How to Tell if Your Email Marketing is Working

If you’re doing email marketing, you’re doing the right thing. But just sending out emails isn’t enough. The next step is learning how to track and analyze your email marketing successes and failures so that you can be sure that it’s working, and work to improve the return you are getting on that investment.

Is your email getting opened?

The first number to look at is the open rate. Open rates can be calculated by looking at total opens and dividing that by the number of emails sent. Since people can open an email more than once, you might also look at unique open rate, the percentage of total recipients that opened their email.

Open rates will vary by industry, and by type of email being sent. Some recent studies suggest that the average open rate of marketing emails in the US is around 15-20%. There are many factors that affect open rate, but the easiest thing you can do to improve your open rate if it’s too low is test different subject lines.

Is your email getting people to click?

The next number to look at is the click thru rate. Click thru rates can be calculated by looking at total clicks and dividing that by the number of emails you sent. Again, people can click multiple times or on multiple links within an email, so many people prefer to use unique click thru rate, or number of people who click divided by emails sent.

Here too you will find different rates for each company, industry and type of email. Newsletters with free content you would expect to get more clicks than promotional emails that ask people to purchase. But recent studies suggest that average click thru rates are between 2-4%. Some things you can do to improve this number are create stronger calls to action, redesign your emails, or include more links.

Is your email driving sales?

It’s great if people open your email. It’s even better if they click thru to your site. But what happens next is the most important part of email marketing. Are they taking action? This could be a sign up, a referral, a sale – whatever your intention was when you sent out the email.

Most email marketing services will track the opens and clicks for you. But tracking sales or signups can be more difficult. It’s important, however, that you know exactly how your emails are affecting sales. Because if people are opening and clicking on your emails, but not taking any other action, your email marketing is not working.