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Email Marketing Tips for Recruiters, Part 2 - Metrics

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00pm Sunday 23 August 2009    Print Article

Are you wasting your time sending email auto-responders to candidate or marketing campaigns or clients? In my previous blog post Email Marketing Tips for Recruiters, I provided some basic tips for recruiters on creating an effective email marketing campaign.

There is no point in using email as a marketing or communication tool, if you are not tracking or measuring the effectiveness of  this medium. Don't have the mindset "these are only transactional emails, we don't need to measure". All email marketing software programs should have the ability to manage, monitor and measure email campaigns.

If you think about the types of emails sent to candidates, most of these are stock standard (bland and BORING). These can include:
  • Application acknowledgement "Thank you for applying for this role"
  • Application rejection "Unfortunately you were not successful"
  • Application status "We are still processing applications"
  • Database update "Just touching base to see what you are doing"
  • Job Alert "A new job matching your search criteria has just been posted"
All these types of emails can (and should) be measured. By measuring your emails, you can use this information to change or tweak the message contents. I don't mean asking for a "read receipt", as most email readers can bypass this function.

To track open rates, HTML emails contain a 1x1 pixel invisible image. When a recipient enables images to display when they read the message, the sending servers are able to track when the image was displayed and by whom- this is the “open rate” information you see in your reports. When images are blocked, the “open” cannot be tracked.

Let's look at some metrics you can use to learn more about your email marketing activities. Most of these you will know already and some you will learn for the first time. I also suggest you have a read of a PDF report Email Marketing Metrics June 2009 which contains benchmark response rate comparisons, tips and tricks.
  • Total number of subscribers - The number of people currently on your list who have agreed to receive email from you.

  • Unsubscribers - The number of people who have asked to be removed from your list.  (% percentage/number of list, or since last campaign)

  • New Subscribers - The number of people you have added to your mailing list since your last mailing. (% percentage/number of list, or since last campaign)

  • Churn Rate - How many subscribers leave a mailing list (or how many email addresses go bad) over a certain length of time. (% percentage of the whole list or certain length of time)

  • Number of Emails Sent - The total number of emails you sent (number or % percentage of list)

  • Delivery Rate - The % percentage of messages delivered (not bounced) versus the total number of emails sent. A highly inexact number because not all receiving ISPs report accurately on which email didn't go through and why not.

  • Open Rate - The % percentage of users that open a email message versus the number of email messages sent or delivered depending on the criteria. An open is captured when a user downloads the 1x1 pixel. The open rate is considered a key metric for judging an email campaign's success, but it has several problems.

    The rate indicates only the number of emails opened from the total amount sent, not just those that were actually delivered. Opens also can't be calculated on text emails. Also, some email clients also users to scan message content without actually opening the message, which is falsely calculated as an open.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR) - The % percentage of users that click on a URL contained in the email message. This can be calculated using number of recipients that were scheduled, received the message, or opened the message. Some email marketing software programs define CTR differently. Ensure that the CTR is unique, meaning that each individual user is only counted once no matter how many times they click on a link. The higher the % the better!

  • Bounce - A message that doesn't get delivered promptly is said to have bounced. Emails can bounce for more than 30 reasons: the email address is incorrect or has been closed; the recipient's mailbox is full, the mail server is down, or the system detects spam or offensive content. Not all bounce messages are clear or accurate about the reason email was bounced. (% percentage of hard/soft bounce of sent emails)

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Article Tags: email marketing email marketing metrics email metrics tips glossary email bounce soft bounce hard bounce emarketing recruitment marketing email subscribers email unsubscribers bounce rate hard bounce soft bounce delivery rate open rate ctr click-through rate

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