28 Feb Evaluating Email Success
After you send your email campaign, your email marketing service provider will offer you valuable statistics that you should use to shape the content of your next mass email. Using those statistics, you can tell exactly how many emails were opened, and of those that were opened, what information customers responded to most.
When evaluating your email marketing campaigns, there are a few terms that you will need to understand. These elements can be found on email reporting supplied to you by your email marketing provider and should be used to strengthen your approach to email marketing during every campaign.
Conversion rate – The term conversion rate refers to the number or percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in a given email marketing campaign or promotion. Conversions happen when a customer clicks a link on your email message that brings them back to a page on your website. Conversion rate benchmarks can vary by industry.
Hard bounce/Soft bounce – A hard bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent address. A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an email due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server. Pay close attention to the hard bounces and soft bounces on your email campaign reports as they can give you better insight into what customers you are actually reaching and what email addresses you should remove from your database.
Open rate – An open rate is the percentage of emails opened in any given email marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of emails sent. Your open rate gives you a pretty clear understanding of how effective your overall email marketing approach is going. If you see your open rate going up over time, that means customers are happy to receive the frequency of emails that your are sending them. If your open rate goes down over time, consider reducing the frequency of emails you are sending.
Opt-in (or Subscribe) – When a customer signs up for your email list online, they typically go through a process called Opt-in. When a customer opt’s-in to your email list, they are legally giving you consent to send them email marketing messages. Without an opt-in for every email address you gather, you run the risk of losing permission to email that customer and maintaining credibility with your email marketing provider. Make sure to add an opt-in box on your website and give your customers clear direction on how they should use it.
Opt-out (or Unsubscribe) – When a customer opts-out, or unsubscribes from your email list, they are effectively declining consent of receiving email messages from you. It’s not uncommon to have opt-outs for each of your email campaigns, but the numbers of them should stay low. If you notice a large number of unsubscribes from your email list, that means customers aren’t happy with the message that you’ve sent them. Consider adapting your email campaigns to duplicate marketing efforts of the times when the least number of people unsubscribed from your list and become conscious of the messages that caused an increase in opt-outs.
You can find more information on email marketing terminology by visiting the website of your email marketing provider and searching “email terms”.
In summary, don’t be afraid to try a lot of different promotions at first. It will let you know what customers find most interesting, and it will keep your overall campaign from becoming repetitive.
Once you’ve properly developed your evaluation process, use your findings to adapt your ongoing email campaigns. You can also use those findings to provide better offers to your customers in-store.