The big advantage of email marketing is the evaluation: All actions and activities can be measured as well as analyzed regarding their success. Among the numerous key figures, a few are very important and play a significant role when it comes to analyze the success of a campaign.

In this article we gathered for you the most important ones and show you, what you should watch out for when analyzing the key performance indicators.

#1: Opening rate

The opening rate shows, how many of your subscribers opened the email they received. Thereby you should differentiate between total opening rate and unique opening rate: The total opening rate counts every single opening, even if a subscriber opened a mail multiple times. The unique opening rate on the other hand does not count repeated openings but only the first-time opening of a mail.

The opening rate is measured by a so-called tracking pixel in the form of transparent pictures. But this holds a problem: Many recipients use image blockers. This is mostly the case on mobile devices in order to save data volume. Even some mail providers use image blockers by default. If this is the case, the tracking pixel is not loaded and the mail is viewed as not opened. So you can say, that the opening rate is indeed higher than shown in the statistics.

#2: Click rate

The click rate shows how many of your subscribers clicked a link in your mailing. Differentiation is important in this case, too: The Click-Through-Rate (CTR) only considers single clicks – it does not count multiple clicks. The Click-to-Open-Rate (CTOR) is much more meaningful. This one shows, how many of your recipients, which opened a mail, actually clicked a link in the newsletter.

The click rate is said to be the central figure because it is pure and says a lot about the attainment of the campaign – in contrast to the opening rate. Especially the Click-to-Open-Rate is a reliable indicator if you want to check if you keep the promises you made in the subject and preview line.

#3: Delivery and bounce rate

Delivery and bounce rate are strongly related to each other: The delivery rate shows the proportion of the mails that did actually land in your subscriber’s inbox. The bounce rate on the other hand says how many of your newsletters are undeliverable and do not land in your subscriber’s inbox.

Regarding the bounces there are mainly two different types. Hard bounces are all emails that are undeliverable in the long term, for example because the mail address is invalid or incorrect. Soft bounces are temporary undeliverable, for example because the inbox of the recipient is full. mailworx also differentiates bounces in spam bounces. Thereby mails are undeliverable because the subscriber or the mail provider reported the sender as spam.

You should observe the bounce rate regarding the performance of your campaign because even mail providers regarde the bounce rate. If you have a lot of bounces in the long term, your mail address may be reported as spam which in turn is negative for the performance of your campaigns. mailworx helps you to clean your subscriber list – read more about the bounce management of mailworx here.

#4: Unsubscribe rate

There are many possible reasons why recipients decide to unsubscribe from your mailings. The most common ones therefore are that you send mails too often, that you deliver content that is not interesting for your subscribers or the fact that some people only subscribe to your newsletter to make use of an offer and in turn unsubscribe afterwards.

We know that unsubscriptions are frustrating for marketers. Nevertheless you are legally obligated to integrate an unsubscribe button to your mailings.

#5: Conversion rate

Like all other marketing activites email marketing follows a target: Generating revenues. The conversion rate shows, how many of the subscribers, which received your mail, took an action you defined before. Such actions can be for example subscribing to an event, downloading a whitepaper or purchasing a product from your online shop.

What you should watch out for when analyzing key figures

The opening rate has high impact on the click rate. Because if a subscriber does not open a mail, he is unable to click a link, right? If your opening rate is low, your click rate (CTOR) will be low as well. Therefore, the key figure Click-to-Open-Rate is that important, because it shows the relation between clicks and opened mails.

In addition it is important to keep in mind that the opening rate is indeed higher than shown in the statistics.

We hope we could give you a first general impression of the most important key figures in email marketing with this blogpost. If you want to go deeper, you should also read our tutorial on this subject.

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