Metrics: The Basics

Internet marketing has its own vocabulary, and if you are a beginner it can be challenging to communicate your wants and needs effectively if you do not have an understanding of the terminology. Metrics, when speaking of email marketing is the measuring of emailing results. Watching your statistics should be a consistent part of your marketing strategy. You can use the information to improve your response rates in your future, so analyzing your statistics regularly is a practice that has potential for serious payoff.

Here are a few common metric terms to get familiar with:

Open rate
The open rate is the percentage of recipients that opened the email you sent The open rate is very important in judged the success of an email marketing campaign. There are factors that can affect this measurement:

HTML emails only – email marketing analysis systems record an email ‘open’ when the recipient opens the HTML version, while the opening of a text email won’t necessarily be detected.

Anti- Spam filters and measures – more email providers are displaying HTML messages without downloading the associated images unless the recipient chooses to download.  A message that is opened but not downloaded will not be recorded as opened.


A click-through is when a link is clicked by a visitor. If you include a link in your email, when the reader clicks the link and is directed to your site, that is a click-though.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

A click-through rate is defined as the number of clicks on an ad/link divided by the number of  times the ad/link is shown.

Click-to-Open Rate

The click-to-open rate shows, in percentage form, how many recipients took action when they opened their email. It is calculated as ‘click-through rate’ over ‘open rate’. It is a great tool to help you measure your success and see what emails are prompting more clicks.


When an email recipient performs the action that you want them to take, it is considered a conversion. A conversion could be a transaction or purchase, signing up to receive emails, registering on your website or downloading a free eBook.  When the recipient performs the call to action, it is a conversion.

To get the full benefit of email marketing you need to fully understand how to analyze your statistics. It is important to have a basic knowledge of what your data means in order to analyze it to measure your success.

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