Well, well, well — look who’s back. Thanks for returning for part 2 of our newsletter blog, you newsletter junkies! Missed part 1? Get caught up. Today, we will be diving into how to continue your work as masterful newsletter experts so that your sends are consistently churning out favorable results. But to get there, we’re going to have to talk about some of the numbers behind the scenes that you need to pay attention to. Buckle up for a crash course on newsletter metrics.

Part 2: Understanding Newsletter Metrics

You’ve sent your newsletter and now it’s time to see how it performed. A general understanding of percentages and averages is going to make your post-send results analysis a lot easier, I promise. There are a couple of numbers that you should definitely be paying attention to and then some that are just neat, if you’re a closet number nerd.


Open rate

Not too hard to comprehend. Out of total recipients, who opened your send? This number is typically expressed as a percentage, but if you’re really into fractions for some reason, then by all means convert ‘em. Either way, this statistic is big — there’s absolutely zero chance that recipients are going to click through content if they don’t open your email at all. Zero is a number we can all understand, I think.


Optimize it:

In our experience, open rate is really reliant on the creativity and urgency of your subject line(s). Another aspect that contributes to open rate long-term is your sends’ history of valuable content — or lack thereof. Shameless self-promotion only works for the first 1-2 sends when your audience is learning who you are.


Click rate

Click rate is a tad more complicated than open rate, but stick with me. The reason is because click rate is broken down into multiple facets versus open rate, which is one number. Get it? Got it? Good. Click rate refers to the number of clicks on particular pieces of content within the newsletter. Overall click rate is also calculated using the total number of recipients, but you can get deeper than that if you want. Within the base click rate, you can typically view which content was served the most clicks and their adjoining click rate — factored out of the total click rate. To diffuse your confusion, let’s talk through an example.


Optimize it:

Say your total click rate was 4.5%. That means that out of your total number of subscribers, 4.5% clicked on content in addition to opening your email in the first place. Depending on your email manager, there may be a further breakdown of each unique click and which content it went toward. Out of 40 clicks, maybe your first content section saw 10 clicks. That means that section’s click rate was 25% or 10/40 clicks. Try experimenting with the highest click rate sections. Did they click here because they enjoyed this type of content the most? Was the graphic really eye catching? Do a few A/B tests to see if you can pinpoint the reason it performed well.


Why is A/B testing important?

If you’re looking to shake things up but are a little timid, stats are still your friend. A/B testing features use of a control and variable version of your newsletter — we’re basically in the STEM field. A/B testing is a great tool because it puts your goals into practice to see if they’re even practical before you commit to a change once and for all — whether it’s in formatting or scheduling. Gather the data, look it over and decide which version was more successful.

>>> Watch this quick video for a deeper dive into A/B testing from the Data Science Dojo.


Industry averages

It’s great to use industry averages for starting benchmark goals. For example open rates within the marketing and advertising industry, MailChimp reports the industry average to be around 13.9%. For click rate, the industry is seeing about 1.9% engagement. So, if you identify with this industry and are personally averaging a 2% click rate — you’re above industry average but you have plenty of room to grow.


Other numbers

If you have time, take a look at stats like successful deliveries to make sure your contact list is up to date and free of old email addresses. Total opens is also a neat number, which ropes in all the instances that your email was opened, unique or not. It’s a great stat to use when you want to see how many people return to your email later on.


Subscribers galore

Also, if you haven’t yet, I strongly recommended embedding a sign-up form on your company or organization’s website to grow your organic subscriber count. Make the form as straightforward as possible so that you’re maximizing follow-through — the more tedious the form, the less people want to subscribe (sad face emoji). As far as location is concerned, we recommend sticking your form at the bottom of relevant landing pages. This signals to the average visitor that after scrolling through your site’s existing content, you still have more value to offer.


Need more help? Have a question? Drop us a line!