Measuring the Effectiveness of an Email Campaign

In today’s omnichannel ecosystem, both the quality and personalization of messaging play integral roles in the way consumers perceive companies. An example of this trend is the evolution of organic search to become more about satisfying user intent and less about cramming a piece of content with the right keywords.

This explains why content marketing, when done with regularity and quality, yields an evergreen flow of leads. It’s also why compelling and targeted email marketing campaigns generate higher ROI than many other channels.

However, knowing the key ingredients of the recipe doesn’t guarantee the flavor profile will be right. Crafting compelling copy, designing a user-friendly format, including the right offer and ensuring the finished product makes it to a recipient’s inbox takes a lot of brainpower and time.

While it’s rare to get the balance right from the onset, you do have to start somewhere. These metrics will help you measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Delivery Metrics

Getting your emails in front of your subscribers seems as simple to execute as launching an online business using a free e-commerce store theme. However, nothing in the world worth having or doing comes without effort. This sentiment certainly applies to starting an online business, and sometimes, ensuring the successful delivery of email communications.

Believe it or not, one in five commercial emails don’t make it to inboxes. Some of those messages are overtly spam, but others are intended to drive particular actions for companies.

The three main areas to focus on to evaluate your email delivery are the number of emails that get delivered, opened and how many bounces. Compare the results to the number of email addresses you targeted to determine how well the campaign performed.

If a low number of emails delivered, you’re probably getting hung up in spam filters. If you have a low number of opens, your subject line didn’t intrigue or your message went to less-savory parts of the recipient’s inbox (e.g., the ‘Promotions’ tab in Gmail).

If you experience a lot of hard bounces, you need to clean up your sender list. Hard bounces are typically the result of deleted accounts or email addresses with typos.

Engagement Metrics

Email communications need to engage eyeballs to be effective. Email marketing engagement metrics can run long, but the main KPIs to follow are the click-through rate, click-to-open rate and social shares.

The click-through rate (CTR) is helpful to track because it shows what sparked curiosity in the user, and what area of the page caught their focus. Now, while CTR isn’t indicative of success on its own, it can lead to additional insights to inform future email blasts.

Then there’s the click-to-open (CTO) rate. This number is found by dividing opens by people who clicked something. Like click-through rate, CTO won’t provide full closure. However, it will tell you if you wrote a good subject line but dropped the ball in the email (i.e., high opens but low click-through) or if your subject line didn’t set the state appropriately (high click-throughs but minimal opens).

The number of social shares each email receives is another metric worth tracking. Many email campaigns do well without being shareable, but if you aspire to heighten brand awareness and build a community of loyal users, social shares can tell you if you’re on the right track.

Quality Metrics

Engagement rates shouldn’t be the only indicative aspect of an email’s performance.

Just because some recipients engage with an email, doesn’t mean it was high-quality. But it could, depending upon both the unsubscribe rate and spam complaints stemming from your emails.

The unsubscribe rate indicates how many recipients chose to end their relationship with you after receiving an email. Spam complaints mean the user marked an email as spam in their inbox.

Don’t beat yourself up too much about unsubscribes (as long as they’re not excessive). If your emails are receiving spam complaints, however, that’s a sign they communicate a lack of credibility.

Outcome (144)

A goal of email marketing is to drive revenue, usually through the email’s central offer. Thus, the most important KPI for any email a brand sends is the conversion rate. How many users did what you wanted them to do out of everyone that received the offer?

This metric is usually associated with selling something, but conversion rate doesn’t have to strictly pertain to dollars. It can be about whatever you’re trying to accomplish, such as signups for a loyalty program or reading your latest blog posting.

Adhering to a proper email cadence can give your customers exclusive promotions, helpful content and curated entertainment. This practice heightens brand awareness and builds rapport with your patrons. Further, when you have the attention and trust of the people on your email list, you’ll enjoy a better conversion rate, regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Of all the marketing channels e-commerce stores can use to grow their brands, email carries a number of advantages, particularly when viewed through a holistic lens. Put yourself in the seat of your email contacts. Would you want to receive this messaging? Use that as your gauge, along with the above KPIs, as you measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

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