Smart small business owners know that email marketing is a key part of any well-rounded strategy, but a far slimmer percentage understand the power of tracking metrics on every campaign. The truth is, metrics won’t do much on their own – they are simply measurements that point a business in the right direction.
But with a strong understanding of these elements and how to use them properly, metrics can be the difference-maker between a winning campaign and a total flop. To help small business leaders recognize which email marketing metrics deliver the most value, and how to best use the information therein, here’s a look at four essentials that every email effort should track.
1. Spam rate: It may seem like an odd choice to kick off the list, but if the vast majority of a brand’s emails are ending up in the spam folder, the rest of its metrics will be seriously skewed. Besides, sending spam mail is very wasteful from the perspective of a business manager, not to mention its effects on brand perception and reputation. Keeping an eye on the spam rate will help a brand identify filters and patterns that thwart delivery and allow them to remedy the issue.
2. Click-through rate: According to an article from Business2Community, this is the metric that determines the initial impact of an email message, making it vital to tracking the effectiveness of subject lines, timing and frequency. It’s not just about opens, either, as many emails contain links and calls-to-action that encourage more clicks. Businesses should take click-through rates seriously in order to craft punchier, more clickable messages.
3. Conversion rate: Ultimately, the goal of every marketing campaign is to boost awareness, bring traffic to the business and win over customers new and old. This is why the conversion rate is such a powerful metric, allowing a team to see how many purchases are connected directly to the opening and navigation of an email message. This not only gives great feedback on the effectiveness of the message itself, but also provides some good insight into the return on investment that the campaign yields overall.
“A balanced conversion rate is very important to enjoy good return on investment, otherwise the cost will exceed the benefit, killing the entire purpose,” explained Business2Community contributor Tahir Akbar.
4. Unsubscribe rate: No business likes to face the reality of the unsubscribe rate, but this is an important measure of what recipients really think of the messages they are being sent. All too often, a company bombards its email database with messages that not only lack relevance, but are simply too frequent to carry any real meaning. If this story sounds too familiar, it may be time to take a closer look at the unsubscribe rate and see what changes can be made to turn things around.
Metrics provide the honest truth, which may sometimes hurt, but will ultimately point a brand in the right direction as it navigates a changing email marketing environment.
Need to recap the basics of email marketing? Check out our Email Marketing 101 Slideshare here.