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Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

Email metrics

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

If you’re reading this, then you hopefully appreciate the value of email marketing.

Many companies understand the importance of communicating directly with their audience — both current customers and potential ones. Beyond blogs, advertising and social media, the storied tradition of the newsletter still lives on, only now in e-form. Newsletters like this one, along with direct pitches about sales events or company news, arrive in a subscriber’s email inbox loaded with information pertinent to them.


Standing out and being read

The challenge, of course, is making sure your e-communications are being delivered to the right people — and being read.

Metrics are analytical tools available through Google, or email services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, that allow you to see exactly how your messages are faring. You can use this feedback to adapt your e-marketing for maximum effect: changing the look, topics, length, frequency, time of distribution and so forth.

But which metrics matter the most, and why?


The meaning behind the metrics

  • Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore

    Delivery rate: This indicates what percentage of your database actually received your email. People change email addresses, leave their company, etc. You should aim for as close to 100% as possible. “Monitoring this helps you keep your list up to date,” said Coles Web Designer Kevin Moore. “If the percentage rate is low, then it’s time to get rid of old or bad email addresses from your database.”

  • Bounces: These emails are returned as undeliverable, and this metric is helpful in culling your email lists. Some bounces are “soft” and usually temporary, such as an “out of office” reply. “Hard” bounces generally indicate an email address is no longer valid.
  • Open rate: This refers to how many people opened your email. This metric can be somewhat murky, since some email clients (Yahoo, iPhone) automatically open emails, skewing measurement. Other clients use a preview pane, and if an impression pixel (a 1×1 pixel image included in the email) is not tracked, it won’t count as an open. In general, an open rate above 20% is considered good.
  • Click-through rate: Whenever a reader clicks on a hyperlinked item in your email, that’s a click. The most common click-throughs are on “read more” links that take the clicker to read the rest of an article after a teaser paragraph or two. “This gives you a sense of the kind of content that users like to read,” Moore said. Anything above 10% is stellar.
  • Brian Coles

    Brian Coles

    Unsubscribe: These are people who received your email and have indicated they no longer wish to be included on your database of receivers. You should do them the courtesy of removing them ASAP. If you consistently get many unsubscribes, it may mean your content isn’t properly tailored to your audience, said Vice President Marketing Brian Coles.

  • Campaign codes: Tracking codes within the email. “These allow you to integrate your email links into Google Analytics, so you can further track or attribute emails to action that happens on your website like purchases and contact signup,” Coles said.


Navigation of email traffic

If you’re unfamiliar with how email metrics work, Coles Marketing can give you a primer and walk you through your recent results. We can also shoulder the entire burden of e-marketing for you!


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Old School Marketing Still Rules

Old School Marketing Still RulesWhile a lot of attention is being paid to organic search and the rising stars of social media, email has continued to be the most engaging, highest-converting, best customer-retaining marketing communications tool of all.


Who knew? Ye olde email is a player in customer acquisition and not just retention or service, according to a new study by relationship analytics company Custora.


Alan Schoff

Alan Schoff

The fact that email marketing is still highly relevant should be no surprise. It’s an opt-in platform, so customers have chosen to receive your messages. It’s easy to personalize and customize those messages to fit specific interests and needs. It also has the highest visibility rate of all the social platforms, averaging around 30% open rate.


Email is the social network that started it all, with one foot deeply rooted in traditional direct marketing and the other firmly planted in the digital age. Ramped-up analytics have only made email better over the past two decades.


What can email do better than any other digital-age marketing tool? According to Social Media Today contributor Debra Ellis:

  1. Acquisition: Customers acquired with email marketing are loyal and responsive. Use every channel to acquire email addresses so you can connect on a 1-to-1 basis.
  2. Retention: Email is the best channel for speaking directly to your customers because it is personal and economical. Use it to inform, promote and show you value their business.
  3. Sales: Email customers want to know about your company and products. Include informational messages along with promotions to encourage sale.
  4. Service: Emails allow your company to economically send personal messages to customers. Anticipate needs to simplify buying decisions and share the information via email.
  5. Integration: Encouraging people to share information about your company across channels is easy with email. Make the process simple, and your marketing reach will grow exponentially.


Email marketing and social marketing are sometimes cast as competitors, which is silly. They actually should work together, not against each other, as part of your integrated marketing efforts.


Nearly everyone on a computer or digital device has an email address. But not everyone is on any single social media, not even the bigger players like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine or any of the hundreds of others. All of the new social media added up are not more effective than email at delivering a message, interacting with your customers and prospects or completing a transaction that earns you a profit.


So whatever hot new media you jump into for your marketing efforts, don’t forget to collect those opt-in email addresses. They are still your marketing gold.


For some other tips to increase your ROI with email, here are some best practices from Coles Marketing’s email partner ExactTarget.


Bottom line is, if you want to gain, keep, and upsell your customers, don’t forget to write!


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