If you don’t have specific key performance indicators (KPIs) in place when it comes to email marketing, your efforts are going to waste. Whether your primary objective is to sell products or services, grow your subscriber list, generate leads or increase customer lifetime value, you need to track specific metrics to ensure you’re on the right track.
So how do you evaluate success? What email marketing metrics are the best to monitor? While many measurements can help determine your progress (or lack thereof), here are the top 11 email marketing KPIs you should be tracking.
1. Delivery Rate
Are your emails getting delivered? Creating campaigns that never reach their intended audience is a waste of time and money. Identifying “black holes” where emails disappear is a top priority. High bounce rates often indicate bad email addresses, so make sure to keep your email lists clean and updated.
2. Open Rate
What is a good open rate for email marketing? If you’re aiming for 100%, you will be disappointed! A recent survey by Constant Contact showed the following average email open rates:
- Mobile and tablet open rates: 42.83%
- Desktop open rates: 57.17%
There are many ways to increase your email open rate. Emails with personalized subject lines have higher success rates. Create compelling, targeted messages that speak to your customers’ present wants and needs.
3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email. If your CTR is low, it’s a good indication that your messaging isn’t prompting your customers to take action.
If you’re not split testing your email campaigns, you should be. Running A/B tests is a concrete way to discover what marketing approach is reaching your audience more effectively.
4. Conversion Rate
Is your email prompting your customers to take action? Conversion does not always mean a sale. A conversion could be signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form or requesting a free ebook. Ultimately, all roads lead to conversion rate as a primary email marketing metric.
Email marketing can be a costly investment, but it also has the highest ROI of any digital marketing strategy. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32. If your ROI isn’t meeting your expectations, carefully analyze where your marketing efforts can be improved.
6. Bounce Rate
According to Campaign Monitor, the benchmark for bounces is less than 2%. If your bounce rates are high, it means that you have a problem getting your emails delivered to your customers. First, determine whether the bounce was hard or soft. What’s the difference between a hard bounce and a soft bounce?
Hard bounce: Hard bounces are usually the result of invalid email addresses. Invalid addresses are commonly caused by input errors (typos) and old or deleted addresses (when someone leaves a job or simply changes their email address).
Soft bounce: Soft bounces are caused by an issue on the receiving end and are temporary. If a server is down or an inbox is full, the receiver’s system could attempt to send the message automatically a few times, then cause a soft bounce.
Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth when it comes to marketing. If a customer forwards or shares your email with someone else, chances are excellent that you’ll get a new subscriber. Brand ambassadors help grow your email lists in the best possible way. You can incentivize current customers to share your emails by offering them promotions or discounts.
Pay attention to emails that are shared most so that you can analyze and duplicate the strategy you used in future campaigns.
8. Unsubscribe Rate
If your unsubscribe rate is high, you may be targeting the wrong customer. Remember, some people will unsubscribe over time, and that’s okay. As much as you want to grow your business, it’s best to let people go who have no intention of ever buying from you. However, if you see a sudden spike in your unsubscribe rate, this may be cause for further investigation.
9. List Growth
Is your email list stagnant or worse, shrinking? Attrition due to unsubscribes over time is normal, but what are you doing to generate more subscribers? There are various ways to attract email subscribers, but a simple signup CTA on your website is a good first step.
10. Spam Rate
Are your subject lines too salesy? To avoid spam complaints, only send emails to recipients who have opted-in to receive them. Make it easy for customers to opt-out with unsubscribe tools.
11. Device Open Rate
Are the majority of your customers viewing your emails on desktop or mobile? As the mobile market continues to expand, make sure that your emails are mobile-friendly. Tailoring your marketing toward desktop or mobile views can be advantageous if your customer base skews toward one device over another.
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Ideally, email marketing reaches your target customers with a just-right message at a just-right time, encouraging them to act. Analyzing your email marketing KPIs is a great way to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns and make continual improvements.
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