31 posts categorized "Metrics & Analytics" Feed

Email by the Numbers

In this article, Jeanne Jennings says that the success of your email campaigns is driven by strategies based on solid metrics. You should take a numbers-based approach to prove your current theories, to forecast, or to prioritize your testing focus. You'll find results can be pretty compelling and very addictive. And they just may uncover something new.

Read the full article in which she shares some great lessons learned.

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All About Email Open Rates

In this article Campaign Monitors' Matthew Patterson explains what open rates are all about.

Basically an open rate is a measure of how many people on an email list open (or view) a particular email campaign. The open rate is normally expressed as a percentage, and is usually calculated as follows:

Total emails opened divided by total emails delivered (i.e excluding any bounces)

So a 20% open rate would mean that of every 10 emails delivered to the inbox, 2 were actually opened.

How do you measure an open?
When each email is sent out, automatically a piece of code is added that requests a tiny, invisible image from the sender's web servers. So when a reader opens the email, the image is downloaded, and that download is recorded as an open for that specific email.

It is important to understand that the open rate is not a 100% accurate measure. Recording an 'open' can only happen if the readers email client is capable of displaying html with images, and that option is turned on. So if you are sending text-only emails, there is no way to record open rates (the exception is if they actually click a link). Similarly, people reading your html email without images showing will not be recorded as opens.

Another issue is that your readers may have a preview pane in their email client. That preview pane might be displaying your email automatically (and therefore downloading the images) without the reader ever having to click on it or read it.

So you should never take your open rate as a hard and fast number, because you can never know the true figure. It is much better used as general guide, and as a way of measuring the trends on your email campaigns.

Read the full article here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Email Marketers Must Look Beyond CTR And Open Rates

A key takeaway from E-consultancy's most recent Email Marketing Roundtable was the growing need for marketers to look beyond traditional email success metrics when looking at their email strategy. In the world of multi-channel retail it is no longer enough just to examine clickthrough rates (CTR), open rates or even good old Return on Investment to see if your email strategy is paying dividends.

The problem comes when the email channel is viewed in isolation. It is easier said than done but companies and their agencies should strive for a model which enables them to see the effect that the reach and volume of their email communication is having on brand awareness and their sales across all channels.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that email marketing and statistics can no longer be viewed in isolation. For example, as one of the roundtable attendees pointed out, there are plenty of shoppers out there who are printing out their emails and bringing this information to high-street shops.

As in other areas of online marketing, companies need to figure out ways of collecting all this cross-channel information and piecing it all together.

Another related point which came out of the discussion was the need to think about individual customers and users as well as thinking in terms of percentages for metrics such as CTR and open rates. This came up in the context of database degradation and the need to understand whether email recipients have any interest in getting your emails.

You may have a high percentage of open rates but there could well be a certain proportion of people who never look at your emails. As someone pointed out, it may be the case that the same 30% of users are opening your emails every time, with the result that over-communication to a large chunk of the remainder is tarnishing your brand.

So unless you look at data at an individual user level then you have no way of knowing whether you have significant numbers of inactive users. Once an organisation has defined inactivity and how many users are inactive, it is then a case of deciding whether they should be cut from the database or re-engaged with. There is more about this in the roundtable notes.

The Email Marketing Roundtable Briefing, which includes a summary of the roundtable discussion, is free to download and also contains information about the size of the market and market trends, as well as the latest stats and resources. 

Source: e-consultancy.com

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The Email Metrics That Really Matter

Do you know how much revenue do you bring in through your email program? Are you earning back what the company spent on you?

In this article Loren McDonald tells us that we need to run some diagnostics on our program and determine the key drivers of our program's successes and failures.

There are lots of these diagnostic-type metrics, but let's take a look at four examples: share of e-mail, list activity, subscriber drop-off and deliverability. They aren't designed to tell you if your e-mail program met its goals. But they will help you uncover problems or weaknesses and develop strategies to improve them:

  • Share of e-mail: do you know which links (products, offers and articles) consistently drove the most traffic or conversions?
  • List activity: do you know how many readers are still opening and clicking six months after they sign up and which ones are basically just valid addresses in your database?
  • Subscriber-interest timeline: when does interest drop off to the point where subscribers don't actively open e-mails or act on them?
  • Deliverability: is delivery going down steadily or does it ebb and flow?

Read the full article here.

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Email Open Rates Guide

Mark Brownlow wrote an extensive article on open rates. This is how he describes it himself:

A comprehensive guide to everything to do with email open rates, including how to improve them, interpreting rates, measurement issues, and finding averages.

It's written for both newcomers and those with long experience, taking you through from basic issues to advanced considerations in a 4000 word free guide.

And if that's not enough, it includes many links to other articles on the same topic.

Read it here.

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Email Marketing: What To Measure

By Wendy Roth, strategic account manager, Lyris Technologies

If you have a website, chances are you have a form asking visitors to subscribe to your email list. Those subscribers are interested in your company and want to know more about what you have to offer.

It's easy to take this key group of customers for granted, especially if you aren't looking for signs that they're tuning out your messages.

You can gauge your campaign's success by looking at these seven key email marketing metrics:

By tracking these metrics over time for your email campaigns, you'll establish success benchmarks for your email list that will not only show you how effective your campaigns have been, but will suggest changes to optimize future email campaigns.

Source: iMedia Connection

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What Was Your Average Open Rate in 2005?

Those that know me, know that I'm incredibly curious :) This time I'm curious to find out what your average open rate was in 2005. If you're an email marketer in a corporate function or if you publish a newsletter, I invite you to take the poll in the column on your right. Your vote is anonymous, and you can only vote once.

I'll let this poll run until April 7th and publish the results in a new post. Feel free to check the poll results by clicking on the "view results" link. Keep in mind that open rates do vary by industry.

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Key Metrics To Focus On

You can only achieve solid improvement on campaign elements that you actually take the time to measure. If you're not evaluating past campaign performance, you're missing out on the key insights email marketing reports can provide.

Email marketers should regularly evaluate these core metrics:

  • Delivery rate
  • Open rate
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Conversion rate

In this article, Bill Nussey takes a look at each of these metrics and examines some ways you can improve your results.

It's important to look at these metrics for each campaign separately but don't forget to also look at them on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis to determine the trends.

This is how I do it:

When a campaign is launched, I monitor all the above-mentioned metrics up to 7 days after the launch of the campaign. Then, before I start creating a new email campaign, I have a look at the report of the previous campaign (that had the same goal as the new one) to check the overall performance of the campaign and to find out which were the links that had the highest click-through rate. On a monthly and quarterly basis I spend some time updating my "campaign dashboard" (basically it's an excel sheet that contains all the key metrics per campaign, campaign type and per month) and I try to figure out what the overall trends are and where I need to make adjustments.

I'm sure you already guessed what the next step is: yes, that's correct: it's testing time! :) Find out what and how to test in my previous posts about testing.

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Benchmarking Email Results: Not As Straightforward As It Seems

In Monday's issue of MediaPost's Email Insider David Baker, vice president of email marketing & analytical solutions at Agency.com, talks about e-mail benchmarking. He states that "while charts and reports are unfortunately a necessary part of this business, they may not be the best guide to help gauge the success and growth of an e-mail program."

And he explains why:

"First, these statistics are usually aggregate by category. There is not a clear distinction between companies or brands within vertical and subsequent categories. Then, there's the accuracy of the source of list, method of permission, type of communication, intent, and the fact that the overall sophistication of e-mail marketing by sector is so scattered. It's very rare that all of these factors could line up to provide an accurate reflection of your program let alone a benchmark on which to measure your success.

Next, while statistics might be considered impersonal, they are in fact very personal to you and what it means to your business. Most of the time, there is little context as to what other's benchmarks mean, how they were derived, and if they are unbiased. I often wondered, but could never prove, if the analysts used biased data for the benefit of the report or industry in general, which could be argued with all the differences in how deliverability is being reported today."

In this article he mentions a few guidelines to keep in mind if you do want to benchmark your results.

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Email Metrics 101

We turn the spotlight on the post-send portion of your email marketing campaign. Reviewing the results - your metrics (or statistics) - should be a key part of your email marketing strategy. It's what will help you improve on each mailing, producing better results every time.

The article "Email Metrics 101", explains common metrics terminology, plus provides good resources for further research. Sourced articles include MarketingSherpa's just-released third annual Email Metrics Survey results.

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