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What Your Email Stats Can Tell You About Your Customers

There's a lot of helpful information about your customers lurking in your email stats — your open rates, your click-through-rates and your unsubscribe rates. Here's how to unpack that data and use it to better understand your customer.

Alison Martin
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Man checking email on laptop
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Your email data may be one of the most useful marketing tools hiding in plain sight. By going through it regularly, you can learn so much about your customers' habits, interests and preferences, which will help you better tailor your email marketing strategy and make more sales.

So how do you make sense of the data your email campaigns are giving you? Read on to learn how to decode your email stats and use them to help your business better serve your customers.

The best time to reach customers

You have so many customers who do all different types of work. So how can you possibly know when is the best time to send them an email so that you have the best chance of them opening and reading your message?

The answer lies in the open rates of your email stats. The open rate tells you what percentage of your subscribers opened your email. The time and day you send your emails on could affect this number. For example, most people check their emails when they first sit down to work in the morning, so 9 a.m. is usually a good time to send emails. On the flip side, Friday afternoon emails may be a bad idea because most people have already checked out and are ready to go relax over the weekend.

If you're not sure when is the best time to reach your customers, a little A/B testing will help you out. Divide your subscriber list in half and send the same email to each group at different times of the day or on different days of the week (test one or the other at a time). Whichever email comes back with more opens will be the better time or day to reach your customers. Do a few rounds of A/B testing to make sure your results are accurate, and then start sending emails at that time or day each week.

The best content for customers

Your click-through rate tells you how many people clicked on your email and went directly to your website. By monitoring it, you can see which types of content (blog post, product feature, sale, etc.) compel subscribers to click and visit your website. 

Engagement is a key factor in lead nurturing. Your subscribers are your leads — they've already demonstrated their interest in your business by giving you their email addresses — so now it's up to you to nurture or continue contacting them and letting them know more about your business. More specifically, you should be demonstrating through your emails why buying furniture or lighting from you is better than buying from your competitors. Nurturing your leads keeps your business in the back of your subscribers' minds as they continue with their buying decision.

If you're not sure what your customers like, try testing out different styles of emails and see which one gets the most clicks. If you send out weekly emails, focus one on a new blog post, and next week, focus on a product or style of products. After you send them out, wait about a week and check the stats. If one has significantly better click-through rates, then you can focus your time and efforts on creating more of the successful content.

The right amount of contact

There's a fine line between just enough contact and too much contact from a business, and it's a tough one to walk. You want to keep your business in the minds of customers, but not at a rate which sends them unsubscribing from your emails.

That's why monitoring your unsubscribe rate is so important. It can tell you when you're being a little too enthusiastic and need to pull back. If your unsubscribe rate is already low, try adding an additional email here and there to test the waters with your customers. It may be that you haven't yet crossed that over-enthusiastic line just yet, and your customers wouldn't mind hearing from you just a bit more.


Readers, tell us: How are you using your email data to help your business? Share with us in the comments!


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