How to Properly Analyze and Measure Email Marketing Campaigns

Oct 9, 2017 4:46:12 PM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

You’re creating and curating great email content and you’re crafting attention-grabbing subject lines. When you hit send on that email marketing campaign, you think you’re on your way to success. But if you don’t know how to properly analyze and measure email marketing campaigns, you’ll never know for sure.

So … how do you go about measuring the effectiveness of your email campaigns? More importantly, what should you even measure? Are open rates the be-all, end-all? Click-throughs? What matters?

While there are key email marketing metrics that you should measure on a regular basis, you also have to use data to figure out what’s working — and what isn’t working — in your campaigns.

Here are some guidelines that will help you analyze and measure email marketing campaigns.

The Metrics

There are several email marketing metrics that you can measure, but only a handful you should consistently measure. These key metrics are:

  • Open Rate
  • Click Through Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Complaint Rate (Spam)
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Forward/Share Rate
  • Campaign ROI
  • List Growth Rate

Getting a handle on these numbers will give you a good idea of how your emails are performing. But they don’t paint the entire picture.

The Data

Metrics give you a solid overview, but data helps you drill down to the heart of the matter — actual performance. Your prospects and clients may be opening and/or clicking your emails at an impressive rate. But are they converting? Are they doing what you want them to do? If not, you need to dig deeper.

By going past the key metrics and looking at conversion rate, revenue, and ROI, you can see who among your contacts is taking action. You can look at which segments of your audience converts more than others, and what types of people make up those segments. Also look at your website and see what pages convert better than others. Perhaps your email is well written and attractively designed, but you’re just pointing people to the wrong place.

The key to analyzing data is to look beyond email metrics and examine how your emails affect — and are affected by — your overall website. Take a similar look at your social media channels if you use them for marketing. By taking a holistic view, you can find results that mere email metrics could never uncover.

How to Analyze and Measure Email Marketing Campaigns

Merging email metrics and website data is a great foundation for measuring your email campaigns, but there’s one last step — analyzing your overall email strategy. Are you sending too often? Not often enough? If you bombard your target audience’s inboxes, you can quickly turn them off. But if you don’t communicate frequently enough, your emails could get ignored or lost in the shuffle. Test the frequency of your campaigns to see whether you need to ramp up your schedule or scale back.

Another concern is the messaging. Is it too repetitive? If potential clients see the same message over and over again, they’ll tune out. Smart email marketers keep each individual email fresh. Over the course of time, your audience should receive a variety of messages in format and content. Also make certain you tailor and deliver the right message to each audience. (Prospects may like being treated like customers, but customers don’t like being treated like prospects.)

Are offers a component of your email marketing campaigns? If so, don’t look strictly at how many clients take advantage of an offer; look at what they do after they convert. Are they more likely to buy again? Do they scale back their spend? Studying how a current promotion affects future activity will help you fine tune your email marketing strategy. Keep a close eye on user behavior. Even the best and most targeted audience segments can become disengaged if you don’t deliver what they want, when they want it.

As with any marketing effort, there’s a lot of testing, retesting, and trial and error involved in the process. Monitor metrics, data, results, and behaviors over time, and adjust accordingly. Don’t try to overhaul every element of your email program at once; make small modifications as you go along. And be flexible! Never tie yourself to one particular strategy -- frequently evaluate and reevaluate your tools and processes, and be open to trying new tactics. Your next email campaign could be your most successful.

Want more information on how to develop an effective email marketing program? Do you need help analyzing and measuring your email marketing campaigns? We’re here to help. Contact us today!