3 Simple Stats to Measure Email Success
Have you ever gotten lost? On a road trip, for example, or maybe hiking through the woods? It can be quite an unsettling experience, but if you have the tools to get “found” again, navigating the unknown becomes a lot easier.
When you’re traveling by car, maps, compasses and GPS units help you compare where you are to where you want to go – and if all else fails, you can just stop and ask for directions! But what about when you face a different kind of unknown, like marketing your business through email?
That Can Be Unsettling Too, Can’t It?
After all, like many businesses, you may be getting into email marketing for the first time. It’s 100% uncharted territory for you. So how do you know if:
- your opt-in form does a good job of getting people to subscribe to your list?
- your subscribers actually open and read your emails?
- your emails get people to go to your site and make purchases from you?
Stats: Your Road Map To Better Email Campaigns
Expert email marketers use a variety of statistics to help them track how well the different parts of their campaigns are doing, and to identify where they can improve. These metrics are their “map” to more profits! The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert to start tracking like one.
It’s easy for anyone to measure the response to their signup forms and messages. Let’s start measuring your success with some basic stats.
Basic Stat #1: Opt-In Rate
What It Tells You: How good a job your signup form is doing of getting people to sign up to your email list.
How To Calculate It: Divide the number of people who fill out your form by the number of people who visit the page where your form appears. Note: This is already calculated for you via web forms you create using AWeber’s Web Form Generator.
Example: You’re trying to get people to sign up to your list using a form on your homepage. 150 people visit your page, and 20 of
them sign up to your list. Your opt-in rate is 20/150 = 13.3%
How You Might Improve It:
- Put the form in a different location on the page.
- Change the headline (text above the form that “sells” people on signing up).
- Use different colors in/around the form to draw more attention to it.
Basic Stat #2: Open Rate
What It Tells You: How good you are at getting people to open (and hopefully read) your messages. Note: to track opens, you must send HTML-formatted emails.
How To Calculate It: Divide the number of opens by the number of emails sent. Note: This is automatically calculated for AWeber users.
Example: You send your newsletter to 750 people. It gets 300 opens. Your open rate is 300/750 = 40%
How You Might Improve It:
- Use different wording in your subject lines to grab your readers’ interest and entice them to open your emails.
- Send your messages on a different day, or at a different time of day.
- Change your “from” email address and name to something subscribers are more likely to recognize and associate with your company
Basic Stat #3: Click-Through Rate
What It Tells You: How good you are at getting people to go to your order form, homepage or other links in your emails.
How To Calculate It: Two ways to do this, and you can use either one as long as you do so consistently – they don’t tell you exactly the same thing, so don’t compare apples and oranges!
- Number of clicks divided by number of emails sent
- Number of clicks divided by number of opens
If you’re sending plain text emails, the second way isn’t an option since you can only track opens for HTML emails. The difference between the two is that the 2nd way limits the influence of a good/bad open rate on your click-through rate. If fewer people open your email, then there are fewer people who could click on your links.
Examples: Using the first way: You send a newsletter to 750 people. 150 clicks are recorded on the links in that message. Your click-through rate is 150/750 = 20%
Using the second way: You send that same newsletter, which got 350 opens. Your click-through rate is 150/350 = 42.9%
How You Might Improve It:
Whichever method you use to calculate your click-through rate, the same principles apply to improving it.
- Place your links in different locations in your messages (higher, lower, left, right, centered).
- Change the wording around your links to drive people to click them (this text on/around your link is commonly called your call-to-action).
- In HTML messages, try different text sizes and colors for your links – or use image links *instead* of text ones!
Where You’re Going Counts More Than Where You Are
Something to keep in mind: it doesn’t matter whether your own stats are higher, lower or about the same as the examples I used today. What’s important is that you track your campaigns and test changes to them to see what your subscribers respond to. After all, a 50% open rate might sound great, but not as great as a 60% one.
Put AWeber’s Powerful Tracking Tools To Work For You
I’ve just discussed the tip of the email tracking iceberg today. AWeber offers plenty of other email metrics that you can use to make your campaigns as profitable as possible. But you’ve gotta start somewhere. And there’s no time like here, and now.