3 Email Metrics Worth Paying Attention To
You’ve got your email all written, and you’ve hit “Send.” Cool! Now, how do you know if the email performed well?
One of the easiest ways to gauge email performance is by checking reports provided by your email provider. But the best way to find out if your subscribers completed an important action is by looking at Google Analytics.
However, the Google Analytics dashboard can be pretty confusing! It’s easy to get a little lost amidst all the numbers and terminology you see when you log in. That’s why we’ve put together this post of three key email metrics to look at in both your email provider and Google Analytics — and what to do if you’re seeing less-than-ideal numbers.
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1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The first metric to check is your click-through rate (CTR). Although Google Analytics does measure CTR for any ads that you run on the Google Display Network, it doesn’t measure CTR for your emails. So, your best bet for measuring email CTR is to go straight to your email provider.
This metric clues you in to how many people met the email goal that you wanted them to complete. Did they end up on the right landing page? Did they opt to learn more about your promotion? And then — jumping into Google Analytics now — did the visitor click around on your site after they visited your landing page?
If this metric is low, then take a look at your call-to-action (CTA), and examine whether or not your information is structured to push people to complete your email goal.
Is your CTA compelling enough for someone to click on? Your CTA is an action anchor for your email. It gives people the next step to take once they’ve absorbed all the information you’ve given them.
Speaking of information, if your CTR is kind of low, you may not have wrapped your CTA with informational text that fosters action. Put another way: if you didn’t spell out why people should click on your CTA, not as many people will see the logic in clicking anywhere in your email.
Likewise, if you don’t make the CTA itself compelling enough, nobody will click on it, either, driving your CTR down. Throw in a compelling CTA toward the top of the email, too, and you’re on your way to improving your CTR.
2. Avg. Session Duration (A.K.A. Content)
The “avg. session duration” metric in Google Analytics tells you how long, on average, people spent engaging with content on your site.
Your in-email “average session duration” (referred to in HubSpot as “time spent viewing email”) may be available to you from your email provider. This number usually doesn’t go higher than several seconds on even the most top-notch emails, considering the average time spent viewing an email is only 11.1 seconds.
The key to a high average session duration is high-quality content.
So let’s take a pause here to talk about the importance of action-driving content in your emails, because the way you drive action in an email is slightly different from how you typically drive action in, say, a blog post.
The formula of introduction / body / conclusion is awesome when you’re writing a blog post. It’s extremely helpful to explain what you’re going to say, say it, and then summarize what you just said — when you have a few hundred words to throw around.
But people skim emails. Flip your content pyramid to include a mashup of a clever intro and the most important stuff at the top, and then let the least important stuff settle at the bottom of the email.
Bonus points if you can trim out unnecessary words, so your content is laser-focused on driving action!
And then make sure to drive your visitor back to your website, directing them toward highly relevant and helpful content. The longer your visitor spends on your website, the longer their average session duration in Google Analytics!
3. Bounce Rate
There are two ways to measure your bounce rate — one in your email provider and one in Google Analytics.
In your email provider, your bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that “bounced,” or couldn’t be delivered to their intended recipients. You’ll almost always have some bounces, but watch out for a high bounce rate — that could mean you have issues with the age, permissions, or previous maintenance of your contact list.
The “bounce rate” metric in Google Analytics measures how many people clicked through your email but then left before reading or interacting with any other content on your site. So make sure, once again, that you’re guiding your reader to relevant and rich content.
All of that starts with the content structure — and the visuals — of your email.
Think of the flow of information in your email as a journey of sorts. If you don’t guide people through it, they’ll lose interest and leave. No matter how compelling your words are, if the graphics don’t help guide the reader through the content, you might lose them.
You may also negatively affect your Google Analytics bounce rate if you have a sign-up page with no thank-you page! Remember, a very rich content experience can only help lower your bounce rate, so think carefully through every step of the journey — from email and CTA to landing page and thank-you page.
If you need a little help getting your email looking gorgeous, check out our 15 email design best practices for beautiful marketing emails.
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