Beyond Opens and Clicks: 3 Email Metrics You Need to Track
For marketers who are just getting their feet wet with email marketing and all the great reporting capabilities it offers, seeing the basic stats on your email’s performance – like opens, clicks, and deliveries – can be exciting. Getting an (almost) instant understanding about how well your message resonated with your audience is one of the coolest parts of digital marketing.
But eventually, you need to move beyond opens and clicks. The real insight into your audience is found when you dig beneath the surface and examine reports that provide nuggets of meaningful data to see how subscribers are engaging with your message. I’m talking about things like email frequency, perfecting the art of the send time, and understanding mobile usage.
Here are three areas you should start looking at in 2017 (if you aren’t already). Commit to knowing how your subscribers are trending in each of these areas throughout the year and you’ll be poised to provide subscribers with the right type of message exactly when they need it.
How Many Emails Subscribers Are Receiving From You
“I think I’m sending too much email,” might be one of the top phrases our advisors and strategists encounter when talking to our clients and potential clients. Everyone is concerned about email frequency. The only way your concerns can be validated or alleviated is by finding out the facts, so looking at your reports to see how many emails subscribers are receiving from you (in a day/week/month/etc.) and how fluctuating frequency affects metrics will really tell you if you’re sending too much.
The 2016 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report found that 72% of email subscribers were sent 1-5 emails a month. That averages out to 1.25 emails a week – which doesn’t seem too bad. Subscribers who were sent 21-25 emails a month had higher engagement rates, so more doesn’t necessarily equal bad here. If you are sending relevant messages, it won’t seem like too much to the subscriber. In the end, it comes down to what works for your audience and the type of information you’re sending. Your reports will tell you.
Mobile Open Rate
Over the past few years, mobile email usage has skyrocketed, moving it to the top of the list of email clients that subscribers are viewing emails on. If you were asked right now what percentage of your audience reads your emails on a mobile device, could you answer it? Could you confidently say that subscribers prefer mobile or desktop?
This statistic is critical. Email design is a top consideration of readers who engage with your emails, so shouldn’t you make it a priority for readers? Content that is displayed in a visually appealing way and is simple to engage with (large buttons, lots of white space, responsive design) will only boost engagement and conversion rates. Help your subscribers help you. Know what devices your readers are opening on, and tailor your design to them.
When Emails Are Opened
The best time to send an email is always a topic of conversation on marketing teams. In fact, it came up today in our own marketing meeting. Our latest benchmark report showed that Friday had the highest weekday open and click rates and the midday time frame had higher engagement rates. But there are some anomalies, too, like higher opens on weekends (could be due to volume) and lower clicks during the evening (if it’s a business email, this makes sense).
What time of the day works best for your audience? Look at your reports. If it’s unclear, try testing out a routine message over various weekdays and times. Look for trends in engagement. There might not be one clear winner, but if there is, wouldn’t you like to send an important (AKA revenue dependent) email during this time? I would.
As you’re putting together your plans and goals for 2017, add these three topics to your list of numbers to know and metrics to monitor. You’ll be on your way to making more informed marketing decisions.