What we do with open rates and click-through rates

By SpiderGuest

17 May 2016

Marc Woodland, Founder and Director of Winbox, explains how analysing metrics can vastly improve your email marketing.

Those who run regular email marketing campaigns will be familiar with the plethora of stats that can be used to measure success: subscriber numbers, unsubscribe rates, open rates and click-through rates are just some of the measures commonly tracked. Many people will look at these stats once, work out whether they’re positive or negative and then move onto the next email, making small tweaks to see if the figures can be improved next time.

However, we don’t think these stats should be discarded after one view. Looking back at stats from historical campaigns – whether positive or negative – is an important part of ensuring email marketing success in the future.

Open sesame…

Email marketing will never be an exact science, and its results can sometimes be hard to predict. You may create what you think is a killer subject line and see it flop, or spend little effort on a subject line that gives your best open rates on record. Stats can be disappointing when they surprise you like this, but there’s no denying that they have their benefits too.

We like to think of ourselves as email marketing detectives. We delve into our clients’ campaign histories, searching for the emails that have had both the highest and the lowest open rates. If we spot that one campaign has had an extraordinarily high open rate and another hasn’t performed as well, we compare the two to see what you did differently. The results can often be surprising. Sometimes, it’s simply that you sent the more successful email at a different time or on a different day of the week – we’ll always look back through all previous campaigns to see if there are any patterns when it comes to timings.

Subject lines can also make a huge difference: A/B testing can help to optimise subject lines on an email-by-email basis, while our guide to subject lines and titles may help to steer you in the right direction.

Click with your customers…

Analysing this metric can tell you a huge amount about what your subscribers actually want. We can find out what’s more likely to be clicked and what’s of less interest, and you can use these stats to shape future campaigns.

If newsletter subscribers are clicking on links to your blog posts, keep them in – they’re obviously of interest. If they’re not clicking on links to details of your special offers, consider shortening the intro to more of a teaser, so they have to click through to find out what it’s all about. You’ll probably find that emails featuring competitions and freebies (such as links to free ebooks) have pretty decent click-through rates – after all, who doesn’t like getting something for nothing?

We’re always told to look forward rather than back – but when it comes to email marketing, it’s worth throwing out the rulebook. Once a campaign is over, don’t forget about it: whether the stats are positive or not so positive, they’re a vital means to improve your email marketing efforts in the future.

Need help in uncovering gems from your previous email campaigns? Talk to Marc at Winbox.

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