Once you’ve put your email marketing strategy into action, it’s tempting to leave your email sequences on autopilot and forget about them. But although it takes time and effort to check in and monitor your sequences–and newsletters–to see how they’re doing, it’s worth a little extra work.
Not knowing how well your email marketing strategy is performing will probably leave you spinning your wheels. When you know your data, you’ll be able to make adjustments as needed to refine your strategy and get even better email marketing results.
So, how exactly do you go about evaluating your data? This blog will show the basics of what to watch out for.
For product-based businesses, one of the most important metrics to check is the conversion rate (how many people buy products divided by the number of people who receive the email) and dollars per customer (how much customers spend in total, divided by the number of people on your email list). With these two metrics, you’ll be able to tell if your audience is interested in your products, and if your email marketing efforts are paying off.
Service-based businesses will look more at open rate (how many subscribers open the email) and click through rate (how many people click on email links divided by the number of people who open the email). It’s much harder to track conversions for service-providers. Someone might follow you for a while on social media and be on your newsletter list for a while…the compounded content over time from multiple channels might lead to their eventual conversion, which is much harder to track.
Both businesses should also be watching your list growth, or how many people are subscribing to your newsletters. Over time, that number should increase steadily through lead magnets like freebies!
Knowing the industry standards for these metrics will help you get a sense of where your business stands in comparison to others. For example, the average email marketing conversion rate hovers around 1.5%, so if your rate is well below this for a long period of time, you may need to prioritize marketing strategies that encourage sales. The average open rate is around 20% and the average click through rate is around 2%.
That said, ALL of your data is relative to your business, and your business alone. There are just so many factors involved in email marketing–which means you shouldn’t always compare your numbers to the “standard” metrics.
For one thing, your data is going to depend on the size of your email list. The smaller the list, the better open and click through rates (CTR) you will have, simply because your audience probably knows you more intimately and is willing to actually read your emails. As you grow and add more incentives (this is for product-based businesses in particular–but service-based businesses can get the same results with free guides and downloads), the more people you’ll get coming just for the discount (or freebie), then never opening your emails again.
When you first begin email marketing, it’s possible you’ll have better rates at the beginning than you do a few months down the line. But this isn’t a bad thing, it just means your subscriber list is growing and expanding–and includes some unengaged audience members.
After about 6 months of creating content, you’ll start to see trends and patterns emerge from the data, and you can create your own standard for what your metrics should look like. The numbers are relative to your business. If you’ve been seeing open rates at 60% for 6 months, and then all of a sudden you see 30%? Something is wrong, even though a 30% open rate would generally be considered “good” for the industry standard.
When you do get those people who join your list for an incentive and leave, it’s important to be able to weed them out so they don’t impact your email data. The trick here is to use a sunset sequence to try to re-engage the subscriber. You’ll send them a few emails to give them plenty of chances to encourage them to re-join, and if they still don’t bite, you automatically unsubscribe them from your list. In this blog, we explain in more detail what a sunset sequence is!
Building out sequences (like the sunset sequence) and checking in regularly helps you keep your email list and data healthy. Based on the results you get, you may need to tweak a few things about your sequences and future newsletters. Maybe subscribers are more likely to open your emails with snappier subject lines, or they click on more links when you include certain graphics. To get a concrete idea of what works and what doesn’t, you can even implement A/B testing for hard data. Head to this blog post to learn more about A/B testing in email marketing.
No matter how you go about doing it, email marketing should NOT be a hands-off process. Be sure to continue to monitor and update your emails frequently. Analyzing your data is an important part of the process, and it will make your email marketing strategy that much more successful.
As always, if you’re stuck trying to make this happen for your email list, give us a shout. We’re here to support you with newsletter and sequence strategy that keeps getting better and better results.
PS: Looking for subject lines to increase your open rates? Download the guide below with over 120 subject line ideas!