What are email open rate and click-through rate?

Email open rate is the percentage of people who open a specific marketing email. You calculate it by discounting any bounced emails and dividing the number of people who opened the email by the number of addresses that received it.

Click-through rate is a measure of how many people actually click on a link you’ve provided them through an email, on your website, on social media, or through an advertisement. You calculate it by dividing the number of people who clicked the link by the number of people who view the asset with the link on it.

Why are these metrics important for online stores?

Email campaigns are crucial parts of any online store’s marketing strategy. To ensure you’re getting the most of your marketing emails, you should absolutely be using these metrics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

The first barrier to driving more sales using email is getting customers to open the email in the first place. You can benchmark your open rate against industry standards to find out how well your campaigns are performing or test different headlines to see what performs better in inspiring customers to click. Headlines are usually the focal point of potential improvements you can make in order to increase your open rate.

Click-through rate only comes into play for the customers who opened the email in the first place. Usually, a marketing email is meant to inspire a desired action from your customer. An email about a sale, for example, might include a call-to-action button that takes your customer to the sale’s landing page on your website. Your click-through rate on email campaigns measures how many people actually take action after opening the email.

Combining these two metrics can tell you a lot about where your email campaigns might be falling flat. If people are opening your emails but your click-through rate isn’t competitive, you might try tweaking the content, making sure the headline isn’t misleading, offering a different kind of promotion, or extending the terms of the promotion.

How do I measure these metrics?

If you’re using a dedicated email marketing platform (or an email marketing extension through your ecommerce software), these programs usually include some sort of built-in analytics tracking to make sure you have the metrics you need at your fingertips. You can also add manual trackers to emails to use disparate analytics platforms (like Google Analytics).

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