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3 min read

How To Use Your B2B Email Analytics

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If you’re running email marketing campaigns for your B2B company, it’s important to not only pay close attention to campaign analytics, but to know what each metric means and what insights you can derive. 
Misreading metrics or taking away the wrong conclusion could result in a bad decision that hurts your performance or, even worse, lands your emails in the spam box.

Let’s look at what the main email metrics mean and how you can leverage each one to guide your email marketing strategy:

Open Rate

Open rate is the percentage of recipients who opened your email out of those who received the email. Your open rate should be at 20% or higher Low open rates can result in deliverability issues as email clients such as Gmail and Outlook are more likely to put your emails in spam folders.

To increase open rates, you can experiment with subject lines (and test and retest) to see what’ll entice your audience to click on your emails. You can also change the day and time you send the emails to better catch when your audience is most likely to open emails.

Another option is to create separate segments that exclude contacts that never open your emails. HubSpot makes this easy by automatically tagging unengaged contacts. You can exclude these contacts from your email sends by selecting the select the “Don't send to unengaged contacts” checkbox on the recipients tab.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

In email marketing, the click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked an email link out of those who opened the email. A high click-through rate is a very good thing: High engagement means recipients find your content and offers relevant. It can also boost your sending reputation and improve your email’s standing in the eyes of Gmail, Outlook, etc.

This metric varies depending on your industry, but in general, aim for a 7% CTR. If your number isn’t up to snuff, you should check that your offer is relevant to your segmented list. Ensure your copy communicates what you want the recipients to do and what they can expect afterward.

You can also A/B test the call-to-action (CTA) to see what works, but you don’t need to limit yourself to only one link. Relevant in-content links will help your CTR too by giving readers more opportunities to delve deeper into your topic.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that couldn’t be successfully delivered. There are two main types of bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard Bounces

A hard bounce typically means one of two things:

  • The email address was invalid or no longer in use
  • Your email blocked by the recipient’s email server

Most email senders clean out hard bounces automatically. Businesses that collect emails legitimately will see few hard bounces and most will be because a person left their job, leading their company deactivate their email address.

Soft Bounces

A soft bounce typically indicates a temporary problem with the recipient’s email server, but could also mean that your emails are getting caught by a spam filter or a security filter.

Aim for a hard bounce rate below 1%. A high bounce rate can throw you into a vicious cycle of having more emails stuck in the spam folder, or even worse, email service providers (ESPs), such as HubSpot and Mailchimp, may put you in “email jail.”

To reduce the risk of a high bounce rate, clean your email list regularly and authenticate the domain from which you send your email. Also, build a permission-based email list using double opt-in to validate all the email addresses.

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Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who unsubscribed out of those who received your email. You shouldn't sweat this number too much, but it shouldn’t exceed a fraction of a percent. If it stays high consistently, your emails may end up in recipients’ spam folders and your email list will shrink instead of growing.

To try and limit your unsubscribe rate, check that the email content is aligned with your brand and provides valuable content to your recipients. Also, make sure you’re not doing a bait-and-switch (something we highly discourage!) in which you promise one thing in the subject line and deliver something else entirely in the content. And, most importantly, don’t send emails to people that didn’t sign up to receive them in the first place.

Spam Rate 

Your spam rate is the percentage of people who marked your email as spam out of those who received your email. If your emails are reported as spam frequently, you must take action immediately. Besides getting into trouble with ESPs, your brand's reputation could be at stake! 

If your spam rate is consistently over 0.1%, you should evaluate every aspect of your email marketing strategy, from how you build your email lists and the frequency you send emails to your subject lines and audience-content match. Always make sure you're following the latest best practices to help reduce high spam rates.

Email is a Journey

It's important to keep in mind that B2B email marketing best practices are constantly evolving. Constantly. As soon as marketers figure out a particular email tactic works, everyone starts using it, diluting the tactic's ability to "stand out" in people's inboxes. 

To maximize your ROI, keep a close eye on your metrics and A/B test various elements to ensure you’re aligning your content with your target's needs, preferences, and expectations.

Arm yourself with these tips!

In our ebook, The Truth About B2B Email Deliverabilitylearn how to run better email campaigns that win you more business! Learn B2B email best practices, industry terms, and more about email metrics.

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