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10 Email Tracking Metrics You Should be Monitoring

As you view your email campaigns, there are a number of metrics that you need to focus on to improve your overall email marketing performance. Email behaviors and technologies have evolved over time – so be sure to update the means by which you monitor your email performance. In the past, we’ve also shared some of the formulae behind key email metrics.

  1. Inbox Placement – avoiding SPAM folders and Junk filters must be monitored if you’ve got a significant number of subscribers (100k+). Your sender’s reputation, the verbiage used in your subject lines and message body… all of these are critical metrics to monitor that aren’t typically offered by your email marketing provider. Email service providers monitor deliverability, not inbox placement. In other words, your emails may be delivered… but directly to the junk filter. You need a platform like 250ok to monitor your inbox placement.
  2. Sender Reputation – Along with inbox placement is the reputation of your sender. Are they on any blacklists? Are their records setup properly for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to communicate and verify that they’re authorized to send your email? These are problems that often require a deliverability consultant to help you setup and manage your servers or verify the third-party service you’re sending from. If you’re utilizing a third-party, they could have awful reputations that get your emails directly in the junk folder or even blocked altogether. Some people utilize SenderScore for this, but the ISPs don’t monitor your SenderScore… each ISP has their own means of monitoring your reputation.
  3. List Retention – it’s said that up to 30% of a list can change email addresses in the course of a year! That means in order for your list to continue growing, you have to maintain and promote your list as well as retain the rest of your subscribers to remain healthy. How many subscribers are lost per week and how many new subscribers are you acquiring? While bounce rates per campaign are typically provided, I’m surprised that overall list retention isn’t a primary focus of email service providers! List retention is a key metric to recognize the quality of the email content you’re distributing.
  4. Spam Reports – How many subscribers reported your email as junk? Hopefully none – but if you have more than a few each send you need to be concerned about where you’re getting these subscribers from and the relevance of the content you’re sending them. Perhaps you’re sending too many emails, they’re too salesy, or you’re buying lists… all of these could lead to high SPAM complaints that can eventually get you blocked from sending altogether.
  5. Open Rate – Opens are monitored by having a tracking pixel included in each email sent. Since many email clients block images, keep in mind that your true open rate will always be much higher than the actual open rate you’re seeing in your email analytics. Open rate trends are important to watch because they point to how well you’re writing subject lines and how valuable your content is to the subscriber.
  6. Click Rate – What do you want people to do with your emails? Driving visits back to your site is (hopefully) a primary strategy of your email marketing campaigns. Ensuring you have strong call-to-actions in your emails and you’re promoting those links effectively should be incorporated into design and content optimization strategies.
  7. Click to Open Rate – (CTO or CTOR) Of the people that opened your email, what was the click-through rate? It’s calculated by taking the number of unique subscribers who clicked on a campaign and dividing it by the unique number of subscribers who opened the email. This is an important metric because it quantifies the engagement with each campaign.
  8. Conversion Rate – So you got them to click, did they actually convert? Conversion tracking is a feature of many email service providers that’s not taken advantage of as it should be. It typically requires a code snippet on your confirmation page for a registration, a download, or a purchase. The conversion tracking passes the information back to your email analytics that you’ve actually completed doing the call-to-action that was promoted within the email.
  9. Mobile Open Rate – This is so huge nowadays… in B2B a majority of your emails are opened on a mobile device. This means that you have to pay special attention to how your subject lines are constructed and ensure that you’re utilizing responsive email designs to be viewed properly and improve overall open and click-through rates.
  10. Average Order Value – (AOV) Ultimately, tracking an email address from a subscription, through nurturing, through to conversion is critical as you’re measuring the performance of your email campaigns. While conversion rates may remain somewhat consistent, the amount of money subscribers actually spent may vary quite a bit.

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About Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog. Doug is the CMO of CircuPress and CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing - leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. Their clients include Angie's List, GoDaddy, Mindjet and many more. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies.

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