Meaningful metrics in Email Marketing
CTO%, CTR%, OR%, bounce rates (isn’t that for web content?) — What does that mean?
Verse’s Head of Email Marketing, Chris Marcantonio, shares his insight into email metrics and success measurement, why (and importantly how) they matter and what you can do to improve yours.
OR% — Open rate
- How many people opened an email?
- Was your subject line compelling?
- Are people interested in your brand / messaging?
- Formulae: unique opens / delivered emails * 100 = OR%.
CTO% — Click to open rate
- Measures the relevancy and context of an email
- Is your content and messaging any good?
- Formulae: unique clicks / unique opens * 100 = CTO%.
CTR% — Click through rate
- Measures the number of unique clicks an email receives
- Was there anything worth clicking on in your email?
- Formulae: unique clicks / deliveries * 100 = CTR%.
Bounce Rates (nope, not just for web!)
- Bounced number (rate) — The number of email addresses that have been bounced back from an ISP (Gmail, Yahoo etc…). The total bounce rate should be 3% or less
- Soft bounce —Temporary bounce, often due to a full inbox or ISP deferring
- Hard bounce — A permanent bounce when sending to an invalid email address (one that does not exist anymore).
So, what does this mean?
Let’s make this a fun and well-thought through analogy…
You’re in a massively crowded shopping mall – constantly greeted with hundreds of your favourite brands and companies with signs in their shop windows saying, ‘hey come in and buy this’ (some will even amazingly know your name!), or ‘20% off inside!’ (only to find out when you go inside, it’s actually 20% off when you spend £1,000! – but I digress).
This is your inbox by the way!
You may pass a shop you occasionally visit and a sign outside catches your eye…
’50% off phones in-store!’
This is your subject line!
You think to yourself “ooh… this is interesting, I’ll pop inside and take a look”
Well done – due to the compelling subject line, your email has been opened!
When in the store, you’re greeted by a smartly dressed sales assistant who begins to inform you (without prompt) about the offer you’ve seen outside the shop.
And this is where you can choose your own ending…
Before the smartly dressed sales assistant begins to inform you about the 50% off, he/she begins to inform you about their new shiny phone and data package that comes with it.
The price is a staggering £500.
There’s also a case you may want to consider purchasing and how this new ergonomic case can protect your phone against everyday damage.
Secondly, there’s a great promotion on a well-known TV supplier offering a streaming service exclusive to their store.
Amazingly, this is also only £50p/mth. Bargain, right!
Thirdly (surely, we’re getting to the 50% off now…)
There’s a special offer if you switch to the new network where an older, and the less effective handset is available for free.
Finally, you’re told about the 50% off phones in store.
However, it’s not as straight forward as it seems and after all, is said and done, once you’re finally asked if you’d like to speak to a sales advisor, you swiftly leave.
This final action is the reader NOT clicking on your email.
Thus, giving you a stat of:
Opens: 1 | clicks: 0
A more palatable scenario is…
You enter the store, to be greeted by a smartly dressed sales assistant.
They show you a couple of images of the beautiful looking products you can get 50% off.
With each one, there’s a brief introduction
- Phone A – Free calls | data | texts
- Phone B – Free calls | some data | texts
You’re then asked if you’d like to see a sales advisor… to which you say, “yes please”.
- This is the equivalent of a click!
- And your customer moves down the sales funnel
- Email job – complete!
None of the above statistics really mean anything on their own. Like every set of statistics, I can manipulate individual numbers to match my argument.
One set of metrics, i.e. Open rate – needs to be sat next to the other key metrics to give the full story. Only then can the ‘was this campaign a success?’ question be truly answered.