Part 1: Back to basics – 7 email marketing stats you should know

68% of today’s marketers see email’s ROI as excellent or good – higher than any other channel. Conversely, 36% of marketers cite poor measurement and analytics as barriers to effective email marketing says Econsultancy’s 2014 Email Marketing Census.

So, with that in mind we’re running a two part blog series on the 7 basic email stats you should know and care about to help you get the most from your email marketing.

In this first blog post, we’re going to cover open rates, clicks, clicks-to-open and share rate.

Open rates

Dave Chaffey, CEO of Smart Insights, posted a blog earlier this year on email marketing statics in which he cited the average open rate for UK SME email marketing campaigns was 22.87%. To get your content noticed you need to get your email opened so, here are some top tips to help you get there:

–          Split test:

o    Personalization: Test sales person’s name as ‘friendly from’ vs something a bit more generic but on brand e.g. having your company name.

o   Precise vs vague: Should your subject line be crystal clear on exactly what your customers will find inside or does experimenting with your creative side have a better effect? Don’t forget, it’s important your subject line is relevant to what your email contains and what you want them to do next.

–          Segment your customer lists: Ensure you only send content that is relevant to that particular audience and by removing inactive users from your main mailing list and adding them to a special re-engagement program, you’ll see a definite uplift in opens and engagement.

–          Set up a Custom From Address: By having a from address that everyone can easily recognize and associate with your company you’ll engage your recipients and build your online brand and trust, making them more likely to open your message.

–          Timing: Every marketer wants to know when is the best time to send an email and there is no clear answer. Some ESPs have inbuilt functionality that sends your email at the best time based on your individual customer’s preferences. dotmailer for example has Send Time Optimization that overcomes global time zones too. Simple.

Click through rate

Click through rates tell you how many people clicked on your email based on how many emails were delivered. Here’s some ways you can increase the amount of people who click through:

–          Prominent CTA buttons: Let them be seen and make the Call to action text clear and concise.

–          Mix it up: Not everyone responds to a CTA button. Include links in your sentences for those adverse to the ‘in your face do this now’ button. Try testing buttons vs links.

–          Responsively designed: Email open rates on mobile devices have risen to 66% of all email opens. So please, please, please make sure your email is mobile responsive and so is your landing page once they’ve clicked through!

Click-to-open rate

Clicks-to-open rate is a key metric showing the number of clicks generated by your campaign as a percentage of the total number of recipients who opened it. This metric gives you better insight on how those who opened view the quality of your content through measuring their engagement with it. We suggest:

–          Personalization and Dynamic Content: Avoid having to create multiple versions of content by using Dynamic Content and External Dynamic Content. Pull in data you already hold on your customers (e.g. demographics and previous engagement with your email) as well as basic personalization like name, company, location etc. Take that extra step by pulling in data like how they’ve engaged with your website , transactional data or social data..

–          Test test test: Not sure if short and snappy will win over in-depth detail or plain text VS HTML laden with images and gifs? Set your metric to win on clicks and split test your creative to see what works best for your customers.

Share rate

How many people are sharing your content? Your ESP should let you report on estimated forwards, forward to a friend and social network shares. Once you’ve measured and assessed these metrics you might be pleasantly surprised to find your content is going viral, or realize your content isn’t having quite the impact you’d hoped. We’ve already talked about how to make your content stronger in the paragraph above so here’s how you can make it easy for your customers to share it:

–          Social sharing: Include social sharing icons into your email so at a touch of a button your customers can share your content on their desired channel (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc) and your ESP can track in detail who shared your email, on which network and how many views that piece of content got per social channel.

–          Recommendations: Word of mouth recommendations are probably the best marketing publicity you can get. Include in your emails a ‘Forward to a Friend’ link and let your customers do your selling for you!

We hope this post has given you some food for thought on how to measure and improve the performance of your email marketing. Keep an eye out for our next blog, which will cover delivery rates, bounce rates and net list growth.