Email can be a massive part of your content strategy. If you’ve developed a persona that is most effectively reached by email, it is absolutely essential to have a good content strategy in place to market to them. However, understanding email is often more difficult than grasping Web metrics or social engagement metrics. We’ve found three of the most critical metrics to watch when evaluating the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
Open rate is, very simply put, the number of people who open the mail you sent. It’s typically expressed as a percentage, and depending on what industry you are in, there are fairly comprehensive baselines established over time for what a good open rate is. For instance, most marketers look for an open rate of around 20 percent for a retail-focused campaign. Now obviously, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of baseline. There are any number of factors that can change your baseline, but it does provide a place to start. Open rate can be affected by time of send, subject line and frequency.
Click-through rate is the number of audience members who clicked on a link inside your email once they opened it. This is the most valued engagement metric, as it signifies an interest in your content or CTA. Click-through rate, or CTR as it’s commonly known, is usually lower than open rate, and that’s normal. If a user opens an email, reads it and doesn’t have a reason to click, this does not mean your campaign is a failure. CTR can often be affected by your CTA, the information inside your email and the value and presentation of your links.
Bounce rate is a number that reflects the number of emails that were unable to be delivered by your Email Service Provider. It’s crucial to know how many bounces you have, as often an ESP will only allow a certain percentage of bounces before your list is flagged as potentially harmful. An email list with a high bounce rate could signal that the time is right to scrub your list clean of old email addresses or that you should consider segmenting your list into new groups.