Email Statistics

Email is a great marketing channel, and surveys continually show that businesses can gain $40 in revenue for every $1 spent on email marketing. Let’s take a look at some statistics that you can track to evaluate your own email campaigns.

List Size

The most important metric (that no one ever talks about) is the size of your list, i.e. how many email addresses you have permission to email.  A small list is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it’s incredibly responsive.

Here’s what matters when it comes to list responsiveness:

  • The fresher the list, the better. This means that a person who signed up for your list a week ago is better than someone who signed up 10 years ago.
  • A list of current clients will be the most responsive list.
  • Where you acquired the emails determines list quality.
    • If they are purchased, they are of zero value and can actually hurt your domain reputation. Never buy a list unless you know what you are doing.
    • If the leads are from a discount or free offer like an Amazon or Groupon source, they may be of lower value than if they were acquired via a partnership or professional relationship.
  • Email addresses that are free like Gmail and Yahoo are of less value than an email with a more custom domain.
  • Emails that are “out of style” like AOL indicate a subscriber who is not very tech-savvy and might require more customer service.

Your list quality and size will impact all of the email metrics.

Open Rate

Unfortunately, not everyone that you send an email to will read it. Good email marketing software can detect whether an email has been opened or not. This metric is called the open rate.

The open rate is not foolproof like an email receipt, but it’s a good comparative measure for you to see which emails were opened the most. A good subject line, a timely topic, and a clean list are some of the keys to a higher open rate.

What is a good open rate?  For accounting newsletters and a fairly cold list, the open rate can be 15 percent or lower. For a stronger business newsletter with wider topics than accounting and a current client list, the open rate can be higher than 30 percent.  The industry average is 22 percent. The last time I measured our BizBoost newsletter, it was 30 percent.

Click-Through Rate

If your email has a link to a website, you can measure who clicked it. This is called the click-through rate. This metric varies widely by industry and by type of email.  On average, it’s 5 percent. Emails that are related to customer transactions have the highest click-through rates, at roughly 9 percent.

If you’re running a campaign, a very cool thing to do is to measure your entire funnel, starting with your click-through rate.  If you’re sending readers to a specific web page, then your open rate should correlate with your Google Analytics page visits for that page. If there was a purchase offer, opt-in, appointment setting request, or other measurable customer action on the page, you can measure your conversion at each step:

  1. How many emails did you send
  2. How many opened it
  3. How many clicked to visit the page
  4. How many took the page action
  5. How many did you convert to clients

Bounce Rate

One last measure is bounce rate.  If the email is undeliverable, it will bounce. This happens when an email is misspelled, discontinued by the user, or has its email server down. You can have several kinds of bounces – temporary and permanent are two kinds.

It’s essential to clean your email list periodically of bad emails to reduce the bounce rate. A high bounce rate impacts the deliverability of all of your emails and can get you blacklisted from using the email software.

If you have email marketing software, you can go to the reports or analytics section and view these metrics for your own business.