Outbound Email Campaign Simply Put: Which Metrics to Track to Boost Your Revenue

Vladislav Podolyako
Mar 24, 2022
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Businesses all around the globe put a tremendous amount of effort into their outbound marketing campaigns. They invest time and money, optimize their emails and promotion strategy, and hire the best copywriters, but things still don’t seem to work. If this is also the case for you, keep reading.

The truth is that to make the most out of your outbound email marketing campaign and take your conversion rates to a whole new level, it is critical to track how interesting your emails are to your potential customers. In other words, to track your email campaign’s performance. It’s not enough to only put in the energy — you have to continuously check your progress and make relevant conclusions to improve your future outbound email campaigns. Let’s see which outbound email metrics to track and why they are so helpful in the first place.

Open Rates

An open rate shows you the percentage of people who open your emails (or a given email, to be precise). Open rates are the metric almost all marketers bend over backwards. They do everything in their power to optimize their subject lines and make them catchier. Why? Because a great subject line can get you a lot of opens. However, you don’t really need open rates to measure the success of your campaign. Or, it’s better to say you shouldn’t rely on it exclusively. So what makes the open rates so misleading?

The thing is that each email comes with an embedded image you can’t see, and this image is downloaded automatically, whether you want it or not. This means that all emails are marked as “having been opened,” even though you may have never clicked on them in your inbox. This means that you won’t find out the real number of people opening your emails, but don’t worry—the modern marketing industry has many measuring techniques that are more effective, and it’s high time to explore them.

Click-Through Rates

Clickthrough rates (or CTRs) are probably the first thing every professional marketer will think of if you ask them about effective email measurements. This metric informs about the percentage of recipients that clicked a link or several links in your email. The formula is pretty simple: (total clicks ÷ the number of delivered emails) * 100. Let’s look at an example: total clicks (let’s say, 500) ÷ delivered emails (10,000) * 100. The clickthrough rate in this case is 5%. Pretty simple, right?

Why Are CTRs Such Crucial Metrics to Track?

A clickthrough rate is a very important metric as it shows you the number of leads who are actually interested in your message. It’s a daily means of tracking how well your letters perform as it evaluates performance for every single email you send and, therefore, helps you make improvements immediately. Unlike open rates, CTRs help you directly measure how many prospects from your emailing list actively engage with your content and want to know more about your offer. So it’s not just seeing the number of recipients who may have or may not have opened your messages.

However, CTRs aren’t the only effective tactic for measuring the overall success of your campaign and closing more sales — there are other metrics.

Conversion Rates

Okay, let’s suppose your potential customer has clicked on a link or two in your email. He did just what you wanted him to do. For example, filled out a lead generation form, booked a demo of your product, or actually purchased it. What does this mean? This means that he successfully converted, and conversions are just what you want in the end. Simply put, a conversion rate is the number of prospects that have clicked on a link in your email and completed, as the marketers call it, a “desired action”. This is the ultimate goal of each self-respected marketer and business owner.

Why Are Conversion Rates so Valuable?

Absolutely! And this is how they’re helpful:

  • they directly show you how successful your letters are
  • they hint at whether or not your leads are interested in your product (and not just emails separately)
  • with conversion rates, you can see if your offers are relevant to the client

At this point, you should know that conversion rates are closely related to call-to-actions (CTAs) — the directions you give a customer at the end of your message. This could be adding a “Buy” button or asking the customer, “So what are you waiting for? Book a demo and see it for yourself!” So always pay attention to your CTAs.

Now let’s see what else there is in store in terms of useful outbound email metrics.

Bounce Rates

Your brand’s reputation is not the last thing to consider while planning out your email marketing strategy. As a respected company, you have to make sure you don’t look like a spammer. To avoid that effect, it is necessary to examine your email deliverability, and, specifically, your business’s bounce rates. 

Bounce rates are the percentage of your total emails sent, which, for some reason, couldn’t be successfully delivered to the recipient's inbox. There are two types of bounces: “soft” and “hard” or, in other words, “serious” and “not so serious.” Soft bounces happen due to a temporary problem with an operating email address, like an inbox packed with emails or a server problem. Once these issues are solved, the recipients will get their emails, increasing the open rate.

But hard bounces are slightly more difficult to deal with. They occur when an email address is closed, invalid, or doesn’t exist. In this case, the recipient will never get your letter. The best thing you can do is delete such addresses from your email list — Internet service providers rely on bounce rates to define each sender’s reputation.

List-Growth Rates

In order to establish yourself as an industry leader, grow your audience, and boost your revenue, it’s highly crucial to keep an eye on your list-growth rates. The term is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll clarify: list-growth rates are the rates at which you are expanding your email list. Simply put: the higher your list-growth rates, the better. 

It may come as a surprise that your email marketing list decays by almost 23 percent every year. That is why top marketing specialists keep emphasizing the importance of the list-growth rate to the overall success of any business. This success measurement tactic helps extend your outreach, broaden your audience, and establish your brand as an influencer. So, in addition to the above-mentioned metrics to track, pay special attention to how fast your email list is expanding.

Overall ROI

Are you going in the right direction? Do your efforts bring new leads? Is your outbound email campaign profitable? To close more deals and speed up the sales process, you have to know all these things and be aware of whether and how well your investments pay off. Here comes the ROI (return on investment) metric — the overall sum regarding the return on investment for your outbound email campaign. And the formula is pretty simple: you have to divide your total spending by total revenue. 

As soon as you’ve examined your overall ROI, you’ll be able to determine:

  • what steps to take next
  • how well your marketing campaign is performing
  • how many new leads you have generated
  • how the whole endeavor translates into potential revenue

Not too bad for a single email campaign metric, right?

Forwarding Rates

Viral marketing is one of the best marketing techniques — it helps attract new prospects organically and without spending a fortune. And one of the main pillars of viral marketing is sharing information. If your product is good enough, the client will recommend it to their friends. And if your email is useful, the client will definitely share it. But how do you know if your outbound emails are effective? With the help of forwarding rates. 

Forwarding rates tell you how often your email recipients share your content with others. While they may seem trivial, forwarding rates are actually one of the most helpful outbound email metrics you should track. This measurement method helps you find new contacts and see what type of content gets shared the most. This way, you’re able to gain insights into what your future campaign should focus on. So tell your recipients to pass your letter along if they think it’s useful!

Unsubscribe Rates

Just like you should keep an eye on your list-growth pace, be sure to follow your unsubscribe rates. How often do your clients ban your emails? Asking yourself this question once in a while will surely help improve your content level and, ultimately, income. 

You may argue that unsubscribe rates aren’t a reliable email marketing metric — just like the open rate. And yes, it won’t show you the full picture of your business’s success. After all, not all users will put effort into the whole unsubscription process. The majority of recipients annoyed by your emails will simply stop opening and reading them. However, it is still crucial to check your unsubscribe rates every month if you want to calculate the overall growth and decline rates of your emails. So come back to it at least from time to time.

Spam Complaint Rates

Spam complaints are something you should avoid. Yes, a couple of them won’t do you harm, but if your company’s name is constantly marked as a “spammer,” expect nothing else than being by email service providers. Their main goal is to keep track of spam complaints to ensure the maximum best quality of content delivered to the client. So, if the number of complaints is too high, your account may simply get blocked. 

Of course, it is all up to you, and you can easily ignore this metric or merely rely on your email service provider to track the spam complaints for you, but checking this rate yourself helps you ensure that your letters are technically correct and your copywriting is fine. So why not make the most out of your outbound metrics?

There you go! As you can tell, there are plenty of outbound metrics to track, and all of them can (and should!) be used for improving the quality of your marketing campaigns. So don’t hesitate to see how your business is doing today and what you can do to take it to the next level tomorrow!

Vladislav Podolyako
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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