Email is the most effective and affordable way to promote a business. On top of that, email marketing is a measurable digital marketing tactic that allows you to track everything from who clicked and opened your campaigns to which links they clicked on and where the subscriber lives, among others. Reports suggest that for every $1 spent on email marketing, it produces $44. So, you can say that email marketing is a revenue-driving machine. It can convert 40 times as many customers as social media marketing.
Therefore, it is essential to explore this faceting facet to attract new customers and retain the existing ones as a business owner. While there are different tactics to email marketing, many marketers fail to look into the reporting aspect that can boost the campaigns significantly.
Reporting has become a fundamental part of digital marketing campaigns. It allows you to gather insightful data, allowing you to plan your next campaign accordingly. In today’s dynamic market, reporting has become a crucial tool in a marketer’s arsenal.
Understandably, many are new to reporting and analytics. Gone are the days when marketers blindly execute email marketing campaigns without knowing what the results would look like. Today, with the advent of technology, plenty of reporting tools can make the job simpler.
There are over 20 email marketing metrics, and every single one of them is crucial for your campaign’s success.
This post will discuss how reporting can help you improve your email marketing campaigns and drive more engagement.
Let’s get started.
Introduction to Email Reporting and Insights
Sophisticated and experienced email marketers look beyond traditional vanity metrics. They dig into the engagement trends that determine their marketing campaigns’ performance, their email lists’ health, and different campaign segments, allowing them to gain meaningful insights. This helps them in shaping their evolving marketing strategies. However, it is easier said than done.
For starters, data and analytics can be quite useful yet overwhelming. This is particularly true if you don’t know where to look, how to get the data, and how to optimize the outcomes.
Reporting comes in as a lifesaver. Reporting is the process of tracking the performance of the campaign in aggregate. The ultimate goal is to focus on tactics and strategies that drive positive outcomes and avoid spending too many resources and time on those that don’t influence your sales or engagement.
Reporting allows you to measure your marketing effectiveness and performance. It enables you to determine how it compares to other marketing channels like content syndication, PPC, and social media. As a result, you can prioritize your resources and time to drive maximum results.
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KPIs and Insights to Create a Report
An email marketing report consists of two elements – subscriber activity and email performance. These two aspects help you get insight into your subscriber engagement and behavior and help you understand how your emails perform. Let’s discuss both in detail:
You can define subscriber activity as understanding the health of the subscriber base and the audience’s behavior. There are several aspects to look into when managing subscriber activity. They include:
#1 Monitoring Audience Health
A thorough and detailed analysis enables you to determine where your most active subscribers come from. It also helps in uncovering how their engagement with your email content differs. As a result, it allows you to create a robust plan that will enable to develop and implement a highly profitable and effective email marketing strategy.
#2 The Growth of Email List Over Time
Look into your email list and analyze its growth. A growing list is an indication of a healthy email list. If you can add more and more subscribers to your email list, it shows people are interested in what you have to offer. On the other hand, if your email list growth is stagnant, it merely means that your targeted customer base is not at all interested in your messaging. You may have to change your strategy here to attract active subscribers. Monitoring how your email list grows over time will help you in ensuring a captive and engaged audience.
#3 Engaged and Inactive Customers
As an email marketer, your ultimate goal should be to develop a healthy level of engagement with your customers, rather than focusing on just subscriber growth. With proper reporting, you will be able to understand which subscribers are the least or most engaged. Knowing this will make monitoring incredibly easy. The best part is that it also allows you to work on your re-targeting or re-engagement campaigns, including those for your VIP customers.
#4 Active Subscriber Comparison
Suppose you want to introduce an email tactic that supports a healthy balance of engagement and growth. In that case, it is imperative to understand a part of your email subscriber base that is unsubscribing, inactive, active. If you use a reporting tool, a dedicated engagement dashboard will show all these measures. So, you can take action based on these indications, preventing red flags for your email marketing campaigns as much as possible. On the other hand, this will also allow you to uncover your most engaged and active subscribers so that you can level up your marketing campaigns and content that have been the most explored and useful.
#5 Determine how Customers are Accessing your Emails
When it comes to email marketing, you will have to stay vigilant in determining how your subscribers view your messages or emails. Since there are more email clients and more devices than ever before, your emails can be read at any time and any place. Some people prefer mobile devices more than desktops to access their emails, while some find desktops to be more convenient to read emails. In both cases, you will have to ensure that your email campaign looks perfect wherever your subscribers are opening them. Whether it is a mobile device like smartphones or tablets, or desktops or laptops, you should optimize emails for any device.
#6 Engagement by Email Domain
One of the most significant benefits of email reporting is getting to what email clients your subscribers use to read your emails. Therefore, determining the engagement based on your subscribers’ email domain will give your campaigns a boost. This is because not all email domain/client manifest emails the same. If a significant part of your email subscriber base uses Gmail, you may want to use different design strategies that work best for this email domain.
#7 Engagement by Platform or Client
Engagement by the client gives you a thorough understanding of your subscribers’ platforms for engaging with your email campaigns. You can use the click-rate trend as a proxy for optimizing your email campaigns to make them compatible with the environments they are read in. For example, if you find that most of your subscribers use mobile devices to access your content with Outlook iOS, it is worthwhile to apply mobile best practices.
This is the most critical part of email reporting. It encompasses the traditional metrics that help in tracking the KPIs of your marketing campaigns. Tracking email performance will indicate things that can be improved, opportunities for improvement, and an understanding of how well your emails are performing among your subscribers. The best part about tracking email performance is that you can use the same data to create another email campaign, but you will know the Dos and Don’ts of it this time. Here are some email performance metrics that you need to focus on.
#1 Campaign Open Rate
Several aspects determine the open rates of your campaign. This includes your method of collecting email addresses and your email list’s size, among various other factors. Nevertheless, a healthy campaign open rate should range between 15 and 30%, depending on the industry. In case your open rates are above this threshold, it means your campaigns are exceptionally well optimized. On the other hand, if your open rate is below 15%, your campaigns might need improvement. Your campaign open rate indicates how well your emails are performing. Therefore, tracking it will enable you to determine which subject lines are the most compelling for your subscribers.
#2 Unsubscribe Rates
Calculating unsubscribe rates can be a bit harsh but an inevitable part of email marketing. Creating an accurate report on the unsubscribe rate will allow you to determine if the content you are sending is valuable to your audience or not. With that said, unsubscribe rates should be less than 0.5% if you want to achieve email marketing success with a particular campaign.
#3 Click-to-Open Rate
The click-to-open rate tells the percentage of recipients who clicked and opened the email. It is calculated by dividing the unique number of clicks by the unique number of opens and is expressed in percentage. The click-to-open rate is a significant measure of the value of the content you are sending via email. Therefore, it should be calculated once the campaign reaches maturity. Early calculation or calculating after the campaign is about to end will not give you essential insights. It should be estimated in the middle when the emails are sent to all prospective customers.
#4 Campaign Click-through Rate
The click-through rate, or CTR, is an indication of much value your content provides to your subscribers, including the call to action (CTA) associated with it. In general, a CTR will vary based on the email’s content and the size of your email list. As an email marketer, you should maintain your campaign click rate above 2%, the average across most industries, to call your email marketing campaign a success.
#5 Deliverability Trends
It is crucial to understand how your overall email deliverability rates are performing. This will allow you to create a benchmark for all your email marketing campaigns. You can easily report the delivery rates by subtracting the number of emails sent by the number of emails bounced. If your delivery performance is low, analyzing your subscribers’ email domains and troubleshooting your campaigns should be the way to go.
#6 Content Performance
This is the most significant aspect of email reporting. You will have to analyze your email content’s performance to structure your campaigns and improve how you format CTAs.
Using reporting to drive strategy
To get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you need powerful yet easy to understand actionable insights. These are not limited to basic email metrics like the number of clicks, opens, and subscribers, but long-term subscriber activity, optimization, email list health, engagement trends, and long-term subscribers.
By focusing on the traditional email marketing KPIs and the latest trends, you can maximize your ROI for your email tactics and get a significant boost for your marketing budget.
This allows you to be efficient with time and send and deliver the most relevant content to the engaged customer base.
The most effective approach to achieve this is determining which acquisition and engagement strategies are working better. Before you create an email marketing report, you must collect powerful yet easy-to-understand insights that are actionable. As a marketer, it can be tedious and monotonous to spend most of the hours creating spreadsheets and filling data with email analytics.
To overcome this issue, you can use a reporting tool that automatically creates visual reports as per your marketing mode. As said, email reporting previously contained email metrics like the number of clicks, opens, and subscribers; it has moved way beyond that. However, to create an all-inclusive email reporting, there are some fundamental concepts that you need to understand first – engagement, health, and growth.
#1 Create an Engagement-first Outlook
First things first, before you create a report, you need to set up everything, from your audience to campaigns and more. The emails you send to your target audience needs to be personal, valuable, and relevant. If you can deliver on these expectations, you can easily foster engaged and loyal customers to take action on your campaigns. If you can create an engaged and active customer base, you will have a profitable and healthy subscriber base.
If your subscribers don’t engage, there won’t be any metrics to analyze and assess. You need to develop a long-term and loyal relationship with your targeted customer base with email marketing. This can be achieved via the value of the content you deliver. If your subscribers get the content they signed up for, they will healthily engage with your messages and likely take the desired actions.
#2 Quality over Quantity
The majority of the email marketers focus on engagement and interaction as these are the real indicators of a profitable and healthy subscriber base. Nevertheless, as a marketer, you need to determine where your highest-quality subscribers are coming from. While this can be easily perceived from a comprehensive email report, you may also need to use other tactics as well to understand your audience.
If you can understand who your high-quality subscribers are and where they are coming from, you can easily determine where to focus your acquisition strategies and efforts. While building large email lists is vital to stay competitive, using outdated tactics won’t help much. Since list decay increases, sending out large email blasts to massive subscribe lists no longer produces good results.
#3 Healthy Audience Equals Profitable Audience
An email list you create will eventually encounter some degree of decay that will result in increased inactivity, unsubscribers, and bounce rate. Numerous factors need to be maintained and monitored over time to determine the success of your email campaigns.
Using non-permission based data or letting the quality of your content slide will degrade your email list’s health, damaging your email’s deliverability in a way that it cannot be repaired. So, first things first, you need to stop emailing your long list of inactive subscribers, whom you haven’t heard from the last three months or so.
At the moment, it is better to delete the messages or ignore them and focus on your active subscribers. You can separately create a reactivation campaign where you can re-target your inactive subscribers. If a reactivation campaign doesn’t work, it is better to delete the non-engaged and inactive subscribers from the list and look for new prospective subscribers. Even if you have a smaller list, it will be an engaging email list with lots of activities.
Email reporting is nothing but collecting data from varied areas and combining it to get a comprehensive insight into your email marketing campaign. Without reporting, it can be challenging to understand what your next move should be. Things can get a bit technical, as you may have to crunch many numbers. But with a proper reporting tool, the job can get a lot easier.