Email marketers spend most of their time analyzing the data that they receive from their campaigns. How many clicks are they getting? How many opens? What’s the conversion rate?  

Almost all email marketers today have the tools they need to answer these basic questions, but they rarely, if ever, take the next step when analyzing their email campaigns. The basic data that can be gained from this thought process is obviously important, but if a company wants to take their marketing campaign to a new level, they have to introduce advanced analytics into the equation.

We are going to discuss the metrics you need to take your email marketing campaign up a notch. Going beyond the tools that everyone else uses and paying attention to detail will separate your campaign from the competition.

Beyond just discussing new advanced analytics, we are going to give you actionable tips to put these statistics to good use. Advanced analytics, if fully taken advantage of, can directly increase ROI and customer engagement. We are going to show you not only how useful these analytics are, but also how to better your business with your knowledge of these metrics.

Are People Actually Reading Your Emails? Advanced Analytics Can Provide the Answer.

Basic email software can tell you if your subscribers are opening your emails or just deleting them, but what most software cannot do is report on whether or not people are actually reading your emails. It’s vital that you can tell if your subscribers are actually reading what you send or if they’re simply skimming. This information helps you gauge what kind of emails best attract the attention of your customers and which types simply fall flat.

Analysts have accepted the following time frames as indicative of deleting, skimming, or reading an email:

  • Glancing at/Deleting the Email – Open for 2 seconds or less
  • Skimming the Email- Open for 3 to 7 seconds
  • Reading the Email – Open for 8 seconds or more

Another advanced analytical tool is an “engagement time distribution.” This tool will give you a model of how much time your subscribers are spending with your emails open. It gives you an easy way to compare the percentage of your audience that is reading the emails versus the percentage that is deleting.

The data provided in this type of distribution is useful because you can store the models and compare your delete rates across different emails and newsletters. If one email has a glance and delete percentage that is abnormally high or low, then you can analyze what you did better or what you did worse in order to edit your future emails.

Email engagement reporting has an endless amount of data to provide for your campaigns. Device engagement distributions allow you to see whether or not there is a difference in delete rates among the devices used to view your emails. This is extraordinarily important because you can optimize your emails for the devices your subscribers are using.

For example, if you have an abnormally high delete rate for mobile devices, then that’s a sign that you need to fix your mobile formatting. Optimizing emails for mobile is increasingly important in today’s world, so you have to make sure that you’re actively analyzing your emails to keep them accessible on every kind of device.

In-Depth Clicking Analytics

Everyone can see if their subscribers are clicking on their links and engaging with their emails on a broad scale. What you need to know to set yourself apart is an advanced overview of where your subscribers are clicking and why.  

Heat maps and click trackers are two great advanced tools that you can use to ramp up your email strategy. These two technologies give you a map of where your subscribers are clicking. Having a visual representation of where your subscribers are engaging shows you what you’re doing well with your CTA’s and hyperlinks and where you’re going wrong.

Seeing how many clicks that you receive is great, but what you really need is information on how to optimize your email for even more clicks, which is exactly what heat mapping and click tracking can do for you.

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Here’s an example of how you can use heat mapping and click tracking to increase your clicks and in turn, your ROI. 34.5% of the people who received the email above clicked on the call-to-action button, but apparently, these subscribers are more attracted to images because the image below the button received 38% of the clicks.  

Although both of these items led to the same webpage, this analysis shows that putting more images on the page would be more effective in increasing click traffic than adding more buttons.

Another interesting detail is that only 1.77% of the total clicks were placed on the final CTA button.  This tells us that most subscribers aren’t scrolling to the bottom of the email, so important information and links should be placed at the top.

These advanced metrics are vital to your email campaign because they provide a great opportunity to learn from your mistakes through trial and error.  

If you aren’t using this technology, you will continue to use ineffective CTA’s and your ROI will suffer. By using heat mapping and click tracking, you will be able to fix your mistakes for optimum click traffic. This will give you a clear advantage over your competitors who might not be utilizing this technology as of yet.

Pay Attention to Email Clients & Servers

Different email clients and servers are chock full of different design issues and template errors for your emails to encounter. The vast array of email platforms available makes it difficult to cater your email campaign to each specific email client.  

This is where advanced analytics can become extremely useful. You should spend your time designing templates for the clients and servers that your subscribers are using to receive your emails. Email client reporting is the best way to find out this information. Using these advanced metrics you can see which email clients and devices most of your subscribers utilize.

This data allows you to customize your emails for the clients and devices that your subscribers are using most often. Don’t waste your precious time and energy optimizing your emails for every single client, when your subscribers could be using only one or two.  

For example, if all of your subscribers are using Microsoft Outlook, then you should use your resources to fix every single glitch that could occur on the Microsoft platform. There’s no need to optimize for Gmail if none of your subscribers are using it.

Focus your effort where it will pay off most!  This will make your subscribers even more loyal to your email campaign, in turn leading to more sales and profit for your business.

Look at the Parts, Not the Whole

Everyone can analyze their entire email campaign as a lump of subscribers, but not very many marketers are looking towards the individual pieces of their campaign. Being able to look at the metrics of each specific person who is subscribed to your campaign allows you to go even further with your analysis.  

Subscriber-level campaign reports give you the option of viewing each individual’s opening, clicking, and engagement habits.  This allows you to categorize your individual subscribers by line of work, age, and gender to see how different groups of people are engaging with your emails.

You can use this data for many different analytical purposes. The most useful information that you can gather from subscriber-level campaign reporting is how attentive your subscribers are to your campaign on an individual level.

For example, you can see when each of your subscribers typically opens your emails. If many individuals are opening your emails several days after you’ve sent them, then you may want to steer clear of one-day-only promotional sales.

You can also see what time of day each subscriber is opening your emails.  If most of your subscribers work all day and don’t check their email until 6PM on average, then you can customize when you send your emails to maximize the amount of people who are seeing them and opening them.  

The Bottom Line

Advanced analytics are changing the way marketers approach email campaigns. Having such detailed and customized information gives you access to new campaign strategies that are specifically tailored to your brand and your audience.  Using advanced analytics ahead of the curb is the best way to show your customers and your competitors that your brand cares about its marketing strategy.

So go out there and analyze!  It’ll pay off in more ways than one.

About the Author: John Thies is the CEO and founder of Email on Acid, a platform that provides email tools to help you build, test and track your way to flawless campaigns.

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