As the year comes to an end and everyone looks forward to a fresh start, we want to point out a few metrics you should focus on in 2011 when it comes to your email marketing.
With so many different types of online marketing options available to users, knowing what data to focus on can be a true challenge. Email marketing in particular comes with a warehouse full of powerful data. With it, you can measure a user's experience, starting from the moment they hit your website to how they engage with you as a customer.
The problem is not insufficient amounts of data to read over and understand. The real problem is too much data, and not enough focus on what really matters. So what email marketing metrics should you be focusing on?
For anyone who uses software like Google analytics, you know how easy it is to get lost the more you drill down. Yes the stats can get more and more interesting as you search but what is interesting to you may not be relevant to what you need to truly focus on.
To help map out a successful course, here are three metrics that will certainly help your business continue an upward trend.
Net growth of list
It is great to have a giant list of clients but it is not all about the size. Instead focus more on the net growth rate of that list. If your list is not growing, this indicates that you are not doing what you need to be doing to attract new subscribers. Take a second look at your overall marketing plan and search out possible opportunities for exposure.
To measure the net growth of your list, check the list growth after every mailing to that list. You will start to get a feel right away of what type of mailing (promotion, newsletter, survey etc.)is igniting or snuffing out interest.
One piece of advice, don't just throw giant amounts of addresses into your mailing list from other lists you own or worse, other outside sources. There is not much point trying to keep subscribers on your list who don't want to be there or who never should of been there to begin with. They will unsubscribe or report you as spam quickly and that will have the opposite affect of what you are trying to achieve in the first place.
Click Thru rate
All the cool kids are focusing on the open rate for engagement, which is not wrong by any means. But it is a little misleading because so many email clients block the loading of remote images, which is what drives open rate metrics. The better metric to measure engagement is the click thru rate. This shows how many subscribers took some kind of action based on the content you gave them. If your email messages don't have a call to action of some kind that requires a click, you should try adding one. Basically, ask yourself "would I click on anything in that message to see more?"
Click thru rate also has the added advantage of telling you what content inside your mailing is creating subscriber interest and driving them to your website. You will be able to see what really catches the eye of subscribers and what doesn't. From there you can then choose to improve or simply remove the content in your newsletter that never gets any clicks.
If you don't have a tracking tool setup yet, the easiest way to go about this is to use SimplyCast's Link Tracking software. It is part of the all-in-one online marketing platform and you can easily create and track click thru rates as well as several other metrics.
This is the big one. You want to know who is taking your call to action and running with it. This is what drives business forward and puts a smile on every marketer's face. Once again, link tracking software or other web analytics software can measure what percentage of subscribers complete a conversion in your business processes.
If you really want to get fancy (and who doesn't?), you can assign revenue goals to your web and email analytics. This will help you understand what a subscriber is worth and even what an individual email is worth. This of course takes a little more experience and understanding of how the different tools work, but doing this sort of analysis is incredibly valuable for your overall marketing efforts.
So there you have it. Three of the more important email marketing metrics you should be focusing on. Do you have other analytics that you feel are key to your overall success? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.