6 Email Marketing Metrics for Open and Click Tracking

Email works. We know that. You know that. No other marketing channel gets you the returns that email marketing does, and no other channel allows you to have that direct, one-to-one connection to each and every customer.

6 Email Marketing Metrics for Open and Click Tracking. Source: dotdigital
6 Email Marketing Metrics for Open and Click Tracking. Source: dotdigital

 

Another reason that email is so valuable is that you can track and measure every aspect of it. Who opens (or doesn’t open) your email, who clicks on the links in the email, who ultimately takes the action that you wanted them to take. It’s all there for you to see.

But, while each metric shows how well your campaigns are performing, some are more valuable than others. And with so many to track, how do you determine which metrics are of more importance. Your business goals will help you to some extent, but how do you make sure that you’re really getting the most out of each and every campaign you create and send?

We’ve teamed up with email marketing expert Kath Pay, CEO of Holistic Email Marketing, to bring you Track it & smash it: 6 email marketing metrics you must measure.

Get your copy of the Track it & smash it cheatsheet today, and start tracking the metrics that matter most in your email marketing.

Make sure you know what works and what doesn’t in your marketing campaigns with this cheatsheet.

Content Summary

Introduction
6 metrics beyond open & click
Click-to-open rate
Customer behavior beyond campaign
Device type
The email journey
Contacts lost
ROI
Bonus Metric: Open-reach and click-reach
Conclusion

Introduction

Email delivers the goods! Just about everybody with a smartphone is using email, from teens to senior citizens. When it comes to getting news, information and oƒers from businesses, people prefer email over any other channel.

For marketers, no other digital marketing channel gives you a direct, one-to-one connection to each customer, whether you operate on the B2B side or B2C side. Having the email address allows you to identify and tie data to each customer. That’s huge!

There’s another major reason why email is so valuable for marketing: you can measure every aspect of it. Email generates extensive metrics. You can see who’s signing up, who’s opening your message and who’s acting on them, how to attribute revenue, where the weak spots are in your program and what you need to do to fix them.

But, while each metric gives you a window on how well your email program is doing, some metrics are more valuable than others. Opens and clicks, for example, are the most popular email metrics to track. That’s partly because they’re the easiest; just about every email software program makes this information easy to find.

These metrics give you valuable info on what your subscribers do with your email, too. You can identify people who aren’t opening your messages and target them for special reactivation programs. And you can create special incentives for your most active clickers.

Opens and clicks take you only so far, though. They don’t tell you how much revenue your email campaign generated or how effective your email message was for meeting company goals.

Luckily, there are metrics that will give you this wider picture. They’re easier to calculate and understand nowadays if you use a bestinclass email service provider that includes them as part of your regular email reporting.

In the next section, we will explain six metrics you can use to gain greater insights about your customers and solid information about your email program’s performance. You might not be tracking these now, but we predict by the time you finish this cheat sheet you’ll be wanting to make them part of your regular email program.

6 metrics beyond open & click

Some of these metrics are campaign-driven and are easy to calculate. Others take a holistic view of your email program, giving you the 30,000-foot-view as well as what you can learn from each campaign.

You’ll find in some cases that a metric consists of one formula – calculating the number of people who both open and click, for example – while others will combine several sub-metrics to show you the complete picture.

Click-to-open rate

clicked. But what percentage of those openers ditched your email after opening, and how many went on to click on any of the links in the message?

This email takes the basic metrics of opens and clicks to a more informative level by showing you what percentage of your message openers clicked on your email. It measures how well your creative content – images and copy – engages and drives action. The formula to use is: (unique clicks ÷ unique opens ) x 100 = CTOR

dotmailer's Reporting Suite displaying a full campaign overview, including clicktoopen rate. Source: dotdigital
dotmailer’s Reporting Suite displaying a full campaign overview, including clicktoopen rate. Source: dotdigital

Customer behavior beyond campaign

What happens after you send your email? If you track opens or clicks immediately after you send but don’t go back and look for behavior a week or month after it, you’re not getting the complete information. Segment your database into new versus longtime subscribers, and track opens, clicks and conversions to see if they are more or less likely to open or click. Look for clicks up to a month after the message to see if people might possibly save the email for later action.

In the adjacent survey result from the DMA’s Email Tracking Report 2015, consumers were asked what actions they take when they receive an email of interest to them. The results:

  • 58% click through from the email
  • 57% save the email for a later date
  • 48% bear the information in mind for later
  • 47% go to the website via another route
  • 40% go the shop/retail outlet

We can see that not all action taken is tracked and certainly not immediately. So go back and check as you may be losing out on some attribution or success for your campaigns.

While consumers report thart the proportion of uninteresting or irrelevant email is increasing, people are nevertheless predisposed to click or take another action if they recieve an email that appeals to them. Source: dotdigital
While consumers report thart the proportion of uninteresting or irrelevant email is increasing, people are nevertheless predisposed to click or take another action if they recieve an email that appeals to them. Source: dotdigital

Device type

Knowing whether your subscribers are reading your messages on mobile devices or desktops/laptops – and whether they use iOS, Android or some other operating system – gives you a wealth of insight you can act on right away.

Do your mobile readers open, click and convert at different rates from your desktop/laptop readers? Do they abandon processes or buy more/less than others? Knowing that you have a growing and profitable mobile population makes the job of shaking money from management for reformatting your messages that much easier. This metric also provides you with insights as to the situation/environment they’re in whilst reading your message. Are they on Outlook sitting in their office? Are they reading your email on their mobile whilst on the go? Use these insights to deliver more contextualoriented messages, taking into consideration the possible environment they’re in.

dotmailer's Reporting Suite provides a full breakdown of which email clients and devices every campaign is opened in and on. Source: dotdigital
dotmailer’s Reporting Suite provides a full breakdown of which email clients and devices every campaign is opened in and on. Source: dotdigital

The email journey

Your customer’s journey with your brand is like a highway with roadblocks, detours, rest stops and exits all along the way. Activity metrics like open, clicktoopen, clickthrough to the landing page, conversion on the website, website bouncerates and unsubscribe rates show you where people are joining, hesitating or leaving the journey. Track and identify all of these fallout points and improve and optimize them to make your messaging more effective.

An easy way of achieving this is by using dotmailer’s advanced module, WebInsight, which gives you the power to collect identifiable contact data from your site, based purely on your contacts’ browsing behavior. It allows you to harness your customers’ and prospects’ activity on your website after they’ve clicked through from one of your campaigns. Browsing activity is captured, stored and then made available for use in creating superior segments with which to target your contacts, enabling you to send content of even greater relevancy.

Contacts lost

Tracking new subscriptions is important, but so is knowing how many people are unsubscribing, too. Typically, the unsubscribe rate per email campaign will be low – under 2% on average – so the greatest value of this metric is watching it change over time.

If your unsubscribe rate is trending up, it means something is seriously wrong with your message content, frequency or focus. Another reason to track this metric is so that you can ensure that you’re on track with replacing those lost subscribers with new ones. Ideally you want to not only be replacing those lost, but have a surplus of new subscribers to ensure your list is continually growing.

The dotmailer platform lets you track unsubscribes over time. Source: dotdigital
The dotmailer platform lets you track unsubscribes over time. Source: dotdigital

ROI

This is one of the most important metrics to track because it shows how costeffective email can be for driving revenue or achieving other goals for your company. Take the total monetary value of sales from an email campaign or your overall email program minus its cost, divide it by that cost, and multiply by 100. The formula to use is: (sales costs) / costs x 100 = ROI.

If you’re more of a creative than a numbers person, here’s what it looks like with some numbers plugged in: $10,000 in campaigndriven sales, minus $2,500 in campaign costs (time, money and cost to develop and send the messages, including employee costs), yield $7,500 net sales. Divide this by the $2,500 campaign costs.

Yield: a 300% ROI. Yes, that’s insane, and that’s why you do email and why you need to make sure your bosses know, understand and respect the channel.

Another way of easily viewing your ROI is to use dotmailer’s conversion funnel.This shows the proportion of contacts who opened your campaign, clicked on links in your campaign, and triggered ROI tracking from your campaign, as a visual representation of your campaign.

dotmailer’s conversion funnel, which lets you track your campaigns from deliverability through to return on investment. Source: dotdigital
dotmailer’s conversion funnel, which lets you track your campaigns from deliverability through to return on investment. Source: dotdigital

Bonus Metric: Open-reach and click-reach

These metrics measure how many unique subscribers have opened or clicked on any emails at least once over a certain period. As they are subscriberbased metrics and not campaignbased metrics, they are invaluable when it comes to measuring the overall engagement of your email program over a period of time.

To measure the reach, you would simply measure how many unique subscribers open (openreach) or click (clickreach) at least one email per quarter. By using this metric you are able to identify the total reach of your campaigns for that set period.

For these engagement metrics to be truly useful, they must correlate to conversions and revenue, such that increasing openreach also increases revenue.

In dotmailer's Reporting Suite, you can track the openreach and clickreach of campaigns. Source: dotdigital
In dotmailer’s Reporting Suite, you can track the openreach and clickreach of campaigns. Source: dotdigital

Conclusion

See how much more information you could learn about your email performance and subscribers when you employ metrics that dig below surface stats?

A few minutes with a calculator – or, ideally, good data visualizations displayed right in your email marketing platform’s dashboard – can pinpoint your strengths, highlight your weaknesses and help you map out new ways to message your customers more effectively.

Marketers, start your calculators!

Source: dotdigital