Increase Email Marketing Success Through Analytics

Email marketing doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Using simple analytics, the habits of your audience can guide you to success.
Amanda Carrozza
Published: July 27, 2018
Email analyticsOnce you’ve established a routine of sending marketing emails to clients, it’s time to start taking advantage of the data those emails can provide. Email marketing isn’t just about distributing education and practice-related content; you want to make sure the largest audience possible is viewing your message. After all, the more eyes on your email, the more likely clients are to walk through your clinic door.

This is where email analytics come into play.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours poring over data to gain actionable insight on improving your hospital’s emails. You just need to know what you’re looking for.

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Terms to Know
Bounce Rate
The bounce rate indicates the portion of total emails sent that could not be delivered to recipients’ inboxes. Most often, this occurs when the email address has been input incorrectly or is invalid, or the mailbox is too full to receive new emails. It’s important to examine your email list from time to time to remove addresses that consistently appear on the bounced list. Having a high bounce rate could alert email providers that your clinic is sending spam and they might suspend your account.

Open Rate
Your open rate is a measure of how many recipients actually opened and viewed the email. A low open rate could indicate that your audience has started to delete emails upon receipt or leave them unread in the inbox.

Clickthrough Rate
Your clickthrough rate (CTR) represents the percentage of recipients who clicked on 1 or more links in an email they opened. This important metric lets you gauge easily how well a single email is performing compared with previous emails. A low CTR could mean that your content isn’t what your audience wants. 

Unsubscribe
As you likely already know, an unsubscribe means that someone on your list has opted to no longer receive email communications from you. Some unsubscribes are unavoidable—people move, no longer require veterinary services, etc.—but if you notice a spike in unsubscribes, don’t ignore it. High unsubscribe rates are a sign that the content in your email is not valuable or that you’re sending emails too frequently.

What Email Metrics Can Tell You
It’s important to check your email analytics regularly so you’re continually improving the information you provide. Analytics can tell you when people are reading your email and what type of content they like best.

Some email marketing programs provide detailed information as to the exact times people are opening your emails. Even if that’s not the case with your system, you can still perform some simple A/B testing to deduce which days and times garner the most engagement with your email content. For example, if your practice sends an email every Tuesday, send the email to a portion of your list at 11 a.m. and to the remaining subscribers later in the day. Then track which group opened the email and clicked on links more often. The same formula can be used to test which days are most popular for your subscriber list. Keep in mind, however, that it’s important not to test different days and times simultaneously, as too many variables can skew the data.

You have a pretty good idea of the topics that your clients are most interested in because you talk with and field questions from them regularly, but don’t let your opinion be the only metric you rely on. For objective data, keep track of the links that generate the most clicks. If you recently provided an article about heartworm prevention that got twice as many clicks as any other piece of information in the same email, it’s a safe bet that your clients are interested in this topic, so create similar content about heartworm or other parasites.

Finally, pay close attention to the details of your emails. Start with the subject line—do email subject lines that include emojis, a question, or hint at a discount tend to have higher open rates for you? An enticing subject line will boost open rates.

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