In our last blog post, we covered four of the essential email marketing metrics: open rates, clicks, clicks-to-open and share rates. Now we’re going to look at delivery rates, bounce rates and net list growth. These metrics will give you a better picture of whether your database is growing or dying and how clean that data is.
As mentioned in our previous blog, according to Econsultancy, 68% of today’s marketers see email’s ROI as excellent or good – higher than any other channel. So the importance of making sure your email is delivered to your recipient’s inbox is pretty high. Most email platforms will show you very clearly what your delivery rate is for every email you send. And most ESPs will have processes put in place to help their clients maximize their delivery rates.
We’ve already written quite a few blog posts dedicated to the subject of increasing your email delivery rates. If you haven’t seen them before, I suggest you check them out here:
And don’t forget to use an ESP who has a good reputation!
Most companies will check their deliverability rates but it’s important that you do it over time to help you spot trends and by email campaign so you can track relationships between bounce activity and engagement. This takes us nicely on to our next metric, bounce rates.
High bounce rates aren’t good. If yours are high it can result in your sending address and server being blocked for spamming. Thankfully, most ESPs will prevent this from happening by telling you if your bounces are soft (email delivery was unsuccessful but email address is valid) or hard (invalid email address) and then removing them accordingly from your account so you don’t send to them again.
But to prevent hard bounces in the first place, here are some precautionary steps you can take:
- Clean your lists. Look out for incorrect formatted email addresses and don’t put them in your account. Most ESPs will have a way of automating this process so you don’t have to worry about it
- Double opt-in. Get your customers to verify their opt-in and email address to avoid bad data sneaking through
- Have a preference center link in your emails so your customers can update their email address
- Make your unsubscribe link easy to find and make it easy to complete. You’d rather they unsubscribe than make an ISP complaint right?
To keep safe, don’t use the same domain as your website for your send address. If your website happens to get blacklisted you don’t want it to affect your email marketing.
Net list growth
Net list growth is knowing the number of new subscribers acquired minus the number lost through unsubscribes or hard bounces. This is crucially important to keeping your audience list refreshed. You can easily track your unsubscribes and bounces as discussed above and here’s some tips on how to grow and refresh your list:
- Online surveys
- Website newsletter signups
- Triggered ‘thank you’ emails that request more data
- Social media – capture your Facebook visitors data and Twitter followers. Check out our blog.
- Capture your blog visitors data
- Exchange something of value to your audience for rich data
- Google adwords built-in contact form
We hope this two part blog series has given you some guidance that you can use when looking at your email marketing reports. And because tracking and reporting on your email marketing isn’t always as straightforward, we’re also publishing a paper ‘Metrics Matter – Beyond The Essentials’ that looks at 6 alternative metrics that you might not have thought about before but are increasingly being considered. Keep an eye on our resources page for it.