You have committed to an email marketing campaign – congratulations! Email marketing is an essential tool that puts you in front of your valued, target audience on a consistent basis.
While we may not think to log on to social media or the internet every day, most of us check our email daily. Email marketing is a great way to share blog content, important announcements, reminders, events, special offers and remind customers just how great your business is.
To make the most out of the time and money spent on email marketing, it is important to understand how campaigns perform and interpret the data at hand in a valuable way. You may know how many times a link was clicked in your last email newsletter, what can you learn from this information? Understanding and caring about these metrics can help you revise content, optimize your template or even reevaluate your email marketing software if it is not matching your performance expectations.
First, let’s review the essential benchmarks to track:
Gathering information on your own metrics is useless, however, without industry benchmarks to compare to your data to. Industry benchmarks establish a baseline of performance and comparing your results to the industry can help you not only realize how your campaign is performing, but help you identify opportunities for growth.
Our email marketing platform, Silverpop, recently released its “2012 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study,” which broke down these important metrics overall worldwide, by geographic region and industry.
What does all this information mean? Let’s review the basics again.
When examining the first metrics – unique open rate, gross open rate and opens per clicker – you can test for several things. The unique open rate will tell you whether your content is relevant to your list recipients. A customer can tell whether they want to spend time reading your newsletter based on the subject line. Do your subjects succinctly explain what information your email contains or does it read the same each week?
Research has found that emails that are long, include or offer deadlines or offer some sort of relevancy with a “shelf life” are more likely to have second, third or more opens by a single person. It is also important to note that if a subscriber sends your email on to a friend without using the forward to a friend option, any subsequent opens are attributed to the original recipient.
Click-through rates are important to consider when comparing your company’s email newsletter performance. Industries that use email marketing for sales purposes can expect a lower CTR as their recipients may not be prepared to spend large amounts of money on a daily basis. Industries that use their newsletters to share news, rather than make sales, are much more likely to have higher CTR rates. Similar conclusions can be drawn from CTOR data.
It is also important to use unique links throughout your newsletter. What does this mean? Do not link back to your homepage or “Latest news” page each time your newsletter calls for a hyperlink. Your regular subscribers will learn that this is your practice and simply click once to the homepage to navigate to what information they want. Using unique links – linking directly to the content (http://www.sofunmedia.com/test/content-creation/great-at-content-copywriting-company-voice/) rather than just your homepage (http://www.sofunmedia.com/test) – will increase the clicks per clicker rate and encourage visitors to visit multiple pages on your website.
Unsubscribe and complaint rate relate directly to the relevancy of your content to your subscribers. It is best to compare unsubscribe and complaint rates over time. When the complaint rate continues to rise, it is time to reevaluate the strategy for your list.
Remember the keys to great email marketing:
Photo credit: Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns. Used with permission through Creative Commons.