Measuring Email Marketing Metrics: Opens vs. Clicks

When it comes to email marketing, it’s good to stand out from the crowd.

You fight more brands than you can imagine just to get into the coveted inbox of your contacts – as in 196 million emails every day by email marketers around the world. Of those 196 million, only about 20 percent actually get opened.

As a small business owner or nonprofit, you send multiple emails a week, but even if they open your email do they read it? What made them open it? Do they care?

Use the tips below to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and start communicating with your customers, not just filling their inbox.

Still not using email to market your business? Give Constant Contact a try for FREE!

How to track your email marketing success

At the start of every new email marketing campaign, it’s important to figure out the goal of your campaign. Having certain key metrics in place allows you to check if your emails are well-received by customers. You should be tracking these email marketing metrics for every email campaign you send.

There are two predominant email marketing metrics of performance – open rate and click-through rate. Let’s look at the differences:

Open rate

Email open rate simply is the number of people who have opened your email, which is counted after someone views your email, and waits for the images to load before closing it. Open rate is calculated by dividing the number of unique opens by the number of emails sent, excluding the number of bounces. For example: 5 individuals are sent an email, 1 email bounces, and 2 individuals open the email. The open rate is calculated like this: Open rate = [Unique opens (2) / (Emails sent (5) – Emails Bounced (1))] = 1/2, or 50%

There’s also the concept of ‘unique opens’ which is defined as the number of the distinct recipients that have opened your campaign. To put it simply, for each recipient that has opened your campaign, only one open is added to the unique opens sum, no matter how many times they reopen the email. Measuring open rates shows how many of your subscribers have checked out your email. You can also track how many times a particular email has been opened by each user, and if any of them clicked the links in that email.

Tip: So what is a ‘good’ open rate? Constant Contact provides industry-specific data on open rates based on the millions of emails sent each year.

Click-through rate

A customer has opened your email, read your content and scrolled to the bottom to your “call-to-action,” or CTA, – did they click?

Your click-through rate tracks which links were clicked, but also who clicked on the link and when. This is the percentage of clicks based on the number of contacts who actually opened the email. The average across industries for click-through rate is around 7%.

Constant Contact customers see average click-through rates ranging from 7% to 27%. Not yet a Constant Contact customer? Try it free for 60 days!

A high click-through rate means the content in your email resonates with your audience. A low click-through rate doesn’t necessarily mean your campaign isn’t working, but minor adjustments are needed. Remember, the average click-through rate also depends on your industry, the number of emails you send, the kind of emails you send and your target audience. Make sure your content is compelling enough for people to click.

What do these metrics mean for your email performance?

Open rates show how successfully your email stands out in your contacts’ inboxes, while your click-through rate shows overall performance. Still, these aren’t the only indicators of optimal email performance.  Other helpful metrics to track include delivery rates, unsubscribes, conversion rate and bounces, just to name a few.

Together these metrics tell the story behind the question at the top of the page: “Are customers opening my emails, are they clicking, and do they care at all?” Knowing what works and what doesn’t helps you save time, effort, and money, so get excited about email metrics to guide your way to a successful email marketing strategy.

Still not using email to market your business? Give Constant Contact a try for FREE!

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