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How to Measure Your Newsletter's Success: Key Metrics

Want to know if your newsletter is actually working?

Forget guessing and start measuring! Tracking key metrics is your secret weapon to understanding how your newsletter performs and ultimately, how to make it better. 

How to Get More Out of Your Newsletters: Key Metrics You Need to Track

Here's a breakdown of the essential metrics you need to be aware of:

1. Open Rate

This is arguably the most widely recognized metric. 

Your open rate tells you what percentage of your subscribers actually opened the email. It offers a basic understanding of the immediate impact of your subject lines and preheader text (the preview text seen beside the subject line).  

A good open rate varies by industry, but in general, a rate beyond 20% is something to strive toward. If your open rates are consistently falling below expectations, it's time to experiment with different subject line styles or consider refining your email list.

2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Once someone opens your email, the next step is getting them to click on your calls-to-action (CTAs). Your click-through rate reveals how many subscribers interacted with the links in your email. 

A strong CTR hints at the effectiveness of your content and your CTA buttons or links. Low CTRs may suggest that your content isn't resonating with your audience well, or that your CTAs aren't compelling enough.

3. Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR)

CTOR offers a finer-tuned look at engagement by showing what percentage of people who opened your email also clicked a link. It's a good indicator of how relevant and interesting your content is for your audience.  

The CTOR can also help you determine the optimal number of CTAs to incorporate within your newsletter. Generally, you'll want this metric to be north of 20%.

4. Conversion Rate

This metric directly aligns with your business goals.  

Your conversion rate reveals the percentage of subscribers who completed your desired action – whether it was making a purchase, downloading a resource, registering for an event, or something else entirely. 

A high conversion rate is the ultimate sign of email marketing success. 

If your conversion rate is low, critically assess whether your newsletter aligns effectively with your target audience, your offer, and whether your CTAs lead to a smooth landing page experience.

5. Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate lets you know how many people opted out of your email list after receiving a particular newsletter. 

While a few unsubscribes per newsletter are normal, a sudden spike could signal various problems. Perhaps you're sending too frequently, your content is no longer relevant to your audience, or there may be technical issues with your newsletter's design.  

Monitoring the unsubscribe rate helps protect the health of your email list and sender reputation.

6. List Growth Rate

A growing email list represents a potential expansion of your reach. Your list growth rate measures the speed at which your list is expanding. 

A steady growth rate implies that your lead generation and opt-in strategies are working well. 

However, if your growth rate is stagnant or in decline, it might be time to revisit those lead generation methods and identify ways to attract more subscribers. 

Learn how to build a strong email list to help you create a loyal and engaged subscriber base.

7. Bounce Rate

Bounce rates come in two forms:

  • Hard bounce

This occurs when an email can't be delivered permanently. This could be due to an invalid email address or a blocked or non-existent domain. Regularly removing these hard bounces protects your sender reputation.

  • Soft bounce

This is a temporary delivery problem (full inbox, server issues, message size too large). Excessive soft bounces can have a negative impact long-term.

Keeping an eye on bounce rates helps you maintain a clean and valid email list.

Beyond the Basics

While the above metrics are essential for any newsletter, consider digging deeper into these aspects as well:

  • Forward Rate/Shares

Indicates how shareable your content is and hints at true engagement.

  • Web Traffic

Track visits to your website originating from your newsletter.

  • Device/Email Client Usage

Helps you optimize your newsletter's design for different devices and email platforms.

  • Lifetime Value (LTV)

A more advanced metric showing the estimated revenue a subscriber brings over their relationship with you.

The Power of Tracking Metrics

Metrics don't exist in a vacuum. By regularly tracking them, you'll spot trends and patterns that will give you powerful insights into how to refine and improve your newsletter strategy over time.

Want to turn your newsletter into a lead magnet? Schedule a free consultation and discover how to create engaging newsletters that drive results.