Just because you have a lot of people on your email marketing list doesn’t mean you’ll sell more books. What matters is the quality of those subscribers. You don’t want to send emails to a thousand people who never buy your book but to 10 people who always will.
Fortunately, most email service providers maintain statistics to help you determine the success of your campaign and even who to delete from the list. Three numbers (or metrics) in those stats are key: open rate; click rate; and conversion rate.
The open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open your emails. If you send 10 emails with five people opening them (The other five may have deleted your email or sent it to spam, or perhaps no longer use that email address.), your open rate is 50 percent.
The usual open rate for most email marketing campaigns ranges from 16 to 22 percent, depending on the industry. In addition, the larger the list, the lower the click rate; that’s because the first few dozen people you get to join your email list are very interested in your books, but as the list expands so do the number of people who are only slightly interested. But larger lists usually give you a larger raw number of people who open your emails than does a smaller list.
If your open rate is below 16 percent, then you probably need to do a better job with your subject line. It simply wasn’t enticing enough to convince more people to open your email.
The click rate is the percentage of subscribers who click on your email’s links. This also is known as Click Through Rate or CTR. If you have 10 subscribers and only two click the links, your click rate is 20 percent.
A typical click rate is about 2 to 5 percent, depending on the industry. This number invariably is lower than your open rate and arguably more important. Yes, you want a lot of people to open your email, but more significantly, once they do you want them to click on your link.
A below average click rate indicates that the body of the email was subpar. It simply did not convince subscribers to take the next step of going to a page where they can buy your book, download a free copy, receive some free gift, or obtain whatever else you are offering.
The conversion rate is the actual number of people who take action – or do what you want them to do, such as buy your book or download a free copy – once they’ve clicked your link. If 10 people click your link but only three by your book, your conversion rate is 30 percent. Note that this rate is not dependent on your total number of subscribers.
In retail, a 3 percent conversion rate is the norm. So if you want to sell 100 books this weekend, you need to ensure that 3334 people click your link (as 3 percent of 3334 is 100). If your click rate is 5 percent, you then will need 66,680 subscribers to sell 100 books.
Should your rate be below that, then something about the landing page where your link took them is weak. For example, if the link goes to your book’s Amazon.com landing page, the synopsis there might be poorly written, the cover might look amateurish, or perhaps several bad reviews make the book appear as if it was poorly written.
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