Email marketing is one of the core digital marketing techniques of any business. It allows brands to connect with users and vice versa, building relationships and increasing sales. Here's what I mean:
Email marketing is still the most popular option for connecting, promoting, and boosting your product or service relevance. And since companies need to hit specific KPIs, they need to know what to create, what to test, and when. After all, email marketing KPIs are something all marketers need to keep an eye on.
So, let's dive in and explore the key KPIs you need to monitor to increase your ROI and supercharge your email marketing strategy.
Of course, your email marketing strategy is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy, as highlighted by the graph below:
Of course, unlike other digital media, you need the prospect's informed consent before sending out laser-targeteg email campaigns that make sense.
Once you have that, email marketing is a channel that doesn't depend on an algorithm to get your message across, unlike social media platforms.
With the right targeting, proper personalization, and the use of robust email automation software, you can reach a large audience in a very short amount of time, even with a limited marketing budget.
Another email marketing advantage is that it's measurable. This means that data will help you understand when you reach your KPIs for email marketing and make informed decisions when needed.
The Email Marketing KPIs to Keep an Eye on in 2023
As mentioned above, email marketing is measurable through performance metrics that give some much-needed insight into the effectiveness of a campaign.
Of course, there are a lot of email marketing KPIs a marketer needs to keep an eye on. And one could think that the most important ones are the open and click-through rates, but it's not just that.
Let's go ahead and see the KPIs of email marketing campaigns that drive the most growth.
Your open rates
Your email open rate is the first KPI you'll track as an email marketer. It looks a little like this:
Your email open rate measures the percentage of recipients who actually click your email. A high open rate could mean that your subject line was successful or that your brand scores high in customer engagement.
On the other hand, a low open rate could indicate that your subject line needed to be personalized more, it needed to be targeted adequately, or didn't seem like a natural continuation of the user's action on your website.
It could also indicate a low delivery rate or that your brand doesn't engage users enough through its content on all platforms.
To make the most of improving this KPI of email marketing, you can utilize many techniques, such as:
- A/B testing your email subject lines
- Using personalization and email triggers everywhere
- Segmenting based on customer behavior
Create two versions of your subject line and send them to a small portion of your email list to see which one wins. Use recipient data to personalize. Segment using past behavior, previous orders, and interests.
The more personalized an email subject line is, the better the chances of it to "speak" to a user's heart. This improves the chances of your open rates skyrocketing, driving more engagement and conversion.
Your click-through rates
Your email click-through rate (CTR) is probably the second email marketing KPI you'll pay attention to as an email marketer.
This is what measures the clicks generated through your emails. In other words, it measures the number of times your email openers click on a link or your CTA button.
As you understand, a catchy subject line isn't the only thing that counts when it comes to the KPIs of email marketing. You need users to act upon your marketing message. When you have a high CTR, your email content is engaging, actionable and leads the user right where you want them to be.
Your CTR is essential when it comes to your email marketing campaign's success.
Of course, to measure it and ensure you're tracking this email metric correctly, you'll need to know what your industry's average is:
If your CTR is not quite what you want it to be, you may need to improve some key components of your email marketing campaigns. Apart from your subject lines, your content may not be a fan favorite.
This is where it would make sense to use segmentation again. Make sure you study your demographics and psychographics correctly:
You can also use triggered email marketing campaigns, as mentioned above. A triggered campaign stems from a specific user action on your website or blog. So, when a user makes something distinctive, like adding a product to their cart, make sure to use a cart abandonment email series.
As you can see, you can't go wrong with a triggered email campaign.
So, make sure your content is segmented, personalized, and relevant to your audience.
You could also use some cool design tips to lead users to the CTA, like the inverted pyramid:
But whatever you do, don't forget to create content that matches your email subject line. It will need to be full of actionable verbs and elements that break down the text and make it fun to read.
Your email unsubscribe rates
Another crucial KPI to keep on the lower rate. But no matter how well you manage your data or how targeted some campaigns could be, this email KPI will always exist, and you should take it into account every time.
And this is your email unsubscribe rate.
I'm sure that by now, all of us are familiar with the meaning of email fatigue:
Email fatigue can lead users to engage with your email less and less. This could lead them to unsubscribe eventually.
Your email unsubscribe rate is a KPI that refers to the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving your emails. Some users are no longer interested in your marketing message or your product, and sometimes, there is nothing you did wrong.
However, in most cases, this email metric shows that you didn't get the consent you had to get when you created your email list. Or your email list needs to be pruned before you go forward with another email marketing campaign.
A high unsubscribe rate can result in low conversion - not to mention the numerous violations of GDPR that a high unsubscribe rate could imply as a KPI.
Super Pro Tip: Never try to mend this by making the unsubscribe button hard to find. This is a surefire way to earn a spam complaint - aka the act of a user marking your email as spam.
Of course, there is the possibility of your unsubscribe rate being low. That's perfect news, as it indicates that your content resonates with your subscribers and can lead to increased engagement and customer loyalty.
This could result in increased sales, repeat customers, and positive reviews.
Tracking your email unsubscribe rate over time can help you identify trends and make data-driven decisions to optimize your email marketing strategy.
Your email conversion rate
This is probably your most crucial email KPI and the one all email marketers want to see thrive. But let's define it first and understand its function.
Your email conversion rate is the real measure of your email campaign's success. It's the percentage of users that take the action pinpointed on your campaign, be it a purchase from an abandoned cart or just a newsletter, to drive more traffic to your website.
Your email conversion rate is a crucial email marketing KPI because it directly correlates to your revenue. In other words, your email subject line could be the best, and you could be following the insights from your analytics tools religiously but still not get any results in terms of revenue.
And with the competition in every industry increasing by the minute, getting some real value from your emails should be the top priority.
Your email conversion rate can show you the type of content that resonates with your audience. It can also help you see where there might be some friction or why your marketing message could be a little weaker.
All those pieces of information will help you adjust your email marketing strategy and understand how your email KPIs interact with one another. For example, a low conversion rate could pinpoint a bad CTA or an email design that may be hard to scan in a rush.
Of course, this email KPI can also indicate non-personalized content. It can also suggest that you must create different content for different segments or use dynamic content for your campaigns to speak directly to your audience's needs without trying too hard.
The tricky part about your email conversion rate is that it's a KPI that you need to monitor and evaluate every step of the way to ensure that your campaigns are thriving and giving you the best possible ROI.
Sustain your deliverability rates
You need to make sure that your deliverability remains unharmed through 2023, as the "emails delivered" KPI is probably the email KPI basis for the rest. Your deliverability rate indicates how many emails are successfully delivered to your subscribers' inboxes.
Of course, email deliverability is a very complex email marketing KPI that email marketers don't understand sometimes.
There are several reasons behind an email not being delivered to your inbox. Sometimes your emails come back as undeliverable because of a full inbox. Other times, because your email address has a poor sender reputation. Others because you haven't cleared your email list.
And other times, you may have used words like "Money", "$$" or too many exclamation points and capital letters to your email subject line to not be filtered out and sent to the spam folder.
Deliverability rates are important because they can impact your ROI. A low deliverability rate can mean that your emails are not reaching your subscribers, making your email marketing campaigns have less or no value.
Now, remember the unsubscribe rate we talked about before? Since deliverability is one of the most crucial email performance metrics, having the unsubscribe button ready can save you from users marking your email as spam.
This, in turn, will improve your email marketing reputation and keep future emails from being delivered to the spam folder.
On the other hand, maintaining a healthy and high deliverability rate can ensure your emails will always hit the user's inbox and lead to a better engagement rate and revenue.
Your bounce rates
The last email marketing KPI that you'll need to measure in 2023 will be your email bounce rates.
Your bounce rate refers to the percentage of undelivered emails - or the ones that were sent back to you. A high bounce rate can lower your chances of scoring a robust ROI.
There are two types of bounces that you should know about:
- The hard bounces that occur when an email address is invalid or no longer exists
- The soft bounces that occur when an email address is temporarily unavailable because of other factors, like a full inbox or an email server issue
Understanding the difference between a hard and a soft bounce is crucial, seeing as it can help you create and curate your email marketing strategy.
A high bounce rate will indicate that your content marketing doesn't reach the intended audience. And tracking this email marketing KPI will help you understand what you need to change in your email marketing strategy.
For example, a high bounce rate might be a byproduct of poor email list hygiene. On the other hand, a high soft bounce rate might mean that you need to check your email server with your ESP and figure out the issue.
As with everything, reducing your bounce rate can improve your email marketing ROI. Tracking those KPIs for email marketing will help you make great use of your content and increase engagement, CTR, and reputation.
And better reputation means better deliverability rates, which leads to an overall laser-targeted email marketing strategy.
Your email marketing KPIs might be important but they must also be as realistic and measurable as possible.
Always make sure to understand the insights of your email analytics. Your email marketing platform and your ESP will surely provide insights. Utilize them to create a tailor-made and ready email marketing campaign.
Lastly, always test your ideas and understand how your audience reacts to your marketing message. Your email marketing KPIs are a fantastic way to keep everything in check, provided you know what they're pointing to.