Measuring the Effectiveness of your Email
What good is an
email marketing campaign if you cannot measure
the effectiveness of it? After sending
your email marketing campaign, you will want to
know how many people opened it, how many people
clicked on specific links in the email, how many
messages bounced, and perhaps how many people
converted to a sale or lead.
-- Open rates are a measure of how
many people viewed your newsletter. Open
rates are typically measured using a 1X1 pixel
tracking image embedded in the HTML.
We believe that
open rates (measured using unique opens -
meaning only one open per recipient is counted)
most newsletters should be in the 30 to 45
percent range, with most companies that are
doing a good job probably falling into the
35-40% range. Companies using the double opt-in
process, with mostly newer subscribers, offering
extremely compelling content and following best
practices can achieve open rates in the 45 to
50+ percent range.
Open rates have
been declining a bit for a couple of reasons.
Blocked images and preview panes mean that some
emails are "viewed" but not counted as "opens."
Additionally, as people's inboxes have gotten
overwhelmed combined with them subscribing to
more and more newsletters, people are making
choices about which newsletters are of value and
are then opening fewer - even though they may
-- The click rate is a measure of how many
people clicked one or more links in your
The click-through rate (CTR) is important
because without it, you don't get conversions.
However, there's no single benchmark
click-through rate, because CTRs depend on many
factors: whether you send to a business or
consumer audience, the kind of mailing you send,
how relevant it is to your audience, how often
you send, your opt-in process, your use of
personalization and segmentation and dozens of
other factors. And most significantly, how many
links you have in your email and if you are
providing content such as articles, whether you
include the entire article within the body of
the email or you have a teaser or snippet that
requires subscribers to click through to a Web
site to read.
-- Bounces are a measure of how many messages
failed delivery. A hard bounce is a
message that never leaves the mail server such
as is the case if the recipients email server is
unreachable. Soft bounces are messages
returned from the recipients email server for
various reasons. After a message bounces
several times the subscriber should be removed
from the list to keep you list clean.
-- If you are selling a product or service, the
ultimate measure of the effectiveness of an
email marketing campaign is how many of those
subscribers converted to a sale or lead.
This is often referred to as acquisitions or ROI
(Return on Investment).