November 11, 2021

The Future of Measuring Email Campaign Success

Email marketing is still a ‘go to’ marketing strategy for many businesses, but the email landscape is always changing and as privacy concerns rise how can you be sure your messages are being read by the right audience?

Read on for some further tips and insights into how your marketing emails are being tracked and what considerations you should be aware of.

Email Open Rates

Email open rate, simply put, is the percentage of unique recipients that open a specific email campaign. The average currently sits at about 21.3% across all industries. When businesses review their open rates, if they are lower than expected, they generally say a variety of things along the lines of “Something is wrong with the system” or “Our open rates should be much higher than that.”

The truth is, there are so many factors that need to be taken into account with email marketing and open rates are always one that is harder to understand. Some of the main reasons for poor open rates are that your content is not appealing enough and it’s being deleted straight away by the recipients or it is being caught by a spam filter and landing in a junk folder.

How are Emails Tracked?

Emails are tracked by tracking pixels, a small image that is a 1 pixel by 1 pixel square image that is inserted into an email message. A tracking pixel will fire when it is loaded, so this occurs when you open the email it loads the images. Some examples of the information that these tracking pixels might pass back to the email sender are:

  • If the email was opened
  • How many times the email was opened
  • Time the email was opened
  • Region (e.g. Country)
  • Type of device used (e.g. Computer, Tablet, Phone)
  • Type of operating system (e.g. Windows, Android, iOS)
  • Type of email client used (e.g. Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail)

Tracking pixels are not only used in email marketing applications they are also used in a vast amount of CRM applications to track emails sent from a CRM.

New Software Privacy Options

As users become more aware of privacy online we are starting to see new features released in applications that stop or reduce this type of tracking. For example, the new iOS15 and macOS Monterey features which allow you to hide your IP address, block tracking pixels in emails or even create email relays to hide your real email identity. Currently iOS and macOS are approximately 26% and 15% of the mobile and desktop markets respectively. This may not be a large percentage but features like these will be adopted by other software vendors and be added to their applications to improve their privacy features.

The Future of Measuring Campaign Success

If features such as tracking pixels are removed businesses need to start adapting to other ways to measure and engage with their audience. One way this can be done is by measuring click through rates (CTR) instead of open rates. Click through rates are when an email recipient clicks on a link in the email and they open up an external webpage. These clicks can be tracked by the sender and arguably are a much better way for businesses to measure email engagement. If you better segment your email marketing lists and focus on increasing and maintaining click through rates you will have a healthier and more engaged marketing list.

Content is King

Content is King, always has been and always will be. If you want to be a successful email marketer you need to deliver email content that your recipients actually care about and want to engage with.

Sure, measuring success is important and can help improve your strike rate, but don’t dwell on vanity metrics such as Open Rates. Instead focus that energy in creating content that adds value and gives your recipients a reason to read.

A small, highly engaged list of readers is much more valuable that a big lists of readers that just delete your message on arrival.

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