5 Email Customer Engagement Metrics to Track and How to Improve Them

Customer Engagement Metrics to Track and How to Improve Them

Tracking and analyzing the email campaigns you send is important for maximizing your ROI on email marketing.

While your gut instinct does count in situations you have no data to analyze, business decisions should revolve around numerical data when it is available. Fortunately, email marketing campaigns that are sent out using one of the major email services providers give you a significant amount of data your can track and analyze to determine if your customers are—or aren’t—being engaged by your mailings. Here are five crucial customer engagement metrics your business should pay attention to.

1. Conversions

Clickthroughs from your email campaign to your website won’t give you a complete picture of the success of your mailing if your goal is to increase sales. You also need to know what percent of the people who clicked a link in your email made a purchase after they reached your website.

For example, if you see you’re getting a lot of clicks but few conversions, you need to analyze why. Could your mailings be misleading or not accurately describe the product? Is the mailing linking to your home page instead of the product being advertised? Is the product page missing some information the customer would want before purchasing? Could the item be priced too high – or too low? Pricing that’s too far below your competitors might make prospects worry that the product or service will be inferior.

On the other hand, your mailing list could be the problem if the clickthrough rate is low but the conversion rate is high. It might include people who are no longer interested in what you sell or who should never have been on it to begin with. Or, if you sell multiple products and services, you may need to segment your list by customer interests, so customers only get mailings they want. For example, if you sell swimming pool supplies, your customers with sand filters aren’t going to want to know about your sale on replacement cartridge filters.

If you’re having trouble getting your conversion rate up, consider making a few changes. Be sure customers are being directed to the correct page on your website and that your mailings aren’t misleading. Double-check the wording on your landing page to be sure it’s accurate and be sure there’s a clear and obvious call-to-action button. Add more reviews or other social proof to your website, and be sure it’s easy to make a purchase. Cull your mailing list to eliminate the names of people who aren’t engaging with your mailings. Focus on building your list up with more contacts with similar interests to the people making purchases.

2. Customer Lifetime Value

Getting new customers is important. Every day, more people enter your target market, no matter what it is. Unfortunately, many marketers make the mistake of sticking to new customers and forgetting about the people who have already made a purchase.

Getting repeat sales from those first-time customers is the key to long-term profitability. The first sale you make to a customer may barely cover your customer acquisition cost. That’s where email marketing shines. Use email campaigns to encourage those first-time buyers to make repeat purchases and buy different products as well.

Customers who are satisfied with their first purchase have developed trust for your company and are easier and less expensive to sell to than those who have never made a purchase. Keep your business name and products top-of-mind for these people by sending mailing campaigns at least once a month.

3. Abandoned Carts

Most items added to shopping carts will never turn into actual sales. According to Baymard Institute, close to 70% of shopping carts are abandoned. On desktops, almost 70 percent of carts are abandoned. The report found that more than half abandoned their cart because they were just browsing and not ready to buy yet. Among shoppers who were ready to buy, extra costs (shipping, tax, fees) or the need to create an account before making a purchase were the leading reasons for abandonment.

If your email subscribers are clicking on your offers but then abandoning their carts, consider changes you can make to remedy the situation. Have someone who’s not familiar with your offerings go through the site as though they were a customer and tell you if there are things that would make them leave without completing their purchase.

Unexpected expenses or complications usually revolve around shipping, though limited payment options can also prompt people to leave their cart. Offering more payment and shipping options can mitigate lost carts. If you require people to create an account before they make a purchase, test letting them purchase as a guest. Or put a request to create an account at the end of the buying process. For people who just forgot about their cart, you can develop automated email systems that remind them of what they left.  

4. Lead Costs

If you are buying pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, look for ways to get the people who are price shopping or not ready to buy yet to give you their email address and permission to email them. By communicating with them regularly you can keep your name and the link to your product pages in front of them. Leads, alone, of course, aren’t enough. You will also want to keep track of sales and the cost of acquiring those customers.

5. How Much Each Customer Spends

Conversion rates are important, but so is finding out how much people spend when they do convert. If conversion rates tell you the quality of your site and your leads, average order values tell you the value of each conversion. The more each customer spends per purchase, the more room you have for customer acquisition costs.

There are a number of ways you can improve customer spending. The simple option is to add more items to sell and develop email marketing campaigns that remind customers to return to make additional purchases.

There are many things such as customer satisfaction or customer experience that are difficult for a small business to measure directly. However, tracking your email marketing campaign results and your sales data will let you identify what’s working and what things you may need to improve. 

By Janet Attard

Janet Attard is an author and small business expert who has been using email marketing to grow online sites for more than 30 years.