The Email Marketing Metrics You Need to Know and Understand

Why You Should Care About Your Email Open Rate and Click Rate

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Have You Ever Wondered Why Email Marketing is So Important?

When email marketing is done properly, it can contribute to a positive return on investment (roughly $57 for every dollar spent). 

To get this level of success, there are a few metrics you should be focusing on to determine the success of your newsletters, sometimes called campaigns.

Two of those metrics are especially important in determining how your audience is engaging with your content:

This article will discuss what these metrics are, how to calculate them, and why it matters for your business.

What is an Email Open Rate?

Email service providers divide the number of people who open the email by the number of emails that were sent successfully. 

If you send a newsletter to 150 people and only 30 open it, your open rate is 2%.

A key thing to remember is that emails that aren’t delivered are not included in the open rate percentage. If you send newsletters to that list of 150 people and 50 of them bounce, but the same 30 open it, your open rate will be 3%.

Once people open your email, the next metric is tracked: click rates.

How to Calculate Your Email Open Rate

This is the percentage of people who open your email. Tracking this metric will give you a better understanding of how effective your subject lines are and what type of content your readers are interested in. 

This is one of the most important numbers.

If people aren’t opening your emails, they’re not reading the content. If they’re not reading the content and engaging with it, you’re wasting your time writing emails that don’t work (if you have that problem, we’ve got the solution).

What is an Email Click Rate?

Click rates, sometimes called click-through rates, measure the number of people who click on a hyperlink, call-to-action (CTA), or image with a link. 

The main thing this metric focuses on is engagement. You can use it to measure:

How to Calculate Your Email Click Through Rate

To get the click through rate (CTR), the number of clicks an email receives is divided by the number of delivered messages.

If your click rate is low, it’s likely because people aren’t engaging with your content.

It could be something as simple as your subject line not being enticing, or something that requires more work, like attracting more high quality leads to your email list. 

Email Click Rate

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What you think is low may actually be average, or even above average, for your industry. 

According to MailChimp, the average open rate is 21.33%.

We like to be above average, though.

vcc click rates graphic

How do we constantly get our open rates to be double the industry standard?

We rely on engaging subject lines and A/B testing.

If you haven’t heard of A/B testing, you’re missing out on a key technique to test the success of your campaigns. To do this, create a newsletter with multiple subject lines and slight variations in content.

For example, you own a pet store and you’re having an anniversary sale, you could try:

We’re having a paw-ty and you’re invited!


Save 10% during our anniversary sale

Both mention the anniversary sale, but they’re two completely different styles. You should utilize A/B testing regularly to improve your statistics and to get your message out in a way that is appealing to your customers.

Now, you might be looking at the screenshot and thinking “your open rates are great, but your click rates are so low! Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?”

In 2021, the average email click rate was 2.3%, which is a 0.3% decrease from 2020. As you can see from the image above, we more than doubled that in most cases. We did this through engaging content, enticing CTAs, and copywriting that converts.

Your low open rate may not actually be your fault 

If you notice your open rates are consistently low, it may be a problem beyond your control.

The good news is that it may actually be a lot higher than what your CRM (customer relationship management, or email software) is showing you. Apple released a feature that allows its users to turn off email tracking.

When you send a newsletter, there is an invisible “pixel” that collects information about the reader. This new feature stops your CRM from knowing when someone opens your email and hides their IP address so that it can’t be tied to other online information.

Are You Wondering How You Can Invest in Full Service Email Marketing?

You’re busy.

You have a business to run and customers to impress. You don’t have time to write emails that may or may not work. 

That’s why you should rely on the experts (that’s us) who know what your customers want to read. We’ve helped clients from multiple industries send the right message, and we can help you, too.