In B2B emails, send doesn’t mean end. Once an email is delivered to the inboxes of relevant contacts, you need to assess how well the email performs — and use this data to fuel insights for future communications.
As with other inbound marketing efforts, the success of a B2B email is not built on a single metric, but rather multiple metrics. To get the biggest ROI on email marketing campaigns, you need to first know which metrics to track, and how to assess their performance.
High open rates will always be a positive indicator for B2B emails. But how a contact interacts with an email beyond that first click carries far greater weight. Every B2B email is crafted with the intention of a desired action, whether it’s to compel recipients to download a new eBook or sign up for training courses online. This requires interactions within the email.
According to HubSpot, the average email click-through rate (CTR) across industries is around 3.5%. If you notice a lower CTR for your B2B emails, here are some factors to consider:
The answers to these questions can offer guidance on ways to improve your click-through rate and get the most traction from your email marketing.
It’s one thing to attract the attention of your audience with a B2B email; it’s another to build a case to convert. While the conversion point will vary between emails, getting email recipients to complete the desired action directly reflects the extent to which you’ve achieved your end goals. This could be to move prospects down the sales pipeline or re-engage with existing customers.
In terms of benchmarks, email conversion rate varies quite a bit based on industries as well as the type of email. With the goal of boosting your current conversion rate, consistency is an important consideration. The messaging and design of your B2B email should coincide with what’s found on the page linked to by your CTA. In other words, contacts should know they’re in the right place and have a clear way to find what they want —no sifting needed.
Not every B2B email makes it to the inbox of intended recipients. In some cases, a temporary issue like a full inbox or too large of a file may be to blame — what’s known as a soft bounce. In other cases, the reason is permanent, whether it’s an invalid email address or one that doesn’t exist — what’s known as a hard bounce.
While these two types of bounces may call for different solutions, they both require the attention of digital marketers. If email bounce rates remain high, internet service providers (ISPs) like Google and Yahoo may start to mark your emails as spam or block them altogether. As a point of reference, most ISPs want email bounce rates to be less than 2%.
One of the most effective ways to lower your email bounce rate is to remove hard bounce email addresses from your subscriber list on an ongoing basis. For soft bounces, undelivered emails can be re-sent. However, if the problem persists, it’s best to remove these email addresses from your subscriber list as well.
Brand visibility doesn’t have to stop with email recipients. If readers see educational or entertainment value in a B2B email, they may feel inclined to share the message with others. The email recipient becomes a brand advocate, and the path to creating a new contact is formed.
Like click-through rates, email forwarding rates vary widely based on industry and email type. For instance, email messages centered around events, useful news or a content piece are more likely to be shared. If you notice a higher forward rate for a particular email type — let’s say case studies, for example — it’s a sign that this email type resonates with your audience (and their network) and should be integrated into future B2B email marketing campaigns. In HubSpot, forwarded emails appear as multiple opens under the same contact.
As with other marketing efforts, a lot of data surrounds the performance of B2B emails. Rather than get lost in a sea of percentages, focus your efforts on tracking the metrics that matter most. You’ll gain valuable insights faster and see a bigger impact from your efforts.