Commitment to excellence: how to track email marketing metrics and why

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The marketing practice in general and email marketing, in particular, differ from many other business activities due to a certain extent of unpredictability the results of the marketing activity can deliver. Conducting an email campaign, marketers hope to achieve a specific business goal. However, nobody can guarantee they will reach it. Something similar to fortune-telling takes place in such a process unless an intelligent approach to the marketing metrics is applied. The contemporary email marketing is a data-driven process where various trackable metrics inform marketers about what happens on the subscribers’ side.

Since email is one of the oldest channels of the digital communication, dozens of methods how to track the results of email campaigns have been invented. All of them can represent us a huge amount of data whose relevancy varies from case to case. Should the email marketers collect everything they can with regard to their email campaigns? Do they run the risk of being overloaded with redundant information? And what are those metrics capable of giving the marketers really valuable insights without having to deal with meaningless details? The professional bulk sending platform SendPulse shares its many-year experience of what is worth tracking in order to understand the subscribers for the most effective communication.

The Open Rate

Being probably the major email metric, the open rate is very simple to understand: it indicates the number of your emails read by the recipients. The open rate can vary with regard to every particular business segment. However, the broadly recognized successful open rate per industry amounts to about 25%. This figure can hardly sound impressive for the newbies in the email marketing. Nevertheless, the old-hand marketers know that such a percentage usually brings the highest ROI to brands in comparison with any other sales channel ever. The open rate shows the deliverability of your emails. Improving the deliverability you can increase the open rate and the ROI after all. There are many various techniques how to improve the deliverability beginning from the well-considered subject lines and up to using SMTP servers capable of passing through spam filters effectively. The open rate fluctuations should inspire the email marketer for further self-improvement especially since a lot of opportunities for increasing the email deliverability is offered by the advanced bulk sending systems.


The Clickthrough Rate

The CTR reveals how many email readers clicked the links inside the emails. This metric is more specific than the open rate since it implies the availability of the active links in the content delivered by emails. The thing is that not every email contains links inside. Moreover, the very availability of a link in an email does not mean a recipient clicks it. The CTR depends a lot on a clear call to action contained in a dedicated email. Besides, the engaged customers who expect to hear from a brand are more likely attuned to investigate the email content clicking the links. The CTR also varies from industry to industry since the advertising links inside emails have different values for the recipients. The abandoned shopping cart emails, for example, are important for retail sales just because of being capable of re-engaging the consumers by reminding them about the unpaid goods left in their shopping carts through the in-email links to a certain section of the e-stores. Thus, increasing the CTR implies a well-developed segmentation of the customer audience when the right recipients are invited to click the right links.

The Click-to-Open Rate

Although the CTOR can be called a subdivision of the CTR, it differs in fact. The CTOR shows the ratio of clicks to the number of the actually opened emails. Many email marketers consider this metric more important than CTR since it delivers a more holistic picture of their email campaigns. The CTOR can demonstrate more clearly how engaging one or another email campaign is. For example, two campaigns having 100 emails each were conducted achieving different results: email #1 was opened 10 times with 5 clicks, email #2 was opened 50 times with 10 clicks. It may seem that the second campaign is more successful since its CTR is 10% while the first campaign’s CTR is only 5%. However, the CTOR metric gives a different result showing that the engaging efficiency of the email #1 is higher (50%) than the efficiency of the second campaign (20%). Both the attractive content and the rightfully chosen customer audience can significantly increase the CTOR along with the other above-mentioned metrics.

The Conversion Rate

The CR can tell you how many recipients performed some desirable actions after clicking your emails. In contrast to the CTR, this metric defines a really engaged audience whose behavior on your website is far from the click-and-leave pattern. In general, the CR determines whether a particular email campaign reaches its business goal and how effectively. Many various factors affect this metric since different goals implies different methods of the customer engagement. The email marketers are strongly recommended to track the CR relating the outcomes of their campaigns with the content applied. Such a practice delivers many valuable insights with regard to how the efficiency of email marketing can be improved. And the advanced analytic tools are worth using in order to keep up with email marketing trends resulting in better conversion rate.

The Price Per Email Sent

The PPES metric is very straightforward in determining you as either a trustworthy professional email marketer or just a geek because it shows how much money your company earned through each email you sent. To be able to realize the actual ROI brought by the email marketing activity, a brand should have some indicator showing its efficiency. The PPES is aimed at such a purpose along with the CTR and the CR rates. In fact, a brand starts benefitting from an email campaign when the subscribers perform the desirable actions induced by the campaign. In most cases, the actions should have some certain monetary terms. The methodology of calculating the PPES may significantly vary from business to business. However, it is always possible to find quite a direct correlation between the number of emails sent during a particular marketing campaign and an amount of income created through it. In order not to strive at random with regard to the methods and techniques of measuring the RRES, the numerous opportunities offered by the professional bulk sending platforms are recommended to apply.

The Unsubscribe Rate

Even though this metric seems to have some negative connotations, the UR is extremely useful for the email marketers actually. People react to the content quality, relevancy, and frequency of the email campaigns. Once they prefer to opt out, the marketers should reconsider both the entire strategy and the target audience of their campaigns. The UR demonstrates how interesting your brand is for the customers. The UR lower than 0.5% is considered acceptable more or less. The higher rate signals that something wrong in your emails drives subscribers out of your contact lists. Nevertheless, email marketers should make the very option of unsubscribing accessible and easy to use for their recipients. Such an approach to the subscribers’ free choice is highly appreciated by the audience. Moreover, the unobtrusive manner of your opt-in/opt-out process can have a positive impact on the UR, how odd it may sound.

The Bounce Rate

The BR determines the number of emails that have not reached their recipients. People change their email addresses from time to time. The BR shows the actual consistency of your contact lists. In other words, it determines how far you stand from your audience in fact. The high BR hints at the “tired” contact lists requiring to be refreshed. This is about the email marketers’ dedication along with the contact lists’ hygiene. In a broader sense, the BR encourages marketers to optimize their workflows through more thorough attitude to the recipients. It is important to keep in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis. Of course, when it comes to huge databases containing thousands of emails any manual processing of the contact lists is hardly reasonable. In such a case, the specific means of automation is crucial. In order not to reinvent the wheel, the email marketers should involve numerous opportunities of marketing automation the professional bulk sending systems offer.


The email marketing is a data-driven process where statistics plays an important role. The valuable metrics collected during the mailing workflow can suggest marketers how to improve their practice in many aspects. The full-fledged effective email campaign benefits a lot from such analytics as the open rate, conversion, price per email sent and the other above-mentioned metrics. In order not to be overloaded with any redundant meaningless information, email marketers are recommended to use the advanced analytical capabilities of the professional bulk sending platforms.


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