How's Your Email Marketing Working Out For You?

Posted by Ken Semple

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Analyse your email marketing so you know it's working for youEmail marketing done right provides great results. Businesses often put their email marketing on autopilot and punch out an email every now and again, never analysing what is and isn’t working.

The start of a new year is a good time to go back and look at the analytics from the email marketing campaigns you sent last year to see how they performed.

I don’t just mean that you look at whether you have more subscribers now than this time last year. I mean for you to look at the engagement you got from your subscribers, what they clicked on, whether the open rate varied from email to email and, most importantly, what made them unsubscribe.

What should you look at?

  • Whether certain send day and time combinations work better than others
  • Which subject lines get the best open rate?
  • What sort of offers got the highest click rate and how were the links to these offers worded in the email?
  • Were there subject line and offer combinations which produced considerably better results than the others?
  • Did any particular email stand out for either clicks or unsubscribes

Some extras if you use the right email marketing service

Most email marketing services don’t track results after the click in the email. Marketing software like HubSpot’s track the clicks, website activity, downloads and ultimately the sales.

If you use marketing software like HubSpot’s you can analyse at these things also:

  • How many people took up the offer. Not just clicked on the link in the email. You might have overall data on the downloads of your offer, HubSpot will tell you how many of those came from each email.
  • How many customers resulted from your email marketing. HubSpot hooks into your CRM and can report customer conversions automatically.

This extra data allows you to calculate the ROI you are getting from your email marketing.

The how to setup your analysis

Most email marketing services allow you to analyse each email campaign individually with limited overall stats. I find it best to collect all the data and put it in a spreadsheet so the email marketing campaigns can be easily compared.

To make it easy for you, we have created an Excel template which you can download for free.

I suggest the following columns in your spreadsheet:

  • Send Date and Time
  • Weekday
  • Time
  • Campaign Name
  • Email Subject
  • Principal Offer
  • Number Sent
  • Number Opened
  • Percent Opened
  • Number of Unsubscribes
  • Percent Unsubscribes from Sent
  • Offer 1
  • Link 1 Text
  • Offer 1 Clicks
  • Offer 2
  • Link 2 Text
  • Offer 2 Clicks
  • ...
  • Offer n
  • Link n Text
  • Offer n Clicks
  • Total Clicks
  • Percent Clicks from Sent
  • Percent Clicks from Opens

A few more advanced columns for those who are using a more advanced marketing automation system like HubSpot’s:

  • Number who took up the offer
  • Percent took up offer from sent
  • Percent took up offer from clicks
  • Number who became customers
  • Percent customers from sent

It’s easy to filter and sort this data to see what is working best.

Remember to download our free Excel template.

Analysing the data

Having all the data in one place allows you to quickly sort it and filter it to highlight what has worked and what hasn’t.

Often you will see that a few of your mailings will do extremely well and a few will do very poorly. These are the ones you can learn from and will tell you what you should be doing more of and what you should stop doing.

Assessing email subjects and link text is a little subjective. Looking at them side by side it’s easy to see why some worked better than others and learn from that for future mailings.

The number and percent of unsubscribes can be very telling. If this is high for one or two mailings, look at these emails very closely. Also look to see if you had sent a number of emails in a very short period of time, maybe people were getting sick of you. High unsubscribes also happen when you haven’t sent anything for a long time. Best to keep you email marketing regular.

A note on open rates:
Open rates can be quite inaccurate as they are normally calculated from image downloads. Email clients that don’t download images won’t report an “open”. Open rates do tend to be quite consistent when sending similar emails to a list. Best to take note only of large differences in open rates between emails.

Key Takeaway

A little effort every now and again will tell you a lot about the performance of your email marketing. This will save you putting lots of effort into email campaigns which aren’t returning results.

Don’t forget to download our Excel template.

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Topics: Email Marketing

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