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4 Important Metrics for High Email Conversion Rates

December 5, 2012

minutes read

Email marketing Conversion

Starting an email marketing campaign can help you with your leads and your business, as well as increasing your sales. Here are four of the most important metrics in email marketing, and how you can use each to your advantage to create the most successful email marketing campaigns you can.

Bounce Rate –

Bounce rate is classified two ways: soft bounce and hard bounce. Soft bounce describes any emails that were returned because of server errors or a full inbox – so outside sources for email errors. Hard bounce rate occurs when there is something wrong with your email addresses or your list.

Many analytics programs will give you both metrics,  but you should focus on your hard bounce rates. A high hard bounce rate might cause your address to be marked as a spam email. To fix this problem, try changing your subject lines, staying away from words that are typical “spam words”, or send the emails at different times.

It also helps to clean up your email list and remove any email address that is marked invalid.

Open Rate –

This metric can give you some great analytical data, but tread lightly – some of the numbers could be misleading. Email open rate is the number (often represented by a percentage) of people who received your email campaign and then opened it.  It’s important to track because this is the first step to email success (after all, people can’t act on an email they haven’t opened!)

Campaigns are tracked using a tiny pixel, and each time it’s loaded, that accounts as an “open”. Overall, studies have found that the average open rate is 20% for most email campaigns. However, open rate is a somewhat unreliable metric. Many email clients don’t’ consider the email “open” unless all the images are downloaded from the server, and if the recipient is behind a firewall or has images turned off from their email client, it could skew the numbers considerably.

Open rate in this fashion doesn’t take into considerations the individuals who have chosen a text-only email or are reading their email from their smartphone

Click through and Conversion Rate –

These metrics are arguably the most important email analytics you can have.  Click through rate tells you how many people clicked through from your email to your website or landing page. The conversion rate will tell you how many people are doing what you want them to do as a result of reading your email and clicking through.

Whether your goal is to drive traffic to a website, encourage readers to download a free eBook or take advantage of a special offer, its in your best interest to track the success of your conversion rate. The two stand side-by-side to give you a bigger picture of your email campaign’s success.

Your email’s goal should be very clear – use big, bold font or an eye-catching image and use a link to a landing page that you can track. Make sure the form or signup is easy to read and uncomplicated.  Improve your conversion rate by re-writing your action items, changing the font, adding content or removing content – the conversion rate performance will be the indicator to tell you if its’ working or not.

Also, take in to consideration the difference between the click through and the conversion rates – if there is a huge difference between the two, there may be a problem.

Historical Comparison –

Metrics on their own are great, but if you’re not comparing them to a previous campaign, you wont’ see where you need to improve.  Make sure you keep track of your previous campaigns in a spreadsheet or document to see the changes in your individual metrics. Choose a few key metrics to improve each time and take each campaign as they come.

Know Your Guest Author

Robert Woodford has been writing about email topics, including email campaign management, for more than 10 years. When not writing, you can find Robert at home with his family or practicing his jazz guitar skills.


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My name is Dilip. I am a fan of the internet and love the many opportunities that the world wide web provides. If used constructively , the internet can give you an opportunity to lead a life free of the 9-5 treadmill and will be able to give more time to your family members. Read about internet entrepreneurship at my blog.

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