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Email Reporting Metrics Every Business Should Monitor

Maximize your email performance with essential email reporting metrics and stay ahead of the competition.

Email marketing is a proven method for reaching and connecting with your audience as you strive to build a community of loyal customers. From improving brand awareness to increasing website traffic and everything in between, developing an impactful email marketing strategy is important for growing businesses.

Monitoring performance is the key to success. As your business grows, it's important to set key metrics and milestones to help you track progress and identify areas of improvement. Creating an email marketing report provides valuable insights to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Keep reading to learn why you should start tracking campaign performance and which key metrics are most important for your business.

Why should businesses track their email marketing campaigns?

Tracking email marketing campaign performance is crucial for businesses on many levels. Email marketing plays an integral role in a company's overall marketing strategy.

Marketers leverage email marketing strategy as it is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with an audience, especially compared to traditional advertising channels. Email marketing efforts typically require minimal expenses while maintaining a consistently high return on investment (ROI).

Email campaigns also provide businesses with valuable insights and data. Operational reporting metrics serve as a compass guiding companies toward data-driven decision-making and help everyone in the company get on the same page regarding marketing strategies.

Email marketing reports provide an overview of campaign performance, indicating the effectiveness of different strategies. Businesses can use email analytics to measure audience engagement and responsiveness, as well as identify areas for improvement.

Email reporting metrics serve as the foundation upon which a business can build and optimize its email marketing efforts. Key metrics provide valuable insights related to the impact of various elements within a campaign, enabling businesses to refine their approach. Ultimately, email reports can help companies achieve higher ROI by delivering more targeted and engaging content to their subscribers.

Open rate

In email marketing, the open rate is a metric measuring the percentage of email recipients who opened a special email. A marketing email is considered "opened" when the recipient loads the images and/or clicks on a link. Open rate is a significant metric because it indicates how engaging and compelling the email subject line and the overall targeted content are.

Formula: Open rate - (Total email opened ÷ Total recipients - Emails bounced) x 100

Total email opened refers to the number of unique recipients who opened the email. Total recipients represent the number of emails delivered to recipients.

Email bounces occur when emails are not successfully delivered due to invalid email addresses or full inboxes. Subtracting bounces from the total number of emails sent is crucial for getting an accurate open rate.

After calculating your open rates, benchmark your results to understand how your email campaigns compare to competitors and industry standards. Open rates typically vary based on industry, audience, and email list quality so be sure to keep this in mind when benchmarking. Across all industries, the average open rate sits at 21.33%.

Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR measures the percentage of people who clicked on a link or call-to-action (CTA) within the email. CTR reflects the effectiveness of an email campaign in encouraging people to take action. A high CTA means your email content, design, and messaging contain relevant information and resonate with your audience.

Formula: CTR = (Number of clicks ÷ Number of emails delivered) x 100

The number of clicks represents the total amount of clicks on the links or CTAs within the email. Number of emails delivered refers to the total amount of emails successfully delivered (again, excluding bounces).

There are several measures you can implement to improve your CTR. First, focus on crafting compelling content that aligns with your audience's interests and needs. Use visually appealing designs and clear CTAs to spark interest and action. Try segmenting your email list based on demographics and preferences and create personalized content to feel more tailored and engaging.

Overall, your email campaigns need to strike a balance between including essential information and grabbing your recipient's attention.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is a key metric within an email marketing report. It measures the percentage of email recipients who take the desired action after interacting with the campaign. Conversion rate indicates how successful your marketing efforts were in persuading email subscribers to actively engage or convert.

Formula: Conversion rate = (Total conversions ÷ Total recipients) x 100

The total number of conversions is the amount of recipients who completed the desired action (e.g. clicked on the link to your website). Total recipients represent the number of emails successfully delivered.

One way to improve your conversion rates is to implement A/B testing in your email marketing strategy. Through this testing method, you can systematically compare two or more variations of an email to determine which performs better with your audience in terms of conversion.

Bounce rate

In email marketing, a bounce occurs when an email message cannot be delivered. Bounces can occur due to an invalid email address, full inbox, or technical issues. Managing the bounce rate is important in maintaining a healthy email list as it improves the email delivery rate and ensures your messages reach the intended recipients.

There are two main types of bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces occur because of permanent issues. If an email address is incorrect, misspelled, or simply doesn't exist, this is considered a hard bounce. Other hard bounces occur when the domain doesn't exist or when the recipient's email address is blocked. Email addresses resulting in a hard bounce should be removed from your list.

Soft bounces are temporary failures due to issues that can potentially be resolved. Soft bounces generally occur when the recipient's inbox is full, due to server issues, or due to content issues triggering spam filters. Monitor bounces and regularly clean your email list to help reduce bounce rates over time.

Delivery rate

In the context of email marketing, delivery rate measures the percentage of sent messages that successfully reach inboxes without bouncing or being filtered as spam. A high delivery rate is important for achieving a successful email campaign.

Formula: Delivery rate = (Total emails sent ÷ Number of emails delivered) x 100

Monitoring email deliverability helps improve other email marketing metrics. Here are a few ways to monitor and improve email delivery rates:

  • Use a reputable email service provider (ESP)
  • Authenticate your email
  • Maintain a clean email list
  • Avoid spam triggers
  • Segment your list
  • Monitor bounce rates
  • Analyze engagement metrics

Unsubscribe rate

Another important metric is the unsubscribe rate. This number indicates the percentage of recipients who choose to opt-out or unsubscribe from an email list or campaign.

Analyzing unsubscribe rates provides insights into the health of your email list and the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy with your target audience.

Formula: Unsubscribe rate = (Number of emails delivered ÷ Number of unsubscribed) x 100

Unfortunately, it's not possible to completely eliminate unsubscribes but you can take certain measures to minimize them. Key strategies include providing relevant content, setting clear expectations upon subscription, optimizing send frequency, crafting compelling subject lines, and email personalization.

Spam complaint rate

In email marketing, you'll want to aim for a low spam complaint rate. This metric covers the percentage of recipients who mark an email as spam or abuse. It's important to monitor spam reports because they indicate the level of dissatisfaction or frustration among your subscribers. A high spam rate can negatively impact your email marketing reports.

Formula: Spam complaint rate = (Number of emails delivered ÷ Total spam complaints) x 100

Email list growth rate

Growing your email list is a great way to ramp up your marketing efforts. The email list growth rate reflects the percentage increase in the number of subscribers over a specific time period. A healthy growth rate reflects positively on your marketing campaigns.

Formula: Email list growth rate = (Number of new subscribers - Number of unsubscribes ÷ Total subscribers at beginning of the period) x 100

When aiming to increase your mailing list, focus first on quality and then quantity. You want contacts who are interested in your content and are more likely to engage with your offers. Consider new strategies for increasing your mailing list, including opt-in forms, exit-intent pop-ups, social media promotion, referral programs, giveaways, and more.

Email engagement metrics

Other important metrics to consider reflect how engaged your audience is. Important engagement metrics include:

  • Forward rate: The percentage of recipients who forward an email to someone else. The forward rate can showcase the level of shareability and engagement of the content.
  • Reply rate: The percentage of email recipients who reply directly to an email. The reply rate reflects the level of recipient interaction.
  • Social sharing rate: The percentage of email recipients who share the email content on social media or other platforms. The social sharing rate indicates the email's shareability and potential to extend its reach beyond the inbox.

Email reporting tools every business should implement

Clearly, there are many key metrics to monitor to help refine your marketing strategies. Monitoring metrics and creating reports don't need to be difficult. In fact, you can leverage popular email analytics platforms to do the heavy lifting for you. Important features to look for in email reporting tools include measuring overall email performance, automated reporting, and ad hoc reporting.

Top-performing email reporting tools allow you to seamlessly integrate data analysis with your email marketing plans. Tools such as Mailchimp's email marketing platform help you analyze campaign data to use the full potential of your reports.

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