Once your email is out the door you wait for the sales to happen. Sometimes they do, and that’s a very good thing. But sales are not the only feedback you receive from your email broadcasts. Knowing how to decipher the metrics each email generates is critical to understanding how to fine-tune your successive email broadcasts.
No matter how good your list, some subscribers will hit the “unsubscribe” link in your email. If your list is any size at all, it will be a rare email that gets no unsubscribes. However, if the number of unsubscribes spikes on any given effort, try to determine why. In what way did the particular email differ from others? Subject matter? Time or day sent?
Many of the emails you send will not arrive at its intended destination. Instead, it will “bounce” and be returned to your email system as undeliverable. A “hard” bounce is a fatal error – no such email address for example, and should be removed from your list. A “soft” bounce is a temporary circumstance such as a full mailbox and should not be removed. Cleaning the list of hard bounces is important as many ISPs will penalize your reputation if you continue to send to hard bounces.
The open rate is simply the ratio of people who open the email to the number of people who receive the email. As we earlier discussed, open rates are typically a factor of brand recognition and the subject line.
The click through rate is a measure of how many recipients clicked a link in your email creative one or more times. Click through represents engagement – how interested was your list in what you had to say. Engagement is created by strong calls to action and your ability to generate interesting creative.
Most email broadcast systems allow you to track the actual list members who open and click on your emails. This allows you to fine-tune your future broadcasts by tracking the topics in which particular members have an interest. If John Doe on your list clicks on the Ireland special in your email, you have a client who should receive more information from you about Ireland.
Finally, the conversion rate lets you know how many people bought through you as a result of your email broadcast. In travel, this can be a difficult metric to track, since travel is not an impulse buy. Your client may view many emails, newsletters and even advertisements totally unrelated to you prior to a buying decision. Tagging any particular effort as THE causative factor in a purchase may not be accurate. Nevertheless, you are almost certain to discover email marketing is one of the most productive and cost efficient marketing you can undertake.