Where Does Your Marketing Email Click? An Eye-Popping Report

This post is for businesses that want to understand where their marketing emails end up after they’ve been sent – particularly those that want to know if their emails reach their intended recipients. Some marketing emails, particularly those that are sent via non-Prospect toolbars and apps, can be hidden from site viewers because they may not have the necessary cookies enabled to see the content (i.e. they’re blocked by default). Thus, it’s possible that a business’ marketing emails won’t even be seen by those that they’re intended to reach. To learn more, check out this eye-popping report from Returnly. You’ll see a complete walkthrough of a marketing email’s lifecycle, from getting sent to a business’ recipient to subsequently being read and acted upon.

Getting To The Point

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, it’s important to note a few things about this article. First, Returnly only provides analysis of marketing emails that were sent via online interfaces – such as those provided by Google, MailChimp, and HubSpot. Second, Returnly provides analysis of emails that were sent between February 1st and April 30th this year. Finally, this article focuses specifically on email opens and clicks – i.e. it doesn’t look into other aspects of an email’s performance (like delivery rates or unsubscribe requests) – though these metrics will be covered in future articles.

Marketing Email Lifecycle In General

Let’s take a step back and look at how email marketing works in general. Once a business has registered with a marketing email provider (like Returnly), they can send emails to certain recipient lists. These emails will then be distributed (typically via an automated process) to a variety of platforms – like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL – for delivery to end users. From a business’ perspective, this is a largely automated process where they don’t need to do much to get their messages out there to the right people (though they can make further tweaks to the email’s content and design).

The key takeaway from this is that the more an email’s subject line and content relate to a business’ products or services, the better. By extension, similar subjects and content in unrelated emails will probably have little effect – if any at all. For example, if a business’ email marketing strategy includes sending out transactional emails about discounts and special offers, those that receive such emails will probably not be interested in hearing about a new restaurant or hotel that the business owns or operates.

Making Connections

Now let’s dive into how Returnly determines whether a particular email actually reached its recipient (i.e. whether the recipient opened the email and acted on it). To do this, Returnly looks into several factors, including the email’s subject line, personalization, and link analysis.

The first factor they examine is the email’s subject line. If an email’s subject line is relevant to a business’ products or services, they will probably have a higher open and click-through-rate. For instance, an email subject line such as “How to Properly Store Winter Clothing” will have a much higher opening and click-through rate than one that simply says “Fashion Tips.”

The next factor that Returnly examines is email personalization. Depending on a business’ approach, they may want to send different emails to different groups of recipients. To do this, they will want to look into different options for Personalized Address Books (PABs). For example, the PABs that come with Gmail and other webmail services enable businesses to customize the content of their emails based on information from the recipient’s email inbox. This information can include things like the sender’s name and the date the email was received.

One of the most advanced options is dynamic email personalization, which takes into account information that’s already been entered into the recipient’s email account – like their name, mailing address, mobile phone number, and email inbox history.

When a business customizes an email’s content based on personal information stored in a recipient’s account, it’s often referred to as Account-Based Email (ABE). This method improves a business’ email marketing effectiveness by making irrelevant emails disappear from the recipient’s inbox. When a user opens an ABE-marked email, their email client (like Gmail) will automatically fill in the necessary contact information so the business can send additional messages to the user without having to manually enter the data.

Why Business Email Opens And Clicks Are Important

When a business sends out marketing emails, they’re essentially trying to make connections with potential customers. To do this, they need to provide value to the reader by making relevant content that’s easy to understand and compelling. Using data from Returnly, we can see that the simpler the better. In general, simpler subject lines, fewer words per line, and more concise wording all lead to higher opening rates and click-through rates.

One of the best practices for increasing the opening rates and clicks of an email is to hyperlink the email’s content in some way – either through a link in the body of the email or in the email’s subject line. When a reader clicks on a link, they’re taken to another website or app where they can learn more about the topic the business is trying to promote. In some cases, this might even lead to a purchase.

In addition to opening rates and clicks, Returnly examines two other important metrics for an email’s success: bounces and click-throughs. A bounce is when a user tries to open an email and they’re automatically directed to a “spam” or “junk mail” folder. A click-through is when a user actually clicks on a hyperlinked element (like a text link, image, or video) contained in an email.

As you’d expect, these three metrics – opening rates, bounces, and click-throughs – have a direct correlation to one another. Generally speaking, as an email’s opening rate and click-through rate increase, its bounce rate will decrease. This is primarily because as the email’s recipient gets more comfortable with the notion of receiving unsolicited emails, they’ll be less likely to hit the delete button and start over again.

It’s also important to note that some recipients might perceive an email as “spam” if the subject line or content is too similar to previous emails they’ve received from the same business. Since spamming is considered to be a major black mark on a business’ ethics, it’s unwise to use overly similar subject lines or contents when sending email marketing campaigns – especially if the goal is to make connections with potential customers.

Where Do My Email Marketing Messages Go?

Returnly’s goal is to provide businesses with actionable insights into their email marketing performance so they can improve their results. To that end, they’ve created a free tool (available at https://www.returnly.com/tools/open-click) that shows businesses where their email marketing messages – particularly those that were sent via non-Prospect toolbars and apps – end up after they’ve been sent.

This report, which looks into a marketing email’s success based on the recipient’s web browser, can help businesses understand their email marketing’s effectiveness. Using a combination of web server logs, email tracking tools, and other data points, Returnly is able to determine where and how a particular email was opened and acted upon. Furthermore, this tool allows businesses to keep track of their open-rate trends over time so they can see how their prospective customers are responding to their emails and determine if changes need to be made.

One of the most valuable resources that Returnly offers is the capability to see a business’ entire email marketing strategy in one place. This is a vital tool for businesses that want to understand the relationship between their various email campaigns and marketing initiatives.

How This Analysis Differs From Other Reports

There are several things to note about this particular analysis from Returnly. First, since it only looks at a business’ email marketing performance in terms of opens, clicks, and bounces, it doesn’t factor in other metrics like delivery rates or open-implemented unsubscribe requests. Second, it only examines email campaigns that were sent between February 1st and April 30th this year – though it does track email opens and clicks from January 2020 to February 2021.

Third, this report doesn’t examine whether or not a business’ marketing emails were effective in selling a product or service. This is because the goal of a business’ email marketing is not to sell a product or service, but to make connections and generate leads that eventually turn into transactions and brand loyalty. To put it simply, this report looks into the success of a business’ email marketing campaign in terms of getting the word out there and having interested parties click on links (or perform other actions) that take them to different pages or platforms.

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