Are Your Email Send-Outs Working? A Guide to Email Campaign Performance

Email marketing campaigns touch multiple stage points in a B2B marketing strategy; from amplifying awareness, lead generation, relationship building, customer engagement, conversion, and up to customer retention. 

Email campaigns allow businesses to influence their audience to take the desired action. This then begs the question, how do you tell if your email campaigns are working? Does lack of end-actions equate to ineffectivity? How can you determine if your email campaigns are truly working?

In this post, you’ll get this valuable insight. You’ll learn key performance metrics and money-saving strategies to enhance your email marketing efforts. 

Let’s jump right in.  

Email Marketing Success: Your Ticket to Explosive ROI

Think of your B2B email marketing campaign as a high-performance race car.  It’s essential to distinguish between measuring the success of your overall campaign and its individual performance metrics.  Lewis Hamilton is a World Champion and Grand Prix-winning race car driver. To beat the competition, he monitors both the overall race position and the car’s internal performance metrics.  

Measuring email marketing success is like evaluating your position in the race. It tells you whether your strategy is effectively moving you toward your business goals. Key indicators include:  

  • Set clear goals: A clear goal is like knowing the finish line in a race. Without a specific objective, such as increasing conversions, boosting revenue, or enhancing customer retention, it’s impossible to gauge success.   
  • Defined metrics: These are the dashboard indicators of your race car. Metrics provide real-time data and insights on performance. These numbers help in tracking progress toward the goal and identifying areas for improvement. 
  • Specific time frame: In a race, laps and time intervals are critical for strategizing and maintaining pace. Similarly, in email marketing, setting a defined period for evaluation helps in understanding trends and making necessary changes. 

Quantifying email marketing performance, on the other hand, is like monitoring the car’s internal gauges and indicators. These metrics provide insights into specific aspects of your campaign’s functionality and efficiency.  You want to track: 

  • Click-through rates (CTR): This shows how effectively your email content drives recipients to take action by clicking on links. High CTR means your content is engaging and relevant to your audience. 
  • Cost per click (CPC): This is similar to monitoring fuel consumption. Lower CPC indicates that your campaign is driving clicks at a minimal cost.   
  • Return on investment (ROI): Think of it as measuring the overall performance of your race car at the end of the race. It reflects the total gains from your email marketing efforts compared to the costs.   

As a B2B marketer, it’s important to distinguish between these two types of measurements. You want to have campaigns performing efficiently but also keep steering them towards your broader business objectives. 

Setting Goals and Benchmarks for Your Email Campaigns

Clearly defined goals provide direction and purpose. They serve as the foundation for evaluating the performance of your campaigns. By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, you create a roadmap for success. 

Common email campaign goals include: 

  • Increasing open rates: This metric reflects the effectiveness of your subject lines and sender reputation.   
  • Boosting click-through rates: If your goal is engagement or interaction with a website then the click-through rate is a high-priority metric. 
  • Driving more website traffic: Using email to direct recipients to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services. 
  • Generating more leads: Capturing contact information from prospects through email sign-up forms or lead magnets is a great way to fill your sales pipeline. 
  • Improving conversion rates: The percentage of recipients who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or downloading a resource or lead magnet. 
  • Increasing revenue or ROI: The ultimate goal of most B2B email marketing campaigns. The amount of revenue generated and the ROI is crucial for long-term success.  

The Power of A/B Testing

A/B testing in marketing is an experimental strategy centered on accommodating user experience to find out what works better between (mostly) two options. There is no scope nor limitations for A/B tests marketers often apply the approach with website design and copies as changes or edits on websites often take less operational resources than sending out two versions of emails under one campaign. 

However, to truly maximize your email marketing performance. You ought to embrace A/B testing as a core part of it. 

We have mentioned creating two versions of email content, but don’t stop there. With account intelligence, proceed to segmenting and qualifying leads from your subscriber list. Think of it as having a focused group discussion with different demographics to gain specific information. 

Analyze the results to determine which version A or B, resonates better with your audience. Continually optimize this process to drive superior results. Here are some elements you should test for each campaign: 

  • Subject lines: Experiment with different styles, lengths, personalization, and emojis to discover what captures your audience’s attention. 
  • Email content: Test various layouts, images, copywriting styles, and offers to see what resonates best with your subscribers. 
  • Call-to-action (CTA) buttons: Try different colors, placements, sizes, and text variations to reach higher click-through rates. 
  • Sender name or email address: Test different names or addresses to determine which ones inspire trust and engagement. 
  • Timing and frequency of emails: Experiment with different days of the week and times of day to find the optimal sending schedule for your audience.

Strategies for Optimizing Email Campaign Performance

Optimizing your email campaigns means configuring certain aspects of your efforts to recalibrate everything into one seamless campaign. Marketers should understand that optimizing your email campaigns encompasses top-to-bottom production efforts. Think of it as from message, material, sender, medium, receiver, and feedback. From content creation/curation for your newsletters, mobile responsiveness, email lists, up to automation, and distribution. 

Optimizing the entirety of your campaign will be sure to drive engagement, increase website traffic, or generate more leads and revenue. 

  • Personalize your emails: Personalization is more than addressing recipients by their first names. Think of how you can customize your email content based on user behavior, preferences, and previous interactions. 
  • Optimize for mobile: Today we’re all mobile-friendly. This means a significant percentage of your emails will be opened on mobile devices. You must optimize your messages with responsive, easy-to-read text. Images should load quickly. And include clear calls-to-action (CTAs).   
  • Segment your email list: Segmentation allows you to send timely, relevant messages based on user actions or predefined triggers. Some criteria to consider include demographics, purchase history, and geo-location. This tactic can significantly improve open and click-through rates. 
  • Leverage email automation: Automated campaigns, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups, can nurture leads and drive conversions efficiently. Sending timely, relevant messages based on user actions or predefined triggers is a win.  
  • Continuously test and refine: You should always be testing. This is the key to improving your campaign effectiveness over time. Test different elements of your emails including subject lines, content, CTAs, and send times.    

Tracking and Analyzing Open Rates and Click-Through Rates

These metrics provide a comprehensive view of performance. Open rates help you gauge initial interest and the effectiveness of your subject lines. Meanwhile, CTRs provide deeper insights into the quality and relevance of your email content.  

For instance, a low open rate may trigger a review of subject lines and send times. A low CTR might indicate a need to improve the email’s call-to-action or content relevance. Regular analysis and adjustments based on these metrics guarantee that your email campaigns remain effective and aligned with your marketing goals. 

Evaluating Conversion Rates and ROI

Conversion rates measure the percentage of email recipients who take a specific desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a lead form after clicking through your email. For B2B marketers it directly translates to lead generation and customer acquisition. 

Email marketing is known for its high ROI. The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reports that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42. This impressive ROI highlights email marketing as one of the most cost-effective channels for B2B marketers, driving significant revenue with relatively low costs. 

Assessing Subscriber Engagement and List Health

B2B marketers must prioritize list health and engagement. Track key metrics such as unsubscribe rates, bounce rates, spam complaints, and list growth rate. This can ensure your email marketing efforts are both effective and sustainable. 

Let’s briefly look at some core metrics: 

  • Unsubscribe rates measure the percentage of subscribers who opt out of your email list after receiving your emails. A high unsubscribe rate can indicate issues with email relevance, frequency, or quality. It’s essential to analyze the reasons behind unsubscribes and make necessary adjustments.  
  • Bounce rates track the percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered to recipients’ inboxes. We see two types of bounces: hard bounces (permanent delivery failures) and soft bounces (temporary issues).  
  • Spam complaints occur when recipients mark your email as spam. To minimize spam complaints, ensure your emails are relevant, well-targeted and compliant with regulations like GDPR and CAN-SPAM.   
  • List growth rate measures how quickly your email list is growing. A healthy list growth rate indicates that your lead generation strategies are effective. It means you are continuously adding new subscribers.  

The Role of Strategic Email Distribution

Effective email distribution ensures that your emails reach the right inboxes, maintain a healthy sender reputation, and optimize deliverability. This strategy ultimately increases the reach and engagement of your campaigns. 

As a B2B marketer you know it’s not just about sending emails. Your goal is to ensure they reach the right inboxes, at the right time, with the right message. This requires a multi-faceted approach that includes: 

  • Ensuring your emails are delivered to the right inboxes: This requires strategically managing your email list and targeting the right segments. By using sophisticated segmentation and targeting techniques, you can ensure that your messages are relevant and timely.  
  • Maintaining a healthy email sender reputation: DemandScience’s compliance measures help maintain this reputation by adhering to industry standards and regulations. Our practices ensure that emails are delivered safely and effectively. 
  • Optimizing your email deliverability and avoiding spam filters: Sending emails that comply with best practices is how you avoid spam filters and get higher inbox rates.  Optimizing email deliverability involves authenticating your emails, avoiding spammy content, and managing bounces effectively. 
  • Leveraging email list hygiene and best practices: Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or invalid addresses. You should also practice segmenting your audience effectively. These tactics  reduce bounce rates and improve overall list quality.    

DemandScience offers two email distribution models to cater to your specific goals.  Our Email CPM and CPC provide email marketers with vital data and insights to make data-driven decisions, optimize performance, and ultimately, achieve greater success in their email marketing efforts. 

Email CPM: Ideal for top-of-the-funnel lead generation. CPM focuses on maximizing brand awareness and reach. By targeting a broad audience with your message, you can generate leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. 

Email CPC: Designed for bottom-of-the-funnel leads, CPC focuses on driving specific actions, such as website visits, demo requests or purchases. By targeting individuals who have already shown interest in your offerings, you can maximize conversions and ROI.  

Final Words

Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches at scale. With the right tools and partner, you can personalize and automate your email campaigns to deliver tailored messages to each subscriber. This personalization helps to build trust, and engagement, and ultimately boost conversions. Effective email marketing is about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Reach, engagement, action. Those are what make great email sendouts. 

Get an in-depth understanding of your audience and tailor your messages accordingly.