Understanding the Basics

Metrics, or measuring of emailing results, should be a routine part of your email marketing campaigns. The information can be used to improve response levels on your future mailings. Here is an overview of the more common metric terms used in email marketing:

Open rate
Calculated as the percentage of subscribers recorded opening the email you sent. The open rate is key for judging an email campaign's success, though there are several factors which can affect it:

HTML emails only - email marketing systems typically record an email 'open' when a subscriber opens the HTML version of the mailing, downloading a uniquely coded image in the process. The opening of a text email can't be detected by this mechanism.

Anti-spam measures - increasingly, email clients are first displaying HTML messages without downloading associated images. Unless the reader chooses to download images, a message open will not be recorded.


A click-through occurs when a recipient clicks on a link in the email.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Total number of clicks on all email links in the email, divided by the number of emails sent or delivered. Includes multiple clicks by a unique user. Some email broadcast vendors define CTR as 'unique' CTR, meaning that each individual user is only counted once - no matter how many times they click on a link.


When an email recipient performs an action. A conversion could be a transaction, such as a purchase made. It could also be registering at a website, downloading a white paper, signing up for a seminar or opting in to a newsletter.

Understanding the request form...

  • What are you selling: Most email campaigns are selling a product or service. Name that product and/or service in this field. (for example: security services, accounting software)
  • Target Market: Name here who you see as the market or potential buyers of your product/service. (for example: home owners, accountants)
  • Size of your mailing: How many emails do you plan to send -- this will affect your potential revenue and cost. (for example: 100,000 to 250,000)
  • Your Time Frame: When do you plan to do your mailing? (for example: mailing within one month)
  • Campaign Details: Give a more complete description of what you are planning. (for example: I plan to do 3 sequential mailings to homeowners in New Jersey in order to sell a new security system.)
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