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Mastering Email Marketing Reporting Tools: Tips and Best Practices

You can’t beat the competition without automation in today’s ever-toughening digital environment. Automated marketing reporting will keep you afloat and – if you use the right tools and interpret them correctly – even give you an edge over other email marketers.

Harnessing email marketing means everything in today’s email-focused world.

Wait, WHAT?

Aren’t we living in the age of social media, with emails being…a blast from the past? Rotary dial telephones of marketing: evoking warm feelings yet not having any practical value?

Well, it turns out that email marketing hasn’t lost its relevance, estimated at $10.98 billion in revenues and counting. As much as 79% of millennials would choose email as their first touchpoint with a brand, with the rate dropping to 57% for Gen Z.

Verdict: Mastering email marketing tools is crucial for data-driven campaign optimization. Collecting and interpreting email marketing data correctly is the backbone of developing profitable email marketing strategies.

With no further ado, let’s dig into the email marketing reporting thing, what it does to your business, and what email reporting tools can level up your marketing game.

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The Most Important Email Marketing Metrics To Collect

You don’t have to be an email marketing professional to understand that knowing your email customers means maximizing your email marketing performance across the board, with an almost unlimited conversion potential.

  • Take, for example, the click-to-open rate, an indicator of how many people who opened your email also clicked on a link within it. If you’re in finance, in-depth email marketing reporting can grow your click-to-open rate over the average of 16.68%; if you’re in the publishing business, a streamlined email reporting mechanism can help you exceed the industry’s average of 14.47%.

We’ve just reviewed a single email marketing metric, but there are dozens of them – all tracked, reported, and interpreted by up-to-date email marketing software so you can have a clear picture of your campaigns.

Email Marketing Insights To Collect with Email Marketing Reporting Software

Open Rate: How many email recipients opened your emailNo matter how brilliant your emails are, your potential customers will never know unless they actually open the email.Open rates indicate:The level of interest in a particular email advertising campaignWhether the email subject line is attractive and to what extent
Click-Through Rate: How many email recipients clicked on links within your emailEmail opens are great, but you need clicks to drive customers to your website or convert them instantly with technologies like AMP emails. Unlike open rate, which focuses on the outer appearance of an email, CTR has to do with the insides: how resonating your email body is and how sharp and well-placed your CTAs are.
Bounce Rate: How many emails were not deliveredUndelivered emails are bad for business, with around 2% of emails never reaching the recipient. Depending on whether the bounce is hard (permanent delivery failures) or soft (temporary failures, with an email being delivered with a delay), it can indicate several problems:The wrong recipient’s email addressThe wrong or misspelled domain nameRecipient’s clogged mailboxRecipient’s server issuesThat said, one truly deadly bounce reason is a low email sender reputation when your Internet service provider (ISP) blocks your emails or sends them to the spam folder.
Conversion Rate: How many email link clickers completed a target actionIt goes without saying that the most important part of the game is to convert leads into customers, whether a conversion is a purchase, registration, or filling out a form. Alas, even though it’s obvious that your conversion rate correlates with your email marketing success, it’s not always easy to understand where you failed or succeeded based on the conversion rate alone.It’s also worth noting that the expected conversion rate differs for different email types. For example, the average conversion rate for automated e-commerce welcome emails is 3%; for automated cart abandonment emails – 2.39%.
Email List Growth Rate: How fast you gain email subscribersLike a conversion rate, an email growth list rate shows how well you are doing with your email marketing strategies compared to the past and how consistent you are. Likewise, separating the wheat from the chaff by this indicator alone might be problematic.

Now, we’ve only scratched the surface with these five email marketing KPIs – there are many more indicators that you can use to analyze your email marketing campaigns holistically or their specific aspects. 

Depending on your campaign, you may also need to investigate:

  • Email deliverability rates
  • Engagement rates
  • Forwarding rates
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Spam complaint rates
  • An increase in active subscribers

To craft successful campaigns, you need a healthy and organically growing email subscriber list that you can build by analyzing the most essential metrics for your emails.

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Marketing Reporting Tools to Gauge Your Email Campaign Performance

In today’s email marketing realm, meeting a company that measures its email campaigns manually is like stumbling upon a dinosaur: impossible unless you are in the museum. Crafty marketers have long been automating everything that can be automated, including email marketing data tracking, analytics, and reporting.

And you really have no choice, with 63% of decision-makers already using automation in their email marketing efforts. It’s absolutely worth it to research email marketing reporting tools to make up a winning toolkit that propels your email marketing to success.

With that, it’s time to present you the five best email marketing reporting tools.

Litmus

With over 500,000 monthly visits, Litmus is a well-known email marketing platform that provides vast email marketing reporting capabilities, including

  • Engagement reports: when recipients opened your email, where they located, and what device they used
  • Interactive reports: how exactly recipients engaged with your emails; for example, whether they read an email thoroughly or just skimmed
  • Heatmaps: revealing the most engaging parts of your email content so you can strategically place CTA buttons and the most important content
  • Metrics reports: reports on various email metrics through integration with your ESP (for example, delivery metric)
  • Comparison reports: comparing two or more email campaigns to understand which one performed better and why

Litmus is a comprehensive email tracking and reporting tool that can dissect your email advertising campaigns from A to Z so you can improve on the fly and strategically. The subscription costs $99 or $199 per month, depending on the plan. There’s also a demo to get the hang of it and the ability to customize your plan based on your needs.

EmailAnalytics

If Litmus focuses on your email subscribers, EmailAnalytics analyzes how well your email marketing team handles email campaigns, including how many emails are sent and how they perform.

The email marketing reporting features include, among other things:

  • Email traffic reporting – how many emails you send, when, and how your subscribers respond to them
  • Employee productivity reporting – how many emails a specific employee sends and receives within a given time and how successful these emails are
  • Email campaign visualization – visualization of your email marketing strategies over a chosen time

EmailAnalytics is a great tool for managing your in-house email marketing team and email campaigns in general. The platform is available for $15 per month and also provides a free 14-day trial version. 

 Email Studio by Salesforce

Email Studio is an email marketing module by Salesforce, an all-encompassing CRM and digital marketing platform. With robust email marketing reporting features, Email Studio allows you to collect and analyze the customer journey, from email delivery rates to open rates to conversion rates.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive email marketing reporting
  • Customizable reports based on your business needs
  • Integration with Salesforce CRM

Since Email Studio perfectly synergizes with Salesforce CRM, it works best for marketers who already use Salesforce. Price-wise, it all depends on the depth of insights and functionality. The basic Sales Cloud Starter subscription plan costs €25 per month, whereas the advanced Marketing Cloud Engagement subscription plan costs €1,250 monthly.

MailChimp

One of the most-known all-in-one email marketing platforms, MailChimp has it all and then some when it comes to email marketing reporting. You can analyze activity and engagement from subscribers, click performance, conversions, and how fast your email list grows, among other things.

Likewise, you can integrate MailChimp with Google Analytics and your online store to track the customer journey from your email to your store, knowing what users click on what email links and order what product.

The good news is that MailChimp has a free subscription plan that includes 1,000 email sends, email support for one month, and some basic email analytics, reporting, and a creative assistant. The paid plan costs around €12, €19, and €331 per month.

HubSpot

The marketing giant visited by over 45 million people monthly, HubSpot is no stranger to email marketing, offering a proprietary suite of tools for managing email marketing campaigns, including tools for reporting. Like most other comprehensive email marketing platforms, HubSpot provides deliverability, engagement, and conversion metrics for outbound emails and, of course, integrates the email platform with its other marketing tools.

One interesting metric HubSpot unlocks is attribution. Through attribution reports, you can estimate whether your emails triggered the purchase or contributed to it and to what extent. This knowledge is especially valuable for omnichannel marketing when it’s hard to estimate the input of each channel toward the conversion.

Top-5 Qualities of a Good Email Marketing Report

Enrolling in a subscription plan with one of the email marketing reporting tools is one thing, but it’s another thing to correctly interpret the metrics you get and understand what metrics you need to track in the first place.

Here are the top 5 qualities of a good email marketing report:

  • Relevance: On the one hand, the more metrics you get, the better. On the other hand, you usually need a few key metrics rather than all of them to solve specific email marketing goals. For example, when you run an email marketing campaign, email open rates will likely be your key metric for estimating interest in a particular email campaign. If so, you must choose software that will measure open rates most accurately and provide some peripheral view.
  • Accuracy: Before you can rely on your email marketing report, you must know it’s accurate. For that, you might need a tried-and-true email marketing reporting tool with a spotless track record. HubSpot, Salesforce, and MailChimp are arguably the most recognized email marketing tools in the digital marketing world.
  • Visualization: Email performance visualization is crucial for a quicker and deeper understanding of how your campaigns perform against each other, previous campaigns, and benchmarks. Graphs, charts, and various visual elements are usually a part of email marketing reporting functionality, so you only need to choose what pleases the eye.
  • Consistency: You can’t rely on a single piece of information when making a strategic choice, can you? Your email marketing reports must be consistent – possibly weekly, quarterly, and yearly – so you can unmistakably identify how your email marketing evolves and where your campaigns drive you.
  • Integration: It’s important that your email marketing report can synergize with your other marketing dimensions: social media marketing, SEO, paid ads, etc. Make sure the email marketing tool in question integrates with your other software so you can get an overarching view of all your campaigns, never missing the forest for the trees.

Informative, well-designed, and timed email marketing reports can do a world of good to your business, from decreasing your CPM to having more subscribers opening your emails and converting.

Kick Things Off with Your Custom Email Marketing Report Template

Last but not least, you don’t necessarily have to rely on the standard reports within your email marketing software. Most services will allow you to customize your email reports however you see fit, adding or excluding the metrics you want to draw and analyze. Moreover, you won’t have to go the extra mile to adjust the report to your needs but will likely be able to drag and drop the wanted functionality and metrics.

With that, we’ll leave you with our final advice: don’t miss out on the wonderful analytical opportunities email reporting software provides. For only a couple dozen dollars a month – and sometimes, even for free – you can unlock game-changing email marketing insights, improving your campaigns right on the spot and in the long-term perspective.