conversion-rateDr. Torsten Schwarz, a digital marketing expert of the first hour, has published an interesting study that deals with the analysis of which email metrics actually really matter.

"What really counts is the reach within a target group and the actual conversion rates", says the expert, explaining how this is all related and what the true benchmarks are in the following:

For the first time a study has been released, which does not look at average but median values. That’s important news because median values and quartiles better depict reality.

One quarter of email marketers even achieve 9.5%

The average click-through rate is 3.3%, but marketers are of course interested in how much is possible. According to Dr Torsten Schwarz, “every fourth email sender manages to seduce over 9.5 % of his recipients to click. This is the upper quartile value and we’ll get to how to achieve this later.”

The sad truth... that one quarter of email marketers don’t care at all who their recipients really are. Every fourth marketer sends such unattractive mailers that only every 500th recipient clicks on anything at all. This represents the lower quartile of the click-through rate, which is at 0.2 percent - and these are the ones who are responsible for the bad image of promotional emails.

Class is better than mass

Therefore, the more specific the content of an email is tailored to your target group and meets their interests, the higher the probability that someone clicks. If you systematically collect information on what really interests your recipients, you can make your emails more relevant. Of course this requires though, that you have a pool of various content bits which are relevant for the respective target groups.

Start with the basics: Segmenting by frequency

There are three categories of recipients: There is a group that clicks on anything with a certain regularity and there are many, however, who only read during the beginning of signing up to a newsletter but since then never again clicked on something. Find out through a reactivation campaign, what could again trigger interest in these people and try to keep them engaged.

The third group has clicked only once - namely to sign up in order to get into the distribution. Find out who these people are and why you do not reach them. If you cannot come up with anything that could get them engaged so they click on your mailer, separate yourself from these receivers. Announce the deletion several times and if they do not re-confirm or become more active, they shall be deleted from the list.

Continue with better content

As described previously, analyze your target groups and their interests, so you can think about a content segmentation, avoiding that way to send people information that is not relevant to them, besides increasing the likelihood that your emails are opened and clicked on.

Keep prospective customers and win new ones

The right frequency of your mailings is important to avoid losing valuable customers. If you send too frequently, the reporting rate increases and you have to expect losing 10% of your recipients this way. To compensate, you should try to gain new permanent addresses. But be careful: the more aggressively you go on hunting, the more you will reach those people who actually have no genuine interest in your products. That alone already justifies that you regularly clean your distribution list of non-clickers.

The share of active readers determines your visibility

At Facebook, an algorithm already decides which posts are displayed and which are not. Here, the proportion of active fans plays an important role. In the future this will also apply to emails: high click-through rates will be rewarded with more visibility.

The key is to tailor the emails and distribution lists with relevant and catchy content for the right target groups. Only this way we can stay relevant. It is often even better to delete recipients from the distribution list, if we cannot get them engaged or find out that we cannot offer what will get them engaged. The median gives us more relevant details than the averages, when it comes to analyzing good versus bad performance in email marketing. As such, this study is very relevant to improve the quality of email marketing.

By Roger Stadler