If you look at reports just to see who opened your email and clicked the links – then you’re missing out.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great place to start but there is so much more that your email reports can tell you and not just once off stats but trends you can pick up over time.
Last week we launched our upgraded reports section, which included improvements that make interpreting your reports easier as well as some brand new statistics.
With the upgraded reporting feature in mind we thought it was time we shared with you how the marketing team here at Vision6 use email reports to continuously improve on our own campaigns. Because after all, we are email marketers just like you.
Is the timing right?
Open Rates – Over time we have identified a pattern where we can clearly see that emails sent in the afternoon (which in some cases is inevitable) have a slightly lower open rate than a morning send. So as a general rule at Vision6 we try to send emails to customers in the mornings before 10am. We have tested sending at different times of the day over a number of years and we do continue to monitor this trend, however we still find that morning sends perform better for us.
Activity Over Time – Our team uses the ‘Activity Over Time’ graph to get an idea of how long it takes the majority of our customers to open our emails (plus it’s really fun to watch). We can already see that 90% of all emails are opened within the first 30 minutes of being received (you can see an average stat for this in our latest Email Marketing Metrics Report). If we do a send on a Friday this goes up to around 2 hours as some customers will not action the email until the following Monday. We will continue to keep an eye on this new stat but from what it’s telling us so we should try and steer clear of Friday sends as the longer it takes readers to action the more likely it could get lost in the inbox.
Is the content engaging?
Open Rates – Back to open rates and in particular the subject line variable. We are constantly playing around with subject lines but over time we have found that when we ask a question in the subject line this often gets a slightly better open rate. We also try to ensure that subject lines are not too generic (i.e. e-messaging news). Subject lines that pull out the key info perform better for us (i.e. e-messaging news: new features and free holiday eCards).
Click Through Rates – With our regular newsletter we use click through stats to help guide our editorial content. We have found newsletter articles that focus on real examples of how a customer can use a certain Vision6 feature gets more clicks than when we simply spew technical explanations at them.
Social Activity – What are our customers sharing with their own networks? We find when we feature competitions or give away a free resource our social activity from the email goes up. This doesn’t mean we are going to put a competition in every email but we may do a promotion like that when we have something really important we want to get the word out about.
How effective is the layout and design of the email?
Click Through Rates – If our click through rate was lower than average we can usually pinpoint the call to action was hidden too far down the email and not obvious. With this in mind over time we have evolved our emails to include call to action links throughout the email as both text links and as buttons and we have seen our click through rates increase significantly as a result.
Device Split – Now we have this new stat we can see that around 15% of our customers view emails we send on mobile devices. This is high enough for us not to ignore mobile friendly design elements. However it also means there is up to 85% viewing our emails on desktop devices so we want to ensure those viewers do not have a diminished experience because we have made it completely mobile focussed. As a starter we now use larger call to action buttons to help people clicking from mobile devices.
Click Map – This feature allows you to visually see where people are clicking on your emails. It’s a great tool to see how your email layout and content are performing, and where the placement of your call to action works best.
When you have a better understanding of your own reports and trends across your email sends you can make informed decisions on what your customers want you to do more of and where you should focus your time.