Did you successfully send out the first email blast for your small business? If you don't feel like you are ready, please take a look at the first 6 parts of the series:
If you did send out your first blast, you are probably ready to understand how well it performed!
As I had mentioned in previous posts, one of the advantages of using an email marketing template such as MailChimp is the analytics that are provided after your blast has been sent. Let's take a minute to look at what the analytics mean and what you should be looking for.
When you first log into your account you will see some quick stats in your dashboard, provided you have at least sent 1 blast. To get to the deeper analytics you can click on campaigns to view the reports for each campaign, or simply click on the reports tab at top of your dashboard. Once you get into the reports section you will again see some overview statistics, but to see further detail click into the campaign you wish to see. A screen should come up similar to this:
Let's Talk About the Stats...
The first thing you are probably concerned with is how many people opened your email. You will see on the top left how many people actually opened the email. The statistic is provided in both an actual amount as well as the % of the recipients that actually opened it. This % is given based on the amount of people that actually received the email and will not include your bounces. Just below this number you will see a comparison to your list average and your industry average. If you haven't chosen your industry, now is a good time to do so. If this is the only email that you have sent to this particular list, your list average will mean very little.
The second column shows the amount of emails that did not make it to the subscribers inbox, otherwise called a bounce. MailChimp has both hard and soft bounces. A hard bounce was rejected because of something such as the account or domain not existing. These emails will not be retried. A soft bounce is a temporary rejection of the email, these are rejected because of things such as mailboxes being over quota. If you have an extremely high bounce rate it will look to MailChimp like you are spamming and your account can become suspended.
Your unopened column will be next. This is just the opposite of your opens, as you probably assumed. If you have a small list you may recognize some of the names that did not open the email...it would be a nice surprise for them if you called them up to ask them why. Only do this if you are comfortable in awkward situations...they may think you are stalking them.
The final column is your click rate, which in my opinion is just as important, or maybe more so than your open rate. This number will be a % of the opens that clicked on a link within the email to go to your website, social media, email address, pdf link, etc. Generally these will be the people that are interested in what you have to say and want to learn more. To speak in the terms you may better understand...these are the people that make you money! It is hard to make sales to people that aren't interested in what you have to say and don't care about your website. It is much easier to sell to people once you get them to your beloved website, or as we call it, your workhorse.
Even More Details
Just below the initial data you will see even more. If you are an analytics junkie like I am, you can't get enough data. Some of the data shown here is extremely important. You can see the amount of times your email was forwarded. If you have a particular subject or email type that get forwarded more often, these are your heavy hitters. People care about what those emails say and want their friends to see it as well.
This is also where you can see your complaints and unsubscribes. You may think to yourself that these are one in the same, they are not. If you are getting complaints the emails that you are sending probably seem too spammy or your list wasn't what you though. You are definitely doing something wrong if you have a high complaint rate. If you have a high volume of unsubscribes you aren't necessarily spamming, you are just boring. Your recipients just don't care about what you are saying.
Just below these stats you will see opens over time. The more you send and collect data, the more you will understand about your list. This will help you determine when the best time is to send your email. If you are sending on Friday at 6pm and don't get any opens it might be because people have already left the office for the day and by the time they get back on Monday your email is just buried in a slew of weekend spam. On the other hand, if you send Friday at 9am but the majority of your list doesn't open it until Friday at 6 by all means send it closer to the time when you get more opens.
You may also be interested in knowing how your email did in the social world. Did people tweet about it? Did they like or comment on it in Facebook? If you look just below the subject line of the email you chose, you will see the Social Stats link. You even see who is active in the social world with your message. Don't be shy, communicate with these people through social, they care!
This just touches the surface of what you can see through your MailChimp reports, but it is enough to get your feet wet. If you can go into your account and understand the basics of their analytics you will be less likely to be overwhelmed. If you don't care to look at your statistics you are missing out. Use the data that you are given to create better emails in the future. Take advantage of email marketing while it is still hot!