Email Analytics – how are you using them?

Email marketing has become vital to a marketer’s overall strategy. Whether you’re a business-to-business company selling a service, or a business-to-consumer company selling products, email marketing has truly changed the way we do business.

In previous posts, I’ve written about the importance of always testing your email, how media queries can help your email render on a wide variety of devices and that plain text should be included on every single email you deploy. I would like to elaborate on the theme here and talk about Email Analytics – metrics that can show you how engaged your customers are, which email client is being used most often, where your customers are when they open your emails and so on.

The company I work for uses Litmus to test email single email for spam filter behaviour and email client previews, which is a great way to better understand the content of particular emails. So it’s only fitting that today’s post is also bought to you by Litmus.com.

Did you know that you have the ability to check which email clients and apps your subscribers are using? This is a brilliant way to ensure your emails are displaying and being read on every device, and Litmus offers this function. However, as previously mentioned, there are so many email clients and apps that your subscribers could use – desktop, mobile, webmail clients, it’s an ever-growing, ever-changing list. Not to mention, multiple versions of each of these.

When using Litmus to get an idea of what your email will look like across different clients, it’s really important that the email is designed to render as accurately as possible. For example, you may have done some analysis in the past that shows most of your clients open emails on mobile and you’ve been able to narrow down certain types of mobile – iPhone 5, Samsung S3, maybe a Windows phone. Your email should reflect this – it should be mobile responsive. So when customers view in on their device, your email (using the CSS) will know the device isn’t as wide as a desktop computer and the email will stack so you are able to seamlessly scroll up and down without having to shrink the email to fit the screen size.

The screenshot below is one of the pieces of information that can be obtained by Litmus if you use email analytics:

Email Analytics

As you can see from this, there are multiple versions of Microsoft Outlook, going as far back as the version from 2000 and as recent as 2013. From previous experience, I know that there can be some slight differences in the way emails render in different versions of Outlook, so make sure you are testing thoroughly. If a colleague has an earlier version, send them a test and see what it looks like.

You can also use rendering engine data to see how your email will display in different clients across different browsers. We test to Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail in at least two different browsers and there have been times where we have spotted things that display great in one browser, but look very different in another. This is just another reason why you should ALWAYS test your emails!

Below is an example of an email where the Litmus Email Analytics were used to understand which particular browsers were used most often:

Rendering engines and browser usage

Of course, we know that mobile responsive templates are becoming more and more common – currently, about half of all emails are being opened on mobile devices. That’s huge! However, in saying that, you do need to know your audience better before deciding that a brand new, mobile responsive template is the way to go. If you don’t currently have one, doing some research as to how customers are viewing your emails will help you decide – see an example screenshot below. It shows that only 9% of customers viewed this particular email on mobile.

Reading environment

So if you’re keen to learn more about your customers, how they read your emails and from which clients, try the Litmus Email Analytics. It is a brilliant tool that can open up a world of possibilities for your email marketing strategy.

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