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An Email Metrics Primer for the Novice

May 2, 2012  

In a post at the Vision6 blog, Belinda Walsh admits to the thrill she gets from metrics. "My colleagues will tell you they hear my gasps of excitement on a regular basis when I am strolling through Google analytics and come across something of note," she explains.

But analytics fanatics aren't the only ones who benefit from these insights.

And if you're new to the world of metrics, Walsh offers a helpful primer that walks you through some basic areas of measurement. Here are four:

  • Open rate. If you send an email to 4,000 people and 1,000 read the message, your open rate is 25%. A strong result depends on a number of factors. Did your message make it to the subscriber's inbox? Did she recognize your 'from' name? Did your subject line intrigue her?
  • Click-through rate. If 1,000 people read your message and 200 clicked on a link, your click-through rate is 20%. This will help you determine which elements of your email—including your calls to action—are most effective.
  • Unsubscribe rate. If you send an email to 4,000 people and 40 unsubscribe, your unsubscribe rate is 1%. Use this information to gauge the value of your content and how you register subscribers.
  • Bounce rate. If you send an email to 4,000 people and 200 bounce, your bounce rate is 5%. "If your bounce rate is regularly around 6% or higher it's time to take note as you may be well overdue for a data cleanse," Walsh advises.

The Po!nt: Mind your metrics. You don't have to be a data fiend to glean actionable insight from understanding a few basic email marketing metrics.

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  • by Derrick Fri May 4, 2012 via web

    "If you send an email to 4,000 people and 1,000 read the message, your open rate is 25%."

    My thought on equating open rates to emails "read": many email readers (including Gmail and Outlook) don’t load images by default. This means that the tracking image isn’t loaded either. Thus, even though people may be reading the email, it is never counted as an “open”.

    Conversely, viewing emails in a preview pane can also alter the true accounting of an open rate, as readers could quickly click through their inbox, (effectively loading the images) and not spend 2 seconds with your email. And that too counts as an open.

    So I don't think you can assume someone reads your email just because it gets counted as an "open". Alas, the usefulness of “open rate” rate data is marginal (in my opinion).

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