If you’re a regular on the Whereoware blog (and we hope you are!), you’ll notice we write about Google Analytics each month to help you make sense of all that important data. Google Analytics is a free tool that measures a zillion things about our website traffic, mobile audience, and engagement levels, but it isn’t the only analytics tool available.
Litmus.com is a paid tool that allows you to check how an email will look across desktop and mobile devices and email service providers (ESPs). Today, we dive into Litmus Email Analytics – an awesome feature that measures opened emails’ performance.
Litmus Analytics is extremely visual and uses straight forward, non-technical terminology. A newbie can review their Litmus Analytics dashboard and gain immediate understanding of how recipients interact with their emails. The analytics data is broken up into three groups – Engagement, Email Clients, and Geolocation. The Summary dashboard shows quick stats, like how many people opened, forwarded, or printed your email, and a high level view of the Engagement and Email Clients reports.
Just like most ESPs, Litmus Analytics tracking code is based on image bug loading – when a person opens your email, the image bug is loaded, which counts as an email open. For this reason, the code cannot track behavior data if your recipients don’t open the email or enable images. Litmus has tested the code across tens of thousands of email recipients and across every major client, and the addition of the tracking code doesn’t negatively impact your email’s deliverability or how it looks across email clients.
The Engagement report measures how recipients interact with your email. The Total Engagement chart provides a visual graph and statistics on how many email openers read, skim/read, or glanced/deleted your email. Read is defined as spending 8+ seconds on your email, skim/read is more than 2, but less than 8 seconds, and glanced/deleted means the recipient spent less than 2 seconds with your email. The same data is broken down further into mobile and desktop engagement and by email client.
Use this information to determine whether your content and subject line is interesting to recipients, or whether you should focus more time on providing customers a better mobile experience.
The Email Client report breaks down the clients used to open your email and ranks their popularity. Similarly, the Rendering Engines graph ranks the popularity of the rendering engines (used to power email clients). The Browser Usage report details the browsers recipients use to view your email; and the Reading Environment report provides statistics on the popularity of different environments, such as web-based email clients (Gmail, Outlook.com, etc.), desktop-based clients (Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.) or mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.).
The Email Clients report helps you determine how your customers are viewing your email, so you can make sure your design renders properly in clients that are popular, and spend less time fixing issues in clients your audience doesn’t use.
The Geolocation report measures the location of email opens. A visual map makes it easy to see the count by country, and you can click on a country to see further breakdown. The information is also shown in a table, including total, desktop, mobile, and webmail opens.
Keep in mind, the geolocation data details where contacts opened your email, not necessarily where they live. This information can still be leveraged in creative ways. For example, geolocation data could help you determine time zones to target, or whether your audience would benefit from content in different languages.
Setting up your code in 30 seconds
Setting up your Litmus Analytics code is easy! We recommend you review and test your email to make sure it is ready to send, and then add the tracking code to your email source code. Otherwise, if you are making changes and switching between the source and design view, the WYSIWYG editor might alter the tracking code.
1. Click New Tracking Code on the Analytics tab within your Litmus account. Give the campaign a name.
2. Select the ESP you are using to send your email to determine the proper merge tag (a unique identifier that allows Litmus to match data back to an individual subscriber). Litmus associates a default merge tag for each ESP in the drop down list, or you can provide your own by selecting ‘Other’ for your ESP.*
3. A snippet of code auto populates in the box below. Copy this code into your email’s HTML, right before the closing body tag (</body>).
4. Send a test email to the address provided by Litmus to validate your tracking code.
5. If your code is correct, Litmus gives you the go ahead to send your email. If your code isn’t correct, Litmus alerts you that there’s an issue with your code.
* If you select ‘Other’ as your ESP instead of the default dropdown options, an additional field pops up requesting your merge tag. The merge tag allows Litmus to identify subscribers to collect individual level data. Litmus recommends you use subscriber email as your merge tag, but you can use any unique identifier, like a client number.
Please note, your Litmus tracking code is only good for 30 days before it expires. You can extend the expiration date for up to 36 months in advance.
If you’re a data geek like us, export your data into Excel to save to your desktop, share with colleagues, and manipulate however you want. You can quickly download your email client data, engagement data, and activity data as CSV files. You can also generate an Individual-Level Data export to see how individual contacts interacted with your email. The Individual-Level Data export includes all individual tracking data for your mailing.
You can export these reports manually or setup an automated file transfer via FTP, FTPS, or SFTP. Automating data exports makes it easier to integrate Litmus data into your current CRM suite or database. You’ll receive a CSV import file once per day in the FTP location you provide that will include all the opens data of your Individual-Level Data report.
Don’t forget to leverage analytics data to segment and target your email list. You could use the Activity report to send easy-print coupons to contacts who printed your last email, or an email announcing your new mobile app specifically to contacts who opened previous emails from a mobile device.
Comparing Campaigns over Time
From your Analytics homepage, you can compare multiple campaigns side by side. By comparing your campaigns, you can see your engagement and email client trends over time. This exercise will help you determine the kinds of content that resonate best with your audience for future topic ideas. You can measure whether your mobile audience is growing, and which email clients to focus your design energy. Comparing successful campaigns to mailings that were less popular is the key to continuously improving your results and increasing audience engagement.
For additional resources on Litmus Email Analytics, check out their Help Center.