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Opens, clicks, CTR, CTOR…these are email metrics. The list of what email metrics to track can be never-ending, and so are the acronyms!

Email marketing, like cricket, has a statistic for everything.

The big question is, what do the email metrics actually say about your email marketing and content?

Tracking the email metrics and email campaign metrics is important, but understanding what the numbers and metrics really mean will empower you to make informed, confident improvements to your campaigns and communications.

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What are the Key Email Marketing Metrics?

The key email and engagement marketing metrics to monitor include; open rates (the number of people who have opened the email versus the total number of recipients).

CTR (the Click-Through Rate, the number of clicks versus the total number of recipients).

Then CTOR (the Click-Through to Open Rate, the number of clicks versus the number of opens).

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But whilst these might be the main email engagement metrics to track, there are other metrics for email marketing that you really need to keep a close eye on.

We take a closer look into the email campaign metrics and email marketing metrics you should be monitoring and look into what the most important metric in email marketing really is.

6 Email Metrics to Track

1. Click-through Rate (CTR)

CTR stands for “Click-Through Rate.” It is an email marketing metric used to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. Adding a CTA (call to action) to your email will encourage recipients to click through and help to increase your conversion rate. CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions (or views) it receives and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage.

A higher CTR indicates that your readers are paying attention to your emails, helping you to meet your email KPI metrics.

2. Click-through to open Rate (CTOR)

CTOR stands for “Click-To-Open Rate.” It is another email campaign metric used in email marketing to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign in terms of generating engagement and interaction with the email content.

This email metric is often ignored and sometimes treated as the poorer cousin to CTR. But this is one email metric you want to track and should be paying attention to.

CTOR is calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage.

How to calculate CTOR

CTOR = (Unique Clicks / Unique Opens) * 100

Unique clicks represent the number of recipients who clicked on any link within the email, while unique opens represent the number of recipients who opened the email. CTOR provides insights into the level of engagement and interest among those who actually opened the email.

It is a valuable metric for assessing the effectiveness of email campaigns, as it measures the engagement of the audience who interacted with the email content rather than the entire recipient list. By monitoring and optimising CTOR, email marketers can improve the relevance and impact of their email campaigns.

-> Download Now -> Free Email Newsletter Best Practices Guide

3. Open Rates

An email open rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who open an email out of the total number of recipients who received that email. It is a metric commonly used to measure email campaigns in capturing the attention and interest of recipients.

How to calculate the open rate

Email open rates are typically calculated using the following formula:

Open Rate = (Unique Opens / Emails Delivered) * 100

An email open rate can provide insights into how engaging and compelling the subject line, sender name, and preview text of an email are. A higher open rate generally indicates that the email content and the initial impression captured the attention of recipients, prompting them to open and read the email.

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP)

Most of you have probably heard about it, but what is it and what does it mean for your emails and email marketing campaigns.

How Does MPP Work? When a user opts into Apple’s MPP they are allowing Apple to fetch and download their email and email’s images (preloading). This will always happen whether or not you have opened or not opened the email.

What Does MPP Mean For Your Email Metrics? With the introduction of MPP it is inevitable that open rates will become less accurate since all email service providers measure email open rates by the number of times that an image pixel is loaded.

Segmentation. This update will also likely affect your email campaign segmentation strategies. For example, if you segment based on email opens, this will no longer be as accurate as before, which means you will have to rethink some of your segmentation strategies.

Geographic Targeting. Geographic targeting is also affected as the Apple update will start to mask each user’s IP address meaning your location tracking for these devices will become less accurate.

It’s probably fair to say email open rates aren’t as useful as they once were. Boo.

4. Bounce Rate

Email bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that were not successfully delivered to the recipient’s inboxes. It indicates the number of emails that “bounced back” or encountered an error during the delivery process.

How bounce rate is calculated

Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of bounced emails by the total number of emails sent, and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage.

Bounce Rate = (Bounced Emails / Total Emails Sent) * 10

What are High Email Bounce Rates?

Having high bounce rates and low email engagement metrics (opens, CTR and CTOR) in your emails will ultimately alert servers that you are not maintaining your lists and keeping good overall list health and could damage your email sender reputation and email sender score as well as affect your list growth rate.

Maintaining your lists will ensure you don’t get flagged by servers and end up in the junk folder.

5. Unsubscribe Rate

An email unsubscribe rate is an email metric that measures the percentage of recipients who choose to unsubscribe from an email list or campaign after receiving an email. It indicates the number of individuals who actively opt-out or request removal from future email communications.

How unsubscribe rate is calculated

Unsubscribe Rate = (Number of Unsubscribes / Number of Delivered Emails) * 100

6. Social Share

Social sharing is when a recipient of one of your emails opens your emails and chooses to share the email or an element of the email with another person or platform. This can be either via social media channels or can also be classified as somebody forwarding your email.

This is really one of the hardest email metrics that you will satisfy as part of your overall email performance metrics. It is one of the key metrics you should keep an eye on because it is one of the most authentic and transparent of all email metrics.

Not only does it mean they want to be associated with your content, but it is also a chance for you to grow your list and reach a potentially wider audience.

You have a brand advocate in the making!

5 Common Email Marketing Metric Examples

Example 1: Plenty of people opened the email, but no one was really interested in the content. Make sure your subject line accurately reflects your content, you don’t want to be misleading.

Example 2: An exciting subject line has tempted lots of recipients to open, but they’re still not clicking. Engaging, relevant content with strong calls to action will help you out here.

Example 3: You’re crushing it! Engaging subject line, and content tailored to your target audience. What a champ!

Example 4: Your content has garnered plenty of click action, and those who opened it loved it! You might want to consider segmenting and targeting your mail groups, however, as the low open/high click rates suggest you haven’t quite found your niche.

Example 5: Oh, boy! Back to the drawing board. Use these stats to inform future campaigns. Take a look at our subject line guide and tips for writing online content, and give it another shot! Keywords to keep in mind: timely, engaging, relevant.

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Paying Attention to the Right Email Metrics is what counts!

The email and campaign metrics you choose to monitor come down to what conversion rates and email KPI metrics your organisation has set.  Some organisations may need to pay particular attention to their unsubscribe rate and soft bounces.

Your email service provider should be able to assist you with ideas to ensure you and your team are meeting your email API metrics and keeping your unsubscribe rate low and addressing any hard of soft bounce issues you may have,

Once things for sure, everybody should be paying attention to their spam complaints and ensuring they are providing valuable, worthwhile content and sending communications that are targeted and relevant.

-> Download Now -> Free Email Newsletter Best Practices Guide

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