The upside to email marketing is that the performance data and analytics are so abundant that it’s possible to measure almost any aspect of your messages and campaigns. But the challenge inherent to that upside is that with so much available data, it’s often difficult to know where – or when – to start.
So let’s solve that right now. The “when” is 24 hours after you send each message. The “where” is in the Track module within MagnetMail. Here are 5 analytics in 5 minutes to make you a savvier email marketer with your very next message:
Log into your MagnetMail account and go to Track right up there at the top. Click on the header for the Date Sent column – that arranges your messages chronologically, with the most recent at the top. (MagnetMail will remember this setting and default to it next time.) Double-click yesterday’s message to open its analytics.
1. Take in the data and bars in the Message Sent Results. Look first at the rates for deliverability, open and click-through. They won’t tell you anything today, but do this after every message and you’ll start to see trends. It’s like weighing yourself in the morning. Today you have a single data point. Is this good news or not? The question is best answered by the direction you’re trending, not your current status. Start to learn those trends. See which way you’re headed.
2. Now look at the absolute numbers for Opens, Links and Unsubscribes. Think about what these numbers mean with respect to your objectives. For example, if you want 1000 people to attend your conference and you are emailing your full house list, are the 700 opens and 150 click-throughs encouraging results because they’re part of a larger campaign, or cause to start looking for ways to grow your house list? Rates and percentages are great because they normalize the data, but applying some real-world context to absolute numbers in your analytics is just as vital.
3. Next to the Bounced rate is a little green table. Click it to see how your bounces are categorized. If you don’t already know the different categories, familiarize yourself with what they mean by clicking on the link for each Bounced Type. MagnetMail automatically resends bounces multiple times in the hours following your message and once more overnight. But sometimes the problems that lead to Generic Soft bounces aren’t resolved immediately so resending these bounces the next day is a good idea. Uncheck all the Bounced Types except the Generic Soft. Then click Resend Bounces to try reaching this group with your message again. (I’ll address the other bounce types later, but it doesn’t hurt to look at the actual lists of your different bounced types now as well.)
4. Return to your Message Send Results. Next to the bar chart you’ve been looking at is a thumbnail image of your message. Below the thumbnail is a link to Click-view. Click it – it’s awesome. You’ll see where on the message your readers are clicking, giving you and idea of what impact content, language and even position within the message have on click-throughs. If you see strong clicks even well below the fold, for example, you’ll know that your entire message is being read. If they’re all concentrated at the top, consider shorter copy. Are there long copy blocks without any links? Could you add some to convert some of that attention into action? Do this with every email and you’ll see rapid improvements in your copywriting and layout skills.
5. Return again to the top level of your message’s analytics. Below Message Send Results is Domain Level Tracking. Click on Delivered to sort the domains in this list from lowest delivery rate to highest. It’s not uncommon for emailers – particularly B2B and associations – to have some domains with deliverability rates well below the message’s average. If you see some domains in this list with a Delivered percentage at 30 or more points lower than your Total Delivered percentage, it could signal a blacklist issue at that domain. If you are a B2B emailer you probably know people at that organization. Have them put you in touch with the organization’s email administrator, who can help you resolve the deliverability issues that are preventing your messages from reaching a large percentage of that domain’s audience.
These 5 steps are at the very top level of Real Magnet’s analytics capabilities. You can go much deeper into analytics than the top level of message tracking we’re looking at here. But if you spend just 5 minutes on these steps the day after you send each message, you’ll start to see the trends that can improve your emails almost immediately. Gain comfort with these and it won’t be long before you’re ready for deeper dives into tracking and reporting.