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How to Use Email Analytics to Improve Your Email Design


There are a lot of ways to improve the designs of your email campaigns. The web is full of articles, techniques, webinars, and ebooks packed with recommendations on designing better email campaigns. But, sometimes, the best way to make your emails better is to block out all the external noise and look at some hard data.

Litmus Email Analytics provides that hard data. By digging into your email campaign’s performance, you can leverage subscriber insights to make improvements to your email’s design, kicking off a cycle of analysis and tweaks that will result in better performing emails and happier subscribers. Here’s how.

Using Engagement Data

Litmus Email Analytics goes beyond your typical open rate (although we have that, too). The engagement report gives you a better look at how your subscribers are interacting with your campaigns.

We break down engagement times based on how long subscribers have your email open. Engagement is bucketed into three categories:

  • Glanced/Deleted (less than 2 seconds)
  • Skim Read (2-8 seconds)
  • Read (more than 8 seconds)

Engagement data is further categorized by mobile and desktop opens, and can be seen aggregated in total or broken down by individual email clients.

While engagement data is fun to look at on its own, it’s extremely powerful when you start comparing data between campaigns side-by-side with the campaign designs.

Open up your last few campaigns in Litmus Proof or your inbox, along with their corresponding Email Analytics engagement reports. Look at the length of your campaigns, what kind of content and imagery is in each, and then compare the engagement reports.

If you notice that engagement drops off on longer email campaigns, that could be a sign that you need to cut content or redesign your emails for brevity. If you see that image-heavy emails get great engagement, you may want to invest in more illustrations and photography for future campaigns.

Your engagement report from Litmus becomes even more valuable when coupled with your email service provider’s click data. Combined, the two provide a detailed look at how subscribers read and interact with your emails.

For example, if you have a transactional email—like a password reset—that has low engagement times but high click rates, your email is doing its job well. But, if you have a product marketing email with high engagement times but low click rates, subscribers are probably spending time hunting around for your call-to-action. You may want to revisit your design and make your CTA clearer, so that subscribers spend less time in your email and more time on your product page.

Using Email Client Data

It’s no secret that every email client renders email differently, especially when it comes to differences between desktop and webmail clients and their mobile counterparts. Emails that look great on Apple Mail on a laptop can look completely broken in the Gmail app on Android.

Understanding where your subscribers open is the first step to ensuring your campaigns look great. And, as more subscribers move to mobile, the email client data in Litmus Email Analytics becomes increasingly important.

Email Analytics gives you a detailed view of where your subscribers are opening campaigns. You can quickly compare rendering engines, browsers, and environments to see what the majority of subscribers are using. And, you can dig deeper into individual email clients to see which versions of each they are using.

This data allows you to tailor your email design and development process to your subscribers preferences and prevent broken campaigns.

For example, if you know that the majority of your subscribers are opening on desktop versions of Microsoft Outlook, you may need to use more traditional email design approaches and Microsoft conditional comments (MSO) to keep emails looking good since most desktop Outlook clients use Microsoft Word to render campaigns.

Conversely, if most of your subscribers are opening in Apple Mail (desktop or mobile), you can code for the WebKit rendering engine, which has excellent support for more modern HTML and CSS. You can also safely use interactive email techniques to make your campaigns more engaging.

Curious how many subscribers will be able to take advantage of Google’s new, interactive AMP for Email initiative when it launches? Look at your Gmail opens. You can quickly check to see if it’s even worthwhile exploring before devoting valuable design and development resources to implementing Google’s new markup.

Litmus Email Analytics gives you the complete picture on where your subscribers are opening, giving you the best chance for designing and building robust campaigns that work in their preferred inboxes.

Using Geolocation Data

Where in the world subscribers are opening can be just as important to understand as which email client they are using. Litmus Email Analytics provides a comprehensive geolocation report to see where your subscribers are opening.

The world map provides a heat map-like view of opens by country. Darker regions correspond to areas with more opens, while lighter areas equal fewer opens. The table below the world map gives more detailed view of country-specific regions like state, province, and even cities.

Using this data, you can identify which regions need more considered approaches to email design. For example, if you see a large percentage of subscribers opening in the Middle East, you should ensure that you’re localizing your content for those subscribers. Using translation services, language-specific fonts, and code that properly formats text for right-to-left languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, or Urdu can help those subscribers better engage with your email campaigns.

Additionally, you can see how geolocation data corresponds to the open environment. Each region displays the percentage of opens on desktop, mobile, and webmail, allowing you to further tailor your design approach to each region.

Another great use for geolocation data is optimizing your campaign send times, something we’ve written about before. If you’re based in the United States but have a large subscriber base in Japan, it doesn’t make much sense to send campaigns when your subscribers are sleeping. Geolocation data allows you to see where your subscribers are, segment them, and use that data to send campaigns to subscribers when they’re most likely to be looking at their inbox.

You can even export all of your Litmus Email Analytics data for further exploration and use. Email Analytics reports are available as aggregate reports for Email Client, Engagement, and Activity data, or as Individual-Level data on a per-subscriber basis. By combining the data from Litmus Email Analytics with your ESP or subscriber database data, you can create extremely powerful segmentation and personalization rules, letting you optimize your campaigns like never before.

Improve Your Emails With Email Analytics

Go beyond opens and clicks and start improving your email campaigns with the most complete performance data available for email professionals. Start a free trial of Litmus today.

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