Here are three important facts for you:
While you would easily relate to the first two facts since both are related to e-mail marketing, what has Pareto Principle to do with all this? Aren’t we concerned about our B2B e-mail marketing campaigns here? At least the title said so!
Sure, I am going to talk about B2B e-mail marketing campaigns and how to track the most important metrics therein, but there was an underlying reason I mentioned the third fact there.
86% of professionals prefer e-mail communication over other forms of communications when it comes to business purposes, this means e-mail marketing is a sure-shot way to gain their attention. The 2016 report by CampaignMonitor proves that e-mail marketing is indeed, one of the best forms of outbound marketing that offers huge returns on investment. But how and what do you measure to make sure your e-mail marketing campaigns are effective enough to influence the decision makers, leading to closures?
You could possibly track hundreds of metrics for any campaign you run. But not all of those would actually be worth the efforts. Now, this is where the 80-20 rule comes in.
Out of the several identifiable metrics that you may have at your disposal, the 80% won’t bear much significance, and only 20% of those would be the cardinal points to look for.
You may wonder – what exactly do those top performers do in order to run such effective e-mail marketing campaigns that most of the others miss out on? What metrics do they track to get the best out of their campaigns and outsmart the other marketers out there?
Read on to know how the best B2B e-mail marketers leverage the power of e-mail marketing to the maximum potential by keeping track of the most important metrics that actually matter. Let’s start with the example of a simple e-mail marketing campaign to understand which metrics are the most valuable, and why, and what are the top 5 metrics that you should track in your B2B e-mail marketing campaign.
Consider a scenario wherein your B2B e-mail marketing team is sending out a blast of 1000 e-mails at a time. Now, not all those e-mails would be delivered. A few would bounce off, a few will get lost, while a few may end up in the spam folder of the recipient. Delivery rate is the percentage of the number of e-mails delivered, to the number of e-mails sent. So here, let’s say, if 900 e-mails are being delivered, the delivery rate would be (900 / 1000 X 100) % = 90%. Low delivery rate may be a huge setback for your e-mail marketing campaign as the overall reliability and success of the campaign would be rendered low.
A low delivery rate may be the outcome of a variety of reasons:
1. Poor e-mail list: Maintaining a high-quality e-mail list is of utmost importance for any e-mail marketing campaign. This ensures your mails are being delivered to the intended folders, not to the spam or junk folders of the recipients. A poor e-mail list consists of unknown e-mail IDs, spam-traps, and inactive addresses. It is necessary to keep the e-mail lists up-to-date, and a recommended practice is NEVER to buy mailing lists. No one loves to receive e-mails from unknown senders!
2. Negative sender reputation: Sender reputation is the indication of the trustworthiness of the domain and IP address of the e-mail sender. A negative sender reputation means that mailbox providers have analysed your domain and IP addresses and found out you have been sending out a lot of mails to unknown users and receiving numerous spam complaints that may or may not have led to your IP/domain being blacklisted. Sending too many e-mails is also a certain way of receiving negative reputation.
3. Blacklist: If your e-mail sending practices or content appear spammy in any way, your domain/IP may be blacklisted and the list be made available to the mailbox providers in order to protect their users from unwanted e-mails. This proves to be a hindrance in your e-mail marketing endeavours.
4. Lack of e-mail authentication: E-mail authentication is in place for the receivers and mailbox providers to confirm the identity of the sender, and then either apply additional filters for verification or reject the mail completely in case it doesn’t have a valid authentication value.
The top marketers make sure they do not fall into these traps and run their e-mail marketing campaigns efficiently for the best of results.
The next big thing to keep a keen eye on – open rate for mails. It is calculated as the percentage of the number of e-mails opened to the total number of e-mails that were delivered. So, if in the case above, a total of 630 e-mails were opened and 270 weren’t, the open rate is (630/900 X 100) % = 70%.
Open rate is crucial to track because it answers an important question – why are the messages not being read despite being delivered to the right list? A possible reason for this may be the subject line of the mails that you are sending out. You have to make sure the subject line is interesting and intriguing enough in order for the receivers to open it; sate their curiosity in a way or the other; tell them something they would love to know! Also, keeping the preferences of the audience in mind and sending them relevant content is the key to getting worthy engagements. Segmentation is a great way to make sure appropriate content reaches the right audience. Quite often, including the name of the receiver in the subject line generates a higher open rate.
Click Through Rate
Now that you have made sure your emails are reaching the right list and are being opened at a good rate, what’s the next important metric to consider? The primary purpose of sending out mass mails is getting people to click on the links provided in the mails in order to redirect them to a landing page on your website. So recording the number of clicks your CTA generates becomes important. Click Through Rate is the percentage of the number of clicks generated to the number of mails opened. Hence, if in the case of this example, 440 users actually go on to click on the links provided in the mails, the CTR comes to around 70% (440/630 X 100%).
Now, a study by The Marketing Scope has revealed that 52% of the recipients do not take any action after receiving an e-mail. This reflects upon the CTR of your B2B e-mail marketing campaign and is a major decider when it comes to the success of your campaign.
A bad CTR has a lot to say about your B2B e-mail marketing efforts. If the users are opening the mails but not clicking on the links, it may be a possible fault in the design of the mail, or the content, as a whole. There are chances the targeting is misguided on your end and you have been approaching the wrong audience all the time. Why not tell a story rather than merely stating what you sell? While facts fail to establish an emotional connect, storytelling has the ability to do so! Why not add a pinch of humour to make it an interesting read? Giving a human touch may take your e-mail marketing campaign a long way.
One great way to increase CTRs is using emojis in your subject line and mail body.
Yes, it is a proven technique to enhance CTRs and the top 10 emojis that have been ascertained to be the most efficient, do not even contain a face emoji, as you might think! Have a look at the top emojis that garner the maximum CTR:
This should also be noted that certain practices need to be employed to get the best results from your e-mail marketing campaigns. For instance, adding a large number of images in an e-mail messages decreases the CTR significantly. Also, timing your messages is really essential. A 2015 study by Hubspot has revealed the best time to shoot e-mails is 11 AM (in the time-zone of your target audience).
Form Fill Rate / Conversion Rate
The objective of a B2B e-mail marketing campaign isn’t fulfilled the moment you get the readers to visit your website. In fact, getting them to fill in the forms on the landing page, sign-up/subscribe, or make a purchase is the action to look for. Let’s recall the example we referred to at the start of the article. If you can remember, 440 users had clicked on the links in the e-mails. If 45 of them fill in the form after coming to your website, the Form Fill Rate or Conversion Rate (CR) of your e-mail campaign would be roughly 10% (45/440 X 100%).
Now, what are the issues that might stop your e-mail campaign from getting a good conversion rate? Is it a badly designed landing page? Or the landing page content? Are your CTAs effective enough? Is your CTA immediately visible on the landing page? Is your language persuasive enough to make the visitors take an action? Are you offering too much that makes the offer sound like “too good to be true”? Ask yourself these questions and you would know what’s going wrong with your e-mail marketing that is resulting in low conversions.
Moving ahead of your campaign’s CTA wherein you manage to get a good number of leads, the ultimate aim is to convert those leads into paying customers. A number of trackable metrics are available to measure the process too, but most of those would relate to the efficiency of your marketing and sales team, rather than being directly related to that of your e-mail campaign. But eventually, one metric that matters for sure is the Return On Investment (ROI) which denotes how much are your investments bringing in; how much are you earning from every dollar spent. The formula for ROI is: (Net profit/Total investment X 100) %. According to Neil Patel, the ROI from e-mail marketing is the best in industry.
There are steps in between getting the visitors to sign up and actually getting profit out of them. There are various stages a lead passes on before turning into a customer and the process involved is a rigorous one, testing the capabilities of your marketing and sales teams. Here is an infograph to explain the stages and significance of leads:How many leads pass down the funnel to be ultimately converted into opportunities and then into possible transactions is a matter of how your marketing and sales teams perform. Low leads to opportunities ratio may denote a possible fragile point in your marketing team and a low opportunities to sales ratio may signify a possible weakling in your sales procedure. Make sure to keep an eye on all the measurable metrics so as to ensure your overall B2B e-mail marketing strategy is efficient to the core.