5 Email Marketing Stats You Should Be Tracking

There’s a lot of talk about email marketing these days. Building lists, creating lead magnets, using tools like ActiveCampaign or MailChimp to manage your emails – there are a lot of things to consider. But once you have your list and your automated funnels built – how do you know what’s working? What are the email marketing stats you should be tracking when it comes to figuring out if your email marketing is working to grow your business?

Email marketing statistics not only help you with understanding the strength of your email marketing campaigns, strong stats tell your ESPs (Email Service Providers) that you are a quality mailer, sending out information that your subscribers wants to read. Poor statistics could get you marked as SPAM, or worse, blacklisted. So it’s important to know which stats to pay attention to, and what they’re telling you about your email marketing strategy.

Let’s take some time and review 5 email marketing stats you should be tracking.

Email Marketing Stats You Should Be Tracking

Email Stat #1 – Open Rates

Open rates are the first indicator of a strong email marketing strategy. Open Rates are a great way to measure the strength of your Subject Lines, and to also begin to understand the types of content your subscribers wish to receive from you.

What is a good open rate? According to Smart Insights, the average open rate was 22.87% for email marketing campaigns across all industries. A 2012 study by Silverpop found the typical open rate was 19.9% in the US, while an analysis by Epsilon stated 27.4% was a good benchmark for open rates.

How You Can Improve Open Rates

  • Take the time to write your subject lines
  • Use actionable phrases
  • Avoid SPAM Trigger Words
  • Provide information your subscribers want / expect from you
  • Test adding personalization to your Subject Lines
  • Occasionally clean your list to delete subscribers that never open your emails

Email Stat #2 – Unsubscribe Rate

Why do people unsubscribe from your emails? Well, the reasons vary, everything from “I don’t remember signing up” to “No offense, just getting too much email in general”. However, watching your unsubscribe rate tells you a few things:

First, a high unsubscribe may indicate that your email collection page is promising one thing and your emails are delivering upon another. Make sure your lead magnets and your ongoing email strategy match.

Secondly, a high unsubscribe rate may show you that you’re emailing too frequently. Unless your subscribers are expecting to hear from you every day, try to limit your emails to once a week. Keep in mind there may be times when you email frequently—for example, to announce the end of a sale or to encourage the signup for an upcoming webinar—but in general, respect the inbox and don’t overmail.

The same goes for emailing too infrequently. If you only send an email every 6 months, your subscribers are going to forget about you and the value you bring—so when you DO send your email, they’ll unsubscribe.

Finally, a high unsubscribe rate may indicate that you’re attracting the wrong people to your list. If you think this may be the case, revisit the headlines and messaging on your landing pages and make sure that you’re attracting the right people to your list.

How can a high unsubscribe rate hurt you?

First—if you have a high unsubscribe rate (1% or more) ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc) may slow down or even stop accepting your email out of concern that you may not have permission to email those addresses.

Secondly—building a good-sized email list is rarely free. So you want to make sure you target the right people from the start so that you’re not wasting money attracting the wrong people.

How You Can Improve Your Unsubscribe Rate

  • Make sure you are attracting the right subscribers through targeted lead magnets
  • Send emails on a regular schedule
  • Provide information your subscribers want / expect from you

Email Stat #3 – Click-through Rate

Most marketing emails contain at least one link (no more than two), directing the subscriber to your website. Depending upon the type of business you’re in, the link may be to a specific product, a sale, or additional information that may be helpful to your subscribers.

Click-through rates are the percent of people that open your emails and then click on the provided links. You want to look at the click-through rate as it’s calculated against the open rate. If you calculate it against the number of people on your list, you’re going to have your non-opens muddy the statistics.

Click-through rates tell you that the information you’re providing in the body of the email is important to your subscribers. Some emails contain more than one link, so it’s importnat to look at each link separately.

If you’re currently sending your subscribers information—blog updates, shared articles, etc.— you want to make sure you “train them” to be clickers so that when you send them an email with a special offer, they’re already used to clicking on a link in your email to “get to the good stuff”. If your subscribers are used to getting all of the information they need from your email alone, then they’re going to miss the opportunities to click when it’s most important.

How You Can Improve Your Click-Through Rate

  • Write a few strong intro paragraphs with a “read more” link at a “cliffhanger”
  • Provide information your subscribers want / expect from you
  • Consistently provide links to click in your emails

Email Stat #4 – Conversion Rate

If you’re using email marketing to sell products and services, then your conversion rates are important. A conversion rate is the percentage of clickers that also make a purchase or take the action on your website that you would consider a conversion. Other examples include signing up for a webinar, signing a petition or downloading a document. In general, a conversion is what you want your subscriber to do on the other side of the click.

Converting a clicker to a buyer starts on the email side, and then is completed on the landing page. Your email content alone can’t convert a clicker into a buyer – your landing page needs to follow best practices and have a strong CTA (Call to Action), a clear UVP (Unique Value Proposition), and it needs to be valuable to your customers.

How You Can Improve Your Conversion Rate

  • Follow best practices for your landing page
  • Make sure your offer is valuable to your subscribers
  • Make sure your landing page states a UVP (Unique Value Proposition)

Email Stat #5 – List Health

Your list health is a combination of a variety of engagement factors including open rates, unsubscribe rates, click-through rates and conversion rates. Plus, there are other factors that go into creating a healthy list including inboxing, low spam scores, etc.

You can use tools like G-Lock Apps or DataValidation to evaluate the health of your emails, and your lists.

How You Can Improve Your List Health

  • Make sure there’s an easy way to unsubscribe
  • Clean out the subscribers that don’t open your emails (at least once a year)
  • Don’t necessarily delete non-buyers. If they’re opening and clicking, they should still be considered active.

So let’s wrap this up with a review of the 5 email marketing stats you should be tracking.

  • Email Marketing Stat #1: Open Rates
  • Email Marketing Stat #2: Unsubscribe Rates
  • Email Marketing Stat #3: Click-through Rates
  • Email Marketing Stat #4: Conversion Rates
  • Email Marketing Stat #5: List Health