In our Email FAQs series, we answer your email marketing questions! In this episode, Daniel Kohn, the Founder of SmartMail, answers this email marketing question he gets asked all the time by online retailers: How can I analyze the success of my email campaigns?
You’ve set up your email campaigns and now you want to track their success. What should you be looking at? How can you know if an email campaign is really adding to your bottom line?
Watch the video below to find out how! You can also read the full article or listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.
Hey there. Welcome back to another episode of eCommerce Email FAQS. My name is Daniel Kohn. And today we’re looking at, “How to actually analyze the results of your email campaigns.”
Now, it’s one thing to be able to send the emails. It’s another thing to be able to actually understand how they’re actually performing. And that’s a whole different, you know, side of the equation.
So what I wanna do is break down the main metrics for you and build them back out for you, so you can go off and be able to like do this yourself.
Now, when it comes to email marketing, there is a couple of metrics that are really important. One is obviously the open rate, the click-through rate and then we wanna look at the conversion rate.
Open Rates: A Function of Your Subject Line
Now, the open rate is always gonna be a function of the subject line that you have. So, you know, working on your subject lines, A/B testing your subject lines is always gonna help you generate a better open rate. And the more you test and the more you sort of tweak and figure things out and play around with, the better shot you’ve got at improving your open rate.
Now, the other thing that you might wanna do is start looking at industry averages for your specific industry with open rates. Because if the average open rate of your industry is only like, you know, 14% and your open rate is 12%, then you’re not doing so bad.
But if you keep thinking, “Look, I want my open rates to be 20%, but they’re really only, you know, 12%,” then it’s a little bit unrealistic. So another thing that you wanna do is try and find some benchmarks for your specific industry around open rates.
CTR: It’s All About the Copy
Now, the second main metric we wanna be looking at is click-through rate. The click-through rate is obviously a function of the content of the email itself. So I’ve created some other videos in this whole FAQ situation, around how to improve your click-through rate. So I’m not gonna get into that right now.
But if you wanna measure the success of your click-through rate, it’s really a function of your copy and it’s a function of what you’re actually putting in your email. So to improve your click-through rate, you should watch those other videos.
Understanding Conversion Rates Beyond Just a Percentage
And then the final thing is really the conversion rate.
And we look at conversion rate, usually, I don’t like to look at conversion rates in the email marketing platform itself. I like to look at conversion rates in Google Analytics. Because Google Analytics actually provides you a single source of truth across all your marketing dashboards.
And so it gives you a true last click. What we call last click, you know, reporting on the performance of the actual campaigns. And there is a whole bunch of other things you can do inside Google Analytics with those metrics.
But the main metrics in there that you really wanna look at is the conversion percentage and the conversion rate, sorry, the conversion rate in terms of a dollar amount. How much money was generated?
Now, one of the reasons why I don’t like using the email platform, specifically, is because a lot of these email platforms report sales based on open rates or just clicks as opposed to clicking through and then converting as a sale.
Troubleshooting Attribution Confusion!
So if some platforms will report on open…so if you open an email and then you go on to buy something, but you didn’t necessarily buy it, you didn’t even click on the email, they will report that as a sale in your reporting dashboards. So you should look into that. It’s definitely a bit of a funny one.
So when you think that your sales numbers are inflated in your email dashboard, It’s not entirely their fault, it’s a relationship related to what we call attribution, which is a much bigger conversation around analytics and data.
But the idea of attribution can be overcome by looking at your Google Analytics and using Google Analytics as the main source of truth for all of your reporting.
And then the main metrics I look for, the other things I like to look for in the reporting as well of the email application is, you know, your spam rates and making sure that you’re not hitting to, you know, the spam filters. Making sure that you’re not getting too many unsubscribes.
Because if you start to get too many unsubscribes, all the email clients are gonna start blacklisting you, and that’s really not something that you want. So I’ve made a few other videos in this, you know, series on how to actually avoid spam filters and how to get better delivery on your email campaigns. So you might wanna check that out as well.
And the one last metric that you really wanna check is in Google. Google have this tool called the Postmaster tool. So you should sign up for that and if you’re sending your emails from a specific URL, you can put that URL into Google Postmaster tools. And you can start to say what your standing is with Gmail and you can start to see, you know, if your rating is good, bad or excellent.
And usually, what that will help you figure out is if it’s really bad, then it means that all of your emails are going to the spam folder. And then you’ve gotta do a whole lot of other things to get out of the spam folder and build up your reputation again.
So that’s a really important metric to be noticing as well, is the Google Postmaster statistics as well. So that’s another thing that you probably wanna sign up for and, you know, keep in check when you’re running your email marketing campaigns.
So they’re the main metrics that you really wanna have your head around. And if you’ve got any other metrics that you think we need to be looking at or, you know, eCommerce companies need to be looking at, feel free to comment about them in the comments below. Let me know. I’d love to engage with you and talk to you about those, you know, other metrics that you think are important. So thanks for watching. And hopefully, this video was helpful for you.