6 indicators to measure, analyze and improve your emailings

Too many Digital Marketing experts focus on planning and executing marketing actions.

Unfortunately, the analysis of the performance of emailings is too often left aside. However, it is essential to identify levers for improvement.

Wanting to run a business without tracking its key indicators is a bit like driving a car blindfolded. Does this sound a bit extreme? May be ! But it is a fact. So, you have set up a newsletter, and series of automated e-mails, so, as with all the other management parameters of your business, monitoring a few indicators is essential to evaluate your efforts.

You want :

  • That your e-mails generate more turnover?
  • Make sure you send the right content to the right people…

With a little history and by analyzing your dashboards, you will have enough to answer all these questions.

Table of contents 

  • 6 key indicators to measure the performance of your e-mailings
    • 1. The open rate
    • 2. Click-through rate
    • 3. The unsubscribe rate or churn rate
    • 4. The deliverability rate
    • 5. Your website traffic
    • 6. Turnover
  • What are the acceptable values ​​for these emailing indicators?
  • Ask for feedback from your subscribers
  • It’s up to you to analyze the performance of your emailings
    • To summarize in 3 questions

6 key indicators to measure the performance of your e-mailings

By evaluating the performance of your emailings, you will identify many opportunities to:

  • Not only improve the impact of your emails,
  • But also increase the value you bring to your subscribers.

Understanding, analyzing emailing indicators and then taking improvement actions is really not difficult. This is the purpose of this article.

An indicator measures the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Digital Marketing experts also talk about KPIs.

Unfortunately, measuring the success of a campaign with a single indicator is impossible. Indeed, there are many indicators to consult, directly in your email sending platform, or on Google Analytics.

If you are a perfectionist as I imagine, you will follow both!

Here are the 6 emailing indicators to examine to evaluate the performance of your email campaigns .

1. The open rate

The open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened your email campaign. The tools for sending emailing also give the moment when they opened it.

The opening rate depends mainly on 2 factors:

  • The relevance of the subject text of your emails,
  • The day and time of your shipments.

An open rate is usually between 20 and 40%.

To increase this indicator, here are 3 simple tips to implement:

at. Set clear expectations

This is one of my 10 tips for recruiting subscribers to your contact list.

Before people even subscribe to your email list, it’s essential to let them know what content you’re going to send and how often.

My advice : add this information in your registration form, as well as in your welcome message. Then, keep your commitments.

b. Write catchy subject lines

The subject line is the first text your subscribers will read. It is this text that will convince your recipients to open your email.

So make it necessary for it to be impactful.

  • You have approximately 35 characters to leave a lasting impression . Use this space carefully.
  • Be clear about the content of your email. Indeed, email campaigns with subject lines clearly explaining the content tend to have higher open rates than those with a vague or overly fun subject line. It’s quite logical. Your subscribers want to know if the content of the email is worth reading. So always give them a good reason to read your message.
  • Personalize to stand out in your recipients’ inbox, such as adding the subscriber’s first name and/or an emoticon in the subject line.

If you consider that your opening rate is too low, here are 12 tips to increase the opening rate of your newsletter.

Also, emphasize the timing and frequency of your messages.

By testing different times of the day, find the best pair (day and time) when most of your subscribers open your emails, then stick with it.

My tip : most email sending tools indicate when your subscribers have opened your email campaign.

In USA or UK, email campaigns are sent either:

  • In the morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.,
  • In the afternoon from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.,
  • Or in the evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Therefore, 40% of opens and clicks occur within the first 3 hours of sending.

For example, if you send your emailings on Monday at 2:00 p.m. and you observe that your recipients open it late Tuesday morning, it is probably more appropriate to send your emailing campaigns on Tuesday around 11:00 a.m. instead.

Indeed, an email at the top of the inbox is more likely to be opened.

My advice : the opening rate being so important, I advise you to do A/B testing on 2 or 3 different objects.

  • To do this, select a first batch of addresses corresponding to 10% of your subscriber list,
  • Divide this bundle into as many groups as you have item variants,
  • Send to each of these groups your email with one of the variants,
  • Let a few hours pass
  • Select the best open rate to send this variant to the other 90% subscribers.
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Don’t panic, most sending tools offer this feature as standard.

2. Click-through rate

The click-through rate to analyze the performance of your emailings

Click-through rate is the percentage of people who click on a link in your emails.

This click-through rate performance indicator is often considered the main conversion metric for a campaign. Indeed, this rate indicates that the content sent is in line with the expectations of your subscribers.

A low click-through rate can also indicate that the CTA included in the email is not impactful or visible enough.

To keep this indicator as high as possible, here are my 3 tips:

at. Remove links without click

If a link does not receive many clicks, try changing the way you present it (with more attractive visuals for example) or remove it from your future mailings.

Stumbling to insert links that are not useful for your audience can only degrade their perception of your brand.

b. Keep Popular Links

On the other hand, if a link is more successful, continue to promote it in your next emails. On the other hand, find a new way of presenting it to continue to arouse the interest of your recipients.

Segment your subscribers

If a portion of your subscribers shares a strong interest in a particular topic, send a targeted email with that type of content only to that segment of subscribers.

3. The unsubscribe rate or churn rate

The unsubscribe rate to analyze the performance of your emailings

Finding out that someone is unsubscribing from your contact list is always a little discouraging.

But it’s also a great opportunity to understand why he wanted to leave and thus prevent other people from unsubscribing.

According to SmartInsights , there’s no need to panic if your churn rate is below 0.49%.

If you observe an abnormal unsubscribe rate, you can:

at. Ask them why they unsubscribe

On your unsubscribe page, add a multiple-choice question that asks your subscribers for their reason for unsubscribing.

Then, analyze these comments to improve your future mailings.

b. Review your email marketing strategy

Make sure you have everything set up when you sign up. For example, do you have a confirmation email set up .

Indeed, Internet users are less likely to unsubscribe if they have confirmed their subscription. And as always, clearly define the frequency and content of your emails, then respect what your contacts have subscribed to.

If you hesitate to put a confirmation email, I refer you to the Influent Blog article  which details the advantages and disadvantages of this double validation.

vs. Continue to attract new subscribers

To compensate for lost subscribers, continue to be proactive in collecting new subscriptions.

On the other hand, the unsubscribe rate for a newly created list is naturally higher. Indeed, a new subscriber will discover your emails and will decide if they wish to remain in contact with your company.

d. The frequency of sending can also be a factor affecting the rate of unsubscription

Maybe you send too many emails or so few that your subscribers forget about you?

Unsubscribes can be confusing, but they’re not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it is better to have a small list of active subscribers than a large list full of robots.

e. Are your emails readable on mobile?

More than half of all emails are read on a mobile device. So, before sending your campaign, be sure to test the readability of your email on different screen formats (computer, mobile, tablet).

4. The deliverability rate

The deliverability rate to analyze the performance of your emailings

If you see a significant disparity between your different campaigns, there may be a deliverability issue.

Deliverability measures how well your emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes.

Here’s how it works. As an email sender, you have a rating that qualifies your reputation.

You can know yours for free on Sender Score .

This rating is determined by several factors, such as:

  • The number of emails you send,
  • Complaint rates,
  • bounce rates,
  • How often your emails arrive directly in the unwanted email (spam) folder,
  • How many inactive addresses are present in your subscriber list, …

The lower your rating, the harder it is for your emails to reach your subscribers’ inbox.

at. GDPR and the CAN-SPAM Act

Deliverability also depends on how to comply with GDPR constraints. you and the email sending tool you use

According to this European regulation which regulates all commercial emails, each email in an email campaign must:

  • Include a link to unsubscribe,
  • Contain the sender’s valid physical mailing address,
  • Specify the sender of this message…
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For those of you who are English-speaking, I also refer you to the text of the CAN-SPAM Act  which is similar to the GDPR in Europe.

I am referring to this American law. Because it can be useful for those of you who have a global subscriber base or those who use a US email sending tool like MailChimp .

You might as well be in good standing in your professional activity!

In addition to respecting these rules, to maintain an acceptable deliverability rate, I also advise you and always:

  • To send quality content,
  • To send your emails regularly,
  • To clearly define the expectations upstream and to deliver what you have promised.

b. Clean up your subscriber list

Regularly cleaning your contact list is also an important variable to avoid landing in the spam folder.

As your contact list grows, you will find that some of your subscribers have become inactive. They never open your emails!

Also, if someone hasn’t opened your emails in the last 6 months, chances are they won’t open them in the future either. And worse, it could flag your emails as spam.

So simply remove all those inactive subscribers from your contact list. Since the price of most email sending tools takes into account the number of contacts, it is also a good way to control costs.

This will also improve the accuracy of your other indicators for analyzing the performance of your emailing campaigns. In short, it’s “win-win”.

Note  : to illustrate this concept, we also speak of the bounce rate, which is the counterpart of the deliverability rate. If you have a 95% deliverability rate, then your bounce rate is 5%.

5. Your website traffic

Web traffic to analyze the performance of your emailings

This is to measure how many subscribers came to visit your website from an email campaign that you sent.

This first emailing indicator counts visits to the pages behind the links you have inserted in your email. This may be :

  • An article from your blog,
  • Your homepage,
  • One of your product pages,
  • Or your shopping cart if you have one.

To drive significant traffic to your site, ask yourself these 4 questions the next time you create emails:

at. Is there a clear call to action?

If your call to action (CTA) in your email isn’t obvious, it makes it difficult for your subscribers to take the next step.

Whether you want to direct them to your website’s homepage or to a blog post, you should always have a primary call-to-action button that stands out clearly.

b. Are there links to your site in your email?

Even simple links pointing to your site help increase your business website traffic.

If you have inserted links (which I recommend), check that they are not broken. Correct if necessary. To do this, send yourself a test email before sending your campaign to your entire subscriber base.

vs. Is the content you send helpful to your readers?

If your emails don’t pass the “What might interest me in this email?” », it is time to rethink your entire emailing strategy.

As with web content, meet the expectations of your customers and prospects by providing them with information that interests them.

d. Are my emails not frequent enough?

By sending emails too infrequently, subscribers will forget about your brand. Your emails are no longer open. Inevitably, there are no clicks and therefore no traffic on your landing pages.

6. Turnover

The turnover to analyze the performance of your Emailings

To see how much revenue your emails are generating, track the sales resulting from each email you send.

Once you have this information, you can use it to improve your emails to generate more sales.

To increase your turnover, here are 2 tips:

at. Take a step back from your content

Analyze your emails that generate above-average revenue and those that generate the least.

  • What are the differences between these 2 emails?
  • Are you focusing enough on your subscribers’ expectations?
  • Or are you getting enough of their interest in the products or services you are looking to sell?

If you want to win new customers and retain them, never forget that your emails must, above all, bring value to your subscribers.

b. Send targeted messages to those who haven’t made a purchase

I break open an open door. Not all of your subscribers will become customers and that’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know why they didn’t do it.

Sometimes presenting your message, product and/or service from a new angle can also help convince them. For example, offering a coupon for their first purchase can encourage more hesitant people to place an order.

vs. revenue per email

Wanting to track the return on investment of your campaigns may seem healthy. But the ROI of a campaign is often difficult to assess.

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Mainly, because quantifying the cost of a campaign is difficult. Indeed, should we only take into account:

  • The design time of the email,
  • Or also add the writing time of the content to which your email will point? And if so, in what proportion, since this content will also bring you traffic via natural referencing!

This is why most Digital Marketing experts prefer to track Revenue Per Email (RPE).

Revenue Per Email is quite simple to calculate. Just use the following formula:

Revenue generated / (Number of emails sent – ​​Number of bounces)

By following the RPE, you will have a good idea of ​​the turnover that your contact list generates for your company.

Tip : to better identify the small fluctuations between 2 campaigns, Laurent advised me to follow the RPME (i.e. the revenue for 1000 e-mails). To calculate the RPME, simply multiply by 1000 the RPE calculated for it with the formula above.

Note  : unlike the opening and click rates, the RPE does not appear directly in your tool for sending emails. You should track revenue generated with Google Analytics , for example. Also, if your sales are not online, you will need to complete a separate process to track the revenue generated.

Tracking RPE is a bit more work than tracking open and click rates, but it’s a more effective metric for measuring the success of your campaigns.

What are the acceptable values ​​for these emailing indicators?

Obviously, the average rates depend on many factors:

  • Your sector of activity,
  • If your recipients are individuals (B2C) or professionals (B2B),
  • From the recognition of your brand which is often synonymous with the size of your company…

Here are the values ​​of these indicators that I observe for my modest newsletter:

  • An open rate of around 28.2%,
  • The click rate around 5.9%,
  • A churn rate of less than 0.4%.

Mailchimp regularly updates its benchmark by industry and company size, with the latest in March 2018 .

Ask for feedback from your subscribers

Ask for feedback from your subscribers

Although you can use any of the 6 indicators above to improve the content of your emails, do not hesitate to ask your subscribers for feedback as well.

If, like me, your goal is to post content that your followers will “devour”, it is often easier to ask them directly. To do this, simply send your subscribers a survey or ask them to respond to your email with ideas and comments.

Indeed, I monitor the open rate and click-through rate of my newsletters every week, but I learn a lot more when I get a bunch of feedback directly from my subscribers.

It’s up to you to analyze the performance of your emailings

After sending your first campaign, follow your opening rate first.

Identify a way to improve it by choosing something in the subject line that you can edit (for example, adding an emoticon or turning the subject text into a question).

Then resend the email with the new subject line to subscribers who didn’t open your email when first sent to see if that increases the open rate! And apply what you’ve learned to your future mailings.

To summarize in 3 questions

What is a performance indicator in Email Marketing?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure the performance of your emailings. It is essential to be able to improve yourself. These KPIs are typically provided for your submission tool. Measuring the success of an email campaign with a single metric is impossible.

What are the main KPIs to follow?

Deliverability measures which emails make it to your subscribers’ inboxes. The open rate indicates the number of people who open your emails. Once the email is opened, the click-through rate measures the subscribers who have clicked on one of your links, except for the unsubscribe link which is grouped in the unsubscribe rate. The e-mail generally redirects to your Website. Then analyze the effects on your web traffic, the behavior of your subscribers once on your site and even the impact on your turnover.

What is the most important metric to track?

It’s hard to say. But in general, the opening rate is the first indicator to analyze since if your e-mails are not opened, nothing happens afterwards. To work on it, focus on your subject line. You should set yourself the goal of reaching between 20 and 40% openness.

What indicators do you follow to measure the performance of your emailing campaigns? Share your top tips for increasing it in the comments below.

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