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5 email marketing metrics you should be tracking

Email marketing is fundamental to any growing online business. It works because it’s one of the easiest ways to communicate with customers and has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel. It’s so easy, anyone can send beautiful newsletters, invitations and promotions. In fact, over 1.5 million businesses already use Wix's email marketing service to motivate, engage and retain clients (learn how to connect your email to Wix website).

Of course, a great email marketing service does more than just know when to schedule your next product update email (Saturday and Sunday have the best open and click rates on average). There are easy methods to measure and optimize specific metrics to help you better engage with your audience and get more value for your spend. Our own experts gave us their 5 most essential email statistics you should be tracking. With these helpful tips and our collection of email marketing examples you’ll be able to promote your site with a more precise marketing strategy.

01. List growth

What: The rate at which your subscriber list is growing.

How: (New Subscribers – Unsubscribed / Total Subscribers) x 100

If you don’t have a list strategy as part of your email marketing effort, you may as well be wandering in the dark. The more subscribers you have, the more traffic and conversions you’ll get. Get started with a list by grouping all of your contacts together, then segment them based on location, interest, demographic, device and whatever other variable that may make for a more targeted email blast.

Goal number one is to make more people sign up as quickly as possible every day. List growth usually starts with your website or blog as new visitors opt in to receive your latest updates.

There are various email marketing tools to help you build your email list. Most users prefer to fill out contact forms, which you should consider using in various points on your site to make it easy to access. When new visitors land on your blog and read through an entire article, try using a pop-up to offer them an update on a relevant feature or something related to your post. Despite their reputation, well-used pop-ups are known for driving subscriptions up.

A must-know: An important email marketing tip is to never use third party lists. Email service providers can easily detect them and shut you down. If you notice unengaged subscribers, try to provide them with more incentive to interact. If after numerous attempts they remain inactive, best practice dictates removing them completely. Keeping your lists healthy improves your overall email metrics and sender reputation. If you see your lists dropping, ask yourself what’s causing people to unsubscribe. Are your emails meeting the recipients needs? Do they provide enough value? Perhaps you may want to reduce your volume or segment your list again. Focus on what you can do to get more engagement from those that have the potential to be engaged and leave the rest behind.

02. Conversion rate

What: Percentage of subscribers who clicked within the email and completed a desired action.

How: (Subscribers Who Completed Action / Total Emails Delivered) x 100

Every email should be sent with a single purpose in mind. That purpose is to drive the recipient to take a specific action that will result in a conversion. The conversion rate essentially measures the effectiveness of an email campaign. This rate will often depend on the difficulty of the action you’re requesting from your audience and how many steps they have to go through to complete it. Simple requests such as ‘Get This Song’ will convert much better than more complex and time-consuming requests such as ‘Fill Out This Questionnaire’.

The goal is for your audience to take the action that your email has asked them to take. This will generally require highly engaging content or incentives like coupons and other giveaways that will draw a click. The process should be simple and highly relevant to what your recipient signed up for. 

When your audience isn’t moving to the landing page or store as you expected, assess what possible variables could cause them to drop off. Perhaps you made the email mistake of offering them too many alternative choices that distract them from the conversion. Are there links in your email that take readers away from your main goal? Is your text clear? If this is the case, you need to simplify your users’ choices or provide a more compelling reason to act. 

03. Unique opens

What: Percentage of recipients who open your emails.

How: (Total Opens / Total Delivered) x 100

Unique Opens is the percent of distinct recipients who’ve opened your email. The difference from Total Opens being that no matter how many times a person has reopened an email, it only counts as one. Unique Opens is essentially a measure of your recipient’s interest in the "from" category and the subject lines of your email, since these are the only two fields affecting their decision.

While there is no one winning formula for writing strong subject lines, there are many methods to help you succeed. Try to think about what kind of subject line would make you personally click to open an email. In order to be effective, you must target your audience with content they desire. Another good rule of thumb is to keep your subject lines short and include a question or call-to-action. 

The more you test different subject lines, the faster you’ll improve the performance of future campaigns. Testing a subject line can be as simple as creating two separate emails with the same body of information but using different subject lines for each half of your recipient list. Measure the open rate for both and see which one performs better. This is the basis of A/B testing. Every audience is different, and with enough effort, you’ll find out what works best for yours. 

04. Click-through rate

What: The percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within the email.

How: (Total Unique Clicks / Total Delivered Emails) x 100

Click-Through Rate (CTR) describes the email recipients who not only opened your email but also interacted with it by clicking on one or more links you placed inside. This is the most popular metric email marketers like to track because it lets you easily calculate performance for every individual email you send, and is used for determining the results of A/B tests.

The CTR provides insight into how many people on your list were interested in your content and how well you converted that interest into click-throughs. The more targeted your content, the better your CTR will be. Certain blasts will always do better than others. For example, advocacy appeals perform better than fundraising, but you should still always try to match your content and audience carefully.

Your descriptions and visuals should be clear and compelling. Changing your email format may have dramatic effects on user experience, particularly with eNewsletters. About 35% of people still prefer plain text emails, so a hyperlinked text-based call to action above the header can ensure your audience is seeing your message even when images are disabled. Try and test different methods to improve your email click-through rate to determine what really works with your list.

05. Bounce rate

What: Percent of unsuccessful delivery.

How: (Total Bounced / Total Sent) x 100

When an Email doesn’t reach its intended recipient it is called a ‘bounce’. Bounces are inevitable but with some work can be reduced considerably. They come in two forms:

Hard bounces can be a result of invalid emails or simple misspellings. They should be removed immediately because internet service providers may mark your business as spam and even place your account under review if you breach terms of use. You want to maintain a quality list, not a long one.

Soft bounces tend to occur when an email server encounters an issue like reaching capacity. These should be removed after a few attempts as well. You don’t want to jeopardise your business’s reputation or your delivery rate, so these are important to keep a look out for.

The best way to fight bounce rates is using an email marketing solution that has a bounce management system in place to detect and process all bounced emails by flagging or removing anything invalid. Employing verified opt-in lists will make certain that the email addresses you are marketing to are healthy. Also, when your lists include additional contact info of your subscribers, you can follow up and request a valid email address for future email blasts.

Wix Email Marketing helps you do just that. Not only will you be able to create and share beautiful emails in minutes, you can easily track and optimize your campaigns to grow your business.

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