As a store owner, you already know that sending emails is not a complicated task. The hard work (building the email list from scratch) has been done. It’s easy to hit that send button, even easier to schedule sending out emails. But when you look closer at the results, that’s when you start to wonder if you’re tracking the right email marketing statistics. Let’s start with why. Why do business owners need to measure their email marketing statistics?
- Taking all the numbers into account, business owners can figure out the final ROI of their email campaigns. It helps to understand how well they are doing.
- Looking closely at all statistics, business owners can see which numbers are taking its toll on the equation. It helps to know where the causes of the failure lie.
- Knowing what exactly is wrong, they can fix the problems and improve campaign’s performance.
Being data-driven keeps you on the right track, so you should pay close attention to these 5 most important email marketing statistics, and optimize each of them to generate the best performance for your email campaigns.
Let’s dive in the list and discover the most actionable tips to improve them.
1. Open rate
Let’s go down the conversion funnel of an email campaign from Open Rate – the first conversion step when an email is sent out.
In average, e-Commerce email marketing campaigns see an open rate of 16.82%, according to a recent report on email marketing statistics 2016. Imagine, of 100 contacts, 83-84 people will pass by or delete your email without reading it. This fact means little if we do not relate it to the consequence on your sales: ~84% of people missing your newsletter means 84% of potential sales is kissing you goodbye.
So you want more sales from your email marketing campaigns? Get down to improving the Open rate to at least 25-30%, by optimizing these elements:
The subject line is what strikes people first when they open their inbox loaded with many promotional emails from different brands. Make sure your email subjects stand out among many others in order to get clicked, by:
- Avoiding words that are considered spammy and promotional, such as: sales, discount, price, money-related words, trial, giveaway, free, etc. Because they increase the chances that emails will be detected and filtered into spam box instead of inbox.
- Being as personal as you can! People prefer to read emails from their friends, family members or at least acquaintances, and the same time they hate mass marketing emails from companies, which are sent from an email service rather from real people. Instead of writing a promotional line like this: “Get a 30% OFF All Items on Store This Halloween”, why don’t you put their name first as if you know them? And write a subject that you’re sending email to a friend, like this: “Alicia, I think you will like this Halloween deal, check it out”
- Making it short and to-the-point. Don’t be too greedy to put everything you have to deliver into the email subject. Instead, make it short, appealing with a clear call-to-action if possible.
Timing matters much to whether email recipients will choose to open an email. They tend to open more latest emails (which are first in the inbox list), and neglect old emails in the bottom of the list. Or if an email comes in the right time when they are checking inbox, it has a high chance of being opened.
- Test sending out at a different time to find out the best time to send emails to your audience.
- If your business is going global, make sure you communicate with your international customers while they are awake. Segment your customers by their timezone and customize proper time to send out newsletters.
Segmentation of recipients
Another factor that has a considerable impact on the open rate of an email campaign is whether the email is sent to the right people at the right moment they need it. Again, don’t send a mass newsletter to everyone in your list. Instead, trigger target recipients of an email campaign by their actions / behaviors on your store.
Avoid blacklisted IPs
Commonly, many email servers and spam filters detect IP addresses of your email servers. If your IP address is on the blacklist, they won’t let your email go through.
Why can your email IP server become blacklisted? If a large percentage of recipients report your email as spam, the server will get temporarily blacklisted. If you send a huge amount of emails at the same time, it can be blacklisted. If you email content is considered “spam friendly”, well, it has a high chance of being on the list.
2. Click-through rate
Even if you manage to get a record-breaking 35-40% open rate, but the click-through rate is 0%, your email campaign still ends up a failure. While eCommerce email campaigns see an average click-through rate of 2.48%, you should work to improve yours to at least 8-10%, and even more.
Look at these 4 areas where you can work to improve click-through rate of your emails:
- Consider between Text or HTML email: depending on the purpose of the email, choose the proper type to deliver your email. HTML emails are suitable for campaigns promoting emails, while text emails are preferable if you follow up customers in a personal way.
- Convey true value to recipients: when writing marketing emails, most marketers only care about what they want to sell to recipients, not what recipients really need to solve their problems in life. In every word of your content, try to embody true values your products/services can help to solve customers’ pain, instead of solely praising the selling points of your products/services.
- Define a clear call-to-action message or button: no matter how short your email content might be, recipients need to be guided about what they should do with a clear CTA. Use a link, bold text or even add a button in HTML or image form to make your CTA outstanding to email skimmers.
- Responsive design: Nowadays, people are checking emails more often when they are on the go on their mobile phones and tablets. Make sure your email layouts are responsive on mobile devices so that the content is clean and easy to read.
3. Conversion rate
After customers click on the link on your email content, whether they perform the action you desire determines the success of your campaign. Each email conversion goal is different, depending on the purpose of the campaign. For online business owners, conversion of a weekly hot items email is the number of purchases successfully made from email recipients, or that of a cart recovery campaign is the number of abandoned carts being purchased by leaving customers.
To maximize your critical email marketing statistics, keep in mind at least these 2 things:
- Knowing your exact conversion goal is as important as improving it. Define a specific, realistic goal before you run an email campaign.
- If you direct customers to a landing page where you guide them to perform a desired action, optimise it to be a highly converting landing page. No matter how well you design your email, if customers drop at the landing page, your email campaign still ends up a failure.
4. Unsubscribe rate
The scariest email marketing statistics most email marketers hate is unsubscribe rate – the number of people who decide to leave your email list. This is a critical statistics to track for every email campaign, since a high unsubscribe rate reflects either poor performance of your email campaign or low quality of your email list.
Here are 3 actionable suggestions to reduce unsubscribe rate for email campaigns:
- Continuously driving new leads to your subscriber list: since old subscribers naturally tend to generate a higher unsubscribe rate than people you have recently engaged with.
- Give unsubscribers other options to receive future newsletters from you: when people click unsubscribe link, direct them to a landing page where you offer alternatives to unsubscribe option. Let them choose what kinds of newsletters they want to receive from you or the frequency of emails sent in a month, or at least ask them a multiple-choice question why they want to stop receiving your emails.
- Win-back subscribers: if you can segment inactive subscribers, who haven’t opened, clicked or replied to your emails for a long while – for example, prevent the possibility of them unsubscribing from your list by sending them special re-engaging campaigns. You can pull back inactive subscribers by pitching different offers to them, or raise their curiosity by tellin them that they’ve been missed a lot and you have something special for them.
5. Bounce rate
An email marketing statistics that is sometimes not paid attention to by novice email marketers, bounce rate is the percentage of recipients to whom your email doesn’t go through. If bounce rate is high, for sure it hurts the overall performance of your email campaign. Plus, if you send emails to a list that returns high bounce rate, you could be marked a spammer because your list may contain a lot of non-existing emails.
Here are the most common reasons why your email campaign may see a high bounce rate, and how to resolve:
- Too many invalid or non-existing emails are in the list: Require double opt-in to increase quality of subscribed emails in your list and regularly remove invalid addresses from your list.
- The list is stale because it hasn’t been emailed for a long time, so some email domains could have expired. Every time you send a newsletter campaign, manually remove the recipients that are bounced, in order to increase the quality of your list for next campaigns.
- You’re using a free webmail account as your “From” email address: email providers actively look for free email account in the “From” address as an indicator of spammy messages. Thus, use an email account from a private domain, instead of free domains like yahoo or gmail, to send your marketing campaigns.
Bonus: A/B testing – the vital tool to maximize email conversions
Knowing what email marketing statistics you should track now, it’s vital to keep A/B testing all the elements on your email to figure out what drives the best conversion.
Check out these best practices when running an email A/B test:
- Test only 1 variable (subject line, content, link, CTA message…) at a time
- Always test 2 versions simultaneously to reduce the chance your results will be skewed by time-based factors.
- Take a large sample for the test to receive most accurate results.
- Trust the empirical data collected, not your own subjective instinct.
Trust the email marketing statistics, not your own instinct
At the end of the day, statistics means the most. Measuring the success of your campaign by tracking important email marketing statistics is the best way to secure your campaign’s success. Trust the numbers and you will be on the right way. Last but not least, you will never know what works best if you don’t use A/B testing to test each single element in your email campaigns.