Over the years many digital marketing tools have come and gone; however, one of the oldest digital marketing channels, email marketing, continues to be one of the most effective. Email marketing has been used for more than two decades as a way to reach an audience in a targeted, efficient, and inexpensive manner.
While email technology has been around for years, email analytics has continued to evolve and provides savvy marketers with the information they need to increase the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns.
The following three key performance indicators are a starting point to assess the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
Unique opens refers to the number of individual recipients who opened an email. Unique opens differs from “total opens” in the sense that multiple opens from a single recipient will only count the first time. A low unique open rate indicates that your email headlines are not interesting or engaging enough to compel recipients to open the email. It is important to remember not to sound too “sales-y” or promotional in the subject line. Instead, be as informative as possible so those interested in the subject matter will be more likely to open the email.
While unique open rates vary from industry to industry, anything over 20% is a solid place to start.
Click-through rate is the percentage of people who received your email and ultimately clicked on at least one link contained within the email. It is important to note that this rate is not the percentage of clicks on opened emails, but rather the percentage of clicks based on total emails delivered.
If your click-through rate is less than 1/10th the unique open rate, there is an issue with the email’s content or a weak call to action. For example, if your unique open rate is 20% and your click-through rate is less than 2%, the email would be considered poor performing and should be reviewed in detail to determine why.
Hard Bounce Rate
Hard bounces occur when an email is sent to an address that no longer exists or is active. Hard bounces differ from soft bounces, which are emails that failed to deliver to an active email address that simply cannot accept new emails at this time (for example, an email account with no remaining storage space available).
While there are no set figures for what makes a good or bad hard bounce rate, the metric itself indicates how current your mailing list is. Anything over a few percentage points indicates a mailing list that is out of date and should be updated.
Interpreting the Data
It is important that you measure the performance of each email campaign to glean important information about the quality of each email message sent and how your target audience interacts your email messages. Over time, you will be able identify trends and recognize opportunities to connect with your target audience in more meaningful ways.
If you are not currently using an email marketing platform, we highly recommend (and use) Mail Chimp.
Also, if you are interested in learning more about email marketing, specifically how to increase your email marketing open rates, join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, October 8th at 1:30 PM EST. Click here for more information and to register.