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Create an email marketing tracking plan

Use case

Measure the performance of your email marketing.

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1. Define which email metrics to track based on your marketing goals.

For example:

  • Growing your audience reach: Track KPIs like subscriber list growth, forward rates, and unsubscribe statistics.
  • Sales and CRO: Track metrics like engaged subscribers, opt-ins for lead-generating content, bounce rates, and ROI.
  • Customer retention: Track KPIs like clickthrough rate and open rate.

If you’re having trouble matching your marketing goals with metrics:

  1. Review your marketing plan and what you hope to accomplish via your email campaigns and email strategy.
  2. Break down those goals into specific, measurable goals by asking questions like: To accomplish this goal, what do my emails need to do? What do my readers need to do when they receive my email?
  3. Brainstorm metrics and data that would define those specific actions.
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2. Choose a data window that will allow you to take regular snapshots of your metrics. It can be time-based or activity-based.

This will let you identify positive or negative trends, and see progress against previous performance. Time-based windows could be weekly or monthly; activity based windows could be campaign by campaign, or launch by launch.

Consider layering in additional filters, like:

  • Customer segments
  • Product categories
  • Specific products.
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3. Create a spreadsheet with rows identifying your key email metrics, along with columns outlining the regular time- or activity-based periods you’re tracking.

Alternatively, some email marketing platforms will provide options to save and repeat specific reports and display them on your analytical dashboard. Refer to the guidelines of your email service provider to see if your platform supports this feature. 

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4. Navigate to your email platform’s dashboard and analytics to review your email data.

Every major email platform — including Mailchimp, HubSpot, and ActiveCampaign — has a basic dashboard that provides basic analytics and data breakdowns.

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5. Review and calculate your email marketing KPIs, using the data window you picked.

Some platforms will automatically provide insights on your KPIs. Use your email marketing platform’s native tools to filter and see your specific data results.

If you have to calculate your email engagement and email marketing success manually, use these calculations:

  • Clickthrough rate: (Total clicks in a specific time frame OR total unique clicks in a specific time frame ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100
  • Conversion rate: (Number of email recipients who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100
  • Bounce rate: (Total number of bounced emails in a specific time frame ÷ Number of emails sent in that same time frame) * 100
  • Email list growth: ([(Number of new subscribers) - (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email recipients on your list]) * 100
  • Email forwarding rate: (Number of clicks on a share button or a forward button ÷ Number of total delivered emails) * 100
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6. Fill in your spreadsheet at regular intervals so you have accurate, comparable windows to reference when reviewing your most recent data reports. 

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Current Playbook:

Create an email marketing tracking plan

Nov 28, 2021

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