track email marketing

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Facebook and Google constantly change their algorithms. And what’s working for you today may not tomorrow. The winds of algorithmic change are fickle and hard to predict. So, what can you do to keep your business and offerings in front of the right people? You can protect your online visibility with a tried-and-true method—email marketing. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to track a successful email marketing campaign so you’ll get the best ROI, which can be as high as 3800%. No other digital marketing technique can net you those kinds of results. So, let’s get started. 

Why should you continue to invest in email marketing?

When you build an email list, you own a direct line of communication to those leads. Sending out a marketing email to people who are interested in your offerings can give you a huge and quick boost in sales. SEO can take months to see results. Facebook ads can cost a fortune. With email marketing, it’s cheap, fast, and relatively easy to manage. 

On average, ROIs for social media ads are about 95%. For Google ads, it’s roughly 155%. But with email marketing campaigns done the right way, you’ll get an ROI of 3800%. But what’s the right way? 

Tracking and analyzing email marketing metrics is key. Otherwise, you’ll be sending in the dark. When you track your metrics, you’ll have a good idea of what’s working and isn’t working for your list. Tracking metrics gives you the chance to optimize your email campaigns for greater ROI, sales, and increased customer loyalty. 

What email marketing campaign metrics should you track?

“But I only have four people on my list. And one’s my mom.” 

“I haven’t even started building a list yet.”

“I’ve been doing email marketing for ten years, and it’s still not giving me a good ROI.”

“I sell beards for Santa Claus impersonators. So, very niche and seasonal. Tracking email marketing is a waste of time for my business.” 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started building a list or have been launching email marketing campaigns for years. No matter how niche your business is, improving your campaigns will increase your sales with email marketing. If you’re using Mailchimp, Moosend, or Maropost as your platform—it doesn’t matter. Regardless of where you are in your email marketing journey, tracking and analyzing the following four metrics will increase the success of your campaigns. 

Yep, that’s right—just four metrics. 

We want this step-by-step email marketing guide to be quick to follow, and the tips in it easy to implement. The following four email marketing metrics will be easy to remember and track for even the most inexperienced marketers. So, what are they?

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through-rate (CTR)
  4. Disengagement

Let’s dig into these metrics in more detail below.

Email marketing deliverability: Why and how to track this metric

Deliverability in email marketing is also called delivery rate. Deliverability rates are calculated by the number of delivered emails divided by sent emails. The metric tells you what percentage of emails you’ve sent actually made it to the recipient’s inbox. Essentially, this metric tells you how likely it is that people will actually get any of your emails. 

High deliverability rates mean your emails are passing the spam test that email service providers like Gmail have in place. Passing the spam test is beyond the scope of this article. But basically, make sure you aren’t using real sales-y, spammy language in your email subject lines, like:

  • Zero-money down!
  • FREE!
  • No investment needed!
  • Zero risks!

Exclamation points in email subject lines look spammy. The word free in the subject line can also trigger spam tests. If your deliverability rate is in the 90th percentile or higher, that’s good. 

Tracking open rates in email marketing

Open rates tell you how likely people are to open and possibly read your emails. This metric measures how often a recipient opens your email the first time called a unique open. If a recipient opens the email a second, third, or fourth time, those opens aren’t calculated in the rate. Open rates can indicate if the emails are read, but more on that later. Your subject lines have the most significant impact on open rates. 

Average open rates can vary by industry. Across the board, 20% is the average open rate for email campaigns. Try not to get hung up on this percentage if your open rates are far below average. As you continue to improve this metric, compete against yourself—not everyone else. 

Improving your subject lines will go a long way to increasing your open rates. If your open rates begin to steadily tick up over time, that’s a good sign—even if it’s still below the industry average. It means your messages are resonating with recipients. Keeping your list fresh with new leads can also go a long way toward increasing open rates and keeping them high. 

Email marketing metric click-through-rates 

Click-through-rates, or CTRs, are arguably one of the most critical indicators of email marketing success in this step-by-step guide. The CTR indicates how often people are reading the emails and engaging with your call-to-action (CTA). CTRs drive:

  • Visits to your landing page
  • Engagement with your brand
  • Sales and increased profits

CTR is calculated by unique clicks on your email divided by unique opens of that email. The best way to improve CTR? Avoid over-selling features of your offerings in the email. Instead, drive people to click on your CTA link or button. Your email only has one job—to get the click. 

Tracking disengagement rates for email marketing success

Don’t be discouraged. Disengagement rates indicate how much recipients hate your email. But really, anyone whose day is ruined by a lil’ email is someone you really don’t want on your list anyway. Disengagement rates are calculated by adding spam complaints and unsubscribes and then dividing the sum by unique opens. 

Marketing emails will always result in people unsubscribing or marking the message as spam. But it’s easier on you and actually cheaper, in the long run, to have people prune themselves from your list. You’re still paying for people on your list, even if they never engage with your messages. 

But bear in mind, you want to keep your spam complaints to a minimum. Too many spam complaints can hurt your sending reputation with email service providers like Yahoo and Gmail. It can also hurt your business reputation among consumers. 

No matter what, keep an eye on your disengagement rates. It can indicate whether or not your messages are resonating with subscribers. Tracking disengagement metrics can also help you tweak and hone your messaging for greater engagement. 

Tracking email marketing campaigns step-by-step: The bottom line

With an average ROI of 3800%, email marketing is king. And you can ensure the emperor is wearing clothes when you track your email marketing metrics. Shooting in the dark wastes your time and your marketing budget, resulting in anemic profits. When you track and analyze your email marketing metrics, you’ll increase engagement, your brand awareness, and close more sales. Keep the tips in this email marketing step-by-step guide in mind the next time you hit send and watch your ROI increase. 

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