Email marketing is just a hit and miss exercise when metrics and comparisons over time are ignored. Key measurements not only help you assess the success of a single campaign, they also give you a deep insight into your performance as campaigns roll out. But even if you are familiar with the key measurements, how do you benchmark them?
IBM Marketing Cloud’s annual report is a superb reference point. It gives a clear outline of twenty five key benchmark metrics which you should be measuring in order to get the most out of your email marketing and assess your performance. And this year it’s back offering even more.
New measurements have come on the scene
Of course, IBM Marketing Cloud hasn’t tried to fix what isn’t broken. The favoured ‘traditional’ metrics are still there providing the bread and butter of your benchmarking. But now, there’s more detail for you to focus on. Not only are reports broken down by country/region, industry, and message type, but a new subsets also hone in on non-holiday and holiday messaging, mobile email readership, and the frequency math effect. Sound good? Read on for an overview of each…
The unique open rate is an excellent benchmark to track over time. Monitoring that will enable you to note progress, or problems, with engagement early on. Results need to be kept in perspective, though, for not all opens are measured because of image blocking and other client software-based factors.
Two specific rates are tracked and benchmarked here. The first, click-through rate (CTR), measures recipient action on an email message. It’s one step on from open rate, and thus is informative. But bear in mind that other output goals such as conversion and order value are really where benchmarking is useful.
The second, click-to-open rate (CTOR), provides some additional texture to engagement measurement, by measuring click-through rates as a percentage of messages opened instead of simply messages delivered.
List Churn Metrics
These are broken down into three main elements: hard bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and complaint rate. As the names suggest, they focus on disengagement and reader discontent.
List churn measurements are of great value when it comes to data management. Taking note of the metrics after each campaign will help you to segment your data and keep it clean. Ignore the statistics at your peril. High unsubscribe rates and rising complaint numbers may result in ISP discontent and lower mail delivery rates.
Holiday Retail and Ecommerce Metrics
If your business is in retail or ecommerce, this is where the benchmark metrics get interesting. With a specific focus on retail and ecommerce, open, click-through, and list churn rates are assessed. The report covers the holiday season from November 27th to December 31st 2015, with dates outside that range being deemed non-holiday.
Email Usage and Engagement Metrics
This is another new section in IBM Marketing Cloud’s annual report, and we don’t need to tell you that it’s long overdue really. Mobile readership has exploded in recent years, and this includes the use of email too. One particular new metric of note is client/device usage, which assesses the percentage split of email viewing between desktop, mobile and webmail client.
If you’re interested in benchmarking your company’s email marketing performance, we’d strongly recommend you read the report. Just click here to view it.