of digital marketing, however most people just jump in and get it wrong… so let’s have a look, shall we? There are three important metrics that you should be looking at to determine how successful your email marketing messages are:
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rate
Let’s look at each in turn.
With your open rate, you are looking at how many people have actually opened your email and read it. This is a good indication of whether or not your subject line is resonating with your target audience.
Think of your subject line as the headline of a newspaper article. People read 100% of the headlines in the newspaper and then make the decision as to whether or not to read more of an article. Only 70% of readers will actually go on to read the first paragraph. Creating a good subject line will increase your chances of getting the rest of your email read.
Also note that some email clients such as Gmail will offer a short preview (about a line or so) of the first paragraph of the emails you send. Make sure your first sentence is enticing as well.
It’s great to be able to get people to open your email, but you also need to have a high click-through rate, with people taking action in your email.
Your first step is to create a goal for each email that you send out. This could be to:
- Build brand
- Impress people with your expertise
- Make sales
Depending on the goal, you can then formulate a clear call to action.
For example, if you want to make sales, you need to have the language, “Buy now”, and a link or button that will take them to the order page for the product that you would like to sell. If you are trying to build your brand and wish to survey your audience about what they need most, then you would indicate in your call to action for them to click through to complete the survey. Create a special landing page for each new marketing initiative so you can track your results easily.
Once you have measured your click-through rate, you can determine your conversion rate.
Your conversion rate refers to a completed transaction, such as a purchase made or a survey filled out. The most obvious way to measure conversions is to check your clicks versus sales logs, or tally the number of completed surveys. Keep track on a spreadsheet of each campaign and what the call to action was.
Anything above a 1% response rate is good. If you can get your conversion rate above 5% (for example), this means that 5 people out of every 100 will buy, giving you the chance to make a good deal more money as compared with a 1% conversion rate.
What to Do with Your Metrics
Once you have taken note of these three metrics for each of the emails you send out, use the data to plan future communications. If you have a high open rate, that means a particular subject line works well. Think about reusing it at a future date as your list grows.
If you have a high click-through rate, then your call to action is working well. However, if you have a high click-through rate but low conversions, there might be something wrong with your sales process which is stopping people from completing the action, such as buying the product or service. In this case, you should walk through the entire sales process, commonly referred to as a sales funnel, until you are certain that all parts of it are working well.
Check these three metrics and see what a difference they can make to your email marketing success.