Email Effectiveness Metrics: Marketing's Most FAQs

Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask questions of a marketing pro and gain the guidance you need? You can here!

At Content Defined, we've got a team of experts who know inbound marketing, e-mail, social media, graphic design, website building, and more. And we're eager to answer your questions. Just tweet or e-mail ( us your marketing questions with the hashtag #AskContentDefined.

To get started, our team will answer questions they are often asked in their areas of expertise. Here is question one in a five-part Q&A series.

Q: How do I know if my e-mails are effective?

There are different metrics used for measuring effectiveness of e-mail campaigns.

Open Rate

Let’s discuss open rate A/B tests. You can measure when your e-mails get most opened by

  • day

  • time

  • subject line

  • even your sender name

Try changing only one of these elements in your e-mail to compare against a control e-mail. If you were to choose multiple items to test at once, you will get muddied results and not know which item made the difference. The control e-mail will be your benchmark to give you specific guide to compare against.

* Give it a try:

  1. Split your audience contacts deduped evenly by 50%.

  2. Send your control and test open e-mail.

  3. Measure the response for opens.

Clickthrough Rate

Once you have gotten your audience to open the e-mail, how many people are engaging with your content to learn more?

Your clickthrough rate helps you measure how many people are clicking onto your website from your e-mail. Some of the items that can impact your clickthrough rate are:

  • call-to-action

  • interactive content

  • image v.s. link clicks

  • persuasiveness

  • types of content

Just like open rates, you can do A/B tests to impact these clickthrough areas as well! Use your control e-mail and update one of the items from the list.

*Give it a try:

  1. Split your audience contacts deduped evening by 50%.

  2. Send your control and test click e-mails.

  3. See if there was an increase in clickthroughs!

Bad Address Rate

How many were actually delivered to the contact’s inbox? This will help you identify how many of your contacts are good or stale.

It might feel painful, but you can move or remove the unresponsive contacts to a list of their own. This will allow healthy lists to remain healthy and give you a new goal for e-mails that have stopped engaging with your content.

You can create a new campaign to try to win back the unengaged contacts and give you the option to remove them all together. Segmenting and removing those contacts will give your account a better rating by e-mail service providers (which means you are less likely to land in the spam folder).

Unsubscribe Rate

Finally, keep track of your unsubscribers over a six-month period. For every 100 contacts that you e-mail, about 2% will typically unsubscribe.

If you unsubscribe rate is higher than 2% over a six-month period, that is an indicator that you should update your e-mail marketing strategy. You are obviously not connecting to the needs of your audience in the content you are providing or the way your are communicating it.

Don’t Do This.

If you don’t get anything out of this article but one thing, let it be this. Don’t e-mail your audience less than once a month!

If you are only e-mailing your contacts a few times a year, your unsubscribe, open rate, and clickthrough rate will be severely impacted. If your contacts don’t hear from you regularly (more than once a month), they won’t recognize your e-mail address and won’t remember the value you offer.

Then it won’t matter how much A/B testing you do. Your audience won’t want to hear from you either way.

Ask Your Questions!

Send us an e-mail or tweet us your marketing questions with the hashtag #AskContentDefined. We will respond and may even feature your inquiry with a full detailed article in the upcoming publications!

Contact Us
Twitter: @ContentDefined