Every marketer should know by now that open and click rates are not the be-all and end-all of email. Not only are open and click rates a shallow look at a campaign, but often times they can be a deceiving look at how many subscribers are actually being engaged since multiple opens or clicks from the same subscriber can skew statistics significantly. Marketers need to be aware of a number of other statistics to take their campaigns further.
An email marketing platform must clearly define what is being counted as an open or click first; and ideally provide stats for several different ways of examining this data. The total open rate can be tracked to show the number of times your message has been opened, including multiple opens by the same subscriber, and then this number can be compared to the unique open rate which will show the total number of different subscribers who have opened a message. Comparing these two numbers will give great insight, especially into potential list quality issues if there is a very high number of opens compared to unique opens. The same metrics should also be used for clicks, with an email marketing platform that will track clicks, unique clicks (a single subscriber clicking on multiple links), and clickers (the number of subscribers clicking a link, or multiple links). It’s also important to find out other details about the clicks and opens, like if a subscriber that opens a message and then unsubscribes, or complains, is counted as an open or click. Again, these numbers can deceive!
While opens and clicks are not everything, it can be argued that conversions and sales ARE everything. For email marketing campaigns that are focused on converting subscribers into customers, or repeat customers, integration with a service like Google Analytics may be very important. This will allow marketers to view statistics beyond the email campaign sent, and can provide valuable feedback that wouldn’t be available otherwise. Another important feature for these campaigns would be goal, or conversion tracking integrated into the email marketing platform. The goals could be set up on order confirmation or similar pages, and this data could be used for segmenting subscribers who have reached these points in the sales process.
Even more advanced statistics are becoming common place, like click maps and email device/environment reporting. Click maps are a visual representation of the click distribution of subscribers on a message, which can be very handy for optimizing designs and comparing the results of split tests. Email device and environment reporting are becoming more relevant each day, as mobile opens have reached 51% of total email opens! Coupling both of these reports together; click maps based on devices and environments and vice versa, can be very powerful when looking towards designing messages for the future.
Rounding out the list are two more very important measurements that many marketers aren’t taking into full consideration: social media statistics, and unsubscribe statistics. ExpertSender recently blogged about the importance of a robust unsubscription method, complete with a way to collect survey information about why a subscriber is leaving. Social media reporting is also becoming more important everyday as more brands and companies tie marketing channels together. At the very least, clicks to a Facebook page, or tweets about an email message should be curated together and able to be viewed separately. These insights can make it easier to determine if including links to these other marketing channels are worthwhile or not!