If you have an email marketing program through an ESP (email service provider) you have access to powerful analytics, and you should pay attention to this data every time you send an e-news.
Why? Because it helps you develop better email programs, although you have to know what to look for and how to act on the data you receive. Email marketing analytics focus mainly on things such as open rates, click-throughs, bounces, and spam reports.
For example, the average open rate, or percentage of people who actually open your email, is 19.8% for emails delivered through professional services. If your e-news has less than a 20% open rate, you need to make some changes. One thing to review is your subject line. Many times, a general subject line works better than a specific one. It could be that “January Estate Planning News” works better than “401(k) Accounts and Estate Planning.”
Regular personal contact can also enhance open rates, especially if your rates are low because your audience hasn’t added your address to their address book. Ask all of your associates who have personal client contact to promote the benefits of your e-news and to encourage clients to add your email address to their address book.
Click rates are another indicator of how well your e-news is engaging your audience, showing you how many people click through to your website. Pay attention to these click rates and how they vary from one e-news to the next and from article to article. The average click rate for emails delivered through professional services is 3.7%. Your e-news template will have an area for your website link. You can encourage people to click on it by including a phrase such as “To learn more about us click here,” but a better tactic is to create links within each article that land people on a specific page relevant to the article.
Watch your bounce rates and spam reports. A “soft bounce” indicates that a person is away or their mailbox is full, but a “hard bounce” usually means that the address no longer exists. If a recipient has not opted in to your emails, or has forgotten that they have, they may report the mail as spam. ESPs will scold or cancel you if you have high bounce or spam rates.
So, keep your list clean. Study your subject lines, open rates, click rates, bounces and spam data. Successful email marketing is all about continuous improvement.
Director, Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555