Email marketing can and should play a significant role in any comprehensive marketing plan. Strategic use of email can nourish relationships with new leads and past customers. It goes a long way in maintaining your brand visibility, providing valuable information to subscribers, building your organizational authority on relevant subjects, driving conversions, and even reaching new leads via forwards and email shares. Over time, these factors can bring a significant return-on-investment for any email marketing campaign. The question is, how can you go about getting the most of each of these benefits? The answer starts with understanding key performance indicators (KPIs), knowing what they mean, and finding effective ways to improve them.
What Are the KPIs for Email Marketing?
To start, let’s take a look at some of the KPIs that seasoned email marketers typically track. Together, these metrics can provide a good idea of how successful your email marketing campaign is or has been, as well as which tweaks you might try to take things to the next level:
- Open rate. Probably the most straightforward metric for email marketing, open rate tells you what percentage of your email subscribers open an email from you once it hits your inbox. According to Smart Insights, the average open rate (including all industries) is 16.22 percent.
- Clickthrough rate. Clickthrough rate (CTR) measures the percentage of users who not only open your emails but click on at least one of the links included in the email. This metric can give a sense of how many people are engaging with the material you provide via email, or who are traveling further down your funnel toward conversion.
- Conversion rate. CTR and conversion rate go hand-in-hand. CTR is about getting people to click a link. Conversion rate is about getting them to go one step further and complete the action you were trying to inspire with your email—such as buying a product, signing up for a service, filling out a lead generation form, or something else.
- Bounce rate. Where open rate, CTR, and conversion rates are positive KPIs that you want to maximize, bounce rate is a KPI that you want to keep as low as possible. Bounce rate is a measurement of the percentage of emails sent by your email client that cannot be delivered to the subscriber’s inbox. Causes could include full inboxes, individuals who have left their jobs and disabled their email addresses, and more.
- Unsubscribe rate. Another negative KPI, unsubscribe rate indicates what percentage of users are opting out of receiving your emails in the future.
- List growth rate. The opposite of unsubscribe rate, this metric gives you a sense of how quickly or significantly your email subscriber base is growing.
- Email share or forward rate. There are typically several ways to share an email newsletter. One is to forward the email in the traditional fashion. The second is to click a button included in the email that enables easy sharing of the information via a social platform. This KPI lets you know how many of your subscribers are sharing your email.
Monitoring these KPIs over time can give you a wealth of valuable information about your subscribers, the emails you send, and the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. There are multiple ways to improve these KPIs. Keeping track of which topics or types of emails generate the most clicks, shares, conversions, or overall engagement can help you tweak your campaign to incorporate more of the content that your users seem to value. Monitoring your bounce rate—and removing email addresses that have, for whatever reason, “gone bad”—can reduce that rate, improve your sender reputation, and boost the power of your email marketing campaign. Using A/B tests and measuring CTR can give you a chance to test different strategies for getting subscribers to click links—such as different fonts, graphics, animations, engagement buttons, or other techniques. Watching conversion rates can help you calculate ROI, which can inform future spending on email marketing.
If you need help improving your email marketing KPIs, you don’t have to do it alone. At Distribion, we can assist you in assessing your current email marketing campaign, investigating vital KPI metrics and their trends over time, and identifying tactics for improving those numbers. Our goal is to help you reach more people, engage your subscribers more actively, and achieve better lead conversion rates and ROI through your email marketing. If these goals align with yours, give us a call to get started.