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Email Marketing Metrics

email marketing metrics

When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of an email campaign, there are 3 key metrics to look at:

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open Rate
  3. Click-Through Rate

Though there are other metrics we can look at, by getting started with these, you’ll be able to start judging the effectiveness of your campaigns quickly.

Email Marketing Metric #1: Deliverability

The first – and most important – metric is Email Deliverability. If your emails aren’t getting through to your customers and prospects, then none of the other metrics matter.

Furthermore, if you’re not calculating all of the other metrics based ON the actual deliverability, then your other numbers can be quite skewed… and incorrect.

To calculate email deliverability, take all messages sent, subtract the unique bounces, and divide the number of email messages delivered by the number of email messages sent.


  • 10,000 Email messages sent
  • 2,000 Bounced
  • 8,000 Emails Delivered
  • 8,000/10,000 = 80% Email Delivery Rate

Email Marketing Metric #2: Open Rate

“Open Rate” is the percentage of people that theoretically OPEN your email. First off, email open rates can only be calculated if you’re sending HTML email. Generally, a transparent image is placed into the body of the email. When the email is opened, that image is retrieved from the web. This process of retrieving the image is what tracks the open rate.

Having said that, there are some inherent problems with this.

First, with programs like Outlook, for example, if the subscriber simply scrolls through the preview panel, this could trigger the action.

Second, HTML, in and of itself, can have a negative impact on deliverability to the ISPs (See #1).

Thirdly, it’s important to distinguish between unique open rate and total open rate. In other words, did someone go back to the email 3 or 4 times? If so, did it count that as 1 open or 3? You want to make sure you’re tracking unique opens if you are using the Open Rate metric.

Note: The open rate is a shaky statistic at best. Be careful on too much dependence on this one.

Email Marketing Metric #3: Click-Through Rate

The click through rate is how many people have clicked the link in your message. This is an important metric as it’s the first real indicator you have as to the effectiveness of your email marketing copy. It also gives you the traffic to your website to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales message(s).

It’s a good idea to use unique tracking codes for each link in your email message so that you can find out what is converting the best in your email message.

The click through rate is based on the email delivery rate as well although some will suggest your click through rate is a percentage of your open rate. If you choose to measure the clickthrough rate against the open rate, just remember to leave room for a potentially significant margin of error.

Author: Heather Seitz

Attention Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, and Marketers: You may republish or syndicate this article without any charge. The only thing I ask is that you keep the newsletters, article, or blog post exactly as it was written and formatted, with no changes. You must also include full publication attribution and back links as indicated.

This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz. To find out more on Email Marketing Metrics, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/email-delivered/email-marketing-metrics/. Don’t forget to sign up for the EmailDelivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources related to email marketing and email deliverability.

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April 19, 2011


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