When measuring email marketing success, what KPIs are the most important? From open, click and conversation rates, 8 Mailchimp Pro Partners share their thoughts on which metrics to focus on and why.
What are the Most Important Email Marketing Metrics to Measure and Why? 8 Mailchimp Pro Partners Answer
As with any marketing endeavor, gauging the effectiveness is vital for business growth. Email marketing platforms offer plenty of KPIs (key performance indicators), but which are the most crucial to measuring over time? Enventys Partners asked eight Mailchimp Pro Partners what the most important email marketing metrics are and why.
Conversions are important but engagement is too.
“The most important metric to measure is conversions, as that is the goal for most email campaigns. Marketers should also track engagement by reviewing unique opens, total opens, open rate, unique clicks, total clicks, and click rate. Overall ROI will be important for financial reasons, and to better understand your audience, reviewing list size, growth rate, unsubscribes, and bounces/bounce rate is helpful.”
– Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners
Review ROI as a whole.
“Open and click rates are still up there as essential metrics to measure, but in a world where every dollar needs to be accounted for, metrics such as revenue per subscriber, revenue per email or campaign, lifetime value across all subscribers and across all campaigns really help companies to review the ROI of their email marketing as a whole and justify its existence.”
– Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja
What is your goal for email marketing?
“For email marketing, you must first understand your main objective in sending emails. Is your goal to sell a product on your website? Then we really want to look at conversions, clicks, and purchases made. If the goal is to deliver great content and stay “top of mind,” then we look more at open rates and engagement (clicks) on the content in the email. It’s also important to look at unique clicks, forwards and how many times your email URL was shared on social.
Also, don’t forget to connect the free Mailchimp Google Analytics integration, so that you can really drill down to a lot more detailed data. It’s very easy to set up once your Google Analytics account has been created.”
– Emily Ryan, Co-Founder and Email Strategist, Westfield Creative
Measure interest with the open rate.
“Open rate is a fundamental metric to quickly evaluate the interest we raise, its evolution in time and to test the best time to send email campaigns or the keyword that resonates with our audience. I love this metric because it’s quick and comparable against the audience average, different kinds of campaigns, and to do A/B tests on subject and sender. But the most important metrics are those that are nearest to our business goals, so I always look for traffic to the website (if the goal is content reach) and revenue generated (in ecommerce).”
– Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia
Focus on one metric at a time.
“I’m going to answer this by going back to the beginning. The most important metric is the one you are focusing on.
For example, if your goal is to grow your list then your most important KPI is your audience numbers. By focusing on that one number all your ideas, creativity and activity will be aligned with growing those numbers. It’s a lot harder to be distracted when you do that. It also gives you, your team and your partner agency a KPI to query easily. We did x (competition, giveaway, friend get friend etc) did the number go up? Yes. Great! Let’s do more of that. No. Hmmm. What’s our next idea?
The other metrics like open rates, click-throughs and revenue from email can be treated in the same way. If you follow this process, keep the numbers simple and focus on them for a quarter or more at a time and your success will be guaranteed.”
– Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike
Track the KPIs that affect your goals.
“There is a wide range of metrics that can be used in measuring an email campaign, but the most important ones for you are the KPIs that affect YOUR goals.
If you have an ecommerce site, sales might be an important goal for your campaigns. In that case, the metrics you’ll care about are site visitors (which can be measured by click rate) and completed sales or conversions (which can be viewed as campaign revenue if your site is connected to your Mailchimp account). Measurements like Opens are still important, but if your audience opens emails but doesn’t make it to the site for checkout, it’s a less valuable measure than Clicks.
But not every site is focused on ecommerce. Some brands need to foster relationships with their subscribers for a longer-term goal of building business relationships. In that case, Unsubscribes and Bounces are truly vital to measuring your success, as list attrition (loss of your audience) could undermine your efforts. If this represents your brand, also monitoring Opens can be valuable to understanding the mindset of your audience and the messages that really resonate with them.
The best way to determine what metrics to measure is to first set your goals. Then you can determine exactly what you need to watch for to make sure you’re meeting them.”
– MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing
Begin with open rates.
“I know everyone bangs on about open rates because they are the most visible statistic about email marketing – but one key one I like to track is actual opens over time. If the number is going up, great because I’m either growing my list OR people like my content. If it’s going down, then my list is decreasing OR people don’t like my content. There are lots of other valuable measures, but for many people who are just starting out, or have small lists, this is a great place to begin…”
– Robin Adams, Owner and Founder, Chimp Answers
Metrics let you know what appeals or provokes subscribers.
“Opens and clicks, of course. Opens let you know if your subject line is appealing and clicks let you know if your content/call to action is appealing. Opens per device/reader to look for a drop, this is a sign of an issue with your template or domain. Forwards & social media shares tell you your content is appealing and just has to be shared. (Make sure to make it easy for your emails to be shared and forwarded.) Domain reputation because the more trustworthy your domain is the more you’ll land in the inbox. Subscriptions & unsubs because we all need some goals to aspire to. Abuse complaints so you can see if you have content or a particular subscription path that provokes the complaint.”
– Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz
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