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How to Interpret Email Marketing Metrics

Email Marketing Metrics

If you are a small business and looking for an affordable way to reach out to your prospects, email marketing is a great channel. Most email marketing service providers have built in analysis and reporting so you can view your email marketing metrics in an almost real-time environment. But do you fully understand what the reports are telling you? Here are some email marketing tips to help you better understand email marketing metrics.

Overview of Email Marketing Metrics

Most email marketing services provide the following common metrics:

  • Bounces – A bounced is mail didn’t get delivered to the intended recipient. This could be for a host of reasons – the email address was spelled incorrectly, the address no longer exists, the email was blocked by a firewall, etc.
  • Released (sent) – Released emails were sent and delivered to the recipient.
  • Unsubscribes – The email was delivered and the recipient unsubscribed from your email service – basically they have removed themselves from your email list.
  • Opens – The email was opened (more on this later)
  • Clicks – If there are links in your HTML email, any clicks are tracked.
  • Forwards – The recipient used your email marketing service provider’s forwarding feature to send your email on to another person.
  • Complaints or Spam – Complaints are registered when an email recipient reports your email as spam to their ISP (Internet Service Provider). It is usually done by clicking a Report Spam button in their email client.

The Most Important Email Marketing Metrics

The three most important email marketing metrics. When analyzing a campaign I initially focus on three key email marketing metrics:

Bounce Rate: the bounce rate is an indicator of the quality of your list. If you are emailing an in-house prospect list and you experience a high bounce rate, it’s time to perform some database hygiene and get your email addresses updated

Open Rate: The higher the better. If your email isn’t opened, your message is not conveyed. A good open rate is influenced by crafting a great subject line and how familiar the recipient is with your email address and company. It also indicates the relative level quality of your list; better prospects will yield a higher open rate. Interpreting the open rate can be tricky though, see my email marketing tips post.

Click Rate: These recipients are even more engaged than those who just opened your email and deserve special handling.

Email Marketing Metrics Wrap Up

Once you have a good grasp on email marketing metrics, you’ll be much better prepared to interpret the results of your email marketing campaign. Next step is to understand the basic nuances of email marketing which can be found under my 5 email marketing tips. Contact Marketing Practicality for expert email marketing help with your small business.

  1. Tanner Pehowich03-05-10

    Many thanks for discussing such an insightful article with all of us. I’ve bookmarked your blog will come back for a re-read again. Keep up the very good work.

  2. Porsha Krukiel06-24-10

    I am about ready to test my first opt-in email campaign to generate interest in a new online shopping system being launched but the more I read the more scared I am about actually doing it

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  1. 5 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses | Small Business Marketing02-04-10