Everyday Email Analytics for Every Business

When everything is going right with the email marketing channel, everything is likely going right for the business as well.

There's no denying email's incredible ability to help brands connect with their consumers and drive response (and revenue) from those initiatives.

What makes email so appealing to businesses is that the resulting performance is as trackable as any other digital channel. We know in the case of senders on the Yesmail platform (which recently published its Q2 2016 Email Benchmark Report), for example, that Thursdays are best for engagement (e.g. open rates) but Saturdays and Sundays are best for conversions.

Knowing how email campaigns are performing, but many businesses still don't know the most common indicators of performance. Let's take a look at some of the metrics today's brands should be monitoring within their analytics solution.

CLICKTHROUGH RATE: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in an email. Divide the total clicks by the number of delivered emails to calculate. The Clickthrough Rate (or CTR) is important to track over time as it provides an opportunity to track performance changes over time.

Open rates and read rates are also good ways to determine if various elements of the email and the strategy behind it are working, but ultimately they work in tandem to generate click-through rate. As a result, only when the CTR peaks or troughs is it really necessary to dig deeper into why (at which point you'll look more closely at open and read rates).

CONVERSION RATE: There will likely be those that suggest that conversion rate should most definitely be on a list of this nature, and that is difficult - if not impossible - to disagree with. Even with positive performance of other metrics like the CTR, conversion rates is the ultimate indicator of a successful initiative and can reveal issues with product pricing, landing page development, and more - those things that don't show up in an email analytics report alone.

For many, these are the two most important metrics having to deal with email as they reveal how well email is doing in driving response and engagement. Still others, however, will be interested in drilling down into the specifics. Let's take a look a few other metrics worth exploring and monitoring/measuring over time.

PASS ALONG: The term "pass-along" was once exclusive to the print industry and meant the number of times it was seen by someone other than the intended (often paying) participant. In the digital realm, pass along is still very much alive, and it comes in the forms of email forwarding/sharing as well as social sharing. What email marketers are ultimately after by tracking pass-along is the rate at which information is being shared by the recipients. Calculate digital pass along by dividing the number of clicks on a share or forward button by the total number of emails delivered.

LIST GROWTH: It should go without saying that if recipients are interacting with the messages they are being sent (evident in the clickthrough rate) and are converting, and even sharing the information or products via email or social media to their friends and colleagues, then it only makes sense that your list (the pool of potential message recipients) should grow over time. Tracking list growth can reveal if enough is being done to acquire new subscribers or if enough is being done to retain those already active on the list.

These four key performance indicators are only the beginning - there are hundreds of different data points that could (and perhaps should) be monitored if the aim is optimization of these initiatives. What analytics does your enterprise keeps tabs on? Share your experience and insights with other Website Magazine readers by submitting a comment below!