Email Metrics: What Should You Measure?

Email metricsI have been working on my email sequences to run alongside the two products I hope to launch later this year. It’s something I have to keep leaving and returning to.

I think the problem is I’m feeling intimidated, which is strange as it’s not the first time I have put an email sequence together. It keeps occurring to me that each email has to keep the reader engaged otherwise they will unsubscribe and I will lose a customer or prospect.

Now I know this is the wrong way to approach this topic, but I can’t seem to shake the thought that every sentence I write is crucial. What I should be doing is just writing the best content that I can, send it out and see how my readers react. To do this last part I’m going to have to measure how well my emails perform. So, as a means of distracting myself from this self imposed pressure I’ve been looking into the metrics I’ll have to measure.

1. The first metric that can be measured is the bounce rate. This is the percentage of the emails sent that cannot be delivered to an inbox. There are two types of bounces. A soft bounce occurs when there is a temporary problem with an email address. This could be a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server. Depending on how it’s set up the server might hold emails until a problem is cleared up, but in case it is not it might be worth resending any emails that suffer soft bounces.

A hard bounce occurs when an email is sent to a non-existent email address. If you identify any hard bounces it’s important to remove the email address from your list, because ISPs (Internet service providers) use bounce rates to help them decide if a person sending emails is a spammer.

2. Probably the most well-known metric is the clickthrough rate (CTR). This is the number of people who click on the links within your email and is a measure of how interested your readers are in your content or your offer.

3. Another metric to watch is the overall list growth rate. Even the most popular email lists lose a percentage of subscribers over time. Therefore it is important to keep an eye on how quickly your email list is growing and to be sure that it won’t decline due to natural wastage.

4. Return on investment. If you are spending to acquire subscribers you’ll need to know the ROI of each individual campaign. Without this information you won’t know whether a campaign is making a profit and consequently whether to increase spending or perhaps divert it elsewhere.

There are other metrics that can be tracked but the above are the main ones.

Tracking some metrics can even give you the wrong impression. For example many subscribers may rarely read your emails, yet they won’t unsubscribe; and I’ve read that some open rate counters require both text and images be received if they are to be counted, so anyone blocking images with their email client will seem to never open the emails.

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