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Email Marketing Tips: Email Tracking

Email Marketing Tutorial

Email Marketing advice usually targets attracting more new email subscribers and email copywriting, but there is an aspect of email marketing that is just as powerful but much overlooked.

Email Marketing Metrics!

Any decent email service like Aweber will give you a wealth of email metric reports. This is valuable information because it tells you how well you are doing, the health of your list.

I know why it is overlooked, it feels like math, and not many of us are good at math. Good news though, it’s not really, in fact I can deal with these numbers without getting any nose bleeds at all, and if I can, you can!

What are email metrics? They are the numbers that tell you useful information about the last email you just sent out, or all of the emails you have delivered.

Plugging Leaks

First metric you need to keep track of, again, is much overlooked.

email metrics

It’s your UNsubscribes. While most people obsess on how many people they are attracting, that is like filling a leaky bucket. You will make much more progress if you plug your holes!

You will always have a certain amount of churn, but you want to limit the number. Find out why people leave and adjust your behavior accordingly when you see important patterns. Normally you will have an option to get an email when someone unsubscribes and supplies a reason, keep track of those reasons.

Reports

Unfortunately there is always someone who can’t be bothered using your clearly marked unsubscribe link, or worse has a strange opinion of what spam is.

email complaints

These come out as “complaints”. All you can do is make sure you spell out that the person opted-in (and confirmed) to receive the information and that there is an easy way to leave should they want to. If they still mark it as spam after that then they are being malicious and there is nothing you could do.

Tracking Email Marketing Effectiveness

As you can see in the image above, as well as complaints there are also bounces (emails that didn’t arrive for whatever reason), opens and clicks.

Opens can only be tracked if you send HTML emails because they use a tiny one pixel image to see if the email has been read. Clicks require the URLs to be changed to go to a redirect script. Obviously if someone clicks you can infer they opened the email too!

When people ask me what good open and click through rates (CTR) are, I always tell people that just like the gym you should measure against yourself, not against other people. Your list, audience, precise niche and style are unique to you.

Obviously you want the opens and CTR to be as high as possible, but sometimes you don’t need the reader to do anything but read, and sometimes readers prefer plain text emails so you can not track opens.

The main thing to keep in mind is if you work on boosting these numbers then you can be way more effective without trying to attract any more people to your list.

Conversion Tracking

As well as your email effectiveness you also want to be looking at where your sign ups come from. I use Google Analytics “goals” for this but I have also been testing blvdstatus.

Reverse Goal Path - Google Analytics

Double Your Email Marketing Effectiveness

We are going to look at email marketing copywriting in this series, which has a huge effect on your email marketing effectiveness, but what everyone can do is look at their numbers over time and learn from them.

  • Which blog posts drew the most subscribers?
  • Which emails drove the most people to leave?
  • Are there subject lines that pulled more opens?
  • How were the links worded that achieved the most clicks?
  • Do you know the type of messages that got noticed more than others?
  • Which words or phrases meant you got marked as spam?

It’s only by tracking your performance and learning from the numbers that you will improve. Practice and experience are the best teachers when it comes to email marketing.

In the next installment we will look at how you can accelerate this learning and boost your email marketing effectiveness even more, you will want to subscribe now so you don’t miss it!

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Comments

  1. excellent series. I look forward to reading the next installment. Thanks!

  2. excellent series. I look forward to reading the next installment. Thanks!

  3. I did a post on Retention analysis on email lists that compliments your notes above. People tend to think of their email list as this static list, but it’s important to monitor how many defections vs. how many sign-ups you’re getting.

    By looking at a Retention Curve, you can see how long your subs are engaged for and do some predictive marketing to keep them at those points when they’re most likely to defect. It’s key to growing your list!

  4. I did a post on Retention analysis on email lists that compliments your notes above. People tend to think of their email list as this static list, but it’s important to monitor how many defections vs. how many sign-ups you’re getting.

    By looking at a Retention Curve, you can see how long your subs are engaged for and do some predictive marketing to keep them at those points when they’re most likely to defect. It’s key to growing your list!

  5. Thanks for the great ideas and concepts. We are fairly new at email marketing, both because we do not have a very robust mechanism for gathering new email addresses and because our existing email address list is limited at the moment. Also we are trying to decide just what frequency will be acceptable to each consumer. Perhaps an email every week displaying new listings, or perhaps simply let the consumers select what frequency of emails they prefer. Thanks again for your excellent advice.

  6. Thanks for the great ideas and concepts. We are fairly new at email marketing, both because we do not have a very robust mechanism for gathering new email addresses and because our existing email address list is limited at the moment. Also we are trying to decide just what frequency will be acceptable to each consumer. Perhaps an email every week displaying new listings, or perhaps simply let the consumers select what frequency of emails they prefer. Thanks again for your excellent advice.