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Top 5 Email Marketing Metrics to Monitor

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Here at SimplyCast, we're all about making your life easier. That's why we're doing a series on the important metrics to watch for each of your online marketing strategies. From social media and fax marketing to SMS and surveys, we're outlining what the basic data (metrics) are for each channel.

In the end, understanding that this information is incredibly valuable and sheds light on the overall health of your business.

For this installment, we're looking at the top 5 metrics you need to monitor for your email marketing campaigns.

New Email Subscribers

This metric demonstrates the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign and shows the overall interest in your product and service.

For this metric, there are several areas to consider besides just the number of additions.

How many subscribers came from signing up on your website? How many subscribers result from forwards from existing customers? What prompted the new subscribers to join? Was it an offer, discount or a referral?

Unsubscribes

Though it may seem entirely disheartening to have any amount of unsubscribers, let alone just one, you still need to check.

Do you have a mechanism in the unsubscribe process that allows the users to give their reasons for leaving? If so, look at frequency complaints or relevancy of content. Oftentimes, unsubscribes result from signing up directly for an instant discount and then leaving the company after the offer is fulfilled.

Did you change frequency, type of content or the design of your email marketing campaign?

You can't run away from negative feedback, because, really, it's more enlightening than positive feedback. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your accolades.

If there was a dramatic increase in subscribers right after you made some changes to your email marketing campaign, that is as direct of a response you'll ever get from a customer.

Also, remember that change is good, and it may take a bit for your subscribers to adjust.

But, if there is a momentous jump in unsubscribes compared to new subscribers, then it is something to most certainly put under advisement.

Remember, any loss in subscribership is normal for any type of campaign. It is expected and natural.

Growth Rate

The growth rate for email marketing campaigns is as critical and potentially heartbreaking as the number of recent unsubscribes.

But, as with all other email marketing metrics, the growth rate is unbelievably valuable.

The formula for determining growth rate is:

New subscribers – unsubscribes / Total List size. So, if there are 100 new subscribers and 10 unsubscribers in a total list of 1,000, then the growth rate is a reasonable 9%.

At first, set an achievable goal for growth. Don't ever be discouraged about the number of unsubscribers. Leave it alone, learn and move on.

However, determining an appropriate growth rate is as individual as your business.

With email marketing campaigns, there will always be spikes and drops in growth.

It is the nature of the business and is expected.

Also, it is important to look at your growth rate during different seasons and quarters. Retailers may find peaks during high shopping seasons, especially if you offer email-only discounts and offers.

See if there are any correlations for subscriber behavior.

Open Rate

It is one thing to have a remarkable growth rate, but having a dismal open rate makes for an unsuccessful email marketing campaign.

Open rate is the number of times your email is opened and viewed.

This metric may be divided into two different data points.

First, open rate is the number of total opens, including subscribers viewing the email multiple times. Second, open rate is the number of individual subscribers opens regardless of how many views a single subscriber does.

Really, it doesn't matter which metric you watch, but the most accurate open rate is from an individual, not total opens. Sure, to raise your spirits and numbers, counting all opens is the best option.

So, to determine an open rate (regardless of type) take the total number of opens and divide by the email list size. Say, if you had 250 opens and your list is 1,000, then your open rate is 25%.

Click Rate

Click rate is how many times links in your email content were opened or "clicked on."

Much like the open rate, there are two different ways to look at click rate metrics. Meaning, do you count a single subscriber clicking on all of the links differently than each individual link clicked? If one subscriber clicked on, say, five of your links and another subscriber just clicked on just one link, do you count them together (six) or separately (two)?

Either way, to determine click rate is to take the number of clicks and divide by the total email list. So, for a campaign with 300 links clicked out of 500 subscribers, then your click rate is 60%.

That seems like a lot of math, we understand. For those who don't want to run their own figures, the SimplyCast email marketing application will do it for you. All you have to do is load up the graphs and charts and take away the information you need. As we said at the beginning, we want to make your life easier.

So what metrics do you currently following after sending out an email marketing campaign?

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