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Email Metrics that Matter

5 Email Metrics That Matter and Why

We’ve been screaming it from the proverbial rooftop: customer data matters. And, it hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. We can all agree that understanding how customers are interacting with your marketing messaging is invaluable. It not only gives your brand insight into the current state of your customer relationships, but it can also help fuel your individualization efforts going forward.

Today, however, there’s so much data available that it’s hard to decide what your marketing team should focus on—especially, when it comes to email. Customers can open emails, click specific CTAs within the emails, or respond to or forward the emails to a friend—the list goes on. There are so many avenues customers can take when interacting with your marketing emails. But what are the best ways to track this engagement and why? Together, we’re going to take a look.

1. Conversion Rate

It’s no surprise that conversion rates make the list for email metrics that matter. For conversion rate—the percentage of customers who click through your email and complete a specific action—to mean something for your brand, you have to first determine what a conversion is. For example, is it a purchase? Is it a subscription upgrade? You can’t start tracking conversion rate without defining conversion.

Why It Matters: You can easily determine campaign ROI—especially if the chosen conversion is purchase-based. As Campaign Monitor puts it, “When you know how much you have spent and how many subscribers are converting, it’s easier to determine whether or not the money you are putting into your campaign is paying off.”

2. Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe rates are an excellent gut-check for understanding whether or not your emails are resonating with your audience. Of course, you have to offer every and all customers the option to opt-out of your emails. You can show customers the unsubscribe option is there, but you want to keep them on your subscriber list.

Why It Matters: Unsubscribe rate can help you better define what matters to your audience. According to Unstack, “If you see that your email campaigns have a low unsubscribe rate, you’re likely targeting the right audience for the products or information within your email.”

3. Deliverability

If your emails aren’t getting delivered, they’re not reaching anyone, let alone the right audience. An email has to reach the customers’ inboxes to be an impactful part of your marketing strategy. Factors like email volume, spam complaints, and email bounces can impact the deliverability of your brand’s marketing emails. 

Why It Matters: What’s the point of wasting valuable time and resources creating email marketing campaigns that no one will see? As CMSWire puts it, “Poor email deliverability can be costly, causing a brand’s emails to end up in the spam folder or blocked entirely instead of reaching their subscribers.”

4. Mobile Click Rate

Mobile click rates are usually much lower than desktop click rates. On such a small screen, it’s harder to get users to click through emails. So, mobile click through rate can help your team determine how the content you’re sending resonates with mobile users. By looking at this metric you can evaluate and adjust your emails accordingly. Are people ignoring the content on their phones? What’s visible above the fold? Engagement on a smaller screen, with a shorter attention span, can be a good indicator of content quality. 

Why It Matters: Mobile channels are powerful because they can reach the customer wherever they are (as long as they have their phone). If your emails are getting overlooked while a competitor’s aren’t, you’re missing out on building valuable relationships. Plus, if you’re trying to get customers to use your mobile app, emails with direct links to the app are the perfect opportunity to guide them there.

5. Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV)

LTV is taking a front seat across all marketing metrics these days. Long-term relationships between brands and consumers are increasingly important. Understanding how much value an individual customer contributes to your brand is crucial in developing and nurturing these customer relationships. Subscriber LTV, however, makes the list of email metrics that matter because it’s specific to email marketing. Once you get a subscriber, focusing on LTV is a great way to keep them. 

Why It Matters: Subscriber LTV is especially important when compared to the cost of acquiring new email subscribers. If you’re spending a lot of money and resources to create a campaign, it could prove to be worth it if the subscribers you acquire have a high LTV. The equation for calculating subscriber LTV, according to Litmus, is, “Subscriber lifetime value = monthly revenue per subscriber x average number of months a subscriber stays on your list.”

Find What Works for You

While these five metrics are on our list of email metrics that matter, that doesn’t mean they’re the only five. Generally speaking, yes, these are important metrics to include in your reporting and evaluations, but, depending on your business, the email metrics that matter may shift.

Plus, with an ever-changing privacy landscape—as we saw with iOS 15—certain metrics may lose their importance. Did you notice that open rate and clickthrough rate didn’t make our list? While they probably would have before iOS 15, they lost some of their value after the update.

Things change. Make sure your marketing team is agile, flexible, and can roll with the punches. Once you decide what email metrics matter, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and re-adjust. Nothing is set in stone.

To learn more about how Iterable can help you set up your email marketing program for success, schedule a demo today.

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