Analyzing Email Marketing Results
Whether you want to generate leads, increase sales and website traffic, or build awareness among your target audience, email campaigns are a great way to enhance your marketing efforts. Not only do you increase the frequency at which you reach the market, but you are also provided with invaluable data that can enhance your prospecting capabilities, customer retention, and ultimately grow your business. But what happens after your email is sent? You’ve put together your list of contacts, a catchy subject line, email content, a particular call to action, and sent it out – but now what? Here are a few nuggets to help you take your email campaign to the next step and past the finish line: analyzing your email campaign results.
No database of contacts is perfect. People change jobs, transfer responsibilities or pick up and move across the country all the time. So as you can imagine, it would be nearly impossible to always have a current, up to date database. However, your delivery rates or number of bounces can tell you how well you maintain your database. While a soft bounce occurs due to a temporary issue, like the recipient’s mailbox being full, a hard bounce indicates a permanent issue, like the email address no longer being valid. If you’re finding that you a receiving an alarmingly high number of hard bounces, you should channel efforts into updating the contact information in your database.
What good is sending an email if no one reads it? That’s where the open rate comes into play. Out of the number of emails that are actually delivered, just how many people are clicking on your email out of the hundreds of emails cluttering their inbox? The average open rate varies from industry to industry, but let’s take the Marketing and Advertising industry for example. According to MailChimp, the average open rate for our industry is 18.41%. Now, there are a number of things that can make or break an open rate, from sending during the holiday season to having a terribly dull subject line, but here are a few other important factors to consider:
- Tailoring Subject Lines to the Target Audience – While it’s important to make sure your subject line is concise yet catchy, it is equally important, if not more, to ensure the content is relevant to the recipient. The subject line is essentially your single opportunity to tell the recipient why the content of this email is valuable and relevant to them.
- Is your sender familiar and relatable? – As we mentioned in our last post, people like to interact with people. If the user sees that an email is coming from “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “info@company”, that immediately desensitizes the message, making the recipient feel completely indifferent to your message. Having an email coming from another person doesn’t only make the message more relatable, but it also gives the recipient the opportunity to recognize a name and familiarize themselves with where these emails are coming from, which makes them significantly more likely to open and read your email.
So they’ve opened your email, but did they do what you wanted them to do? The click through rate (CTR) shows you how relevant, valuable and enticing the content of your actual email is. The average CTR for the Marketing and Advertising industry according to MailChimp is 2.09%. What can we do if our CTR falls below average or if we get no clicks at all?
- Assess your Call to Action – Although some recipients may click on your logo to go to your website, or social media icons if you have them, your Call to Action is what typically generates clicks. Whether you’re asking people to watch a video, provide feedback on their recent experience or explore a new line of products, your Call to Action must be strong enough to motivate them to do so.
- Evaluate the layout of the email – How the content of the email is organized can have a significant impact on whether your email triggers a click. Do you pose a Call to Action before explaining why they should? The content hierarchy of the email should make the content easy to read and digest with a logical flow.
- Re-think the content of the email – This is the time to play devil’s advocate. If you were to put yourself in your recipient’s shoes, really just how valuable and relevant is the content of your email? What exactly does the message do for them and how does it meet their needs or inspire them to want to learn more about your brand?
Obviously the desired number of people who unsubscribe from your emails is zero. But unfortunately, every now and then, someone will decide that your emails just don’t do anything for them. Now, if your number of unsubscribes gets randomly high, there are a few more things you could consider:
- Are you sending too many emails? Just like anything else in life, moderation is key. It’s important to find a balance between bombarding your list of contacts and leaving them alone completely in order to maintain a healthy frequency of contact that keeps your brand top of mind.
- How relevant is the content of your emails to the recipient? This is something that we can talk about until we’re blue in the face, but if people don’t care about what you’re saying, they most certainly won’t give you money for it, let alone read your email. Your emails should have a sustainable purpose that is targeted toward each segment of your database.
- What time of day and what day of the week are you sending your emails? There’s a reason people dread Monday mornings. If you’re sending your emails when people are just sitting down with their coffee, bracing themselves to start the next work week and sorting their inbox into important messages and insignificant junk mail, you’re not going to spark a favorable reaction. While we recommend sending emails on regular schedule, it’s important to be cognizant of the daily activity of your audience. A good way to figure out the best day and/or time to send your emails is to test sending emails at different points during the week, and see which times yield the best results.
Keep an eye on these metrics after your emails are sent to see if trends develop over time. Little tweaks can make a big impact toward improving your readership. In fact, here are 6 Tips for Better Email Marketing.