By Grace Lau
Did you know that the global email marketing sector was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020? This number is expected to rise to a staggering $17.9 billion by 2027. The figures are self-explanatory and reveal the significance of email as a marketing tool. Whether you’re using emails for direct sales or as a means of post-purchase engagement with customers, it’s important to assess the efficacy of your email marketing campaign.
What Are Email Marketing Metrics?
Email marketing metrics are the data that provide valuable insights on the way your emails are performing and how recipients are engaging with your emails. This is important information that can affect your overall marketing strategy. For example, if you notice a sudden surge in the number of recipients who have unsubscribed from your newsletter, you need to review your content and check for any possible red flags.
By working out what’s working and what’s not, you can tailor your email content to the specific preferences of your customers. This is how B2B marketers can stay customer-centric.
Digital marketers use multiple sets of metrics to measure the performance of their email marketing campaigns. Here are our top eight email marketing metrics that every ecommerce business should track:
1. Open Rate
Open rate, as the name suggests, refers to the percentage of your subscribers who have actively opened your email. This is one of the first metrics ecommerce marketers use to gauge their email campaigns. Open rates tell us:
- Which subject lines are the most effective in prompting subscribers to open the email
- Which days of the week have the highest open rates
- Which section of your subscriber list is actively engaging with your emails i.e., your brand
Most email service platforms provide open-rate metrics in their campaign reports, so you don’t need to calculate it manually. The subject line content influences your open rate. It’s recommended to keep this short and avoid using words like “Free” and “Cash”, which can be associated with spam.
The average email open rate for businesses is 22.60%, but this can vary significantly across industries. You need to define the right benchmarks for calculating your open rate if you want an accurate overview of your email performance. For example, a 10% open rate means different things in different contexts.
Getting a 10% open rate from your total number of subscribers, which could be 20,000, is different from a 10/% open rate from “active” subscribers who have recently bought your product. Another important benchmark for open rates is the type of messaging.
For example, if you’re in the telecoms business, your shipping and order confirmation messages will have a higher open rate than a promotional email about your new contact center management system.
However, open rates may become less and less reliable as a metric. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is set to disable open-rate tracking for users who choose to use the service. This is soon to be followed by other email providers, which will reduce the overall efficacy of open rates.
2. Click-through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate refers to the number of times a recipient clicks on a link within your email. This is a very useful metric to assess and evaluate your content. It also shows you exactly which aspects of your email are most useful to subscribers. For example, if your email includes a discount voucher on your Dialpad business phone app, subscribers are more likely to click on the link to redeem the offer.
Marketers use different methods to increase click-through rates in their emails. These include inserting a dynamic and strategically placed CTA button in the text. A link to a relevant article or blog post can also help boost CTR. Usually, click-through rates are lower than open rates.
3. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate in the context of email marketing metrics refers to the number of subscribers who did not receive your email. This could be for a number of reasons. A subscriber’s inbox may be full and not able to receive any further emails. This is called a soft bounce. You could also have the wrong or defunct email address, in which case your email bounces back to you. This is known as a hard bounce.
Whenever you experience high bounce rates, the next step is to go through your contact list to identify and remove the fake or incorrect IDs.
A good way to reduce bounce rates is by asking subscribers for a double opt-in step where they actively input and confirm their email addresses along with their approval to receive mail from you. This second step is useful because it helps identify the customers who are actively interested in engaging with you.
It’s also an excellent example of how to use customer analytics to boost engagement.
4. Unsubscribe Rate
There will always be some customers who decide to unsubscribe from your mailing list. While it’s not possible to pinpoint the reason for every single unsubscribe, you may want to start paying attention if those numbers start going up. There could be any number of reasons for a recipient to unsubscribe.
From the frequency of your emails to the actual messaging not being relevant or attractive enough – unsubscribe rates are mostly unpredictable email marketing metrics. For example, you may believe a prospect to be quite far along in your sales funnel. You may even send them tailored emails according to their current position in the buying cycle. However, the same prospect may choose to unsubscribe from your mailing list.
5. Conversion Rate
The ultimate aim of email marketing is to encourage subscribers to engage with your brand and hopefully convert to paying customers. So, the conversion rate is one of the important email marketing metrics. You can calculate the conversion rate based on some preset benchmarks.
This could be the number of subscribers who clicked a link in your email to make a direct purchase. It could also be the number of subscribers who may be signed up for a special newsletter.
For example, you’re a 360-degree content marketing company offering your subscribers access to an exclusive weekly newsletter with lots of helpful tips and guidance on the latest content trends. You can prompt users to sign up to your newsletter from your email, by including a snippet from one of your articles – How to fix WordPress dashboard – with the CTA “sign up to read more”.
6. Spam Rate
Spam rate is the number of recipients who treat your emails as unwanted. While it’s normal to be marked by spam by a small minority of about 0.1%, any more than that is cause for concern. Remember, if too many subscribers report you as spam, there’s a risk your future emails may not get delivered.
Possible reasons for subscribers to mark you as spam may be the frequency of your emails. It may even be the content. For example, you may be an ecommerce business trying to market your products through your emails. But bombarding subscribers with deals every few days can be counterproductive and turn them off your company.
So, you could be sending them offers on your new call center monitoring software, but seeing the same offer multiple times within a specific time frame could get annoying. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid getting flagged as spam. For starters, always ask for an opt-in before you start sending emails. An opt-in gives you permission to email the recipient.
Another way to avoid spam is to limit the number of emails you send. Sadly, there’s no magic number here, but it’s best to err on the side of caution. The general rule of thumb is to avoid sending more than one email per week.
The idea behind email marketing is to engage subscribers without spamming them with too many emails or too much information. For example, you may want to highlight that your product is iso certified, meaning it passes standard regulations. This is undoubtedly valuable information but may not interest subscribers, particularly after they’ve already received another email from you.
7. Domain Open and Click Rate
This is a handy metric to assess the open and click-through rates across the different email domains like Gmail and Yahoo. Most service providers show the open and click-through numbers for each email. This shows you which domains are effective for you and which could potentially have email delivery issues.
For example, if you find that your overall open rate is 10% but only 2% on Gmail, you’ll know that it’s probably a filter issue that’s blocking your emails.
8. Mobile Open and Click Rate
Almost 55% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices. This is why it’s essential to track your email open rates for mobiles. The email marketing metrics for mobile largely depend on the day and time of the week. This is because desktop users are more likely to check their emails during weekday business hours. On the other hand, mobile users check their emails on evenings and weekends.
Ecommerce businesses usually have a more extensive customer base of mobile users. They should optimize their mailing time to reach these customers at a time that they’re most likely to engage.
Email remains one of the top digital marketing strategies for small businesses. However, you need to track the metrics of your email marketing campaign to ensure you’re optimizing its full potential. In this article, we looked at eight email marketing metrics that every ecommerce business should track. From open rates for your email to the number of unsubscribes, each metric provides an insight into how your email is performing.
About the Author
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad Web Conferencing, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.