Video 80: Email Marketing – What You Can Track In Your Campaigns

May 20, 2011 . 6 minute read | Posted by akassover EmailInsurance Agent WebsitesVideos


Hello, it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods talking about insurance agent websites.  Now, this is my 80th video.  I’ve been doing these once a day, Monday through Friday, for four months now; hard to believe.  I’m going to do 100 of these, and so I have four more weeks left, 20 more videos.  So I thought I’d start today by bringing this up, but if there is a question that you want me to talk about, if there’s something that you are interested in learning about insurance websites, if there’s something you’ve been wondering, if there’s a video that I’ve done in the past that you want more detail on, now’s the time to let me know.  And you can either put a comment in the videos or send me an email at aaron at, and let me know what you want to hear so I can make sure I cover it in the next four weeks before this adventure is over.  So take a few seconds and do that.

Now, onto today’s topic—we’re talking about email marketing.  And yesterday, I talked about the components of an email campaign, and today I wanted to go over just kind of quickly what you can track in an email.

*And there are just a few things that you get metrics on.  One of the great things about email marketing is that when you send a campaign out, you get a bunch of data back on what works and what doesn’t.  And so you can really use email marketing as a way to get a lot of insight into your audience, what they’re interested in, what they respond to, and you can really granularly see what is producing results and what’s not.  But there are a few things that you can track and there are some other things that you can’t.  So I’m just going to go over the things that you can track. *

The first thing you’ll see is the bounce rate of an email.  And generally a bounce will happen because you have bad email address.  If you maybe bought an email address or you bought a list and you got some bad ones, or maybe somebody changed email providers, changed jobs, you’ll see those emails just bounce.  Sometimes if you’re blacklisted, if you’re on a spam list, people that subscribe to the spam list will just do a hard bounce for all emails that come in and they’ll just send them back to that spam provider.  So if you see that there’s a sudden jump in your bounce rate, it might mean because you’re walking that threshold of getting blacklisted because of sending out too much spam or too many spam reports.  So that’s bounce rate.

The second thing is your open rate, and open rate is a little bit deceiving.  It’s not exact.  The way that open rates are counted is that when you open an email, a file is downloaded from the server that sent the email out, a small file, and it just counts those downloads.  Now, sometimes that file gets caches on the internet, or sometimes people have those files turned off, so you can’t see those opens.  So use open rate as a grain of salt.  You may also see one person opens up an email multiple times really quickly, and that’s just because they’re paging through their email or the way their system’s working, it’s just grabbing that file a bunch of times and getting counted, over-counted.  So open rate is a good way to sort of compare campaign to campaign, but I wouldn’t bet your life on a specific open rate.  Use it as sort of an indicator.

*Click-through rate is when somebody clicks on a link in the campaign.  And this, you actually can track very specifically because the way that click-through rate is calculated is links are redirected through a counter before they get to the final website.  So if you click on a link in an email, it goes through a counter, the counter counts the click-through as who clicked through, and then moves them on to the webpage.  And so you really can be very specific about click-through rates.  They will show you what link on a page a person click-through, even if you have multiple links, maybe there’s a big bold link and then there’s one in some text if they go to the same page, you can still see which of those links they click-through, and, generally, your email service provider, email marketing provider will make sure that those tracking linking are unique to every recipient, so you can even see not just what the click-through rate is, but who clicked through.  And so this is really cool if you send a campaign out to go and look at your prospects, maybe it’s about life insurance, you can see who clicked, and then you might make a note to call those people because you know they have some interest here.  So you can use click-through rates to get a lot of data back on selling, and I really recommend watching that closely. *

And the last thing you’ll see email providers give you is a forward rate, a percent of people who forward to a friend.  And this is another one that you really need to take with a grain of salt because they usually will have a button at the bottom of the email that says forward to a friend, so they can click on that button and go and type in their friend’s email address.  Most people don’t do that.  I don’t do that.  Most people just click on the forward button in their email and then put in their friend’s address and off it goes.  If they click on the forward button on their email, that doesn’t get counted; only the ones that click on the “forward to a friend” in the footer or somewhere in the email body.  So forward rate is one that is sort of artificially low, whereas open rate might be artificially high.

So those are the main stats you’re going to see.  You can use this data to get a lot of insight into what’s working with your email campaigns, how to improve them, and like I said, the click-through rate, you can even make yourself a little list of what prospects you should call because you might have a sale waiting in that click-through rate data.

That’s what I’ve got for insurance websites and insurance email marketing.  I will have more on this on Monday.  Thank you for watching.