Published on Sep 22,2015
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Email Post

Email marketing has been around for sometime now. It’s the level of sophistication and customization that has taken a sharp upward turn. Just measuring click-through rates and conversion rates will leave you bereft of the full picture. The metrics that should really concern you are increasing subscriptions, limit being labeled as spam and improving sales.

This listicle will bring the top 11 KPIs or metrics to your attention that you should measure for any successful email marketing campaign:

#1 Topline

Why not start with the ultimate goal? All your online marketing efforts, content strategies, email marketing campaigns are ultimately targeted at increasing topline. It’s vital to link your marketing emails to products which are getting sold. Take account of those products that are in demand but not yet a part of your email campaigns. They could turn into huge cash cows.

#2 Cost reductions

Online marketing can be quite an expensive affair if you decide to invest in ads and hire a team to perform specific functions. If email marketing is bringing in the numbers, it may be much more cost-effective. Do measure the cost savings vis-à-vis other marketing campaigns.

#3 Conversion rate

Do not narrow down the scope of this metric by only measuring ultimate sales. Sometimes, an email marketing campaign may consist of different stages where you are expecting some action from the recipient at each stage. It could be to register, to download an app, to respond to a short survey or even take advantage of a limited period discount coupon. The conversion rate would be measured in terms of the number of recipients who satisfied the actionable request on the email by clicking on a link.

#4 Click-to-open rate

While conversions go a step further, the click-to-open rate is a crucial one-step back. It measures the number of unique clicks to the link in an email. It also measures the proportion of recipients who opened the email. If your open-to-click rate is high, it means that the email content that you are generating is effective. It can be measured by dividing unique clicks by the number of emails opened.

#5 Cancelled subscriptions

Focusing only on the positive metrics will give you a myopic view. How about cancelled subscriptions? They may be a very small percentage in the entire game, but yes something that should be measured. Unsubscribe rates of up to one percent are usually considered to be acceptable and in line with industry benchmarks. But anything above that means that you need to revisit some part of your email marketing campaign and tighten screws.

#6 Hard & soft bounce rate

Mails are said to bounce back when they remain undelivered to the recipient. A soft bounce indicates that the email address of the recipient is correct. It could be an issue with the mailbox being too full or server errors. Such emails should be sent again at a later date. On the other hand, a hard bounce indicates an incorrect email address or a non-existent email address. Such addresses should be immediately taken off the email campaign list.

#7 Delivery rate

The core of an email marketing campaign is whether emails have been delivered or not. This KPI measures the efficacy of your back-end processes. The level of accuracy of customer email address lists and an able delivery process will ensure a high delivery rate. The delivery rate can be measured by dividing the total number of emails delivered by the total number of emails sent.

#8 Time spent on site

This KPI does not directly measure a metric linked to the email campaign per se but is definitely related. When a user clicks on a link in the email and visits your site, the time he spends there can influence whether he subscribes to it or not.

#9 Buy rate

You may have paid to get traffic on your site. The number crunching kicks in very quickly in such cases. But even if you are running a low-cost email marketing campaign, measuring how many subscribers are buying something is of great essence.

#10 Spam rate

Are your emails being labeled as spam too often? That may not be a great sign and something that you need to watch out for. Getting your hands on a spam complaint list will ensure that you are tracking the frequency. Once labeled a spammer, changing the brand perception in a recipient’s mind can be quite tricky.

#11 List augmentation

Your initial list of contacts will lose their steam over time. Recipients could disregard your email, subscribe and buy or maybe even buy many times over. So you have to ensure that you continue to augment the email contact list so that you are not depending on a finite set of recipients.

Email marketing provides a multitude of career opportunities these days. Content writers, email marketing analysts, designers and managers are some options in this field. With the heightened level of specialization, it may not be lucrative to become a jack-of-all-trades. Instead, choosing a specific area and mastering it is advisable.

Note that email marketing is one of the most effective ways of maintaining a long-term relationship with customers. If KPIs are not consistently measured and analyzed in an email marketing campaign, you could be missing out on some simple tweaks that could yield huge benefits. Once you have built a strong base, then you can keep adding new layers and ideas. Without a strong base, your email marketing campaign can fall down like a house of cards.

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