Ah those pesky analytics. Come on – you know they exist, but you haven’t touched them yet, have you?
Those numbers, statistics, percentages and bar graphs are sitting, unloved, in the back end of your email marketing system. They’re yearning to be used, analysed and provide you with insight for future campaigns.
Only, once you’ve sent your campaigns, that’s where the effort ends. You wait for leads to come in as a result but do nothing more.
Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about your email marketing analytics neglect. What you should feel bad about is the insight you’re missing out on, and, to make you feel a bit worse, we thought we’d list the most important stuff you’re overlooking.
You can thank us later.
So, what can your analytics teach you?
It’ll prove that email marketing is worth your time
Let’s get this straight – email marketing is worth your time. The problem is that it often feels like a bit of a slog when you don’t review the results.
When you press ‘send’ (or ‘schedule’), and that campaign heads out of the digital door, stuff happens. We promise. It might not feel like it, but people will be opening the email, reading it, clicking links, forwarding or – if you’ve really screwed up – hitting the ‘spam’ button.
Email analytics will provide you with information that proves the time you spend crafting your emails isn’t wasted. You’ll see who’s enjoying your efforts and where you can improve, and there’s no better way to spur yourself onto bigger and better campaigns.
It’ll show specifically where you can improve
We touched on this in above, but it’s worth digging in a little further.
Among those statistics (providing you’ve picked the right email marketing platform), you’ll spot dips in engagement. It might be that no one clicked a particular link you thought was well-placed, or that there weren’t as many forwards as you’d have hoped.
Similarly, if the open rate is low (20-30% is considered fairly positive), you can start to look for areas where you can improve. The subject line might not be strong enough, or the content itself might not be tailored correctly for the audience.
Low click-throughs? Maybe that call-to-action (CTA) isn’t as strong as you thought it was. Equally, is the mobile version of the email working well enough to display the CTA?
We all make mistakes, and there isn’t a person on the planet who’s an expert at email marketing. Analytics help even the best in the business improve, so why not join them?
You’ll find out which devices are being used
It has been the case for a while now that over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, but there are exceptions.
Metrics for device usage might differ for each campaign you send, and will give you vital insight into how your emails are being digested.
Clearly, if you’re a savvy email marketer, you’ll be using a responsive template, but knowing as much as you can about the devices on which your audience are most likely to be viewing your emails will focus your testing.
You’ll discover the best time(s) to send
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the perennial question, “when should I send my email?”, because us humans are a funny, inconsistent bunch.
That said, your analytics will demonstrate trends over time and provide a pretty reliable idea as to when you’re likely to get the most engagement from your subscribers.
You simply can’t do this without viewing statistics for open rates. And, if you’re really lucky, you might find that your audience takes a very consistent approach to the time of day (and day of the week) during which they open and engage most positively with your emails.
It’ll reveal which links were the most interesting for your subscribers
Email marketing campaigns rarely contain just one CTA – there’ll normally be at least a couple of links available for subscribers.
From your analytics, you’ll be able to deduce which links were the most popular, and which were seemingly of no interest at all.
Clearly, there’ll be some that are unlikely to attract high click-through rates (your email address in the footer, for example), but if you’ve included a couple of links to specific landing pages on your website and no one took the bait, they either weren’t interesting or relevant enough for the audience.
You’ll find out who read your email
Big brother time!
Imagine being able to watch over your subscribers like some kind of eagle-eyed, omnipresent email marketing god…
Well, with analytics you can monitor what they’re up to individually, and – more importantly – you can do so without physically camping in their back garden. Because that’d be weird (and against the law).
This is all fine, GDPR-wise (providing you’re gaining consent ethically), and if you choose the right email marketing platform, you’ll be able to not only see who opened emails, but who forwarded them, and exactly which people clicked the links contained within.
This is unbelievably powerful insight that you simply don’t get from any other form of marketing. Social media, for instance, will give you stats, but you’re unlikely to be told who clicked a link or read a tweet unless they proactively do something with it such as ‘liking’.
Email marketing is about as personal as it gets when it comes to marketing thanks to the fact you, as the business, have access to a unique identifier – the subscriber’s email address.
Email marketing software will use that address to map out their engagement over time and enable you to see exactly how they’re taking to your messages. As a result, you’ll spot disengaged subscribers a mile off, and notice those who appear to be on the brink of converting or doing something meaningful with your CTAs.
It’s the age old problem, we know; where do you find the time to review all of these analytics?
We can do a lot, but we can’t magic time out of the air, unfortunately, which means only one thing – you’ll need to find it yourself. When mapping out your email marketing campaigns and the work required, leave ample time for analytics. As we’ve hopefully proved today – it’s worth it!