Financial services brands largely rely on the open and click rates when analysing their email marketing campaigns as these metrics can help evaluate the performance of various marketing activities. However, in such disruptive times, marketers need to go beyond these numbers when interpreting the results. This is where advanced analytics come in – and this time we will have a look at engagement, otherwise known as read score.

Time Spent Viewing Email

Engagement time metrics give invaluable insight into how your email recipients interact with a particular email after they open it – in other words, it offers you an opportunity to find out how long they spend reading your email.

An open can be classified 3 ways:

time spent reading emails

By tracking this type of email data you can start performing deep level analysis of your contacts’ engagement.

Set Your Goals

Marketers need to set goals or create their own benchmarks for the different types of marketing initiatives. Market updates, fund document distribution emails, event invitations, and even company announcements – all have unique engagement.

For example, financial brands should aim for higher read times in investment insight emails as this type of content should be engaging your readers. Fund document distribution emails, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to have high read times – they should, however,  have a higher click rate.

With your goals set, deploy several email campaigns before you start looking at the data to get a more accurate picture. Maybe the percentage of people who skimmed the email decreased – and they became readers. Or maybe you will notice a regular increase of people who just glance and delete the email. All this data can prompt you to perform more A/B tests  and find the reasons behind the changes in results. Pro tip: personalisation can help you keep readers engaged for longer.

Combined Metrics = Better Insight

When analysing metrics it is always better to view the results in combination with other data. Therefore, the read score together with open and click metrics will give you a more accurate overview of your email performance.

For example, if your emails return a good open rate but a poor read time together with low clicks, it could mean that the front-facing components of your email (the subject line, sender name or the pre-header text) have persuaded the recipient to open the message, but the content itself did not match the expectations. In turn, you should try adjusting it and watch for any changes in results.

You can also start tracking how your call to action is performing. If, for example, your metrics show a high read score but you do not have many clicks – this could potentially mean that you need to offer a clearer call to action (or at least add one to your email if you haven’t yet done so). Your readers should know how to continue their digital journey.

Engagement Metrics on a Contact Level

Financial companies should use this type of intelligent analytics not only for campaigns, but also on an individual contact level.  When you collect a substantial amount of data, you can create segments of your database representing different types of email engagement.  Maybe after a while you will start noticing that, for example, contacts from a certain company have been regularly showing a low read score for the emails they have been receiving.  This could indicate the need for a change – or at least an update on the preferences.

StoneShot can help you discover engagement scoring to make the most of your advanced analytics and bring innovation to your email marketing efforts. Get in touch at

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