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Monitoring email marketing results

Blog post written by Rob Henson | 13 April 2015 | Category: Email marketing

After you’ve sent an email campaign, you’ll want to know how successful it has been. Novamedia can help...

What the system measures?

After an email is sent to a contact list from our system a number of criteria are monitored from the moment it hits a recipient’s inbox. The system we use collates this information, giving you an understanding of how effective your email campaign is. The statistics we measure include:

  • Open rate: the percentage of your contact list that has opened the email.
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of your contact list that didn’t receive the email because it bounced.
  • Unsubscribe rate: the percentage of your contact list that didn’t like or want your email and have unsubscribed.

Looking at these percentages gives a good indication of how successful your email campaign has been. But we can go deeper than that. Our system also tracks individual recipients, and individual links within your email.

So if you have a few links to your website, or to an event registration page, or to a particular product within your email, you can monitor which ones people are clicking on the most. This can help you make more informed decisions about the layout and content of future email campaigns.

How can I access this information?

Many of our clients have access to their email campaigns’ statistics online because we set them up as users on our system, giving them a username and password to track all their campaigns. Whilst we can produce individual reports for clients, most prefer the power and convenience of having access to their own real-time data and control over their contact list. Below is a screenshot showing how this looks to logged in users:

Email marketing stats

I can see all this information, but what is a good open rate?

This question depends on a lot of factors but a starting point when considering this question - and when setting expectations for your company’s campaigns - is to examine your own habits. When you receive a marketing email, even one from a company you know well and trust, how likely are you to open it, read it all in detail, and click on all or any of the links in it?

If you’re like most people, you’ll delete many emails you receive before even opening them.

As a benchmark an open rate of 20% - just one in five people opening your beautifully crafted email - is considered good. That may sound like we’re lowering expectations, but it’s worth being realistic.

There are a couple of other basic factors that will also affect open rate:

  • The type of email you're sending
  • The quality of your list

For example, an email campaign sent to a list of your most trusted clients, reminding them about an exclusive event they are already signed up for could easily generate an open rate of 70%+. Conversely, an email campaign sent to a list of email addresses which has not been well maintained and which simply contains some information about one of your products may struggle to get a 10% open rate.

So, when analysing open stats bear in mind the habits of email users in general, drawing on your own habits, the quality of the list you sent to, and the content of your email.

List management

Once an email campaign has been sent and its results digested and analysed (with help from the reporting tools in our system), it is likely the contact list will need tidying up ready for the next campaign.

I’ve touched on this a little already when I mentioned bounces and unsubscribes. Whilst neither is desirable both are inevitable, especially for larger contact lists. Our system will automatically manage your list, meaning addresses which have bounced and recipients who have unsubscribed will no longer be sent emails.

It’s also likely you’ll want to add new recipients for your next campaign. To add new email addresses to your contact list you have two options. You can either provide us with the contact list which we can import into the system or you can log in and import new contacts whenever you need to.

Our system makes list management easy, giving you more time to concentrate on the content of your campaigns.

Related blog posts

Email marketing – why buying lists is a big no-no

Email marketing – the all-important content of your email

Email marketing – the importance of the subject line

The email marketing process part 1 - Producing the email piece

The email marketing process part 2 - Setting up the campaign

The email marketing process part 3 - The distribution list

The email marketing process part 4 - Testing, sending and reporting

Email marketing – the importance of the 'from name'