Are My Email Open Rates Worth My Time To Analyze?

How do you measure success as an email marketer?  Do you savor the click-through-rates of your subscribers, the one metric frequently used as a performance benchmark? Or, on the other hand, do you value the open rates of your emails to gauge your success?  Are there other reports that are more significant; reports that will consider all the important statistics needed by the email marketer?  Or, are your limited by a few choices between one analytical reporting tool or another?  With email marketing, someone always seems to have a better tool to analyze email-marketing campaigns and then another tool comes along.  How many reporting tools should you use and what are the results really telling you?

Two popular reporting tools, both easy to use and interpret are The Click-Through-Rate and Open-Rate reports.  Both are readily available and both actually limit the amount of information you can really track.  The Click-Through-Rate is often used to measure your email relevance as it relates to the message content, including the format, colors and links.  This long standard report is simple to use as it compares the number of unique clicks to the number of delivered emails.  It does not measure the percentage of email messages opened by your subscribers, but the Open Rate reporting tool does.

The Open Rate is calculated as a percentage of unique opens of the email messages delivered in your campaign.  It does not directly measure the success or failure of a campaign, and the results may not be immediate. (As you probably know, many people just don’t open their email on your schedule.)  Open rates are simple to get, not very useful for deep analysis, but they can be used to compare your open rate with industry averages, numbers for advertisers, evaluate an A/B test and test recipient engagement.

If you combine Open Rate measurements with Click-Through-Rates measurements, you can generate a more useful reporting tool by creating a simple ratio: the Click-to-Open-Rate.  This ratio will produce the percentage of, not only unique opens, but the effectiveness of your email message when received by the number of subscribers motivated to open your message and click on a link.

The Click-to-Open rate can be expressed as:

ClickToOpenRate = ClickThroughRate /Opens; unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens.   Essentially you are calculating success of your campaign by measuring the percentage of your opened email messages and then those opens who clicked on a link, instead, for example of measuring success based on number of unique opens in a given campaign.

The Click-to-Open rate value:

To begin with, it is suggested that you remove your unopened messages from your calculations before you do any serious analyzing . (Note that formulas below make allowances for bounce message removal).  Plug the results of these first two formulas: OpenRate (OR) and ClickThroughRate(CTR) into the third formula ClickToOpenRate (CTOR).

  1. Calculate your Open Rate:
    OR=UniqueOpens /EmailSent (-EmailSent-Bounces)
  2. Calculate your Click-Through-Rate:
    CTR=UniqueClicks/EmailsSent (-EmailSent-Bounces)
  3. Calculate the Click to Open:
    CTOR = ClickThroughRate /Opens

Using the Click-To-Open rate as a analytic tool :

As you chart your results and compare your analysis with your OR and CTR results you should discover that the CTOR is without doubt a superior measurement tool as it redefines the success rate of you email based on:

  1. Message content
  2. Effectiveness of the offers presented
  3. Content
  4. Layout or theme used Links and location
  5. Image use
  6. User engagement

You can use the CTOR  percentage as a comparison tool between customer segments. Compare mailings  across different domains.  With the CTOR reporting tool you will be able to discover which messages motivated recipients segments to open and click on links, instead of analyzing and trying to interpret  why a mailing has wide variances in OR and CTR.

Remember, email reporting tools are not 100% accurate and for that reason you should always look at the bigger picture.  There’s a lot of analyzing going on, from the right time of day to mail, best days to email, message size, color preferences, subject lines, which from address to use  and so forth.  Even within the same industry releasing a similar email campaign, there are many variations and factors beyond control: i.e. when a major ISP goes off line.

The bottom line: if you find a reporting tool that makes you feel good about your mailings with supported facts (increased sales or web site visits) continue using it, but never discount trying something new, it can only help you in the long run. Visit Dundee Internet list hosting services for report options.  Why not Demo us today?