It’s 20 days until Christmas, in case you need a dose of stress. You’re welcome.
What else stresses email marketers out? Tracking metrics. Email analytics can drive the most stable person right over the edge of their ESP’s dashboard.
Wouldn’t it be easier to understand all those numbers if they told a story? If data patterns were easier to spot? Best believe it!
And I’ve got a ton of tips to help you spot patterns coming up – along with two perfect examples of how even complicated data can be untangled and used for more effective email marketing.
What Football Stats Tell Email Marketers
Before I launch into various email metrics and the stories they might be telling, we have to look at football metrics. In two different ways, to prove data can help us understand anything, including marketing campaigns.
First example, fantasy football. Many people win serious money playing fantasy football and never watch a single game. WTH? These are accountant types. They only care about the numbers. EXCEL > ESPN for these data analysts.
They win consistently because they listen to the data, the statistics from previous football games. Soccer fans, same concept, just fill in “futbol” since that’s almost a sport.🤐
Second example, straight-up football gambling. Super-skilled people who set the point spread use mountains of data to predict the team favored to win and by how much. Their accuracy on final scores is scary. They don’t guess Kansas City will beat Tampa Bay by 4 points, their metrics told them the story.
So compare this concept to your email analytics. There’s hope for you to understand campaign data. Because football outcomes can be predicted despite the unpredictability of 22 fired-up players, 7 refs, shifting weather patterns, and a weird-shaped ball.
Broad Stroke Email Analytics
The basics of email metrics are not a mystery:
Those are the broad strokes, with click-through rates, sender scores, and click-to-open rates getting a little more granular.
Then if you’re using Google Analytics, you’ve got even more metrics to watch as they relate to subscribers clicking from your emails over to your website.
Those Basic Patterns
Without email opens, you don’t get any clicks or conversions. Why not start looking for patterns with your opens then? See, if Kansas City’s defense is giving up 37 points a game, combing through their quarterback’s stats won’t fix the defense.
So if your open rate has dropped, look for patterns:
- Did you change the send day or time?
- Are you spending less time on quality subject lines?
- Did you stop putting coupon codes in your emails?
- Are you personalizing the subject lines for various list segments?
Those are just a few questions that can lead you to see patterns so you can right the ship. And don’t forget, your opens could have dropped due to the time of year. Nothing to do with you…
Example →, in October 2021 inboxes got crazy full as email volume spiked 37% above average. (Validity)
When you’re digging through click metrics, you’re getting a clearer picture of what subscribers think of your email content. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection has made open rates a bit fuzzy and less reliable.
Clicks are solid data points but don’t be so quick to judge why readers click. When Tom Brady is the highest-rated passer in the NFL, look past the obvious. Perhaps he’s racked up accuracy points because 82% of his passes are under 10 yards. I could make those throws!
Similarly, look deeper to understand why your subscribers are clicking:
- Your content is top-notch
- They trust you and your links not to waste their time
- Your link answered the top question on their mind
- A photo tempted them to click
- You only gave them one link choice – preventing paralysis by analysis
Patterns for decreasing clicks:
- Rehashed content readers can get anywhere
- A tired message
- Boring presentation, even if the offer is epic
- They read email on mobile and your link is atom-sized 🐜
- Your email got deleted during subscriber’s Mass-Deletion session
Bounce Metrics Short Story
Some email metrics tell a short tale but one full of wisdom. If you’re seeing a rise in bounces, the most likely villain is? Nope, not some Marvel villain whose origin story is having their feelings hurt.
Bounces can be either soft or hard. Soft is usually temporary. Hard bounces are likely coming from dead email addresses. This may be a sad story of you purchasing an email list that’s worthless since most of the addresses are no longer in use.
Also, a nasty possibility is one of your recent lead magnets lured in people with fake or temporary email addresses. Could be where you ran the ad for it or the nature of the lead magnet itself.
Example, you have an ebook titled, “How To Stop Fraudulent Ad Clicks and Scams.” Scammers are scum but they’re not stupid. They may download the book to hone their craft, and they used fake addresses to get your freebie download.
The End – No Cliffhanger, They Unsubscribed
Spoiler alert, you will have people unsubscribe from your email list. No matter how brilliant your content or how loyal a following you build up. Keep adding new subscribers though and you’ll be in good shape as long as…
You track metrics showing where new subscribers came from. Not just where they click to subscribe either. Remember, data under the surface. You know how many NFL kickers miss game-winning kicks because they ate a bag full of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in pregame?
- Are your subscribers sharing your emails?
- You have a link for that, ⤴ right?
- Which blog posts or ads get the fewest clicks?
- What activities get your brand the least attention?
- When’s the last time you created or updated a lead magnet?
Do unsubscribes hurt? Only our pride, well, yours, I’m unfamiliar with unsubscribes. 😎
Seriously, if a reader is tired of your content and isn’t opening any of your campaigns, unsubscribing is doing you a favor.
They are unengaged and each unopened email tells the internet service provider your email is unwanted. Your messages start going to the promotions folder, then one day the reader marks your email as spam since they’ve forgotten you altogether.
A quick unsubscribe saves you a drawn-out process that, with enough readers, damages your sender score.
Go through all your unsubscribes to find a pattern:
- Do they happen on Fridays or Wednesdays?
- How long was a subscriber on your list before they unsubscribed?
- How many emails did they receive, open, click on, before cutting ties?
- More likely to unsubscribe – Gmail / Yahoo-type addresses or company addresses?
Ask questions, folks. That’s how you see the story of your email metrics. Even if you can’t see the full story → do you know how valuable a couple of patterns can be?
Email Analytics Wrap Up
Invaluable! (*I think that means real, real valuable). And no I won’t tell you how easy sifting through all your email analytics is and how spotting patterns is effortless. That’s a lie, but I promise you won’t be disappointed by digging deeper into your data.
I hate the word “data-driven” and you should too. I’ll work on a better phrase. But in the meantime, take a lesson from the greatest football coach in history. Bill Belichick started as an unpaid intern, watching countless hours of game film. All to spot just a couple of patterns.
A defensive back taking too many chances, a linebacker who bites on fakes, or empty Cheetos bags on the opponent’s sideline. Little patterns, crucial details inform future strategies. Analytics led Coach Belichick to incredible success, 6 Super Bowl wins.
Get the picture?
Invest time to find patterns in your email metrics today.
*Don’t get overwhelmed with too many metrics all at once. Amazon’s advice: “Each campaign should only have a handful of Key Performance Indicators. They should be specific, measurable, and achievable within the campaign timeframe.”
InfoGram data report tools (example below)
The Knowledge Base
Knowledge isn’t power without motivation so watch how to rise up.
Do you have the guts to send an ugly email like this one?
See the top 20 brands Gen Z loves. Then sign up for their email newsletters Recon, people!
Name 5 types of transactional emails. Or cheat by looking here to see why they matter to your metrics.
No one knows more about personalized product recommendation emails than Shopify (see their examples + 6 other email examples to light 🔥 your way).
Americans must’ve given up on friends the minute Ross and Rachel went off the air.
In the U.S. today, 15% of men and 10% of women have no close friends.
Fewer friends could help explain why referrals are harder to come by these days.
A study of PR firms showed their business referrals dropped by nearly 30% from 2007 to 2017.
Like making friends, getting referrals requires human interaction. Which is way down the list on digital marketing checklists.
Facts & Stats
- 2022 Cyber Monday sales hit $12.2 billion in the US (8.3% increase YoY)
- 21% of emails are opened within the first hour of delivery
- 42.3% of Americans subscribe to email lists for savings and sales
*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 1997… “Two bites, that’s the best time to stop and chew, and to stop a fight.” ~Mills “DQ” Lane (Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield referee)
Any idea why people say they watch the Super Bowl?
Just 23% say it’s for the game.
The #1 reason → the overall experience.
Even the most thrilling game can’t top everything that leads up to it and the thrill of going through it all with fun people you like.
Is your focus on your offers or the entire experience?
“It’s not clickbait if your content delivers.” I heard a newsletter veteran say that on a podcast yesterday. And I’d agree. Why would you hold back on a subject line if you believe in your email’s message?
So today’s hack is to write 25 different headlines for your next email send. Then use the best one (hope that’s obvious🤐). Or write 25 subject line variations of your last send and test the best one on a resend to those who didn’t open the first time. Don’t be scared to resend.
Feel free to shoot me your 25 improved subject lines – just hit reply, I’ll read them. Don’t come in here half-steppin’ though. 💪🏼
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