Email Marketing Metrics

What you need to know and why it helps you


Metrics can be a scary topic to those that aren’t up with the techie jargon or know what exactly they are looking at. There are so many ways you can analyze your results to help you increase your success. It is important to understand your numbers and trends, focus on them, and continuously try to improve.

Below we will cover some basic terms, examples of how they get the number and how it can help you.

OPEN RATE: An open rate is how many times your message was opened. Most email marketing programs/systems track this for you. The way they get the number or percentage is simple. If you send your message to 500 subscribers and it gets opened 175 times, your open rate is 175/500 or in percentage form 35%. Your open rate can give you an idea of how well your messages are being recognized. If your number is lower than you would like, you could try using a “from” name that will be familiar to your recipient, like your actual company name. You could also alter and test your subject lines to try and entice subscribers to open. These rates may be a little deceiving, because some systems register an open only when the images are downloaded and that action is sometimes blocked by email clients until a user gives permission.

CTR (Click Through Rate): A click through rate is the measure of how many times the links in your email are clicked.  Going back to our other example: You send the message to 500, 175 open it, of the people who opened it, 50 of them clicked a link. Your CTR is 28.5%. This can help you determine what is popular with your readers. You can develop those interests through design, content, call to action, and format.

UNSUBSCRIBE RATE: Unsubscribe rate is the number of people who leave your list. You send out your message to 500 and 5 people unsubscribe, your unsubscribe rate is 1%. You can use this to try and identify why they are leaving. Are you emailing too often, are you sending irrelevant messages, or are you using the right methods to sign people up? If people sign up but then quickly leave, you may be attracting people in a way that leaves them dissatisfied or they sign up just to try and win a contest or get a freebie.

BOUNCE RATE:  The bounce rate is the measure of emails that are returned because they cannot be delivered for whatever reason. If you send your message to 500 people and 40 of them bounced, your bounce rate is 40/500 or 8%. If your bounce rate is higher than 5 or 6% regularly, you may want to do clean-up of your data and eliminate bad/unresponsive emails. Try to update contact information by other means of communication if you have it available.  There are soft and hard bounces, soft means the recipient’s inbox was temporarily unavailable, usually due to a server issue or full mailbox. Hard bounces usually mean an incorrect or invalid email address.

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