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Email Marketing: How to Track Open Rates, and Prove ROI

Posted on March 9, 2022 | Kelley Bassett

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers. But with Apple's recent changes to their privacy restrictions, email open rates statistics are becoming increasingly inaccurate. So what's the best way to track your email marketing? And how can you prove that email marketing is a valuable investment for your business? In this blog post, we'll explore three different methods for tracking email opens - and we'll also show you how to calculate your return on investment from email marketing.

What is the best way to track your email marketing

Email marketing can be a great way to connect with customers and promote your business. However, it can be difficult to know how effective your email marketing is unless you track your results. There are a few key metrics that you should track to gauge the success of your email marketing campaign.

First, pay attention to the open rate, or the percentage of people who open your emails. This will give you an idea of how successful your subject lines are and whether people are interested in what you have to say.

Next, take a look at the click-through rate, or the number of people who click on links in your email. This can help you gauge how well your emails are designed and whether people find them engaging.

Finally, track the number of unsubscribers. This will give you an idea of how well your emails are performing and whether you're losing subscribers over time.

Why Apple's privacy changes make it difficult to track open rates

Apple's recent privacy changes have made it more difficult to track open rates for emails. In the past, when an email was opened, a "tracker" would send a request back to the sender's server, indicating that the email had been opened. However, under Apple's new privacy policy, these requests are blocked unless the user explicitly provides permission for them. As a result, it is no longer possible to tell whether an email has been opened simply by looking at the return path information. This change presents a challenge for marketing teams who rely on open rates to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns.

How to calculate your ROI from email marketing

ROI, or return on investment, is a key metric for any business. It allows you to measure the profitability of your marketing campaigns and compare them to other activities. Calculating your ROI is the key to knowing that your marketing efforts are paying off.

How do you actually calculate ROI?

The formula is quite simple: ROI = (Revenue - Cost) / Cost.

Let's say, for example, that you generated $10,000 in revenue from your email marketing campaign, and it cost you $500 to set up and maintain. In this case, your ROI would be (10,000-500)/500, or 18. So for every dollar you spent on your campaign, you generated 18 dollars in revenue.

Of course, your actual ROI will vary depending on your industry, your email list size, and a number of other factors. But this formula provides a simple way to compare the profitability of different marketing activities.

To track ROI you'll need to track the contacts that receive the emails, and the links they are clicking for purchase.

But what if the purchase happens offline? Can you still track the ROI?

While tracking offline purchases creates challenges, it is still possible. For example you can use call tracking software to track phone calls that are made as a result of your email marketing campaign. This can help you attribute value to your email marketing campaign, even if the purchase is made offline.

Another way is to have offline buyers present the email at the time of sale.  This will allow you to attribute the purchase to the email campaign, even if the buyer does not click on a link in the email.

How to track open rates for emails

There are a few different ways that you can track open rates for your emails. One way is to insert a unique image into each email that you send. When the image is loaded, it will send a signal back to your server, indicating that the email has been opened.

Another way is to use a "tracking pixel" - a tiny piece of code that will execute when the email is opened, again sending a signal back to your server.

Third-party software like HubSpot makes tracking open rates a breeze. Without adding any separate code or image tracking HubSpot can tell you when an email has been opened and even how many times it's been opened.

The importance of tracking opens to prove ROI

In order to prove the ROI of any given marketing campaign, it is essential to track opens. Opens refers to the number of people who have opened the email, and this metric can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of a campaign.

For example, if a campaign has a high open-rate but a low click-through rate, it may be indicating that the email content is not relevant to the audience.

On the other hand, a low open rate could indicate that the subject line was not effective in grabbing attention.

Tracking opens can therefore help marketers to improve the effectiveness of their campaigns by identifying areas that need improvement. Additionally, opens can be used to segment audiences and tailor future campaigns accordingly. By tracking opens, marketers can ensure that they are making the most of their email marketing campaigns and maximizing their ROI.

Tips for improving your email open rates

Email is one of the most commonly used forms of communication, but it can be easy for your messages to get lost in the shuffle. If you're looking for ways to improve your email open rates, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use an attention-grabbing subject line. The subject line is the first thing recipients will see when they receive your email, so make it count! Be sure to avoid generic phrases like "just checking in" or "thanks," and instead focus on something specific that will pique curiosity or offer value.
  2. Keep your message short and Sweet. No one likes wading through a novel-length email, so make sure your message is concise and to the point. Get straight to the point and avoid unnecessary fluff.
  3. Personalize your message. Addressing your recipients by name is a simple way to personalize your message and make it stand out from the rest. You can also include other personalized details like location or industry to further tailor your email.
  4. Send your emails at the right time. Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. Experiment with different times and days of the week to see when your messages are most likely to be opened.
  5. Use A/B Testing. A/B testing is a great way to test different elements of your email to see what works best. Try testing different subject lines, call-to-actions, or even the time of day you send your messages. You can A/B test to segments of your list to see what performs best for different groups.

How do you prove that email marketing is a good investment?

Any good marketing campaign should be designed to produce a positive return on investment (ROI). Email marketing is no different.

In order to prove that email marketing is a good investment, marketers need to focus on three key metrics: conversion rate, click-through rate, and cost per lead. By tracking these metrics, marketers can determine how effective their email campaigns are at generating leads and sales. And because email is such a cost-effective channel, a high ROI is achievable even with a small budget.

In fact, studies have shown that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $38. That makes email marketing one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach and engage customers.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach and engage customers. By tracking open rates, conversion rates, and click-through rates, marketers can prove that email marketing is a good investment and generate a high ROI.

Additionally, email is a cost-effective channel and can produce impressive results even with a small budget. These factors make email marketing a valuable tool for any business.

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About The Diamond Group

The Diamond Group is a Wilmington, NC based digital marketing and web design agency committed to helping today's small businesses grow and prosper. With a 28-year track record of success, their proprietary in-house system and concierge-level multi-disciplinary team approach to marketing guarantees double-digital growth and optimizes marketing ROI. 

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