By now you know that email marketing is one of, if not the, best ways to reach your target audience. However, do you really know if things are firing on all cylinders once your campaign gets in motion? To help answer this question, as well as ensure you always have the tools necessary to optimize your marketing strategy, let’s spend a little time going over the six performance metrics, sometimes referred to as key performance indicators (KPI), you can’t live without as you connect with consumers in the inbox.
First up is a pair of closely entwined metrics. As Lisa Cannon of Business 2 Community explains, when talking about open or click rates among your audience members, it’s hard to mention one without the other. Naturally, the open rate details the amount of emails opened during your campaign, while the click rate highlights the amount of viewers taking the plunge and visiting your site.
The reason it’s important to compare both of these metrics side-by-side is that doing so can illuminate potential issues within your email content. For instance, having a high open rate but coming up short with consumer clicks could point to a deficiency in your message content or promotional material. At the very least, keeping an eye on these metrics can help uncover potential weaknesses in your campaign before any lasting damage ruins your marketing initiative.
Another powerful powerful metric, prospect allocation, looks toward the growth of your contact list and helps map out future lead generation strategies. Unlike the generic total membership statistic, Cannon notes that prospect allocation looks at the rise and fall of new opt-ins during a set period, providing key insight into the progress of your campaign outreach and promotion. By comparing this number to historic data or even prior initiatives altogether, you’ll have a standard by which you can judge the success of current and previous methods of connecting with new audience members.
Unfortunately, the other side of the new subscriber coin isn’t as fun to look over as you audit your campaign. However, keeping up with the amount of members that unsubscribe each month is vital to gauging your email marketing health. As Christopher Ratcliff of Econsultancy points out, this process can go far beyond simply watching this stat rise and fall.
To properly manage unsubscribes, Ratcliff suggests tweaking email frequency and content layout. Naturally, making a drastic switch on either of these fronts should only be done in the face of great turmoil, but that doesn’t mean making subtle changes to how often you send out emails, as well the design of the message itself, can’t pay off huge dividends. In the end, there’s no way to completely avoid unsubscribing contact list members, but that doesn’t you’re completely at the mercy of this metric.
As far as the actual transmission of your messages goes, few stats tell this story quite as well as your campaign bounce rate. Like the name implies, this KPI measures the deliverability of your emails in terms of “bounced” messages. To add a little extra insight into the discussion surrounding bounced messages, many campaigns split the metric into two separate categories.
The first, hard bounces, comes from having the wrong email address in your contact list and requires immediate attention. On the other hand, soft bounces simply denote a temporary error in the delivery process, like a downed server or full inbox.
“Send to a Friend”
One of the more intriguing metrics for keeping tabs on your email marketing campaign, the “send to a friend” rate, helps keep a track on the viral nature of your operation. In his post detailing key performance metrics, David Baker of MediaPost points out that this stat also comes with a more formal name – the viral rate. Regardless of how you care to label this metric, the point remains the same;
keeping track of the amount of shares, likes, and referrals your messages generate helps highlight the power of your email content, as well as the social factor that goes into the development of these offerings.
Finally, as intriguing as all of these metrics may be, the evaluation process always winds up in the same place – revenue generated by your email marketing operations. At the end of the day, if this number isn’t up to par, changes always come next. Naturally, what changes need to happen often takes shape based on the results of the other metrics. However, when it’s all said and done, if you’re reeling in the conversions at a healthy pace and you can keep the trend going, there’s no denying that you have a firm grip on the direction of your inbox initiative thanks to utilizing the proper measuring tools.