Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About HubSpot Email Tracking
Let’s discuss the basics of how HubSpot tracks emails.
HubSpot email tracking metrics are critical for understanding how effective your email is (or isn’t). Specifically, we’re talking about the big three:
- Delivery Rate. The number of contacts that could simply have email delivered to their inbox. Emails that can’t be delivered could not have been delivered for a variety of reasons.
- Open Rate. Metric used to gauge how effective the email is—emails with higher open rates are literally read more. Can also be a good sign of overall subscriber health and engagement.
- Click-Through Rate. Another engagement metric used to describe how well your offer, pitch, whatever is resonating with your customer.
Email Types in HubSpot
Just a side note: there are different types of email on HubSpot (in terms of purpose)
- Sales Emails
- Marketing Emails
- Transactional Emails
- Customer Service/Service Hub Emails
In this particular case, we’re only concerned with the first two: marketing and sales emails. That’s because the context in which you’ll want to know opens and clicks are usually in a sales or marketing context.
Seeing Opens, Clicks and Other Engagement Metrics in HubSpot
While there is a slew of reporting options available in HubSpot, you’ll likely be looking at one of three places:
Contact Records and Activity
The easiest go-to place to figure out what is happening with a particular contact is on the contact record. Here you’ll also see whether contacts have opened a particular email, clicked on any links, etc.
Obviously, you’ll often want to review each individual email you send for performance by way of open rate or click-through rate. These metrics fluctuate based on a particular email send, time of day, offer, and well, everything else under the sun.
HubSpot uses a different tracking method for measuring clicks.
Click and Click-Through Rates in HubSpot
While clicks are the number of people that clicked on any link in your email, click-through rate is simply the number of contacts that clicked on a link divided by the total contacts sent that email.
How HubSpot Click Tracking Works
Click tracking allows you to see individual clicks on various URLs in your email and works slightly different than how open rates work. Instead of downloading an image to measure, HubSpot will append a tracking string on the last portion of every unique URL in your email.
Keep in Mind: If you have multiple links to the same destination, HubSpot will often report those clicks according to the destination URL (versus where a user actually clicked).
Using the HubSpot Extension for Link Tracking
Side Note: HubSpot recommends using their browser extension to get the latest alerts on what emails are opened.
Not only is the extension a great way to log notes and other details about your contacts, but you can also do some testing for click tracking (but largely you can trust the default setup out of HubSpot).
Why Bother Tracking HubSpot Emails
There are a couple of reasons why you’d want to dig into these metrics in HubSpot and both will enable you to make more leads and closed won deals.
Improving performance, whether it be on the sales or on the marketing side, is often a reason to pay attention to open rates and click rates.
While I’ve published a few posts on A/B testing that you can read here, I’ll save you the click: A/B testing is one of the best ways to incrementally improve performance over time.
Performance often measured by the big two: open rate and click-through rate.
Testing, even if it’s not A/B testing, is how you improve performance over time.
Improving HubSpot email performance comes down to how engaged your contacts are.
Insights Into Your Audience
Whether it’s a sales or marketing email, opens and clicks are the heart of email performance metrics for a reason. They translate the abstract idea of “engagement” into neat, reliable metrics that can be helpful for:
- Knowing which of your contacts are engaged with your content
- Knowing which proposals might turn into closed won deals
- Learning how effective your emails are
- Extrapolating which offers and messages resonate with your audience
Adjusting Your Marketing and Sales Program
The real power and purpose behind these metrics is to make a transformational shift in your marketing and sales operations. Some emails are more effective towards accomplishing your goals versus others.
However, especially at the start of your email marketing campaigns, the why in the sentence “why is this email better than others” is often ambiguous.
But some starting points do exist.
Time and Time of Day
Time and time of day are huge factors for open rates and click-through rates. Generally speaking, people avoid sending emails on the weekend for any type of demand generation or business-to-business marketing. Also, you wouldn’t want to send an email when your contacts would be least likely to open them, so avoiding hours when people are often sleeping is helpful.
Subject lines are a huge factor that affects open rates. Since subject lines orient the reader to what your email is about, it’s a huge factor for determining whether someone wants to read your email (or not).
Images, CTRs, and Links
The clickable elements in your email are, not surprisingly, a big factor for determining whether someone makes a click. I personally recommend making as many clickable elements as possible—the more physical space your links occupy, the likelihood that one of them will be clicked increases.