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4 ways to check the pulse of your email marketing

The first step in Natelle’s journey to email marketing success starts by confirming that emails aren’t dead.

Read time: 7 mins


4 ways to check the pulse of your email marketing

I was at an event recently – our social media marketing event, Social Circle, actually – and got chatting to a passionate social media marker. He wasn’t at all shy about letting me know that social media was the best place for brands and people to reach their audiences.

I mean, look… I get it.

Social media is the reason I discovered digital marketing and is ultimately the reason I’m writing this blog, so I was very much on his level while he was singing its praises. However, the conversation took a turn when the following happened:

Me: “I also love email marketing; I’m actually planning on writing a few blogs around it soon.”

Him: “Email marketing is dead.”

Me: “Well, actually…”

From there, I just had to tell him about how email generates around £29 billion retail sales a year in the UK (not including offline sales influenced by email campaigns), and proceeded to tell him why email marketing is very much alive and kicking.

We live in a digital age where, from the moment you wake to the moment you sleep, you’re surrounded by messaging: push notifications, SMS texts, social media, the entirety of the web, and of course, email. And, they all require some form of action: click me, read me, buy me, download me – it’s constant.

We as people are becoming busier, our attention spans are getting shorter, and it’s increasingly the case that we won’t look twice at many of those messages.

But, in a world of ever-changing algorithms, the stories vs newsfeed debate, security breach scandals and more, email remains the constant and is far from a dying art. In fact, 66% of online consumers make a purchase as a result of email marketing messages.

By the end of 2019, its estimated that there’ll be 2.9 billion email users worldwide (that’s over one third of the human race), and it’s predicted that 293.6 billion emails will be sent and received each day. Now that’s a lot of emails, and those number are expected to grow – so, the question is, how do you make yours stand out?

Over the next few weeks, or even a couple of months, I’ll be sharing my love of email marketing and hope you’ll join me on my quest for ultimate email marketing success.

Email isn’t dead, and today I’m showing you how to make sure.

4 ways to check the pulse of your email marketing

Open your eyes to the open rate

What it is: The percentage of people who’ve opened your email.

The formula: Opened emails / Emails sent – Bounced emails x 100 = Open rate.

The benchmark: Between 20-40% is healthy.

This is a good metric to keep your eye on, however it’s not always accurate. For an email to be registered as ‘opened’, the recipient’s device must be able to receive and display HTML images. Open rate not quite what you’d like it to be? You might want to look at:

  • Email frequency: You should aim to send enough to build and maintain that relationship but avoid going OTT and spamming people.
  • Subject and summary lines: Are they hitting the mark? You might want to consider A/B testing with your copy and try to limit your subject lines to 6-10 words.
  • Personalisation and segmentation: The higher the relevance, the more reason a person has to open. Birthday emails, for example, are extremely personalised and they have a 179% higher unique click rate than promotional emails.

See the success of click-through rates

What it is: The percentage of recipients who’ve clicked within your email.

The formula: Unique clicks / Emails delivered x 100 = Click-through rate.

The benchmark: 1-5%, depending on industry.

Click-through rates (CTR) can vary due to several things but mainly depend on the content of your email and how many relevant links it contains to somewhere else.

If you’re trying bump up your CTR, you might want to:

  • Clear calls-to-action (CTA): Readers shouldn’t have to guess where they’ll be taken if they click.
  • Experiment with CTA placement and size: Users are more likely to be drawn to a bold CTA that’s shown above the fold – save them scrolling and move it up.
  • Focus on content: Content is key and nobody’s going to click through if your content isn’t compelling, clear, and valuable.
  • Make images clickable: If an image can’t be clicked, it’s a waste of space… literally.
  • Dynamic content: Make sure the right content is going to the right people.

Confirm the importance of your click-to-open rate

What it is: The percentage of people clicking on links after opening your email.

The formula: Unique clicks / Unique opens x 100 = Click-to-open rate.

The benchmark: 14%.

The click-to-open rate is ultimately letting you know if your content is working like you want it to – it lets you know if what you’re saying is pushing recipients to view more.

Making your email more clickable:

  • Easily-scannable content: Help readers get to the point fast and they’re more likely to be in the mood to find out more.
  • Email structure: Make sure your content is ordered correctly – the most important bits should always appear first, with clear CTAs and strong images.
  • Dynamic content and personalisation: Take the time to craft an email around data, customer behaviours, recent purchases, demographics, email preferences etc. Think quality over quantity and more people are likely to click.

See the results of email in your conversion rate

What it is: The amount of people that performed a desired action, such as making a purchase or booking a table as a result of your email.

The formula: Converted actions / Emails delivered x 100 = Conversion rate

This metric is one of the big ones and is often used to determine the return-on-investment of email marketing. An increase in this metric would require all of the above, plus a lot more (look out for the next piece in this series!), but to get things going:

  • Bespoke landing pages: Make it easy for customers to take the desired action by keeping it short and sweet, with content that’s consistent with your email. No-one likes mixed signals.
  • Reinforce the message: Sometimes all it takes is a strategically-placed image mouth-watering food or the chance to watch a demo video for a person to make that final commitment and book a table or make that purchase.
  • Testing is a must: Unless you’re 100% happy with the results you’re getting every time, A/B test regularly. The most subtle of changes, such as changing the style of your CTA or changing a single word in your subject line could make a huge difference. We even have a 5-step guide to email testing you might want to read.

And with that, we’ve taken our first steps on the journey to email marketing success. There’s plenty more to come, but if you want to kickstart this journey for yourself today, get in touch and myself or one of the team would be happy to chat. Well, until next time…