Lesson 6: How to Assess the REAL Impact of Your Email Marketing Campaign

01 Jul 2017
| Last update: 21 Jul 2017

Welcome to Lesson 6!

This lesson is all about keeping track of your email marketing campaigns by focusing on the metrics that really matter.

email marketing

It was important to approach this topic, considering email marketing is a staple of online marketing, and marketers’ affinity for it has not diminished.

And who can blame us, right?

  • It’s estimated that there will be 4,9 billion email accounts by the end of 2017 – which means more people use email than social media. So, there’s a bigger audience you can reach via mail than via social media.
  • Email marketing produces an average 4,300% ROI for businesses in the U.S.

When done right, email marketing can help you:

  • Expand your client list
  • Increase customers’ loyalty
  • Boost sales and brand awareness
  • Strengthen your relationship with clients
  • Pretty much rule the world.

Not too shabby, right? But before we can go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room.

How Do You Approach and Track Your Email Marketing Campaigns?

How do you track your efforts?

Are you confident you are honing in on the metrics that actually matter in order to optimize your campaign and reach your goals?

Two of the main metrics professional marketers keep track of when it comes to evaluating the impact of their email marketing campaigns are:

  • Open rate: how many people on your email list open (or view) a particular email campaign.
  • Click-through rate: the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view your email. 

That’s fine. But it’s not great. And it’s certainly not enough.

I’ll explain.

For instance, let’s say you shoot some emails and they get opened at a rate you’re happy with. Many marketers would see that as being the equivalent of a successful email campaign.

The KPI for open rates was fulfilled but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved your goal.

That’s because you have no idea what happens after your target clicks on that link you provided in the email.

Organizing a truly successful campaign means going way beyond just open rates and click-through rates. 

Why?

Well, when you only look at open rates and click rates, you only see part of the picture.

Problem is, the other parts of it- the ones that are hidden from you – can change your perspective entirely.

email marketing

What happens inside your prospects’ inbox is part of the email marketing journey, but it’s not the destination.

In this lesson, we will show how to go all the way with your email strategy by coupling email tracking with virality and engagement. 

Why do you need this lesson? It’s simple.

Knowing which metrics to focus on:

  • lets you correctly appraise your efforts,
  • allows you to plan strategically,
  • helps you put together stronger email campaigns in the future.

It’s powerful knowledge that will ultimately help you become a better marketer.

I.

Engagement

Mail delivery software like MailChimp lets you know how many people opened your email and clicked on the links inside the email.

But it doesn’t tell you anything about what happens next.

And that’s essential information you want to know because it sheds light on an essential aspect, namely:

How did the people targeted in your email campaign interact with the content you linked to?

Did they find the content useful? One way to find out is to look at the time they spent on site taking the word count into account.

Let’s say you have an article of about 1000 words.  If people stay under a minute on your page, it most likely means they are not that interested. The content is not engaging enough for your target audience.

You can see the problem here, right?

If you were to evaluate how well a campaign is performing based on open rate and click-rates, you would see this as a success. But that would be a false assumption.

It’s easy to be misled by the mirage of high open rates.

But just think about it: is it really a success if people click on a link but leave the second they get on the page?

Clearly, the answer is NO.

email marketing

So in reality, your email campaign is actually not working as well as you thought. 

You can’t get any insight on how people interact with the content you provided by merely looking at open rates.

For that, you look at engagement. So how can you evaluate engagement? Well, you look at things like:

  • Average Time on Page. As briefly mentioned above, this shows you if visitors find the content on that page interesting or relevant enough to stick around.

  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from your site without viewing any other pages on your website speaks volumes about how people are interacting with your site.

  • Article Comments: Comments tell you how much of the reader’s attention you actually have. Are they just skimming over your content, or are they actually taking the time to read most of it?

In ContentLook, all these metrics are included in the algorithm for the Engagement section.

You can use this to figure out how interested visitors were in your content, as well as the other elements on a page.

Why is this important?

Knowing something is wrong is the first step towards finding a solution.

For instance, let’s say you notice you have a high bounce rate, and therefore low engagement. Once you are aware that something is not working as it should, you can investigate further on and can come up with solutions.

One way is to intervene at a customer journey level by placing strategic elements on the page, such as:

  • Buttons that send visitors to other sections of your website.
  • Popups that encourage users to take further actions within your site.
  • Links to other relevant pages within your website in your content.
  • Links to content everybody will relish to your sidebar.

Also, you can work on improving your content so as to provide more value to website visitors.

ContentLook enables a better process for that because it offers all the data you need and allows you to set tasks  – all onto a single platform and without disrupting your workflow.

II.

Virality Potential

Your site is good, the content you linked to in your email is on point, so you obviously expect to reach a broad audience. 

For that to happen, a portion (hopefully a big one) of the people who see your content also have to share it.

Because if they don’t share, there’s no viral effect.

Achieving viral effect is super important because:

  • It amplifies the impact of your content, and thus your email campaign.
  • Virality equals popularity.
  • It gives you a chance to reach a broader audience.
  • When people are sharing your content, your reputation and authority increase.
  • Website visitors are recommending your content and basically giving it their stamp of approval.

So how do you know if your content has the potential to organically get many shares on social media?

Well, you start by looking at social interactions in ContentLook to see if people have shared.

Social interactions show you if people who saw your content hit the sharing buttons available on your page.

You can also look at page views, bounce rate, and traffic sources. In ContentLook, you can see that in the Insights section/Traffic and Engagement Tabs.

If there’s spike in page views for which you don’t have a solid explanation and see that people are coming to your site from social media, it is possible that your content is on its way toward achieving its viral potential.

Use this data to take informed decisions regarding how and what to improve in your marketing campaign and make the right tweaks. For instance:

  • You could offer site visitors more incentives to share, like giving them something exclusive.
  • If the bounce rate is pretty low, it could mean that visitors are enjoying your content. Still, you lack social interactions. In this case, ensure share buttons are easy to see.
  • You could make tweaks in your copywriting so that the call-to-action urges visitors to share.
  • Include more visual assets. Pages with lots of images see more engagement than those without.

Final Thoughts

The main goal of this lesson was to offer you a new perspective when it comes to tracking the success of your next email marketing campaigns.

We hope we managed to offer some solid arguments to explain why being a marketer who only looks at open rates and click-through rates is a lot like being a marathon runner who almost made it to the finish line.

Almost successful.

via GIPHY

I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be among the “almost” kind of marketers (otherwise you wouldn’t have invested all this time into improving your skills).

You want to be among those who take informed actions that spark real growth.

So the next lesson we put together for you is all about giving you the tools to turn data into actions and keep track of the metrics that matter to YOU.

It’s something to get excited about.

I’ll see you in class next time.