Overwhelmed by all the moving parts in an email marketing campaign? You have to get subscribers, watch your bounce rates, open rates, click rates (aka click through rates or CTR), and so on.
Good reporting and statistics tools are super important!
If you didn’t know already, we’re huge Mailchimp fans. And one of the things Mailchimp is really good at is making statistics easy to find and compare for your email campaigns. An easy-to-understand campaign report can give you broad or detailed description of how successful—or unsuccessful—your email marketing is. And they give you some “industry” numbers to compare your rates too. But they often aren’t an exact match for your industry.
So how do you know what a good click through rate actually is? How can you tell if your open rate is good? Let’s look at both of those questions, then I’ll share some quick tips and some resources.
Open rate vs. click rate
You may be saying, “Tim, I don’t even know what an open rate or a click rate is! What in the world are you talking about?”
I’m happy to explain those terms! Fortunately, they’re pretty straight forward.
An open rate is the percentage of people on your list—aka subscribers—that actually opened your email. The reporting isn’t 100 percent accurate, but it’s close enough that you can measure when it increases or decreases. It’s definitely a good indicator relative to how you did last week, last month, or last year.
Similarly, your click rate is the percentage of your subscribers that clicked on a link or links in your email. This is a little more accurate, but may not always be an indicator of a successful email campaign. For example, if your email’s call to action is for people to call you or even reply to the email, the click rate will be super low even if the campaign is successful.
What is a good open rate?
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll say the average open rate of emails is 20 percent. Reports definitely differ. But if you’re looking for a benchmark on whether you’re doing well or not, 20 percent is a fairly good measuring rod.
As you might expect, some industries are much lower—marketing, for example—and others are much higher. Over time, the main thing you should focus on is improving your own open rate and watching for abnormally high or low rates on individual campaigns.
What is a good click rate?
Compared with open rates, click through rates may seem disappointing at 2 to 4 percent. But remember, your goal is not to appeal to every single subscriber with every single email. Instead, you want to continually get your name in front of your target market.
After all, which of these scenarios would you rather have?
- Scenario A: 10 percent of your subscribers are somewhat interested in what you say, enough to click on a link in your email.
- Scenario B: Each email you send out really, really connects with 2 percent of your subscribers because they’re actually having that issue right now.
It’s a no-brainer! Scenario B is way better because those subscribers are way more likely to turn into paying clients.
Even if people are not clicking through, they’re still seeing the email. And if they’re still subscribed, they’re most likely still interested, so keep emailing them until you really connect with them.
How do I use Mailchimp analytics?
- Log into Mailchimp.
- Click on Campaigns or Reports in the top menu.
- Find the Campaign you want to see the open and click rates for in the list.
- Hover over the Campaign to see the number of opens and clicks.
- While hovering, click on the “View Report” button for more details.
The detailed report will give you additional information, including how many emails in that campaign bounced, how many unsubscribes it caused, which links were clicked on, and even who clicked on the links.
You’ll also have the option to Print a report, which is a nice looking PDF that it’s easy to share with your boss, client, or anyone who needs to see it.
Quick email marketing tips
That’s all well and good, but how can you improve your stats? Here are some tips you may be able to apply quickly:
- Include an emoji or two in the subject line
- Personalize the email with the person’s first name
- Send out an email asking people to unsubscribe if they’re no longer interested
- Unsubscribe people manually that haven’t opened or clicked on anything in the last 6-12 months
- Optimize for mobile
- Use segmentation for individual campaigns
- Write as if you’re writing to one specific person
- Play with the time you send it out (or use Mailchimp’s cool feature, Send Time Optimization)
- Show some personality and be funny on occasion
Is email marketing worth it?
I’m a little biased because we sell email marketing services, but yes email marketing is worth it! If you work at it and are consistent, email marketing can give you a return of $20 – $40 for every dollar spent.
If you want to stay on top of things, keep an eye on your statistics. Temporary spikes and dips are not a big deal, but if you can identify why they happened so you can replicate or avoid them, then do!
Really, you want to keep an eye on two things:
- Outliers, aka peaks and valleys
- Trends over time
Keep your eye on those two things for your open rates and click rates, learn lessons where you can, and you’ll have continual improvement in your email marketing ROI.
Email marketing resources
We’ve been helping clients with email marketing for years, and we’ve been using Mailchimp specifically since 2010. Since we’ve been blogging even longer than that, we have plenty of articles and other resources on email marketing.
Here are a few articles about email marketing and Mailchimp that we’ve put together:
- How drip email campaigns work
- A more professional email address
- Adding to your bottom line with email marketing
- Be a MailChamp, not a MailChump!
- Three steps to build your email list from the ground up
If you blog on a regular basis, you should probably let your audience know via email when a new blog comes out, right? If so, you probably need to know the best way to do that using Mailchimp. It may not be the way you think…
Finally, maybe you’ve tried to send out an email newsletter on a regular basis and haven’t been able to keep up with it. Or maybe you need a drip campaign written and set up to help orient new subscribers. You need expert help!
If that’s the case, we would be happy to have a conversation and see if we’re a good fit for you and your needs.