How to monitor the performance of an email campaign
In this article, we will review a common question about email campaigns, how do email marketing platforms track subscriber behavior, as well as how you can monitor the reports, and interpret the results.
Undoubtedly, having this information is one of the points in favor of using an email marketing service rather than through some other email client, such as Gmail, Outlook, etc.
This information lets us learn about different aspects of our email marketing campaigns, their evolution, if we have specific problems, etc. What is the point of sending emails if we can’t track them?
In this article, we will clearly explain how to track the result of your campaigns, how to interpret open rates, and answer some of the most common questions about this topic.
This way, you can better evaluate the statistical data obtained from your email campaigns.
Let’s get started!
· How to create an email?
Before we begin to understand how to monitor emails in an email marketing campaign, it is essential to have an email account or email inbox.
Creating one is a quick and easy process if you still need to get one.
Here is a brief guide on how to create a new email account.
- Choose an email provider: There are several popular providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. Each offers different features and options. So choose the one that best suits your personal or business needs.
- Sign up for an account: Once you have selected an email provider, visit its website and follow the sign-up process. During this process, you may be required to submit basic information, such as your name, date of birth, and phone number, as well as fields where you will have to create a username and password.
- Setting up your account: After creating your account, you can customize the settings according to your preferences. For example, you can add a custom signature, select a profile picture and adjust the notifications you wish to receive. You can also organize your messages into folders and tags to keep your inbox tidy.
· What is email tracking?
Email tracking is a technique that allows email senders to track recipient behavior, such as click and open rates, number of downloads, and much more.
This information is vital for evaluating the effectiveness of an email campaign and making informed decisions about the subsequent actions for these contacts.
· How does email marketing software tracks click and open rates?
Once the email has been sent and delivered to the destination server if it has accepted it, how can we know that an email has been opened?
Most email marketing platforms will insert a small transparent image in the footer of the email, at the bottom of the message.
It is a small 1-pixel image (surely you are familiar with this name).
Since it is transparent, small, and added at the bottom of the email, it doesn’t affect the layout of the newsletter.
If you have worked with other online marketing campaigns, or if you are aware of the conversion tracking process, the concept of the conversion pixel is probably not new to you.
The way this image works is pretty much the same.
When the subscriber receives the email, the email client will download the content of the message to the server where the campaign is hosted as soon as the newsletter is opened.
Since the image is hosted on the email marketing tool’s servers, the request is logged, and we know that the image was downloaded by the subscriber in question, which will confirm that the email was opened.
► Each image is unique
The image included in each email is unique, and therefore each view can be securely associated with the subscriber.
Now that you understand how the process works, it would be better to address some questions that might arise.
· Doubts about tracking in mailings.
Many people need clarification about the accuracy of open rate reports.
The answer is that the number of openers will be correct, all of them because they have been reliably measured.
However, there is something else; there will be more openers that will not be taken into account.
Why does this happen?
Because if the recipient has not activated the option to display images by default in the email client, the file with the transparent image won’t be downloaded, so the system won’t be able to confirm the email was opened.
Therefore, there is always the possibility of more opens than the number of impressions counted by the email marketing software.
► Incorrect geographic location
This is another common question about email tracking.
Tools like Mailrelay provide information about the geographic location of subscribers. This information can be very useful, but sometimes it can be incorrect, and the reports can show geographic data that doesn’t correspond to the actual location of the subscribers.
Why does this happen?
The reality is that most of the time, this happens when we send emails to email clients such as Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo!
When we send messages to these email clients, it is common for them to store the images on their servers so that they load more quickly on the client’s computer, and to scan the email content for viruses.
This means that we will see information about the location of the servers that cached the images.
Unfortunately, this behavior can’t be avoided.
·Email tracking: Openers and unique openers
This is another aspect we need to be aware of concerning tracking the emails we send and the open rates.
Email marketing tools, such as Mailrelay, offer information on:
- Total number of times the email was opened
- And unique openers.
In the total open rate, we will find information about all the times the email marketing campaign was opened, including subscribers who opened the email more than once.
While unique opens will only add up to one view per subscriber. If a subscriber opens the email once, this data will be counted in the second report. However, if they open the email again, the number of total openers will increase, while the number of unique opens will not change.
Although not all email marketing tools separate this data, at Mailrelay, we believe it is important to split these reports. Therefore, in the advanced statistics, you will find the information separated.
· Don’t confuse open tracking with click tracking.
The tracking process for clickers is different since the system doesn’t need a unique image to identify clicks.
In the case of open rates, the subscriber’s email client can influence the result and the data obtained.
However, when we work with links, things change drastically.
Each link in the newsletter is replaced by a unique tracking link generated by the email marketing software.
When a subscriber clicks on this URL, this tracking link performs two tasks:
- First, it counts the click to update the statistics.
- And then, it redirects the visitor to the original link.
In this way, link tracking is more reliable than opens.
· In a nutshell
In this article, we have seen how the email tracking process works, how the email marketing tools generate the different reports that will be offered to their customers, how this process works, as well as its limitations.
This information will help you understand how the statistics of your email campaigns are generated.
We hope you found this short article useful.
Translated by Micheli.
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