If you are running an email marketing campaign, you should be looking for ways to analyse the success or failure of your campaign. For many marketers, this will leave them focusing on the number of “opens” or “clicks” that they receive. These are important to know but there are many other things you should take notice of and it may be that understanding other email marketing metrics will give you a better understanding of how your campaigns are performing.
If you want to get more from your email marketing campaigns, here are some email marketing metrics you need to use.
Engagement Over Time
There has been a considerable amount of talk about the best time of day and the best day of the week to send an email to connect with your audience. Some firms have claimed that they have achieved great success by emailing their audience at certain times but it is important to be aware that success in individual campaigns is more about the needs and wants of an audience as opposed to the firm or sector of business.
You will find that there are guidelines for the best times to send an email at, and this should be your starting point but to find out what works for you, you will need to carry out tests at different times of day and see what response you have. This means that you should be looking to track and analyse engagement over time.
In an ideal world, we would all get our campaigns right first time, but this certainly isn’t the case and we need to be able to review our activities and then see what works best. This means that you should be looking to analyse information about emails and the number of opens and clicks that they receive over time. A handy way to filter this is by the initial 24 hours, the first week and then the first month. If you are running automated emails, you will find that the first week and the first month are of benefit.
The unsubscribe rate should be of benefit and interest to you. If this is extremely high, most marketers will take an interest in it, and this starts to give the impression that this information is only related to our failings. However, it is important to think about the problems we have and minimise our shortcomings, so focusing on aspects like this will be of benefit.
The unsubscribe rate offers up a great level of insight into how you are successfully segmenting your audience and the quality and relevancy of your content. If you are looking to experiment with your content and are trying different things, looking at your unsubscribe rate is crucial. If there is an increase in the number of people who leave your list, it is likely that the new approach isn’t right for your audience but if the decline is slow or minimal, it may be that people are retaining an interest in this new information or approach you offer.
This information should also be compared in relation to spam reports and the number of hard bounces, because all of these elements will help you to gain a better understanding of the number of contacts lost. Focusing on these elements and aspects will help you to carry out a thorough health check of your email list.
Time Spent Viewing Email
You may be under the impression that the longer a person spends reading an email the better, but this all depends on the email. After all, if someone opens your email and is so wowed by your offer that they click on a link within three seconds, obtains the offer and then archives your email, this is better than someone mulling over your email for 5 minutes and then taking no action.
Knowing the format of your email and what you want to achieve from your email provides you with a great starting point for properly analysing the amount of time spent viewing your email. You will find that emails opened for 0-2 seconds will have been glanced at, emails opened for 2 to 8 seconds have been skim read and emails that have been opened for over 8 seconds have been read. When you look to set your goals, bear in mind that the average reader will take around 20 seconds to scan through 50 words on a web page or screen.
The increasing use of smartphones and tablets, and the many different types of mobile devices, means that it is worth taking a look at the device type that people read your emails from. This is true for websites and it is true for emails because you want to make sure that you are optimising your emails for the devices that your users use. You want to have emails that are optimised for desktop and mobile users and it may be that analysing the data for device types with respect to clocks and opens will provide you with some insight into whether your emails are set up properly for different users.
You should be aware that the time of sending the email may impact on the device that is used. If you send an email during the night or early in the morning, most users will read the email on the way to work or as they are getting ready. This means that it is likely that they will use their smartphone to read your email. If you send the email during the bulk of traditional office hours, it is likely that the email will be read on a desktop or laptop. If the email is sent in the evening, mobile device usage will rise.
If you are sending emails that are more likely to be read by people on mobile devices, keep the email short and make sure that the images have been optimised for small screens. For emails that are more likely to be read on desktop screens, create a template that utilises the big screen and space.
One issue at the moment is the way that Gmail doesn’t allow users to differentiate between a mobile device or desktop, which means that your figures may not be wholly accurate for Gmail users.
You would think that all email clients would display your data the way that you had intended and created but this isn’t the case. You can’t possibly optimise for all of the different email clients, so working out which email clients are most popular with your users will help you to narrow down the number of clients you should try and optimise for.