8 Email Metrics that Matter

We know today that 52% of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing and 68% believe email is core to their businesses. Before sending your next email, pause for a few minutes and ask yourself: What is the goal of my email marketing? Is it to grow my subscriber database? Generate more leads? To convert more existing leads into customers? Whatever you decide your goal is (and you can have more than one), the next thing you need to do is figure out which metrics you’ll need to track in order to determine how you’re progressing toward that goal.

Let’s take a look at the metrics you should be paying attention to in your email marketing efforts. The lifetime value of an email address, long-term loyalty and satisfaction, health of your email list and ROI are the top metrics to measure to reach your goals. No metric is meaningless, but you should use several metrics to get a holistic picture.

1) Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate is a very important metric for all email marketers to be tracking, as it gives you direct insight into how many people on your list are engaging with your content and interested in learning more about your brand or your offer.

2) Conversion Rate

The definition of a conversion is directly tied to the call-to-action in your email, and your call-to-action should be directly tied to the overall goal of your email marketing, making the conversion rate one of the most important metrics for determining the extent to which you’re achieving your goals.

3) Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of your total emails sent that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. There are two kinds of bounces to track: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.

Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server. The recipient’s server may hold these emails for delivery once the problem clears up, or you may try re-sending your email message to soft bounces.

Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered. You should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your email list, because internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates as one of the key factors to determine an email sender’s reputation. Having too many hard bounces can make your company look like a spammer in the eyes of an ISP.

 4) List Growth Rate

There’s a natural decay of your email marketing list, and it expires by about 25% every year — which means that it’s more important than ever to pay attention to growing your subscriber list and keeping it at a healthy size. Collect feedback on a campaign through tools such as surveys.

5) Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

The rate at which your email recipients forward or share your email with others may not seem all that significant, but it’s arguably one of the most important metrics you should be tracking.

Why? Because this is how you generate new contacts. The folks on your email list are already in your database. So while conversion is still a primary focus, this doesn’t help you attract new leads. Encourage your readers to pass along your email to a friend or colleague if they found the content useful, and start tracking how many new people you can add to your database this way.

6) Open Rate

Open rate is actually a very misleading metric for a few reasons — but most importantly, an email is only counted as “opened” if the recipient also receives the images embedded in that message. And a large percentage of your email users likely have image-blocking enabled on their email. This means that even if they open the email, they won’t be included in your open rate, making it an inaccurate and unreliable metric for marketers, as it underreports on your true numbers.

You can get some value out of open rate as a metric if you use it as a comparative metric. For instance, if you compare the open rates of this week’s email send to last week’s email send — both to the same lists — it might give you some insight since the variables are somewhat controlled.

7) Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribes and complaints are a good way to know if you’re reaching the right audience. Although, many subscribers who are tired of receiving email messages from your brand won’t bother to go through the formal unsubscribe process. They’ll just stop opening, reading, and clicking on your email messages.

8) Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is a top metric to measure. Track how much incremental revenue is generated from each incremental spend.

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BtoB Lead Gen Tips and Tactics

Generating leads is the biggest challenge that BtoB marketers are facing today. These BtoB lead gen tips will help you reach more prospects, engage them more thoroughly and ultimately close more sales.

  • Multi-Channel Approaches

Online…

Although email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with your prospects online, most BtoB marketers say their average email open rates don’t exceed 20%. So how can you reach the 80% of leads who aren’t opening your messages in their inboxes? Integrating your email marketing with a comprehensive program that includes targeted display and social advertising can help you reach target prospects anywhere they travel on the web and increase conversion rates.

Website…

Only 2% of traffic, on average, that visit your website will convert on their first visit. And, according to The State of BtoB Lead Nurturing report, less than 5% of anonymous website visitors fill out contact forms on business websites. Retargeting website visitors can help you re-engage with the 95 to 98% potentials that leave your site.

How does site retargeting work?  When prospects leave your site and browse the Internet they are marked or tagged with a pixel or a cookie.  Your ads will display on the other sites they navigate, keeping your website in their peripheral vision and top of mind. Those targeted ads can display the exact product they were viewing while on your site, multiple products, or anything else you choose. These gentle ad reminders will prompt the lost prospect to return to your site and convert – often at a higher rate, and many times with an increased average order value.

Offline…

Direct Mail is evolving and can drive purchases using new mobile and digital technologies. Integrating web (pURLs), mobile apps and QR codes in your direct mail pieces will boost the ROI of your campaign. According to Epsilon, brands with a compelling message or offer that link direct mail and digital can expect a 10 to 30% lift in conversion by combining the 2 channels.

  • Customized Content to Drive Engagement:

A recent Forrester survey found that prospects are now as much as 90% of the way through their buying journey before they reach out to a sales rep. By engaging your prospects early on through targeted display campaigns that offer thought leadership content such as whitepapers, webinars, eBooks or free trial offers – you will gain a competitive edge. Create content and offers for different buying stages as every visitor is at a different stage of exploration. Some need more education (eBook, whitepaper) and others are more ready to commit (free trial, demo).

Video, as a type of content, is on the rise with its importance continuing to grow. According to a study sponsored by Vidyard, and conducted by Demand Metric to explore several aspects of video marketing and the emerging role of video marketing platform technology, 95% of this study’s participants report that video, as a form of marketing and sales content, is becoming “somewhat or far more important” to them. This study has shown that video converts better than other forms of content; and this performance certainly contributes to an improving ROI for video. Quality video is also getting easier to produce and the cost of doing so is coming down.

  • Test and Optimize Ad Creative:

When you develop ad creative, small tweaks such as a different call-to-action or a new background photo can make a difference. Also display and retargeting ads tire over time and need to be refreshed. Use A/B testing to optimize your ad creative by simultaneously running display ads with a few small differences and then measure results after displaying a few thousand impressions to see what works best.

  • Success Metrics:

To track the impact of your lead gen programs, pay attention to metrics that measure engagement, such as lift in visits, time spent on site, visits per user and number of pages visited.

This data will help you discover whether visitors who have viewed your ads are more likely to engage with your website content than those who have not seen your ads. Visitors with high engagement levels are considered warm leads and should be passed on to the sales team for a phone call follow-up.