So, how do you measure email engagement?
Email marketing is easily measured; email engagement is a bit tougher. It goes deeper than the key metrics (delivery, opens and clicks) presented in your send reports for individual emails.
Engagement with a company’s email marketing is often spread out over a long period of time, multiple email sends, and lots of different messages. It’s the collation of it all that can give marketers nightmares. When you’ve cracked it, though, you’ll be able to see which aspects of an email campaign worked wonders, which aspects need improvement, and which aspects failed entirely.
So, how can you measure your email engagement? Here are a few tips.
Email copy and design
We know what you’re thinking: email copy and design is attributed to individual emails, and you just said that email engagement goes deeper than that.
Of course it does, but that doesn’t mean you stop analysing individual emails entirely! On its own, an email’s delivery rate, open rate, click through rate and click-to-open rate can be somewhat short-term. But when these metrics for many emails are combined, you paint a big picture of your email marketing activity. Because of this, every single email metric counts.
Your delivery rates will help determine:
• The cleanliness of your email list
• The quality of your email service provider
• The success of your email’s image-to-text ratio
• The ‘spamminess’ of your copy
Your open rates will help determine:
• The best time to send your emails (days, hours)
• The effectiveness of your subject line
Your click-through rates will help determine:
• If your email design was successful
• If your copy was effective
• If your overall marketing message was clear/strong enough
Doing this allows you to create your own benchmarks to aim for in future campaigns. Industry averages are fine if you don’t have your own data, but ultimately they are not always 100% reliable or realistic. Don’t get discouraged comparing your email engagement to B2C and B2B benchmarks – instead, create your own based on the best performing campaigns, and strive to improve on those.
Active subscriber lists
One report will tell you how your contact list reacted to that particular email. This really isn’t an active representation of email engagement, however, as it’s all about interaction over the long term.
The collation of your email list’s engagement over a six to twelve month period will provide far greater insight into the health of your subscriber list – which you should be trying to grow all the time. Everything down to social shares, comments, and purchases should be taken into consideration. It might be more work overall, but ultimately it will improve your email marketing performance; by removing all long-term inactive email accounts, your delivery rates will rise.
When you first get people to open your emails, you need to find ways to keep the conversation going, and one of the best methods is using email workflows. These are multiple series of automatically triggered emails which are sent to a customer at different points based on their engagement history and the data you’ve collected on them.
Setting these up isn’t enough, though. When your workflows have had time to go through a cycle, you can measure engagement by comparing the successes of each. At which points were customers beginning to stop opening? When was there a surge in opens and sales? Which content/subject lines got the most opens? There are countless questions you can ask and answer by measuring your workflow engagement, and doing so is likely to inspire new campaigns, special offers and product ranges in the future.
Well-performing workflows can always be improved, and you might even discover techniques for winning back customers who have fallen off the ’email open’ map.
See, measuring engagement needn’t be such a nightmare. Now the methods for measuring email engagement outlined above should result in more relevant and targeted email campaigns for your customers.