Online Business Success

Analyzing email campaign reports to measure and improve performance

Sandy Tam - Thursday, May 16, 2013

In this article, you'll learn how to use the Reports and Performance section of the Admin Console to manage and track your email campaigns. Once you've sent out your email campaign (in HTML format), your business can track what happens to each of the emails that has been sent. You can find out how many email addresses it reached, how many it bounced from, how many people have opened the email and so forth.

Note: Email campaigns sent in plain text are not tracked in the system.

Viewing the results of email campaigns

You can only view the Reports and Performance for email campaigns that have already been delivered for one-off email campaigns. For on-going anniversary or loyalty campaigns, you will be able to view the results after the first email has been delivered with the report results changing for each subsequent email that is sent. To review the statistics, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Marketing > Email Campaigns. 
  2. Select the name of the Email Campaign you want to view. 
  3. The Reports and Performance page appears. You can also always access it by clicking the option in the sidebar: Reports and Performance.

Campaign summary and actions taken

The campaign summary gives you an executive overview of your email campaign. Please keep in mind that this level of reporting is only available for emails sent in HTML format. You will see:

  • Total Recipients: This was the number of email addresses that the system attempted to send the email to (from the mailing list)
  • Customer Opens: This is the number unique customers who have clicked on your email within their email client
  • Customer Actions: Number of actions that were a direct result of receiving this email and clicking on a link within the email. Actions include making an online purchase, filling out a webform, making a booking etc a customer can make more than 1 action
  • Bounces: This is the number of email addresses that rejected your email
  • Unsubscribes: In accordance with CAN-SPAM, your email you continue an 'Unsubscribe' link and your Online Business measures how many people unsubcribe from receiving further email communications from you as a result of this email.

You can click the links to the reports associated with each email. These reports open in a new window. These contain detailed listings for  the statistics described above.

Beneath the campaign summary you'll see graphical representations of your statistics for your email campaign rates and customer actions.

At the bottom of the page you'll see some more statistics. Click on any of the 4 graph types beneath the graph to see the data:

  • Opened Rate - shows how many people open your email on different days. This is particularly useful for on-going loyalty and anniversary email campaigns. For one-off emails, most recipients will open within the first 3 days.
  • Bounced Rate - shows when emails are being rejected. Again this is only useful for on-going loyalty and anniversary email campaigns.
  • Top 10 Links - if you put hyperlinks within the content of your email campaign this shows which ones are generating the most clicks.
  • Top 10 Actions - the system is also able to tell you what users are doing on your site when they are referred there by links within your email (hint: always make sure you have a link to your site from your email campaign)

Cleaning up bounced email addresses

After every email campaign, you should clean up your bounced email addresses from your mailing list. It's important to do this on a regular basis as bounced emails arise from:

  • misspelled or bad domains
  • 'spam' email addresses being used to sign up for your email campaigns
  • incorrectly entered email addresses and
  • inactive email addresses

ISPs are looking for emails being sent to these addresses and could block your emails (blacklist your domain) if you have too many bounced email addresses. To unsubscribe the bounced email addresses, click the Email addresses that bounced link.

Select the checkbox for the email address you want to unsubscribe or choose select all, then use the Actions menu to choose unsubscribe.

For more information about unsubscribing bounced email messages, read Unsubscribing email addresses that have bounced.

Detailed listing of customer actions

Another report to review is the Actions Customers Took report. It is the most direct measure of the ROI your email campaigns are producing. You can see who's purchased products online so that you can follow up with people who've submitted a form to send an inquiry, knowing they've read the content in your email.

Using feedback to improve your email campaigns

All of this reporting is designed to help you improve your email campaigns. Open rates can tell us alot about the 'Subject' and 'From' fields in your email. Is it clear who the email was sent from and the was subject enticing enough to open? For people who sign up for a monthly email newsletter without purchasing a product we find that good open rates range from 20-30%. For people who've previously bought a high value from your shop before open rates can range up to 70%.

If you find the Actions-to-Opens too low, you should be looking at the calls-to-action within your email. Do you have links to lead people back to your site? Is there something compelling that they should be clicking on to go to a landing page?

Unsubcribe rate is high? This warrants a closer look at the content you're sending out. Is it spammy? Is it too laden with sales cliches? A lot of material has been written on email marketing on the web, your Online Business is about providing you the tools to send email campaigns and the tools to measure the performance so you can improve in subsequent email campaigns.

To learn more, read Segmenting your customer database to create mailing lists and Using email campaign tags.

Note: For anti-spam measures, if a recepient of a campaign marks the email as 'spam' in their email client, this contact will be opted-out from receiving newletters from your site. Similar to the unsubscribe process.