December 7, 2022

Succeed with Email Analytics in 2023

By: Mary Hiers

Small and local businesses turn to email marketing because they know it works. Knowing how it works is even better than just knowing that it has a great marketing ROI.

While some companies dive deep into email analytics and know how to fine-tune the smallest detail of a campaign, you don’t necessarily need to. Knowing the basics of email analytics helps tremendously. Here’s how to succeed with your analytics in 2023.

Encouraging Email Statistics

Perhaps the most encouraging statistic about email marketing is that it returns $36 for every dollar spent. By the end of 2023, companies will spend an estimated $11 billion on email marketing. 

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses use email marketing to connect with their customers. And the most effective tactics are segmentation, personalization, and automation. The good news is that you don’t have to be an analytics wizard to use these tactics. 

Does Open Rate Matter Anymore?

Everyone cares about their email open rate, but it doesn’t matter as much as it used to. The reason is that new privacy measures like Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) prevent analytics from getting accurate open rates. 

Will Google add comparable privacy measures to Gmail? It’s possible. So while open rates matter, your email platform (like Mailchimp) cannot gather all the open data that it could a few years ago.

That said, most people still look at their open rate data. It still shows the open rate of recipients who don’t have Apple MPP. Unless Apple and non-Apple email users are vastly different, the open rates should be roughly comparable. 

The Reliable Email CTR

Click-through rate (CTR) is a workhorse analytic, and all the automation platforms calculate it for you. This statistic tells you what percentage of people who received your email clicked on a link in it.

In other words, it tells you what percentage of people were intrigued enough to open the email and click on something they found in it. The higher the CTR, the better. 

Some businesses calculate conversions per delivered email, revenue per message, and revenue per subscriber. You may choose to do that too. But the CTR is a good indicator of whether your emails resonate with recipients. 

Hard and Soft Bounce Rates

This is a different concept from the bounce rate on your web pages. With email, bounce rates are the rates of emails that do not make it to their destination address. The two types of email bounce rates are hard bounces and soft bounces

Hard bounce rates result from messages that will never be delivered to the address you provided. The address may have been deactivated, or it may have a typo in it. Email addresses that get hard bounces should be removed from your list because they do nothing for you.

Soft bounces are those that sometimes resolve on their own. For example, if the recipient’s email is full or if their email server has an outage, the message may still be successfully delivered later.

Then again, you can get a soft bounce if you’re on someone’s blocklist or if too many recipients have designated your messages as spam. Remove addresses that receive three or more soft bounces to keep soft bounces from harming your email effectiveness.

Keep Your Spam Complaint Rate Low

The spam complaint rate is:

(the number of spam complaints ÷ the number of emails delivered) ✕ 100

If this number exceeds 0.1%, you must look closely at your strategy. Sometimes you inadvertently include a spam trigger word in your subject line or body text. 

A subject line containing “RE:,” “FW:,” or worse, multiples of those, often triggers spam filters. Excessive dollar signs, emojis, and even exclamation marks in a subject line can do the same. 

Body text with a lot of all-caps text, excess punctuation, emojis, or phrases like “no cost” can also trigger spam filters. So can including attachments.

Sometimes, a recipient can mark your message as spam regardless. The main things you can do to avoid being caught in a spam filter are

  • Not sending spammy messages
  • Providing an easy opt-out link 
  • Ensuring that recipients who sign up for your email list confirm their address

Keep Your Deliverability Rate High

Deliverability is the rate at which your emails end up in recipient inboxes, not junk or spam folders. Try to keep deliverability at 80% or higher.

Providing an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe is one way to keep deliverability rates up. Requiring subscribers to confirm their email addresses is another. 

Regularly (say once per quarter) review your email list for unengaged subscribers. These are the ones who haven’t opened your emails in the past six to 12 months.

Once you identify unengaged subscribers, you can attempt to re-engage them or cut them from your list. Nobody likes pruning their email list, but the result can be higher engagement rates, so it’s a good thing to do periodically.

Try A/B Testing if You Haven’t

A/B testing is simply testing two different versions of one element of your email to see which one performs better. Email automation platforms make it easy to do.

You can test different subject lines, images, body text, or other elements. Don’t test everything at once, however. 

After one A/B test, use the winning version for a while before testing another element. It’s easy to become confused if you A/B test multiple elements simultaneously. 

Your email automation platform can test your A and B versions, determine a “winner,” and even ensure that the winning version goes out to everyone. 

A New “Metric” to Consider

How do your email messages look in dark mode? It is more important than you may realize. 

People prefer using their devices in dark mode for a number of reasons:

  • It reduces eye strain in low-light situations.
  • It is less disturbing to other people.
  • It reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the device.
  • It makes the device use less energy, so batteries last longer.
  • Many people with visual impairments or light sensitivity prefer it.

People will look at your messages in dark mode whether or not you want them to. Therefore, it’s wise to see how they look in dark mode and make necessary adjustments for your dark mode readers. 

Observe and Learn From Email Metrics

You don’t have to become an analytics wizard to benefit greatly from them. Watching trends and noting outlying statistics can help you stay on the right track with your emails. 

You can start with the basics in 2023 and explore more metrics and analytics as you need to. The analytics referenced here make an excellent starting point for developing the habit of monitoring email performance. 

Email delivers good ROI, to begin with. But you can ramp up performance even more simply by observing what recipients do with your emails. Today’s email automation platforms make it easier than ever. 

Or Have Someone Do it For You 

Maybe your team is stretched too thin to take on email analytics. We understand. That’s why we offer our clients various digital marketing services, including email marketing.

Taking an “okay” email campaign and turning it into an excellent email campaign can make a noticeable difference to your company’s bottom line. We know how to do that and can do it for your business. 

Set up a call with our team to find out how we can help. With the right marketing approach, your business can reach more customers and keep them returning. 

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