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The Best Practices Based on 2019 Email Marketing Metrics

Marketers can only make improvements if they take the time to assess the effectiveness of their previous campaigns. This is where email marketing metrics enter into the picture.

With the help of metrics, you will be able to identify which actions you should continue using and which ones you should rather pull the plug on. The following are the most important email marketing metrics that you should pay attention to and a couple of best practices that will help you to give your percentages a boost too.

Open rate

Your open rate is pretty unambiguous and straightforward. In short, it refers to how many of your email subscribers have actually opened a specific email.

By analysing your open rate, you will learn more about which subject lines were the most effective and which days are the ideal time to send those emails. Not only is this metric easy to make sense of, but you do not have to work out this percentage on your own as this metric is also included by all the different email platforms in every email campaign report.

Though, achieving a good open rate is unfortunately more challenging! For instance, the open rate of an e-commerce company’s marketing email campaign is only about 18% on average. So, if you want to improve on that average open rate, you should seriously consider segmenting and customizing your campaigns.

Spam rate

A possible reason why subscribers are so reluctant to open a promotional email is because they often perceive it as spam. Thus, one rate that you do not want to see increase is your spam rate (in fact, you should strive to keep it as low as 0.1%). If your spam rate increases, it basically means that increasingly more subscribers are labeling your emails as spam.

So, before you just send those emails, ask your subscribers if that will be okay with them. Then, once you have received everyone’s permission, be sure not to email them too often and try not to include a deal in every email that you send.

Bounce rate

For your subscribers to be able to open your emails, they need to have received it in the first place. This might sound like common sense, but you will be surprised that some emails actually do not reach their destinations.

The bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that do not reach their intended destination. It could simply be that your subscriber’s inbox is full (referred to as a soft bounce). Though, if your bounce rate is more than 4% it could be a sign that it is time that you update your subscriber list as many of the email addresses very likely no longer exist.

Click-through rate

So, your email managed to sidestep the Spam folder and has, in fact, been opened by the subscriber. You can now shift your focus to your click-through rate which refers to the number of subscribers that clicked on at least one link found in your email.

A high click-through rate is a sign that your writing team is doing a good job as the call-to-action prompts were effective and your subscribers found your content interesting. If your click-through rate is too low, consider segmenting and customizing your email campaigns. Also, pay attention to your email’s structure. It should be easy to scan and click. Ultimately your recipients should know exactly which action they should take next.

Conversion rate

Two goals of email marketing are to get more people to sign up to a newsletter and, needless to say, boost your sales. Unfortunately most email service providers do not offer conversion rate metrics. Instead, you will have to use Google Analytics or a tool like Omnisend.

Your conversion rate is one of the most important things to assess. If you boast a great conversion rate, it is a sign that your email campaign is targeting the right group. What’s more, it is also an indication that your offer is attractive and that people are convinced by your copy to take action.

Return on investment (ROI)

You have probably spent some money on your email marketing campaign. In that case, you would like to work out if you have gained anything, right? You can assess if your email marketing campaign has been successful by working out the return on investment (ROI). The formula is very simple: take what you have gained (in other words, the sum of all the sales that you have made via your email marketing campaigns) and subtract what you have spent (like the fee of your marketers and copywriters). Then, divide this answer by what you have spent (yes, the same amount that you used earlier) and you will get your ROI percentage.

Unsubscribe rate

The reality is that you will always have subscribers who choose to hit that unsubscribe button. That being said, luckily, on average only about 0.25% of subscribers choose to unsubscribe. Though, if your e-commerce business has loads more who opt to unsubscribe, it could be that your content is too promotional or one-sided or that you are simply sending emails too often.

Wrapping up

You can only manage your email marketing campaign effectively, if you take the time to analyze the metrics. Start by looking at your open rate to determine if your subject lines need more attention, while your click-through rate will help to determine if the rest of your copy needs to be improved. Whatever you do, do not send emails too frequently! While it may be tempting, your spam and bounce rate will only suffer.

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3. Arrange customer complaints in order of importance

Bad customer experience precedes churn — that’s the general rule.

But some bad experiences are more toxic than others, and you need to sort them in their order of “toxicity.” If your customers complain about one common problem more than they do about others, that problem could be the reason they’re leaving.

So arrange your customer complaints in the order of importance — that is, in terms of percentages.

For example, if you find that 60% of your customer feedback or complaints is about “poor video sessions,” then that’s what you should tackle first. Once you have the complaint solved, update your users (or the ones who complained) about the development.

As an example, here’s a feature release email you can emulate — from Appcues:

Keep solving customer complaints this way — according to their importance — and your churn rate should start reducing. After you solve each complaint, send them a feature release or product update announcing the problem you just solved for them. The Appcues announcement email got 34% clicks on the plaintext link and 66% on the main CTA button.

4. Personally call, email or visit customers

Sometimes nothing beats talking to customers and understanding your business from their perspective. And it’s easy to think you know every nook and cranny of your business until they burst your bubble with experiences that you never knew a thing about.

They’ll help you uncover details about your product from a customer perspective and most of all, they might be speaking on behalf of other customers.

For example, you’ll learn a lot if you call a customer and she narrates the story of how hard it was for her to access her videos on your platform or how she had to reload a page over and over again to select her favourite feature before it finally worked.

Yes, it worked, but she went through a nightmare before it did. And you probably wouldn’t know this story if you hadn’t gotten on a call with her.

Or you could even visit customers like they do at Drift.

In an interview with Hotjar, Drift’s founder David Cancel shared how he or some of his colleagues would hop on a plane and go have lunch with some of their users — big and small — so they can chat with them like normal people and get quality product feedback:

And they do this “every week.” Imagine the amount of feedback you get when you meet with customers face-to-face this often. Besides what they actually say, you get feedback from their body language, tone and gestures.

Talk to a churn analysis expert

You might be experiencing a unique churn situation that’s different from everything outlined in this guide. And that’s not new; it’s normal.

Most businesses need customized churn analysis, or an expert to help you do the heavy lifting of setting up a dashboard for churn analysis for the business. Get in touch with us; we can help.

We’ll help you in three key ways:

  1. Measuring what matters

We help you discover objectives and key results (OKRs) that directly impacts your churn and retention rates. And OKRs provide you with 4-key benefits. They help you:

  • focus your organization on what matters
  • measure our progress towards those goals
  • enable large groups to work together in alignment
  • stretch to achieve things you wouldn’t have thought possible
  1. Speed & agile

We’ll help you deliver value faster and with fewer headaches in incremental steps. Instead of betting everything on a “big bang” launch, our agile process delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

  1. Simplicity & accuracy

We provide a simple framework that eliminates steps in churn analysis and makes things simple for your organization. In the end, we’ll help you achieve set conversion and retention objectives.

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