Email Marketing, Pt. 5: Making Use of Open Rates & Click-Through Rates
By now, you've scoured the Internet, collecting the best practices and tactics for your Email Marketing Campaign; you've written the perfect message for the perfect audience, and you've sent your work out into cyberspace. Now it's time to see just how fruitful the product of your labor is, using the in-depth Analytics & Reports toolbelt that came with your HDM custom website.
When you build a custom website with Hazel Digital Media, you are also getting your hands on the latest and greatest analytics technology. After you've delivered your mighty campaign to the masses, you will be able to see an overview of its performance, including the following:
-The number of customers who did and did not open the email.
-The number of “bounced” emails (meaning the email was never received).
-The specific action the viewer took after opening the email.
-The different email clients used to view the message.
+ For a more in-depth look at the most popular email clients, and how that relates to your campaign efforts, be sure to check out the previous post in this series: The Most Popular Platforms For Viewing Email Campaigns.
Let's take a look at some of these different results, and what that means for you and your campaign.
The Raw Data
First off, we're going to tell you how to monitor viewer actions from an email campaign.
From your dashboard, refer to the long list of buttons on the left side of the screen. Click Email Marketing, and then click Email Campaigns.
Once a particular email campaign has been completed, you will see the statistics page, where all of the results for that campaign will be presented. First, you'll see:
-The number of total recipients, to whom you sent the email.
-The number of recipients who then opened that email.
-The number of viewers who took action after opening the email.
+This includes viewers who clicked on a certain link within the message; examples include: making an online purchase, filling out a web form, sharing to social media, and more.
-The percentage of bounced emails.
+A “hard bounce” means the message is permanently undeliverable due to an invalid email address.
+A “soft bounce” means the email address was valid, but the message was still not delivered, due most likely to either a full inbox or a server error on the side of the email client.
+After each campaign is completed, it's a good idea to go through and clean up the bounced email list. Unsubscribe invalid addresses or check for misspellings. Too many bounced emails over too long of a time-span can have some nasty repercussions down the road.
-The number of recipients who ultimately unsubscribed after opening the email.
All of these statistics will ultimately prove to be invaluable. The more campaigns you send out, the better you will get at understanding these numbers, and taking proper action based on them. After each campaign, it is imperative to make use of these tools.
Let's take a look at just how these numbers can help inform your future decisions.
Analytics & You
At the end of the day, your goal with analytics is to find out:
-How many of your emails were delivered (Delivery Rate)?
-How many of your emails were opened (Open Rate)?
-How many of those openers actually clicked (Click-Through Rate)?
Here's a good way to break down the numbers.
For Delivery Rate, take the number of emails delivered and subtract the number of bounced emails. If you want, you can then divide that figure by the original number of emails delivered to gain a percentage of your efficacy.
For Open Rate, divide the number of emails opened by the number of emails delivered. This part of the analytics process is important for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your Subject Line. Crafting the perfect subject line is a delicate art form, and deserves a pretty good deal of attention. For a more in-depth look at the almighty subject line, check out the first two parts in this series: The Subject Line and Subject Line Research.
And now for the big one.
For Click-Through Rate, divide the number of clicks by the number of delivered emails. This is the figure that will inform you more than any in the bunch. Over time, you can use this figure to experiment with different tactics and demographics to find out what works and what doesn't, where it's working and where it's not.
You may find that plain text emails are getting more clicks than your fancy, dressed-up emails; you may find that people in Texas have the itchy click-fingers, while people in California do not; you may find that getting people to share your message to Facebook is a more effective call-to-action than asking people to click to your site.
As always, the bottom line with email marketing is: trial, error, and great persistence. When you design a custom website with HDM, you'll find you have all the tools you need to dissect and measure your email marketing operation.
Hopefully this post will make it easier for you to crunch the numbers, and will give you some idea of how those numbers will influence the next phase of your grand experimentation. Email Marketing isn't easy, but if you keep trying, you will find that emails have the power to build your client base like no social media ever could.
For more information, take a look at the other posts in this series, and stay tuned as we continue to explore this layered topic.
Pt.1: The Subject Line
Pt.2: Subject Line Research
Pt.3: The Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Email Marketing
Pt.4: The Most Popular Email Clients For Opening Email Campaigns
And when it comes to crunching numbers and brainstorming new experiments, we've got at least a couple cents to contribute.