What are email analytics?
Email analytics refers to the collection and analysis of data related to email marketing campaigns, such as open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates. These and other marketing metrics are used to evaluate the effectiveness of email marketing as a marketing channel.
Email analytics are an essential measurement for businesses that use email as a marketing strategy as they allow marketers to measure the effectiveness of their email campaigns by providing valuable insights into how recipients engage with their messages.
With this data, businesses can optimize their email marketing strategies, improve customer engagement, and drive more conversions.
Email analytics have been around since the early days of email marketing. In the past, marketers relied on basic metrics like open rates and click-through rates to measure the success of their campaigns. However, as technology has advanced, so too have email tools and the range of metrics they can track. Businesses can now track a wide range of metrics, including delivery rates, bounce rates, conversion rates, and more.
What are the main email analytics metrics?
Open rates: The percentage of recipients who open an email compared to how many received it.
Bounce rates: The percentage of emails that are returned to the sender because they could not be delivered. Within this metric a hard bounce refers to an email that as undeliverable and returned to the sender. The number of hard bounces would be used to calculate the bounce rate.
Conversion rates: The percentage of recipients who take a desired action on an asset sent by email, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
List growth rate: The rate at which a mailing list is growing or shrinking over time. This might be also referred to as subscriber growth rate or similar.
Benefits of using email analytics in email marketing
Using email analytics to track, understand and optimize email marketing campaigns is essential. This because they can help you to,
Improve engagement: By tracking metrics like open rates and click-through rates, businesses can identify what resonates with their audience and tailor their messaging accordingly. If a specific email returned a high bounce rate, and low open rate, it obviously didn't resonate with the target audience.
Increase conversions: By monitoring conversion rates, businesses can identify which emails are driving the most sales or leads and optimize their campaigns for better results by creating more similar campaigns.
Better segmentation: By analyzing subscriber behavior, businesses can segment their audience into more targeted groups and send more relevant content. This can include groups of subscribers who have never interacted with a business, and those who can be encouraged to become repeat customers.
Make cost savings: By identifying and addressing deliverability issues, businesses can reduce their email marketing costs and reduce wasted sends. This will also help improve ROI.
Email analytics use cases
Here are some real-life examples of how email analytics can be used by businesses to not only improve their marketing efforts but their business management to:
A clothing retailer uses email analytics to track which products are generating the most clicks and purchases from email campaigns. They then use this data to plan their inventory management, ordering more of popular items, for example. Email analytics can also give good insights into how consumers behave during seasonal and holiday periods. With this data businesses can prepare better for this behavior in following years.
An online education provider uses email analytics to measure engagement with different course offerings offered via email. They then use this data to optimize their course catalog, build more courses that they know from their data could be more popular, and create more targeted campaigns to promote these.
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Best practices for setting up and using email analytics
01. Set clear goals
Before launching an email campaign, define what success looks like and set measurable goals. This might differ from campaign to campaign depending on the goals. You might want to start small with improving your email analytics, if you're not sure how you subscribers will respond - so tracking open rates, to see how engaged they are with your brand and assets, and focusing on improving this before moving onto tracking and building conversion rates.
02. Track relevant metrics
Focus on metrics that align with your goals and provide actionable insights. Looking to increase your number of subscribers? You'll want to focus on tracking and improving sign up rates, while reducing bounce rates.
03. Analyze your data regularly
Review your email analytics regularly to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement. You can set weekly, monthly or quarterly tracking time frames.
04. Test and iterate
Use A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines, content, and calls to action. Use the data to refine your messaging and optimize your campaigns over time.
Working with email analytics, the challenges
While email analytics can provide valuable insights into your email marketing efforts, there are some potential challenges to consider:
Data quality: If your email list contains invalid or outdated addresses, your analytics data may be skewed. You should try to clean these out regularly.
Privacy concerns: Email analytics may collect personal information about subscribers, so it's important to be transparent about how this data is used and stored. Depending on which country you're working in, you may have to adhere to laws and regulation around email marketing, data collection and use.
Technical issues: Email analytics tracking tools may not always work seamlessly with different email service providers or platforms.
Email analytics FAQ
What is CTR in relation to email analytics and how is it calculated?
CTR is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in an email. It's calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of delivered emails, then multiplying by 100.
What marketing decisions can I make based on my email analytics data?
You can use email analytics data to refine your email content, design and timing, segment your email list for more targeted campaigns, and identify opportunities for A/B testing and optimization.
What are considered good email open and click through rates?
Benchmarks for good open and click-through rates can vary depending on your industry, audience and email type. Atypical open rate is around 20-25% and a CTR around 2-5% but it's best to compare your results to industry benchmarks and your own historical data.
Why is conversion rate a significant email analytics metric?
Conversion rates indicate how effective your emails are in persuading recipients to take desired actions, such as making a purchase, signing up for a webinar or filling out a form. Tracking conversion rates helps measure the impact of your email campaigns on your business goals.