Denying the importance of email marketing is hard.
There are many ways to build a following and an audience. But if you don’t own the platform, you risk losing the community you’ve worked so hard to build.
When you get more likes on your Facebook page, Facebook owns that list. Meanwhile, when you build your email list, you own it. Even if you end up moving to a different email marketing platform, you can take your list with you.
What some people won’t tell you is that email marketing isn’t necessarily easy. Getting your emails seen and opened can be hard. And even if you do get them opened, there’s no guarantee your subscribers will take a profitable action.
So, how do you know if your email marketing is successful?
Define Email Marketing Success for Your Organization
We’re going to be looking at a few different ways to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. But just because other marketers or companies are tracking certain metrics does not mean you should track them too. You should decide on what’s important to you.
Here are some realistic goals for your email marketing campaigns many don’t talk about:
- Having a weekly presence in the inbox of your subscribers – This builds awareness.
- Getting your emails opened – At least you know your subject lines are working, and your open rates are increasing.
- Getting your emails read – Even if the user doesn’t take action, you see they are engaging with your content.
As you progress through each of these steps, you can put bigger goals in place. The point is that we all must start somewhere. Just because someone else is generating thousands of dollars with every email sent doesn’t mean you can go from zero to hero overnight.
What does success look like to you? Take some time to define it, and change and update your definition as necessary.
Important Metrics to Track
Again, the importance of each metric should be subject to your idea of success with email. But here are some common metrics that can make reporting easier and help you quantify success:
- Open rate – The percentage of your subscribers have opened your email. Most email marketing platforms will tell you after each campaign has been completed. Keep in mind that the average open rate across all industries is only a little above 20%.
- Click-through rate – The percentage of people that clicked on links in your email. Again, most email marketing tool providers will track this for you.
- Conversion rate – The percentage of people that followed through on your call to action. It could be downloading an eBook, buying a product, signing up for a free trial, activating their account, and so forth.
Tracking bounce rate can also be helpful. After all, if your subscribers aren’t getting your emails, your return on investment is zero. Focus on deliverability – this has gotten harder thanks to spam filters, Gmail tabs, and other changes in email marketing.
Calculating ROI is also a good idea. It is the total revenue you earned from your campaign divided by the amount you spent on it. For most solopreneurs and small business owners, however, writing and sending emails is mostly sweat equity. In that case, ROI is a simple calculation. Track the time you spend putting together the campaign, and compare it to the amount of revenue generated.
Email marketing is essential for every business. With everything moving online, you need a way to contact warm, qualified leads efficiently. When someone signs up to receive emails from you, they are in effect identifying themselves as someone who’s interested in what you have to offer.
How do you determine email marketing success for your company? What metrics do you track?
Let us know in the comments.