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Track & Optimize Your Email Marketing Performance For Online Courses

There's a lot that goes into running successful email marketing campaigns. In this blog, we’ll touch upon the most critical components of optimized emailing and the common email marketing mistakes you might be making. Knowing the problem in itself is the beginning of remedial efforts. At the end of the day, everybody loves to see their marketing efforts succeed. 


The goal of any email marketing campaign is either to grow the subscriber database. Or to convert your existing leads into clients

In your case too you’ll need to conclude for yourself that if your email marketing campaign is for growing your subscriber database or to convert your existing leads into clients or simply because you want people to know about the existence of your online products?

Whatever your end goals are, you would certainly need metrics to track your email marketing performance. So, this is the first thing for you to learn before you start creating your plans.

Email Metric Terms Used by Seasoned Marketers & Beginners

You must get ready to make yourself familiar with certain key terms used in Email Analytics. We’ll be briefly talking about a few of them so that later you can learn to identify the particular set that would work well for your email marketing campaign because the real trick lies in applying human touch to the acquired graphs and figures after all.

When the measurements show a dip in engagement, the relevant data has to be looked at, compared with a given context, to discover the underlying cause of the problem. Usually, the creative tactics tackle the glitches to steer the marketing campaign back on track.

So, here are those terms to watch for:

Click-Through Rate

CTR or Click-Through Rate is the percentage of email recipients who have clicked on one or more links given in your message.

How is Click-Through Rate Calculated? (Total clicks or unique clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100

If the above approach is used consistently each time, it would work effectively to help you easily calculate performance for every email that you send. There onwards you can further track how your CTRs change over time.

CTR is also frequently used for determining the results of A/B tests.

How valuable is the click-through rate?

 Click-through rate helps to give you direct insight into how many people on your email list are engaging with your content or interested in learning more about your offer or brand. Accordingly, you can make changes to your email marketing campaign.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the percentage of email recipients who have clicked on a link provided within an email and done what they were meant to do, such as filling out your lead generation form or availing the offer you gave to them.

How is the Conversion Rate calculated? (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

After an email recipient clicks through on your email, your next goal is typically to get them to take the desired action. So, if you're sending an email to your audience to offer them a chance to download, say your product brochure, you’d consider people who actually downloaded that product brochure to be counted as a conversion.

The Conversion Rate is directly tied to your CTA (call-to-action) in your email. Thus, it is important to directly tie your CTR to the overall goal of your email marketing.

How valuable is the conversion rate for your campaign?

When your email marketing goal is to generate business leads, conversion rates are incredibly important. They shall reveal to you how successful your newsletters are proving at actually generating leads and prospects.

If you like to measure the conversion rate on your emails, you'll have to integrate your email platform and your web analytics. You can accomplish this by creating unique URL trackers for your email links that shall identify the source of that click as coming from a specific email campaign.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the percentage of your total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the desired recipient's inbox. ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ Bounces are the two types of Bounce Rates.

Hard Bounces: happen due to closed, invalid or non-existent email addresses. As the ISPs
(internet service providers) use bounce rates as one of the key factors to label an email sender’s reputation, hard bounce addresses should be immediately removed from your email database. These emails will never get delivered to your recipient’s address anyway.

Soft Bounces: may happen due to some temporary problems with a valid email address in your email database. It could be an overfull inbox or server issues. Retrying by sending your email message would be needed and okay.

How is the Bounce Rate calculated? (Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) * 100

How valuable is a bounce rate for your campaign?

A bounce rate might not be directly linked to your email marketing goals but having too many hard bounces would not be good for your online business’ reputation in the eyes of your ISP (Internet Service Provider)

List Growth Rate

List Growth Rate is the overall rate at which your email list is growing and adding up more contacts. Its growth shall help you expand your audience and position yourself as an industry expert.

How Is the List Growth Rate calculated? ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

List Growth Rate is the second next important analytic to CTR, as this shall give you access to a new target audience base as it grows.

How valuable is the list growth to your email marketing campaign?

As there's a natural decay involved in any email marketing list, it's very important to pay attention to grow your subscriber database and maintain it.

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate is the percentage of email recipients who click on the “share” or “forward” button to share your email content with their social network.

How is the Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate calculated? (Number of clicks on a share and/or forward button ÷ Number of total delivered emails) * 100

Though how many times your article or content is getting shared or forwarded might not be immediately affecting your email marketing but by sharing or forwarding your content you can create new contacts for your database. So, your readers must be encouraged to pass along your email to family, friends or acquaintances in their circle.

Why are Email Sharing and Forwarding Rates valuable for your email marketing campaigns?

Keeping track of the sharing rates of your articles or posts would bring you a better sense of the kind of content that your audience prefers. Your future email campaign strategies can be better planned with this metric’s use.

Overall ROI

The overall return on investment (ROI) for your email campaigns is the total revenue divided by your total spending in simple words.

How is the ROI calculated? [($ in additional sales made minus $ invested in the campaign) ÷ $ invested in the campaign] * 100

Above we have shared the most basic formula to calculate ROI. Depending on your specific business needs, you might like to use a different one that works for you. Setting up an SLA (Service-Level Agreement) system to assign different values to various types of leads based on their likelihood to generate revenue for your company works well.

How valuable is the ROI for your email marketing campaign?

Getting to know the number of leads generated via email marketing and the amount of potential revenue those leads could generate for your course would help the sales and marketing teams to evaluate the strategies & worth of investing in future email marketing campaigns to drive real or tangible results for your online business.

Open Rate

Open Rate is the percentage of email recipients who open the sent email to them. And, to an extent, this is a little tricky metric as well. The reason is that a large percentage of your email users are likely to have image-blocking enabled on their email client. In that case, even if they have opened your email, they won’t be counted in your open rate. So, this metric’s accuracy & reliability remains uncertain.

Marketers should focus on optimizing their clickthrough rates for better results.

How valuable is the Email Open Rate for your email marketing campaign?

Open Rate metric can deliver some real value if it is utilized as a comparative metric. For example, if you compare the particular week’s email open rates to your last week's sent list, you might be able to gain some real insights since in this case you have somewhat controlled variables.

Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe Rate is the percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe from your email list after opening your emails.

This metric is also slightly uncertain in terms of providing a reliable picture of any healthy email list. Many subscribers skip the formal unsubscribe process. They just stop opening, reading, or clicking on your email messages. That's why click-through rates and conversion rates serve a better purpose to watch out for unengaged subscribers on your list.

How valuable is an unsubscribe rate for your email marketing campaign?

Checking the unsubscribe rate at least monthly is recommended to keep track of your overall list growth rate.

Which Metrics would work to track & Optimise your Email Marketing Campaigns?

Email marketing goals can be business-specific. You must determine exactly what you're trying to achieve with your email marketing campaign before you start creating and rolling it out for the prospects. For an Online Academy, consider keeping track of Subscriber List Growth & Unengaged Subscribers listing in particular.

How would you like to align your specific goals with those key metrics?

(a) Subscriber List Growth Rate Metric would support your focus on growing the top of your sales funnel. So, the Subscriber List Growth Rate would make itself one of the most important email marketing metrics as it :

-attracts more visitors to your site
-increases sign-ups
-gets more followers for your blog
-promotes free trial sign-ups, etc

(b) Unengaged Subscribers must be removed from your email marketing database because grey mailing ( sending mails to the unengaged audience) might land you in spam categories where your emails will technically get sent plus delivered, but won't necessarily be opened and read.

Since at Knorish, we offer a free MailChimp Integration feature it would be helpful for you to read their Turning measurements into action tips too in addition to this information. After all understanding, the impact of your email campaigns on your marketing KPIs contributes to your overall objectives.

A good email marketing platform gathers and reports important metrics. But applying the human touch to them only can translate them into result-bearing campaigns. The more you are empowered to measure your success, the better you become at it.

The Bottom Line of Navigating Email Marketing Metrics

Be smart about which metrics you're tracking for your email marketing campaigns. Effectively measure your email performance. Keep your email list healthy. As long as you determine each of those, you're on the right track for delivering more effective email marketing campaigns for your online academy.


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