If You're New to Email Marketing, Start By Tracking This One Metric to Grow Your List

Conversion Rate Optimization, Email Marketing, Google Analytics, Marketing Metrics

If You're New to Email Marketing, Start By Tracking This One Metric to Grow Your List

Conversion Rate Optimization, Email Marketing, Google Analytics, Marketing Metrics

Tracking business metrics is a challenge – for pretty much everyone.

First, you've got the whole busy thing going on and doing something like tracking data consistently isn't going to make most people's top 10 list of fun business activities.

Second, metrics might not be your strong suit. And it's human nature to avoid tasks that we don't feel competent with or understand.

Tracking business metrics is a challenge – for pretty much everyone.

First, you've got the whole busy thing going on and doing something like tracking data consistently isn't going to make most people's top 10 list of fun business activities.

Second, metrics might not be your strong suit. And it's human nature to avoid tasks that we don't feel competent with or understand.

But those 2 reasons aren't enough to have you avoid metrics all together.

Certain business metrics will help your business grow and that's important for all of us, regardless of math aptitude.

Today, I want to walk you through one metric you can start tracking right away. It's a number that will help you improve your email marketing, especially if you're still building up that list.

The metric is your website visitor to email list conversion rate. This number will let you know at what rate people sign up for your list out of all the traffic you're currently seeing to your site.

I know you may be thinking, but aren't there like a zillion other email marketing metrics I should be tracking, too?

And yes, yes there are. But finding out and working on your website conversion rate is usually issue #1 for most people and when you try to do too much, nothing gets done.

So let's focus on this one metric first. Here's a bit of background as to why.

Each email marketing metric, things like: list growth rate, open rates, click through rates, subscriber to customer conversion are important but where you focus is related to where you are in your business and your current goals.

If you're new to business or just don't have any traction, traffic or audience you're really in a awareness/reach building phase. This involves getting you on people's radar and them onto your list so you can deepen your relationship with them and build trust over time.

To that end, we want to work on list building big time at this stage in your biz and visitor to subscriber conversion rate is going to help you do that.

Why conversion improvement comes before traffic generation

When you're in the awareness phase and trying to get in front of eyeballs, traffic seems like the best and only answer.

But it's critical to do some work to improve your website's conversion rate before going crazy with traffic generation.

If your website isn't converting visitors to subscribers well, you're essentially wasting a good amount of your marketing time and money.

It's like pouring water into a leaky bucket. No matter how fast or how much you pour, water's still coming out the bottom. By taking time to fill the holes before you pour the water in, will get you further ahead.

You don't want to pour traffic into a leaky website.

YOUR LIST IS ABOUT MORE THAN SALES

Most people need multiple points of contact with your business in order to buy from you. The more expensive or complex the product – the longer their decisions are going to take.

Continued communication and the opportunity to deepen relationships are reasons #1 and #2 why you need people on your list.

Being able to communicate with your audience and potential customers will also show you if you need to work on different areas of your business like marketing messages (communicating your understanding of people's internal and external struggles) or your business model.

Until we're talking to real people, we're just (educated) guessing.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WEBSITE TO EMAIL CONVERSION RATE

This is where things get a bit technical, but stay with me, you only have to do this once.

I'm also making the assumption here that you've already installed Google Analytics on your website. If you haven't, follow your website platforms instructions on how to best accomplish that.

HERE'S THE BRIEF OVERVIEW FOLLOWED BY MORE DETAILED STEP BY STEP.

  1. Set up a thank you page on your website.
  2. Set up your email service provider to redirect people to this new thank you page once they subscribe to your list.
  3. Set up a “Goal” in Google Analytics that records the number of people who land on the thank you page – this is your conversion rate to email subscriber!
  4. Create a recurring measurement & improvement routine so you're tracking changes in your conversion rate over time.

Step 1: Start by creating a thank you page that people are redirected to after a successful email sign up.

This page is set up like any other page on your site. Add some content to that page to prompt people to check their email to confirm their subscription.

Your conversion goal is going to measure how many people land on this thank you page.

Step 2: Add a redirect rule to your email service provider to ensure that people who sign up using your form, get redirected to your thank you page.

Now every email service provider does this a bit different so check the support documents but here's where you complete this in two popular providers, Mailchimp and ConvertKit.

mailchimp-thank-you

In Mailchimp, you'll find the redirect under Signup Forms (the General Forms section) and then Confirmation thank you page. Just fill in the blank with your thank you page URL and save.

convertkit-thank-you

In ConvertKit, you'll find the redirect under Forms, then Settings and you have to toggle the radio button to Redirect to another page. Paste your thank you page URL in the blank and save the form.

If you're using software like OptinMonster or Popup Ally, your thank you page redirects can be handled through that software as well.

Step 3: Set up a goal in Google Analytics that records the number of people who land on the thank you page.

Login to your Google Analytics account.

Navigate to Admin at the top of the screen, then Goals on the right hand side.

goals-1

Click on +New Goal to create your first goal.

new-goal

Next, choose “Custom” in Goal setup and click continue.

custom

Now, name your goal so you'll recognize it later and then select “Destination” as your Goal Type before continuing.

goal-name

In Goal Details, enter in the thank you page URL you created in Step 1 of this how-to.

verify

You only enter in the last part of the URL, Google Analytics knows the first part is your website's address.

If your thank you page has been around for awhile, you can click “Verify this Goal” to see if the system is working. If your thank you page is brand new, you can check back once someone has signed up to verify.

You'll now be able to save your goal and it will appear in your Goal list. Do a quick double check that the Recording field is “on” so you'll see the results in your Google Analytics Reports.

recording

Step 4: Create a recurring measurement routine so you're tracking changes in your conversion rate over time.

The whole point of setting up your conversion rate tracking is to improve it. Not just set it up!

Tracking business metrics is a challenge – for pretty much everyone.

First, you've got the whole busy thing going on and doing something like tracking data consistently isn't going to make most people's top 10 list of fun business activities.

Second, metrics might not be your strong suit. And it's human nature to avoid tasks that we don't feel competent with or understand.

Tracking business metrics is a challenge – for pretty much everyone.

First, you've got the whole busy thing going on and doing something like tracking data consistently isn't going to make most people's top 10 list of fun business activities.

Second, metrics might not be your strong suit. And it's human nature to avoid tasks that we don't feel competent with or understand.

But those 2 reasons aren't enough to have you avoid metrics all together.

Certain business metrics will help your business grow and that's important for all of us, regardless of math aptitude.

Today, I want to walk you through one metric you can start tracking right away. It's a number that will help you improve your email marketing, especially if you're still building up that list.

The metric is your website visitor to email list conversion rate. This number will let you know at what rate people sign up for your list out of all the traffic you're currently seeing to your site.

I know you may be thinking, but aren't there like a zillion other email marketing metrics I should be tracking, too?

And yes, yes there are. But finding out and working on your website conversion rate is usually issue #1 for most people and when you try to do too much, nothing gets done.

So let's focus on this one metric first. Here's a bit of background as to why.

Each email marketing metric, things like: list growth rate, open rates, click through rates, subscriber to customer conversion are important but where you focus is related to where you are in your business and your current goals.

If you're new to business or just don't have any traction, traffic or audience you're really in a awareness/reach building phase. This involves getting you on people's radar and them onto your list so you can deepen your relationship with them and build trust over time.

To that end, we want to work on list building big time at this stage in your biz and visitor to subscriber conversion rate is going to help you do that.

Why conversion improvement comes before traffic generation

When you're in the awareness phase and trying to get in front of eyeballs, traffic seems like the best and only answer.

But it's critical to do some work to improve your website's conversion rate before going crazy with traffic generation.

If your website isn't converting visitors to subscribers well, you're essentially wasting a good amount of your marketing time and money.

It's like pouring water into a leaky bucket. No matter how fast or how much you pour, water's still coming out the bottom. By taking time to fill the holes before you pour the water in, will get you further ahead.

You don't want to pour traffic into a leaky website.

YOUR LIST IS ABOUT MORE THAN SALES

Most people need multiple points of contact with your business in order to buy from you. The more expensive or complex the product – the longer their decisions are going to take.

Continued communication and the opportunity to deepen relationships are reasons #1 and #2 why you need people on your list.

Being able to communicate with your audience and potential customers will also show you if you need to work on different areas of your business like marketing messages (communicating your understanding of people's internal and external struggles) or your business model.

Until we're talking to real people, we're just (educated) guessing.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WEBSITE TO EMAIL CONVERSION RATE

This is where things get a bit technical, but stay with me, you only have to do this once.

I'm also making the assumption here that you've already installed Google Analytics on your website. If you haven't, follow your website platforms instructions on how to best accomplish that.

HERE'S THE BRIEF OVERVIEW FOLLOWED BY MORE DETAILED STEP BY STEP.

  1. Set up a thank you page on your website.
  2. Set up your email service provider to redirect people to this new thank you page once they subscribe to your list.
  3. Set up a “Goal” in Google Analytics that records the number of people who land on the thank you page – this is your conversion rate to email subscriber!
  4. Create a recurring measurement & improvement routine so you're tracking changes in your conversion rate over time.

Step 1: Start by creating a thank you page that people are redirected to after a successful email sign up.

This page is set up like any other page on your site. Add some content to that page to prompt people to check their email to confirm their subscription.

Your conversion goal is going to measure how many people land on this thank you page.

Step 2: Add a redirect rule to your email service provider to ensure that people who sign up using your form, get redirected to your thank you page.

Now every email service provider does this a bit different so check the support documents but here's where you complete this in two popular providers, Mailchimp and ConvertKit.

mailchimp-thank-you

In Mailchimp, you'll find the redirect under Signup Forms (the General Forms section) and then Confirmation thank you page. Just fill in the blank with your thank you page URL and save.

convertkit-thank-you

In ConvertKit, you'll find the redirect under Forms, then Settings and you have to toggle the radio button to Redirect to another page. Paste your thank you page URL in the blank and save the form.

If you're using software like OptinMonster or Popup Ally, your thank you page redirects can be handled through that software as well.

Step 3: Set up a goal in Google Analytics that records the number of people who land on the thank you page.

Login to your Google Analytics account.

Navigate to Admin at the top of the screen, then Goals on the right hand side.

goals-1

Click on +New Goal to create your first goal.

new-goal

Next, choose “Custom” in Goal setup and click continue.

custom

Now, name your goal so you'll recognize it later and then select “Destination” as your Goal Type before continuing.

goal-name

In Goal Details, enter in the thank you page URL you created in Step 1 of this how-to.

verify

You only enter in the last part of the URL, Google Analytics knows the first part is your website's address.

If your thank you page has been around for awhile, you can click “Verify this Goal” to see if the system is working. If your thank you page is brand new, you can check back once someone has signed up to verify.

You'll now be able to save your goal and it will appear in your Goal list. Do a quick double check that the Recording field is “on” so you'll see the results in your Google Analytics Reports.

recording

Step 4: Create a recurring measurement routine so you're tracking changes in your conversion rate over time.

The whole point of setting up your conversion rate tracking is to improve it. Not just set it up!

Rita Barry

Rita Barry is a marketing measurement and paid traffic specialist who helps online entrepreneurs understand how their marketing is driving sales so they can sell more. You can learn more about her here.

Rita Barry

Rita Barry is a marketing measurement and paid traffic specialist who helps online entrepreneurs understand how their marketing is driving sales so they can sell more. You can learn more about her here.