E-mail Marketing: 7 Tips to Measure Your Success

13.06.2016, 2m

EMail Marketing

Despite continuous development of new communication channels between clients and providers, e-mails still play a very important part in communication and marketing. 72% of consumers say that e-mails are their favorite communication channel with companies. This is why you need to take the time to optimise your newsletters and pay attention to so-called KPIs (key performance indicators). There are countless key performance indicators in the field of e-mail marketing. Our expert Lars Tinnefeld, has selected for you the most important ones and gives you details on how to measure them.

For a clear overview, our infographics at the end of the article will provide you with the key formulas to measure your e-mail marketing's success.

1. Delivery rate

How many people actually received your e-mail? The delivery rate provides you with this information. E-mails which could not be delivered are referred to as bounces (see also: bounce rate). Hard bounces are e-mails which have been immediately rejected. Common reasons for this are non-existent domains or accounts. Soft bounces, on the other hand, are e-mails which temporarily can’t be delivered, as in the case of an overfilled mailbox. To calculate the delivery rate, the bounces must be deducted from the amount of e-mails which were sent. This result must then be divided by the quantity sent and multiplied by 100.

2. Open rate

The open rate indicates the percentage of sent or delivered e-mails were actually opened. The open rate can be calculated either as a total or unique figure. For the total open rate, all openings made are divided by the delivered quantity and the result is multiplied by 100. For the unique calculation, only the first openings of e-mails are relevant. This means that if a recipient opens the same mail 3 times, it will only be counted as one opening.

3. Click rate

The click rate measures the number of clicks compared to the amount of deliveries. For example, the total click rate is 14.3 percent when the content is clicked on 143-times per 1,000 delivered e-mails. In addition to the total click rate, the unique and effective unique click rates can be measured.

4. Conversion rate

The conversion rate measures the number of actions which are performed on a website by the recipient after clicking on a link in an e-mail. These can include, for example, a purchase (sale) or a download after indication an e-mail address (lead).

5. Unsubscribe rate

This indicator gives the percentage of newsletter recipients who unsubscribed after the receiving the newsletter.  

6. Bounce rate

Bounces are notifications about undelivered e-mails which have been automatically returned to the sender. This refers to the percentage of the e-mails returned by the mail server compared to the total number of e-mails sent.

7. Benchmarks

All these figures will be of no help if you don’t set personal goals which you can then use to measure your final success. You should therefore realistically answer the following questions: What you want to achieve? By when and with which method ?


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