How To Measure Email Effectiveness

Email offers a number of powerful advantages for marketers: prospects and customers like to interact via email, it's cost effective and it's easy to measure results. Although there are many metrics to use in an email marketing campaign, when measuring email effectiveness you're really trying to answer three questions:

1. Is my list good?
2. Is my content relevant?
3. Is my offer strong?

We'll look at how email metrics can help answer each of these questions. First, a comment about metrics: there aren't specific thresholds you should aim to reach. Instead, you should track the effectiveness of your email campaigns over time, looking for improvements in your metrics.

If you discover problems like your open rate or click-through rate is trending down, you have a problem to solve. But that's the beauty of email: you can measure results, identify issues, and address them.

1. Is my list good?
Metrics that shed light on the quality and accuracy of your list include:



-- Number of emails sent vs. number of emails delivered

-- Soft bounces

-- Hard bounces

Soft bounces mean your email likely reached the recipient's email server but got no further, because of a full inbox or problematic server. A hard bounce means the email will never be delivered, likely because the address or the domain doesn't exist. Check hard bounces and try to fix or update the email address, or remove them from your mailing list.

2. Is my content relevant?
Email marketing is about being relevant to your audience. If you are sending useful, educational information to a targeted audience, your recipients will look forward to your emails and read them.

The metrics that indicate the relevancy of your content are:

-- Email opens

-- Email click-throughs

-- Forwards

-- Unsubscribes

Email open rate counts the number of people who open your email. Often you will have one metric for the total number of opens and one for the number of unique subscribers opens, since some subscribers open your email multiple times. The "from" and "subject" lines are the key influencers of your open rate. The rate can sometimes be misleading because reading an email in a preview pane might not register as an open.

Click-through rate measures the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link. Readers who click on links are interested, indicating your content is relevant to them.

Forwards are indicate content relevancy. Unsubscribes indicate your content is irrelevant or perhaps you are emailing too frequently, or not often enough, in which case recipients have forgotten who you are.

3. Is your offer strong?
Not all of your emails will include an offer, such as registering for a Webinar or downloading content. But for those that do, the click-through rate on the offer link is an important metric

If you have several offer links you can monitor which performs better and also use the click-through metrics to help measure the effectiveness of your landing page.

The best way to measure the strength of your offer is by monitoring the conversion rate metric. This is the percentage of recipients who complete your call-to-action, such as registering for an event or making a purchase. The overall effectiveness of your email will impact conversion rates, especially the value and relevancy of the offer or call-to-action. Weak or irrelevant offers will result in low conversion rates.

The key takeaway to remember when measuring your email effectiveness is to pay attention to your email metrics over time, making incremental changes that will generate improved results.

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