Email Marketing Metrics: How to Optimise Your Email Campaigns


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13 min read

Tracking your email marketing metrics is an easy way to optimise your email campaigns.

With so many other companies out there fighting for readers’ attention, your email campaigns are at risk of getting lost in a sea of marketing emails.

Therefore, you need to make your emails stand out in the crowd.

By paying close attention to readers’ engagement with your emails, for example subscribe and unsubscribe rates, and email sharing, this can help you to understand where you are going right (and wrong).

This post will deep dive into the most important email marketing metrics you need to track, and the strategies you can use in order to improve your email campaigns overall.

So, let’s get going…

Email Marketing Metrics

Now, in order to ensure your email campaigns are the best they can possibly be, you should be tracking and paying attention to your email marketing metrics.

While metrics such as bounce rate, conversion rate and ROI, are all still important when it comes to email marketing, there are some more specific metrics that will help to boost you towards your goal.

Whether this is to generate more leads, grow your email marketing list, or get your company name out there into inboxes, these metrics will help you to manage this.

For this post, we will go into more detail on:

  • Clickthrough rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Email Sharing rate
  • List Growth Rate

As they are metrics important to email marketing in particular, tracking them will allow you to see how many people are engaged with your campaign, and how many people are just not interested!

So, let’s get into the list of metrics…
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Clickthrough rate

Clickthrough Rate or CTR, is the metric that lets you know how many people clicked on one or more links, contained in any given email.

The clear advantage of this metric is that it allows you to easily calculate the performance of every individual email.

For example, if a large number of your readers clicked one of your links in your latest email, it’s a good idea to analyse this email by asking:

What content is included?

What was the subject line?

Is the copy short and snappy, or more long-form and informative?

All of these questions will help you to determine what it is that made that email in particular, so successful at getting readers through to your site.

This metric is equally great long-term as it will give you an insight into how many people are regularly engaging with your website or social media content, through your email marketing campaigns.

Unsubscribe Rate

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but we will go through it nonetheless!

The unsubscribe rate metric, simply allows you to see how many of your readers unsubscribe after opening one of your emails.

This metric will be a mixed bag however, as some readers may just avoid your emails altogether by leaving them unopened, or filtered straight to their junk or spam folder, without a second thought.

There will be some readers who will go through the longer process of scrolling to the bottom of your email and unsubscribing (there are ways you can optimise this, and we will get onto that soon!)

If readers do unsubscribe you need to find out why.

Reevaluating your content is the best way to do this, and it can help you to identify what it is on individual emails that your potential leads are not interested in.

For example, it may be that your readers don’t respond well to several, longform emails a week, therefore you can plan to switch up your content based on this analysis.

This metric ultimately gives you an insight into where readers are dropping off from your content, allowing you to get ahead and plan new content accordingly.
black laptop with emails on screen

Email Sharing rate

Getting people on board with sharing your content is one of the most effective ways to generate new leads, and get your company name fresh in the minds of your target audience.

By tracking email sharing rate, you can witness how many people are clicking the share button on your email content, or ‘forwarding to a friend’.

This is how you generate new contacts, as the more people that sign up after seeing your content shared among their online community of friends and family, the longer your mailing list becomes!

Providing share or forward buttons within your email marketing campaign, encourages readers to pass along the content if they enjoyed it.

This metric is useful, as you will soon know if your content is relevant to your audience, as the number of shares will start to increase.

This metric can equally help you to plan your future email campaigns, by producing and pushing more of the content that your readers are sharing with others.

List Growth Rate

With email marketing, there is usually a natural decline in subscribers over time.

Therefore, it’s vital to keep an eye on your mailing list, and ensure it is still at a healthy size.

The list growth rate metric allows you to do that, by tracking the rate at which your email list is growing.

If you’re aiming to grow your list of subscribers this metric is useful as more subscribers means you can extend your reach, grow your customer base, and position yourself at the top of your industry.

However, this won’t happen overnight, or without a helping hand.

There are various strategies you can implement into your email marketing to increase the number of people who are subscribing to your campaigns.

Let’s get into some different avenues you can take to optimise your email campaigns overall…
grow your email campaigns

How to Optimise Your Email Campaigns

So, now that we’ve run through a few of the most important metrics to track, to improve your email marketing campaigns, let’s move onto how you can optimise your company emails.

Fortunately, you can analyse these metrics and use them to make changes to your email campaigns to keep your subscribers engaged, and get your target audience interested in your company.

Understanding how many people are opening your emails, and who is unsubscribing helps you to change and improve your campaigns, to suit the needs of your readers.

You can optimise your email marketing campaigns by using the strategies below.

Pay Attention to Your Subject and Opening line

If you are seeing a dip in readers clicking onto your email, you need to start paying more attention to the opening and subject line of your emails.

Remember first impressions count, so no matter how good your content is, if no-one is clicking on your email due to a poor subject line, the content becomes useless and abandoned.

Keep your subject line and opening line short and to the point, as using spammy language will just divert people’s attention away immediately, and more often than not they will delete your email before even opening it.

This is because readers don’t want to feel pushed into reading your content, making a purchase or signing up to your service.

Instead use a convincing subject line to capture your audience’s attention, luring them to open your email to read more, but remember to keep it short and snappy, to avoid overloading readers with too much information in the first line!

For example, using a phrase such as “how to get 1,000 new email subscribers in 30 days”, creates a much more intriguing and snappy subject line than, “We know how you can grow your subscriber list and we have created a how to list that is linked in our email below”.

The language in the second example causes readers to switch off before they have even reached the end, and unfortunately this means they probably haven’t clicked onto your email at all.

Using actionable language can be useful in this instance instead, as this gives you the opportunity to be clear about what you offer, rather than persuasive, as this can turn readers off as they feel forced to make an action immediately.
two women talking

Make it Personal

This strategy is much more than just using the recipient’s name, but instead includes using information you have gathered such as browsing behaviour, or purchasing history.

For example, using phrases such as “we saw you bought this, so we thought you might like this” or, “would you like to continue browsing…”

This instantly reminds the reader of what you have to offer them, and that you know exactly what they want to get their hands on.

This personalisation shows each reader that you know who they are, and what they’re looking for in a thoughtful way, as if to say “we can see your problems, and this is how we can help you to solve them”.

Mass marketing is now a thing of the past, and readers will appreciate you taking the time to include information personal and relevant to them, rather than pushing out several generic emails a week.

Use CTA’s to Your Advantage

Arguably, we are onto what should be the most important part of your email, the call-to-action (or CTA).

A call to action can come in multiple forms, such as:

  • Plain text with no added link
  • A buttons or variation of buttons
  • Text hyperlinks

All of which create a transition from a click to a conversion, meaning readers who are browsing and potential clients, become customers.

CTA’s should be central to your email campaigns as ultimately, they ensure that consumers and potential leads are doing exactly what you want them to do.

Whether that’s signing up to your email newsletter, downloading your resource, or simply getting in touch with your team, CTA’s are the way to achieve this.

As your ultimate goal will be to get readers to click through to your site, or to sign-up, you need to ensure your CTA’s are prominent, visible, and included throughout your email.

Otherwise, you will fall victim to customers and potential leads, reading, and clicking out of your email through lack of direction.

By providing multiple opportunities to click through, and keeping the CTA the focus of your email, you are encouraging readers in the right direction.

Readers need the right incentive in order to follow a call-to-action, so don’t tell them what they could get, tell them how to get it.
person using mobile phone with credit card

Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Consumer

In order to get a feel for how your email campaigns are coming across, try and put yourself into the position of your consumers.

Send yourself a test email and go through the experience from their perspective, as this can help you to check for simple mistakes that make you look unreliable such as:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Page loading issues
  • Problems with your media (such as images and videos)
  • Incorrect or unclickable links

If something isn’t working, change it.

People will be easily put off and go elsewhere in the industry to your competitors for the information they need if your links don’t work, or your copy is full of errors.

However, if you’re regularly checking your email campaigns before they are sent out, this avoids mistakes being made, and results in your readers trusting your company for the services and products they need.

Design for All Devices

As the world of work becomes more and more mobile, on the go, and remote, don’t limit yourself to desktop and laptop audiences only.

Adapting your email campaigns to portable devices such as mobiles and tablets means the message you are trying to get across will reach a wider audience.

If your email campaigns are more mobile-friendly, your readers are more likely to read on the go, or on their daily commute, as you have given them that option.

However, correct formatting is vital if you are to successfully make your email campaigns available for everyone, as images and videos, as well as copy, all need to be adapted.

There is no use in resizing images, and using a single column layout if that only works for one device, as this isn’t time-effective.

First, see what works best for each platform, send yourself a test email, and open them up on the different devices.

This ensures you don’t miss out on leads by making your email content available for all audiences, on all devices.
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Optimise Your Unsubscribe Page

Although the idea of optimising your unsubscribe page may seem slightly odd, stay with us.

Firstly, it’s a legal requirement to include an unsubscribe button or link within your email campaigns, so whether it’s right at the bottom of your email, or right at the top, make sure it’s there.

Legalities aside, it’s important that your readers are engaged and want to be subscribed to your email campaigns and marketing newsletter, and if they no longer want to be on your list, give them the option to unsubscribe, as then you are clear on who your customers, and potential leads are.

This is useful as you are then able to determine which readers enjoy, and want to receive more of your content, and which readers just aren’t interested.

However, as outlined in this heading, you can optimise your unsubscribe page to try and keep hold of those leads that may be undecided.

To do this it’s useful to place your unsubscribe link, or button, somewhere in between the bottom and the top of your email, don’t make it more of a focus than your CTA, but make it easy to find.

This way your readers will unsubscribe with no issues, rather than marking your email as spam, which doesn’t do wonders for your reputation!

Equally, as they click through, aim to reduce the likelihood of readers leaving your page by creating a page that is compelling, well-designed and shows off your brand personality. This helps to try and persuade your readers to stay without being pushy, but instead showing off what your company can offer them.

Email Marketing Metrics: How to Optimise Your Email Campaigns

So, there we have it, email marketing metrics and how to use them to optimise your email campaigns.

From this post, it’s clear that there are some metrics specific to email marketing that can be highly useful to track, to stay on top of who your target audience is, and how well your content is performing.
By missing out on tracking these metrics, you may soon find yourself wondering who your subscribers are, and if they are even opening and reading your email campaigns.

Fortunately, we have outlined a few simple things you can do to ensure your email campaigns are reaching your target audience, and providing them with the correct information that is engaging, and professional.

Whether you’re aiming to grow your mailing list, or want to divert traffic to your company site, focusing on CTA’s, and the quality of the copy within your content will go a long way.

Most importantly, think of yourself as the consumer, and consider how your campaign looks from the outside looking in, in terms of design, content and those all important CTA’s.

That being said, we understand grappling with email marketing metrics and optimising your campaigns alone can be one big task.

That’s why here at Canny, we offer end-to-end marketing support, providing you with knowledge and expertise in areas such as content, and design.

If you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities as Marketing Manager, get in touch as we can help to ease the burden.