One thing about marketing that will likely never change is its focus on numbers. In particular, the return on investment will always be at the top of our minds. Although it’s newer than traditional media methods, email marketing is no exception. And everyone knows that this modality has one of the best ROIs. Nonetheless, being able to prove the ROI of your email marketing will come down to how you report on its effectiveness.

Doing this effectively isn’t as easy as it seems. While every email marketing service provider has their own analytics that they show you, at some point you will need to pull that data together with your own Google Analytics data. This means that outside data cannot be relied upon as your sole email marketing report. Let’s see what metrics you should consider to be included in your email marketing report regardless of what analytics your email marketing service provides you.

Where to Get What Metrics for Your Email Marketing Report

Your email marketing report should give a comprehensive view of your efforts, along with how effective each component is. Regardless if you use a reporting software, a Microsoft Office product, or even text in email, there are many important details that should be part of your email marketing report.

Unfortunately, many of these are overlooked. According to a report by Litmus, the top three metrics being measured are Open Rate, Clickthrough Rate, and Unsubscribe Rate. But fewer than 70% of marketers track other important metrics.  You should be one of the top 30% by knowing your email marketing metrics and why they are important.

There are 4 main categories of metrics that need to be included in your email marketing report. As you will see, not all of them are provided by your email marketing provider, and that is why you will need to aggregate data from different sources in order to create an email marketing report that has business value.

Once we go through the important metrics to consider for your email marketing report, I’ll give you some advice on how to analyze them.

Further Reading: The 16 Best Email Marketing Tools to Consider Investing in Today

Metrics provided by email provider – to assess and improve the health and convertibility of your entire list

This category covers indicators of how good your list is, and understanding it is an important part of how to create an email marketing report. It measures if people are getting your brand message,, and how well they’re responding to it. You can also use these numbers to tweak your strategy.

  • Total Subscribers: How many people are subscribed to your promotional emails or newsletter.
  • Subscriber Growth: How rapidly are you adding subscribers to your list?
  • Unsubscribe Rate: How often, in terms of a percentage of subscribers, do people unsubscribe? If it’s running high, you’ll need to know why.
  • Total Emails Sent: Simply put, how many emails are you putting out per time period? This is each time you send an email to one address.
  • Open Rate: What percentage of your emails are opened?
  • Clickthrough Rate: How often do recipients click through your emails to a landing page?
  • Bounce Rate: Percentage of emails that are “returned” or “rejected” by the receiving server. Bouncing is typically the result of an email address getting disconnected.
  • Reported as Spam Rate: How often do users say that an email is spam. This is really bad for your ability to get an email into people’s inbox.
  • Deliverability: The opposite of your bounce rate. In other words, the percentage of emails that are received by the target server.

Further Reading: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build an Email Marketing Strategy

Content metrics provided by email provider – to improve performance of your content

This category looks at how well your content is doing overall. It’s one thing to get an email delivered, or even read, and anther to have the content hit home. Even within the realm of success, not everything will do equally well.

  • Best/worst performing campaigns/messages in terms of open rate and/or click-through rate. In other words, what is your best pitch, or your worst pitch.
  • Best/worst performing sequences: Here, you’re looking at how well a series of emails works, especially in comparison with others in your library.
  • Best/worst performing automations: Which triggered emails are the outliers on performance. Is there room for improvement?

The great thing about this category of metrics is that it’s pure gold for improving the quality of your content. For instance, if something you’re sending out misses the mark, you’ll be able to see this fairly quickly. Then, you just have to figure out how to correct it. Sometimes your top-performing content will give you a clue.

Further Reading: What is Email Marketing Automation and How Much Can You Actually Automate?

Subscriber metrics provided by email provider – to assess which subscribers are highly engaged as well as those that need re-engaging

Most people aren’t equally engaged with a brand at all times. For instance, some people update their wardrobes every other year, or they prefer your brand of clothing for only one season. Here, there might be some opportunities to increase engagement. Likewise, a highly engaged subscriber might be a brand advocate or influencer that you can leverage for influencer marketing purposes.

  • Subscribers with top scoring/activity: These guys love your products, and represent a relationship that needs to be nurtured. Be sure to analyze their demographics and market segments as much as possible.
  • Subscribers who have gone cold and need to be re-engaged: People often forget about a brand when the latest thing comes along. Besides this, you have consumers who find they need or want something less. Even if you sell things that many customers stop needing as a matter of course, you need to keep track of your subscriber engagement.

Further Reading: How to Use Email Segmentation to Boost Marketing Conversions

Web analytics metrics – measure ROI and funnel analysis

Email marketing, when done right, has a significant effect on your website traffic. This includes people who click through and buy things, as well as those who follow up in other ways. For instance, they might download some free content or sign up for a sales call. Knowing how to create an email marketing report involves using these metrics as well.

  • Website Traffic Generated: How many people, or what percentage of subscribers, visit your website in response to email campaigns?
  • Leads Generated: How effective is your email marketing at generating leads? Again, this is typically expressed as a raw number or percentage.
  • Conversions Generated: How often do people buy something as a result of your email campaigns?

In each of these situations, your website analytics is combined with email click through rates and other forms of engagement. This means that you’re measuring ROI using a variety of metrics from different sources. Then, you can fine-tune your funnel with plenty of quality information.

Further Reading: How to Measure Your Own Email Marketing ROI

How to Analyze Your Email Marketing Report and 7 Tips to Improve Your Performance

Knowing how to create an email marketing report means that you must perform analysis of the numbers. That is, analytics are worth much less without thinking about how we can apply the results. Here are some suggestions to help interpret your results.

Subscriber growth

Is your subscriber growth meeting your plan? If not, the you might want to consider adding more / better lead magnets or doing more events or offering more incentives. Having a low subscriber growth rate means that you aren’t providing enough value to potential subscribers. Study which of your incentives work best, and do more of them.

Further Reading: How to Grow Your Email List: 10 Best Practices to Follow

Unsubscribe rates

According to Campaign Monitor, your unsubscribe rates should be less than 2%. This level of attrition accounts for unavoidable losses. People do move on through career changes, which will affect interest in a B2B brand. Or for consumer brands, people’s needs do change. That’s especially true if your brand targets a certain life stage, like baby supplies.

What are your open rates?

Open rates are a great indicator of overall list health. When sending bulk emails, an ideal open rate is between 30 and 40%. This level indicates your audience is engaged with your brand. If you have these open rates, then it’s important to analyze what you’re doing right. Part of how to create an email marketing report is articulating what you’re doing well.

Further Reading: How to Improve Your Email Open Rate

How good is your click-through rate?

On average, email marketing campaigns have a click-through rate of 2.13%. So, if you have a CTR higher than this, you’re doing really well. Lower than that about 2%, and you need to figure out what’s going wrong. Healthy click through rates are a great indicator of a high ROI, since it means you’re getting a good opportunity to sell products and services.

Is your bounce rate healthy?

Bouncing emails cost you in several ways. Not only do you need to spend money to send them, but excessive bounced emails can get you blocked. In fact, email providers start blocking an entire domain if it has over a 1% bounce rate. This comes from concerns about spam: Spammers send out emails, and don’t care how many get delivered.

Email deliverability

Next, knowing how to create an email marketing report means analyzing your email deliverability rates. Keep in mind, not all emails that aren’t delivered are counted against you. Many of them just go into a black hole. According to EmailToolTester, email service providers as a whole reach an average deliverability rate of 79.6%.

Nonetheless, a delivery failure rate of nearly 20% represents a lot of emails that you are paying to send but won’t pay off. This kills your ROI very quickly, and you should take action long before your deliverability rate gets this low. If deliverability rate falls below 97%, consider using an email verification service such as Voila Norbert or changing email marketing service providers. This is where you do your research to find out what will suit your needs the best into the future.

Website content auditing

For website traffic, leads, and conversions, check to make sure you don’t have any funnel leakage. Funnel leakage is where you have one step of your sales funnel failing you. No matter how good the funnel is, not everyone will convert into customers. However, you can have some funnels, or parts of funnels, that are better than others.

And That’s How You Create an Email Marketing Report

Once you’ve followed all these steps, you’ll know how to create an email marketing report. If the ROI is currently low, learn which aspects of your campaigns are weak, then improve them. If you find that the ROI from your email marketing efforts are high, invest more in list-building activities. It’ll be easy to scale a successful strategy, so long as it remains successful. In marketing, nothing is more important that KPIs, ROIs, and other metrics. However, in email marketing there is a huge amount of data that helps improve marketing performance. This is much easier than tracking ROI in traditional print or broadcast media. And now that you know how to create an email marketing report, it’ll be easier to express what needs to be done and why.

Hero photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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