An Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing Analytics

An Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing Analytics
08 July, 2024 • ... • 182 views
Arina Topoleva
by Arina Topoleva

Email marketing is a proven way to communicate with an audience. But what if you send thousands of emails and don’t get any results? Learn how to maximize the results of your email campaigns by using email analytics. 

In this article, we will tell you how email analytics helps businesses to set the right email strategy and which analytics tools allow them to understand their audience.

What are email analytics?

Email analytics is the analysis of various indicators related to email marketing campaigns.

Launching an email campaign and sending emails to customers looks like a simple task. But if you consider email marketing beyond just mechanics, but as a way to communicate with a client, it becomes more complicated.

A lot happens during the email marketing process until the emails actually reach the recipient and every step needs to be assessed and evaluated. So email analytics, in other words, is monitoring data related to sending and interacting with emails on each step of the process. 

Based on various metrics, it helps businesses understand how many people have opened an email, how many times they have clicked on links and, most importantly, whether it has brought any sales. Analytics also provides a deeper insight about the preferences of your audience, the activity and behavior of your subscribers on the website.

Selzy email analytics that provides data related to sending and interacting with emails, including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates and more

Let’s take a deeper look on why businesses need email analytics in modern marketing.

Why perform email analysis

Regardless of the type, every business strives for similar goals – to maximize the effectiveness of its marketing efforts, retain the attention of loyal customers, and attract new ones. Email analysis can help with all of that.

To develop trusting relationships with their clients, companies need to set the right email marketing strategy, and then optimize it. It means that to make an email marketing campaign effective, businesses need to actually know what their customers want. 

Email analytics provide the answers to this question and allow businesses to learn more about their subscribers’ behavior and preferences. Data collected by email analytics describes which type of content their customers react to, what they like or not and more. 

If the results are positive, it can help businesses to make sure that they are on the right track. By maintaining the same strategy they could attract even more new customers.  

If the business is not satisfied with the results of its email campaign, it can try new strategies, test different types of campaigns, or other hypotheses to achieve better results from their email marketing efforts. 

Email analytics dashboard that shows great results of an email campaign

Deliver your mail to the right place

Delivery performance indicators are important, with their help, you can make sure that your emails actually get into the mailboxes of your subscribers.

If you track delivery performance, you’ll see that email addresses that you’ve sent a message to can have different statuses. Below there are examples of such statuses, showing exactly what may happen to the emails you send. Perform email analytics to avoid system rejections, and minimize bounces. 

Indicators and statuses of email delivery

After you have made sure that your emails reach the recipients, you can start analyzing content performance of your email campaign.

Learn what your audience does with your emails 

Email analytics allows companies to track metrics such as the number of opens, clicks and conversions, as well as unsubscriptions or the percentage of messages sent to spam. These metrics give you an idea of how the subscribers respond to your emails.

Segment your audience

Analytics helps you divide your audience into smaller target groups based on geographic or digital behavior for better email segmentation

Let’s suppose that the majority of your clients read emails from desktops, a solid number of them open emails on mobile devices, and only a few people use tablets. Based on that you can vary and adapt your content for the digital behavior of your customers.

Audience segmentation based on the audience digital behavior

How does segmentation help? For example, an online store of second-hand goods is likely to interest an audience that uses mobile and places orders online, whereas an exclusive furniture store might interest a more affluent audience, who prefers to explore the website on their PCs before placing an order.

Optimize your campaign

Based on the results of your A/B tests or your previous email campaigns, you can further experiment with various elements of your emails (templates, visual content, surveys, calls to action, etc.), to optimize your campaigns and achieve maximum impact.

If your business is related to travel, your customers will probably pay attention to photos of beautiful places in your newsletter, but some of them prefer to get information through texts. Send two different versions of one newsletter, perform an A/B test, and see which one works better.

Measure profits and reduce costs

The success of your email marketing efforts depends on the return on investment (ROI). With the help of analytics, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and identify areas for improvement, simply by tracking the revenue generated from your email campaigns and comparing them with costs.

Analytics helps to identify which features work best for your business.

For example, online businesses need calls to action to lead customers to their websites or to place orders directly from a mailbox. For offline businesses, it is more important to bring customers directly to the store, so they can reduce costs by using only necessary features.

Thus, email features that are relevant for an online business may be irrelevant for offline, and vice versa.

10 essential email marketing metrics to track

Email analytics is a collection of different metrics that you need to monitor if you want to get the most out of your campaign. We have selected the 10 most important and necessary indicators for you to track: 

1. Email deliverability

Email deliverability is one of the most common metrics that indicates how many emails reach subscribers’ inboxes and do not get lost along the way or marked as spam.

Email deliverability = Emails sent / Emails delivered x 100%

The average deliverability rate is 88.9% of the number of incoming messages while 11.1% of emails bounce or are intercepted by spam filters.

Metrics that track the percentage of delivered emails

What may affect the quality of email deliverability? First of all, anti-spam filters are set by the email services. Due to the fact that 45% of the world’s mail traffic is spam, mail services put extra effort into filtering suspicious messages out which can sometimes affect even legitimate mailings. 

However, the principles by which these services sort emails for spam differ, so your email campaign may be spam filtered, for example, by Google, but not by Yahoo. Also, your subscribers can mark your emails as spam, and it will also be reflected in your email deliverability rating. 

This rating is affected not only by spam, but also by system bounces, caused by such reasons as outdated email addresses, or full recipient’s mailbox. A high bounce rate can lead to the sender’s domain or IP address being marked as suspicious too. 

2. Open rate

The open rate metric measures the percentage of recipients who not only got your email delivered in their inboxes, but opened it. 

Unique open rate = Emails delivered / unique openings (1 email – 1 person) x 100%

Total open rate = Emails delivered / openings (all, including more than once) x 100%

One email can be opened once, or a few times. For example, 10 emails were delivered, 7 people opened them, 3 people opened the same email more than once. 

Based on that, there are two different types of and open rate metric:

  • A unique open rate shows how many people have opened your message compared to the number of messages that have been delivered, so 7 out of 10, or 70%.
  • A total open rate is the percentage of open emails (including those that have been opened more than once) compared to the number of emails delivered. It may exceed 100%, but does not indicate the percentage of users integrated, so this metric is not so widely used in a campaign analysis, compared to a unique open rate. 

Of course, it is almost impossible to predict in advance whether a user will open your email or not, or how many times. Good news – you can work on that.

Based on the email’s performance, you can estimate how well its subject line has worked as this is one of the few things that the recipient sees before opening an email. So, if you have a low open rate, work on the subject of the email to attract subscribers’ attention and encourage them to view your emails. 

Based on the Statista report, in 2023, 57.8% of marketers from around the world reported that their open rates ranged from 20% to 50%. 

Marketing email open rates worldwide 2023, provided by Statista
Source: Statista

So 20% open rate can be already considered as good. However, open rates often depend on the industry.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)

Open rate becomes less significant in modern email marketing because of mail privacy features. Plus, even if somebody opens your email, it does not mean that they actually read it or interact with it. Then how to make sure that email campaign is effective? By analyzing clicks! 

The email click-through rate (CTR) shows a number of clicks compared to the number of emails delivered. When somebody clicks on a hyperlink or advertisement inside an email, it means that they acted upon your message. This indicator is used in digital marketing to measure the level of user engagement. Users can click through different tools. For example, on an advertising banner or an image, a call-to-action button, a hyperlink, etc.

So if 100 mails were delivered, 50 of them were opened, and 5 people clicked on links, CTR is 5 out of 100, or 5%.

Email CTR = Unique clicks / Delivered emails x 100%

A high click-through rate indicates that the content of your email is relevant enough to the recipient that they want to learn more about your products or services. Thus a higher click-through rate naturally means better traffic and conversions. 

The click rate rate is usually about 2-3% and varies by industry.

Metrics that shows links the subscribers open

4. Click-to-open rate

The click-to-open rate (CTOR) calculates the percentage of recipients who clicked on links within your emails compared to the number of opened emails. 

CTOR = Unique clicks / Opened emails x 100%

For example, you sent 100 emails, 25 of them were opened, 5 people of those 25 opened the links. It means that your сlick-to-open rate is 5 out of 25, or 20%. 

It shows how effectively your campaign has proven itself among an audience that is already engaged enough to open your messages.

This indicator differs from CTR as it does not take into account the total number of emails that you send as part of the campaign. The baseline for this metric is simply the number of people opening an email.

The open rate compared to click rate

5. Bounce rate

Bounce rate is one of the most important indicators in email analytics. It measures the percentage of emails that have not been delivered to the recipients’ mailboxes.

Emails may not be delivered for various reasons. Bounces can be classified as “hard bounces”, which occur when an email is constantly rejected (for example, due to an incorrect email address), or “soft bounces”, which occur when an email is temporarily not delivered (for example, due to an overflowing mailbox).

The generally accepted bounce rate is below about 2%. So, it’s still normal if 2 out of 100 emails you send will be bounced by the system but pay attention if the bounce rate is more than 2%.

Emails that were bounced due to different reasons

6. Conversion rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of people who perform the action indicated in the email, for example, click on links or images. This metric is a direct indicator of whether your marketing campaign is working at all. That is, whether the recipients of your emails become your customers.

The formula is as follows:

Conversion rate = Clicks / Total number of emails sent x 100%

For example, if an email was sent to 100 subscribers and 10 of them clicked on a link to a website, the conversion rate would be 10%.

The higher the conversion rate, the more successful the marketing campaign. A good conversion rate is considered to be from 2 to 5%. But the indicator also depends on the industry.

The low conversion rate indicates that there may be problems with the design of the newsletter, or audience targeting strategies.

7. Spam rate

Spam rate shows the number of people who reported your email as spam compared to the total number of messages you have sent.

Spam rate = Spam reports / Total number of emails sent x 100%

For example, if you send 500 messages and 5 people mark it as spam, your spam rate is 1%. Regardless of the industry, the average spam complaint rate to aim for is 0.1%, or 1 per 1,000 emails sent. 

Previously we mentioned bounce rate. Spam has slightly more important input about your marketing campaign. The spam rate shows that your emails were rejected not by the email system, but by people – your subscribers, your old customers or your potential clients. For some reason they were disturbed by your content and even more, they decided to complain about your campaign! Be cautious, high spam rates can negatively impact your sender reputation and the deliverability of other emails. 

Good news is that you can significantly reduce spam rate by checking the content of the emails you send to your customers. Pay attention to what kind of links you place in your mails or whether your content might seem offensive to some groups of people, or if there are some images that make your email look like spam and make it harder to read.

Emails that were bounced due to spam block

8. Unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate measures the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving further emails from your list.

Unsubscribe rate = Unsubscribes / Emails delivered x 100%

Although some outflow of subscribers is inevitable, a consistently high unsubscribe rate shows that your emails are not meeting the expectations of your subscribers; or they are not satisfied with the frequency of your mailing; or they simply lost interest in your products or services (which is mostly not your fault). A good unsubscribe rate is below 0.5%.

Anyway, this is a sign that your email campaign management might need some improvement. 

Unsubscription rate indicator within an email campaign

9. Email sharing/Forwarding rate

The email sharing/forwarding rate measures the percentage of recipients who forward or share your emails with others. This metric provides insights into the virality of your email content and the extent to which it resonates with your audience.

Email sharing = Emails shared / Emails delivered x 100%

Forwarding rate indicates interest in your brand. A good forwarding rate is somewhere about 1-2%. By improving it, you can increase brand awareness. In addition, it can work on the principle of “word of mouth” – people are more likely to trust content that friends and acquaintances have recommended to them. 

10. Overall ROI

ROI is perhaps the most important metric of all. ROI measures the return on investment generated by your email marketing efforts. 

Overall ROI = Revenue / Costs x 100%

By calculating the revenue generated from email campaigns and comparing it to the costs, businesses can assess the effectiveness of their email marketing strategy. The more ROI is, the more money your campaign actually brought. So if you spend a dollar and then a campaign brings you this dollar back, it is not a good ROI.

Most sources claim that a good return on investment in marketing is 500%, that is, x5 return for every dollar spent on marketing. However, there is no high point – you can do more!

Low ROI is a reason to adjust your marketing strategy. There may be several reasons why you can not reach higher rates of income by your email campaign, but you definitely should go deeper into analytics in order to understand what stops you from getting a good ROI. Maybe your content is not attractive to your customers, or you use instruments that do not work for your subscribers or for the GEO that you are aiming at.

Performing profound email analytics and changing the very approach to your email strategy can boost your ROI and result in better marketing results. 

How to perform email marketing analysis

To conduct email analytics, there are two main options with pre-made tools and all the necessary parameters.

One of them is Google Analytics.

Pros: Google Analytics provides detailed information about user behavior throughout a website, not just email newsletters. This is useful for understanding the broader impact of email campaigns on engagement and conversion on the site.

Cons: Setting up Google Analytics can be difficult for newbies, as well as to process data.

A second option is Dedicated Tools. Namely, special platforms such as Constant Contact, Selzy, Brevo, Mailchimp, and others, which take over all the analytics connected to mail. They offer built-in functions both for sending emails and for further analytics of the email campaign.
Pros: Special email analysis tools are designed specifically for email marketing and easy to use. They offer additional features such as A/B testing and auto-segmentation to optimize email campaigns.

Cons: These tools are mostly focused on email analytics.

Now that we’ve covered the essential metrics to track, let’s explore how to effectively perform email marketing analysis:

  • First of all, find a provider that allows you to automatically collect data and analyze your campaigns. 

You don’t need to calculate all the formulas yourself and spend the resources of your business when there are already programs that can calculate data in a convenient format specifically for your campaign. You just have to choose the one that is most convenient for you. It should provide all the necessary metrics, as well as have a clear interface.

Selzy has all the necessary tools for convenient email analytics — from basics to advanced metrics.

  • Then, start with a brief overview of your email campaign.

Evaluate the general metrics that we mentioned above: openings, clicks, as well as bounces and unsubscriptions allow you to assess how your email campaign generally meets the requirements of high-quality mailing and is liked by your subscribers.

  • Dig deeper.

After you have evaluated the first results of your email campaign, you can pay attention to individual elements. Namely, to see and compare which elements bring more conversions. Which works better — links or pictures. Which content does your audience interact with best?

Compare and analyze data and customize your campaign based on the results you receive and increase your conversion rate.

  • Analyze the time indicators.

Evaluate at what time or in which seasons your campaign brings the best conversions. Or how the dynamics of the campaign develops (or not) over time.

This indicates the general interest of your subscribers in your brand. If it grows over time and the number of conversions increases, congratulations, you are doing a great job.

If user interest is getting lost, you should pay closer attention to your email campaign. Go back to the basic metrics and try to figure out why your emails are losing popularity.

  • Use more complex analytics to help you figure out the causes of failures (or success) and set up better targeting of your mailing list.

Pay attention to those metrics that allow you to find out a behavioral portrait of your audience – including their geographical location, seasons, and even the time of day at which they prefer to open emails and interact with your content.

Final thoughts

Email remains a powerful tool for interacting with customers. A good email campaign not only leads to sales, but also by increasing brand loyalty allows you to get the love of customers for a long time.

However, modern email marketing does not boil down to the principle of “send an email and wait for a sale”. Thanks to modern email analysis capabilities and services that make this process automatic, understandable and convenient, every business is able to study its audience and optimize campaigns in accordance with the needs of its customers and the preferences of its audience.

08 July, 2024
Article by
Arina Topoleva
At the core of my professional identity is a passion for global connections, communications and digital marketing. With a vision based on an inspiring aesthetic, I am trying to bring a unique flavor to all my projects, creating content that would contribute to a user-based perspective in content marketing.
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