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How to Use Email Analytics to Inform Your Marketing Strategy

Email plays a critical role in your marketing mix—and not just because it provides a 36:1 ROI.

You can also use email to inform the rest of your marketing strategy.

In this blog, I’ll answer the following questions:

Let’s get started!

How can email inform your marketing strategy?

While it’s only one part of a holistic marketing strategy, email can be a key lever. Here’s why:

Email marketing captures first-party data.

As privacy measures become increasingly restrictive, leaning on owned channels like email will be critical. Your email programs can provide valuable insights into what content people are engaging with, as well as when and where they’re engaging with your communications.

Just how click rates can give valuable insight on what’s resonating most with your subscribers, keeping a close eye on engagement metrics and trends within your program can inform your strategy at large.

Email is a great channel for message testing.

Whether you’re experimenting with emojis or exploring different ways to frame an offer, email offers the ability to A/B test (or split test) and determine what resonates best with your audience. With email, you’re able to set up exact testing parameters, which isn’t necessarily the case with other channels.

Where your subscribers are reading email provides critical insights that impact the overall customer experience.

Perhaps the most useful information you can glean from Litmus Email Analytics is device data. Are your subscribers reading on a desktop or mobile? Depending on where they’re viewing your emails, this impacts your entire customer journey.

Let’s say you’re sending a promotional email, and a subscriber reads it on your phone. That likely means they’re clicking over to your website, your shopping cart, etc. all on a mobile device. Is that experience optimized for mobile? If not, your conversions will take a hit.

Device data can help you focus on optimizing for where your prospects and customers are engaging with your business.

What kind of data will you find in Litmus Email Analytics?

Litmus Email Analytics is not meant to replace data from your email service provider (ESP). Email Analytics offers additional insights to supplement the data you’re probably already collecting and reporting on.

Here’s what you’ll find in Email Analytics:

Open rate data

Email Analytics open data includes total opens and reliable opens. Reliable opens removes inflated opens impacted by Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP).

Read time

Read time tells you whether a subscriber read, skimmed, or merely glanced at your email. This can help you understand how engaged your audience is with different types of campaigns. Combine read time data with email client and device insights to see how the reading environment may impact engagement.

Top email clients

See which email clients your subscribers are reading in so you can optimize your email designs and focus your QA process.

Top reading environments

Improve email and web design by understanding whether people are looking at your emails on desktop, mobile, or webmail.

Dark Mode usage

Get insight into what percentage of your audience is reading your emails in Dark Mode to inform your design.

Individual-level data

Email Analytics allows you to drill into individual-level data, which can be helpful if you’re running a campaign to target certain people. For example, we once noticed engagement was down for our subscribers reading in Gmail, so we used individual-level data to target an engagement campaign to this audience.

Screenshot of Updated Metrics

Why use Email Analytics and not just benchmarks?

While benchmarks can be helpful to understand what’s happening in your industry, they’re not unique to you. Email Analytics gives you insight into your unique audience.

For example, with the release of Apple Mail Privacy Protection, email marketers have been understandably concerned about inflated opens. Email Client Market Share shows it’s the top email client—but right now, it’s only impacting about 13% of our list. While we want to be mindful of this change and keep tabs on it, it’s not something that’s heavily impacting our subscribers. Personalized insights help you focus on what matters most to your email program at this time.

Email Analytics lets you see which content is most engaging.

When you’re developing your content strategy, where do you look to determine what content has been successful? We usually look at blog views, content downloads, and social performance. But email can play a role here, too.

For example, last year, we noticed we were getting a ton of engagement with Dark Mode content in our emails. Because of this, we created the Ultimate Guide to Dark Mode Email, which has been one of our top-performing content pieces over the last year.

Understand your segments and campaign performance.

Use Email Analytics to determine nuances in content, messaging, and design between audiences. Are prospects more likely to engage with short-form emails, while customers are more likely to engage with longer emails? Email Analytics can help you answer that question.

It can also help you look at differences in campaigns. Email Analytics allows you to tag emails to view at an aggregate level. See how an individual campaign or series of emails performed compared to other campaigns. You can also use this view to compare emails side-by-side.

Take a deeper look at how your email cadence impacts engagement.

Often, we determine if we’re emailing too much by a decrease in opens. But with the arrival of Apple Mail Privacy Protection (and its impact of inflated opens) and email clients that auto-open emails (like Outlook), open rate is no longer a reliable metric to discern if we’re sending too many emails.

Email Analytics can help you find a marketing rhythm that keeps your audience engaged.

Enrich other data with Email Analytics.

Export Email Analytics data to mesh with other email, product, and website data. This holistic view can help you identify areas of drop-off and friction in the customer experience.

How do I get started with Email Analytics?

Getting started with Email Analytics is easy. Navigate to the Analyze tab in Litmus, then select Create tracking code from the slider menu.

Name your analytics code, select your ESP, and include a merge tag (if you want to capture individual-level data). On the next screen, you can set an expiration date, email type (i.e., marketing or transactional), custom parameters, and tags. Then, copy and paste the snippet provided before the closing body tag of your email’s HTML.

It’s that simple. Whether you create a tracking code for each email or use the same one for a full campaign is up to you, and depends on how granular you want to get in your reporting.

Once your tracking code is collecting data, you’ll see the results in the Tracking Code Manager section of Email Analytics. (To learn how to read through your results, check out this helpful video.)

Happy tracking!

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