You’ve chosen the best subject for your newsletter, you’ve integrated the images, you’ve sent the email to all your contacts... and you think your job is done...
Far from it! You’re looking at the most important step in the process. And this is what you need to do for each of your newsletters: performance analysis. In ecommerce, each of your actions must be analyzed to make better decisions!
All your communication actions must have objectives and KPIs that allow you to measure if the objectives have been reached.
As far as email campaigns are concerned, we can identify two different levels of performance analysis:
- a first level that considers all the KPIs strictly related to the sending of the email
- a second level that analyzes the behavior of the user who visits your site after clicking on a link inserted in your newsletter
How can you be sure to have a positive impact on customers once the newsletter is delivered to their inbox? What factors should you take into account to use the right statistics and bring a high added value to your mailings? One piece of advice: follow our guide!
How does an email marketing campaign work?
Define the main objective of your campaign
Before launching into this type of marketing campaign, a few elements must be considered in your quest for customer loyalty. Email marketing in ecommerce allows you to stay in touch with your database, current and potential customers, by sending newsletters in order to promote your activity or temporary offers.
When you imagine the contours of your message, what is the main goal? To push your customers to buy a product? To make your products and services known? To build customer loyalty? To propose registration to an event? To highlight a new offer in your catalog? An offer only proposed to a segment of your contact list?
Once the objective is defined, you can start designing your future ecommerce emails.
Subject, design, colors... The basic criteria of a newsletter
In order to reach your objective, your emails must contain details and characteristics that will allow you to get your message across in an optimal way.
First of all, a successful email campaign is synonymous with opened emails. When you create a newsletter, in order to pique the curiosity of your recipients, the subject line is the starting point of any effective campaign.
Consumers will be attracted by subject lines that include incentives, promotional offers, or even turns of phrase that’ll allow you to provide an answer to a recurring question or a temporary problem.
“URGENT: 50% off everything for 24 hours only!”, “A gift is in this email”, or a subject line personalized with the recipient’s first name are all ideas to be exploited to ensure an increasing number of opened emails.
5 tools for your emailing campaigns
To allow you to count on a good opening rate and reach the maximum number of recipients, here is a list of 5 solutions and online software programs to know:
- Sendinblue, a tool for hosting an unlimited number of contacts, even in its free version
- ActiveCampaign, software with hundreds of pre-built automations to make personalizing your emails a breeze
- Mailchimp, the international leader in newsletters
- Mailjet, the email and SMS solution that can be customized at all levels
- GetReponse, a powerful tool for your emails and landing pages
What are the key metrics for emailing?
What are the performance indicators that can be found directly on newsletter sending tools?
When it comes to email analytics, here is a list of the different metrics and the average values that should be recorded to be able to consider that your email campaign has been successful:
1. Bounce rate
Bounce rate corresponds to the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered compared to the total number of emails sent. If an email couldn’t be sent, you’ll receive an error message from the DNS or the recipient mail servers (SMTP).
To calculate the percentage, here is the formula: (number of undelivered emails/number of emails sent)*100
There are several types of obstacles to the proper reception of a newsletter in an inbox:
- Soft bounces or temporary errors: these anomalies are due to the fact that the mailbox of a recipient is saturated or that a bug is in progress at the level of one of the requested servers.
- Hard bounces or definitive errors: this means that some email addresses in your contact list are wrong, misspelled, or no longer in existence.
Thus, error messages and automatic returns are a good way to evaluate the effectiveness of your mailings.
- If your bounce rate is low, then that’s a good sign. It means that your database is healthy and that the majority of your recipients have received your message.
- If your bounce rate is high, it means that you’ll have to clean up your database and check your contact list regularly.
2. Deliverability rate
Deliverability rate is the percentage of contacts who’ve actually received your email. The deliverability value shouldn’t be below 90%. If you don’t reach this figure, you must check that all the contacts on your list are valid email addresses and that there were no technical problems during the sending.
This rate of delivered emails corresponds to the inverse of the bounce rate. We’ll then calculate the percentage of newsletters well received: (number of emails delivered/number of emails sent)*100.
3. Open rates
These rates are essential to evaluate the health of your mailing. Does your email generate openings? Is there a great interest from your contacts or do you need to improve your sending process for a more systematic opening? Here are the two rates to monitor on your campaigns in order to increase the performance of your content:
- Unique open rate: it shows us the number of recipients who opened your email at least once. The reference value is between 25% and 30% of clicks for opening the email.
- Total open rate: it records the number of times your newsletter has been opened by the recipients. A user can open your email several times, so this figure must be higher than the number of unique openings. This is a way to evaluate the overall performance of your campaigns and emails.
4. Click rates
To go even further with analytics, we can analyze the click rate of your subscribers, meaning the commitment of your recipients in relation to your emails and especially to the links present in your mailings. This rate allows us to create a link with the conversion of your visitors into customers thanks to the click towards your product page, for example.
- Unique click rate: it corresponds to the percentage of internet users who have clicked at least once on any link to a web page inserted in your email. In most cases, this value is calculated by dividing the number of users who clicked by the total number of emails. After the creation of the newsletter, it’ll perform well if this value is around 12%.
- Total click rate: as for the openings, it’s necessary to distinguish the number of total clicks, including the number of clicks recorded on all links, from the number of unique clicks. Once again, the average result of the formula must be higher than that of the single click.
5. Reactivity rate
Reactivity rate is closely related to click rate, but it’s calculated between the click and the number of subscribers who opened the newsletter. The formula is the following: (number of clickers/number of subscribers who opened the email)*100.
If your reactivity rate is low, it means that the content of your email isn’t adapted to your target. You can effectively correct this anomaly by creating more precise subscriber segments for your future mailings.
6. Unsubscribe rate
Your unsubscribe rate indicates the number of recipients who have decided not to receive your newsletters anymore. Analyzing this value can help you understand if users found your message interesting or if, for example, they think that you’re sending too many emails, leading them to unsubscribe from your email campaigns.
Don’t immediately worry if the values aren’t within the performance standards. To have a reliable representation of the performance of your newsletter, you’ll have to wait about 48 hours after sending it for the data to stabilize in order to refine the content of your marketing plan.
7. Complaint rate
This percentage represents a key indicator of the health of your mailings. Complaint rate corresponds to the number of complaints from the recipients of your mailing campaign but also the number of emails from your campaign declared as spam.
Spam is an indicator that allows you to measure your marketing pressure and to implement marketing actions to give your subscribers more freedom (providing a visible unsubscribe link, sending your mailings from a personalized address, etc.). Because there’s nothing worse than preventing your subscriber customers from leaving, you risk receiving unpleasant emails or even negative ratings on online platforms. Performance doesn’t mean quantity (often synonymous with spam), but quality!
8. Conversion rate
Conversion rate is the rate that allows you to evaluate if the subscribers and recipients of your delivered emails have carried out the desired action. Opening a link, registering for an event, buying a top item, etc. Improving your conversion rate allows you to boost the sustainability of your business: it’s the most important indicator of your email marketing campaigns.
We determine an average conversion rate around 4%. This rate allows you to synthesize all the data such as the deliverability and the opening because the conversion rate is the final phase of your marketing campaign, the ultimate goal of your marketing action.
What can influence an email campaign?
Time of sending the newsletter
Each target has their habits, and you have to know them inside out to be able to try to obtain the highest opening and click rates.
Amount of information you include in your email
If your goal is to generate more traffic to your site, it’s better not to “tell everything” in the email but to encourage people to learn more about your site. This practice will automatically increase the click rate. On the other hand, if you put all your information directly in the email, your click rate may be lower.
Impact of the offer
If, for example, you communicate on the activation of a flash sale, you’ll see a very high click-through rate and a rate of total opens that won’t be much higher than the rate of unique opens.
It’s therefore very important to remember that all the metrics you can analyze must be related to your own target and the objective of your campaign. There are no values that are valid for everyone but results that you can consider satisfactory for your own activity.
What is a successful email campaign?
When it comes to email performance statistics, you have to interpret the data. There are some values you can measure for sure: sales and revenue generated directly by your newsletter.
How do you follow the metrics related to an email campaign?
It’s best to use two fundamental types of software for all e-merchants:
- Google Analytics
- A custom URL creation tool
Thanks to Google Analytics and its ecommerce tracking tool, you have the ability to know the sources of each of your sales: emails, SEO or paid advertising, social networks, etc. And therefore to know how many sales were generated by your campaign.
Then, to know the exact campaign, email, and link that generated the sale, you need to use a custom URL creation tool, preferably the one from Google. The latter allows you to add parameters to your links that’ll be taken into account exclusively by Google Analytics to determine the exact source.
How can you know the sources of traffic?
Take the following link for example:
In this link, you can determine specific information:
- the real link to your product page:
- the traffic source: utm_source=Newsletter
- the media: utm_medium=Email
- the campaign name: utm_campaign=MailSubject
The use of email analytics is therefore very important to know if your email has interested the recipients or if they have taken advantage of your offers. But above all, it can help you during the realization of future email campaigns. Nothing is more important than the experience and the perfect knowledge of your target’s habits and behaviors.