Understanding Metrics Series (4 of 6) - eNewsletter
If you want to improve the success of your marketing efforts, you should be tracking the metrics associated with each of your marketing types. In part four of our 6-part blog series, we’ll look at the top five metrics you should be examining in regards to your electronic newsletter (eNewsletter), and suggest some ways you can improve your results.
(1) Bounce Rate: The bounce rate indicates the total percentage of emails that weren’t delivered successfully. These are typically classified into two categories: hard bounces (when an email isn’t delivered because the address is closed or invalid) and soft bounces (issues such as server interruptions or full inboxes). You should aim to have your total bounce rate to be less than 5% if you want your eNewsletter to be successful.
How to improve your bounce rate:
- Maintain your email lists: The average email list naturally decreases by about 25% per year due to individuals leaving a company, a company closing down, or a change in email hosts. You need to be monitoring your lists to ensure that when incidents like this happen, these emails are removed or updated to reflect the new email.
- Avoid ‘spam’ red flags: It may be possible that your email wasn’t delivered successfully because of the email server that the recipient uses considers something in your eNewsletter to be spam.
(2) Click-throughs: Naturally, your eNewsletter should contain various links, likely to either continue reading about a particular topic or to visit a service page. Click-throughs track what links are getting clicked in your eNewsletter, and how many times they are getting clicked.
How to improve your click-throughs:
- Make your links more obvious: If a user is on a mobile device, they can’t just hover over text and images in the email to determine whether there is a link attached. Create buttons that will direct the user to where they want to go, or use different colored text that gives off the appearance of a link. You can also link multiple related items (e.g., a blog’s title, image, and ‘read more’ button or link), and total those up when trying to determine the number of clicks on a particular topic.
- Link on Calls-to-Action: Create a call-to-action that encourages them to click on the link to proceed with the desired action. Linking directly on the text of that call-to-action will make things even easier for the recipient.
- Send your eNewsletters at a different time: If the time you send your eNewsletters is inconvenient to the recipients, they will not spend a lot of time looking at its content (if they even open the email at all). Experiment a bit until you find the best time and day to send it. That being said, traditionally, you would want to avoid sending emails on Mondays and Fridays, as those are usually the busiest days.
(3) List Growth Rate: Your list growth rate indicates how much your list is increasing over time, meaning, how many more individuals are receiving your eNewsletter. To determine your actual list growth rate, you need to be maintaining your lists and removing any invalid or inactive emails.
How to improve your list growth rate:
- Promote your eNewsletter: Advertise your eNewsletter on your website, social media pages, and through other marketing outlets. Include a way for people give you their email so that they can be added to your email list.
- Create content worth subscribing for: Write about content that your target audience will actually be interested in reading. If there’s nothing of interest, you’ll (1) lose current subscribers, and (2) have trouble attracting new subscribers.
(4) Open Rate: Your open rate indicates the number of email contacts that open your eNewsletter. However, this number might not always be entirely accurate: open rates are typically only counted if the recipient receives the message’s images, and some email platforms automatically block images.
How to improve your open rate:
- Craft a good subject line: If your subject line is unappealing, your email won’t be opened. Think of something interesting, but make sure it’s applicable with your eNewsletter content and doesn’t contain something that would get it flagged as spam.
- Make your ALT text intriguing: Most email clients that block images will show the ALT text attached to that image in its place. If you make your ALT text interesting enough, the recipient will feel inclined to tell their email client to display images.
- Personalize your emails: Make recipients feel like they matter. There's nothing that will turn off a recipient like an email which says, ‘Dear recipient.’ You can personalize subject lines, text in the body of the email, and send it from a specific member of your business so that the email feels less like a mass email to the person who receives it.
(5) Unsubscribe Rate: Your unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who opt out of receiving future eNewsletters from you. You should try to keep this number under 1%.
How to improve your unsubscribe rate:
- Create an email group exclusively for your monthly eNewsletters: If you want to provide recipients of your newsletter with other content you believe would be relevant to them, duplicate your eNewsletter list and send them content there. Then, they can choose to unsubscribe from that other content if they feel they are receiving too many emails without unsubscribing from your eNewsletter.
- Include incentives with your eNewsletters: Offer eNewsletter-exclusive promotions, and include content that is only available to those with an eNewsletter subscription.
- Don’t prevent them from unsubscribing: Yes, not providing recipients with a way to unsubscribe will keep this particular metric at a healthy low number. However, your messages will be in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act, which can prove to be very costly to your organization.
- Find out why: Add a form to collect information as to why they are unsubscribing as part of the unsubscribing process. Any information gained can help you fine tune your content to address any issues and provide a better product.
We hope this blog gave you a better understanding of the important metrics for your eNewsletter. Check back for the next installment of this blog series, covering direct mail metrics, and reach out to us for more assistance.