September 8, 2016

How Do Your Email Marketing Metrics Measure Up?

How Do Your Email Marketing Metrics Measure Up?

One of the many things that makes email marketing such a valuable piece of an organization’s overall marketing strategy is the access to reporting metrics that it provides. How many other communications tools provide instantaneous feedback as to how well a message is delivered and engaged with?

Many marketers pore over metrics, compare results to other campaigns, and hope to improve over time. But how do you know what metrics to aim for? How do you know what “good results” are? And how do your results compare to other associations?

Every year, Informz releases a comprehensive report of email marketing metrics from its clients. The 2016 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report is a summary of email marketing metrics from over 1 billion emails sent last year by associations.

This year’s report revealed that average email metrics for associations include a 36% open rate, and a 16.14% click rate. When comparing this to data from last year, both open rates and click rates have slightly increased.

How do your results compare? Are they in line – or better than – your association peers’? Or could they use a little improving? Here’s where to start.

Open Rate

Boosting your open rate can require a little creativity. Every audience is different and you never know what type of language will resonate best with subscribers, which is why we recommend A/B split testing. Testing is our most-suggested strategy for improving open rate.

For most email marketers, testing is no longer an option; it’s a must. The benchmark report revealed that subject line testing is on the rise, and has increased by 26.3% between 2014 and 2015 alone. While subject line testing is most common, you can also test the friendly from, preheader text, and even timing to see if these changes have an effect on whether or not your emails are opened. No matter what you test, remember these three things:

  • Only test one thing at a time. Subject line testing in conjunction with a preheader test will yield unusable results. One variable at a time is key to determining what moved the needle.
  • Split your group 50/50 for non-revenue generating messages. If the message is critical to bringing in revenue, split the group 10/10/80, sending a test to two groups of 10% and the winner to the remaining 80% of your audience.
  • Analyze your results. This is the most important part! Take what you’ve learned from your test and apply it to several more rounds of testing to validate what type of message your audience best responds to.

Click Rate

There’s one word that has had a major impact on email click rate in the past few years: mobile. The mobile email boom has drastically changed the way subscribers interact with your emails.

Check your email reports and see how your readers are opening your emails. If you have a large percentage of mobile readers and you don’t have a mobile-friendly email design, your click rates are guaranteed to suffer. Mobile-friendly email designs consist of links with larger font size for easy clicking, lots of white space, and utilization of the text version.

For a more advanced strategy, we recommend responsive design. Responsive design will shrink or expand an email to the device it’s being viewed on instantly through the use of CSS3 @media queries in the HTML coding. This adaptive technology can also swap out or completely remove images, modify colors, and even control the content that is displayed. Several Informz clients that have made the switch to responsive design are reporting increases in clicks from 40% to 61%. Imagine what that could mean for your bottom line.

Try applying some of these tips to future campaigns to boost your open and click rates and achieve (or surpass) the email benchmark for associations. For more email benchmarks – like the best day and time to send an email or how often to email members – get your complimentary copy of the 2016 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report here.

Informz is marketing sophistication made simple. Our email marketing and marketing automation platform helps associations tell powerful stories, create personal connections, and drive real results. Visit our website at