How do you know if your email marketing is working? No, it’s not the start of a bad joke… It’s a question every smart business owner should be asking themselves. 

Email marketing is not only an effective way of connecting with clients but also great value for money too. With research showing that it offers an excellent return on investment, bringing in an average of £36 for every £1 spent, it seems an obvious business choice to make, right? 

But how do you know it’s actually working?  

There are simple ways to find out…

1: Check Your Open Rate

Email open rate is pretty simple to understand – it is just how many people on your mailing list have actually opened the email you sent them.

Pretty much all email software will tell you the open rate percentage in the reporting section, but if you need to calculate this yourself too, it’s a pretty simple sum…

Email Open Rate= Number of emails read/number of emails delivered x 100

So what open rate is a good open rate? 100%? 75%?

It’s easy to be overly optimistic about open rates. The truth is the vast majority of people don’t care about you or your company. 

They’re not going to open something just because you sent it… To them, your carefully crafted message might be just another crappy email clogging up their inbox.

So now you know that most people have no interest in what you have to say… (great confidence boost, right?) you can start to be more realistic in your open rate expectations. 

So what is the average email open rate? 

Just a measly 17.5%. 

And anything between 15%-25% can be classed as a good open rate – depending on your industry. Mailchimp has a great blog post here with the most recent industry averages if you want to check them out… 

What if your open rates are super low?

Well, it could be because your emails suck? 

Or it could be down to a number of other factors including your subject lines, your content, the quality of your list or even dirty data… You’ve got to play detective to figure it out.

If you want to improve your open rate, a good – and simple – place to start is your subject lines.  

Why subject lines? 

Because if your subject line sucks then no one will open your emails… 

Check out my previous blog here to find out how to write subject lines that get opened.

Open Inbox

2. Consider Your Click-Through Rate

So you know they’re opening the emails, but how do you know they are actually reading them?

A great way to monitor this is to keep an eye on the Click-Through Rate (also known as CTR). This will show you that your email marketing content is engaging people. That they are actually opening and reading the emails you’re sending them. 

The average CTR across industries is actually surprisingly low at just 2%-5%. 

That might seem disappointing, but when you scale this to a list of 1000 or 10,000 people, that’s between 20-500 people opening your emails, reading what you have to say and making the effort to actually click on your link! 

And an engaged list is what converts to clients and sales. 

The CTR is easy to find in the reporting section of most email marketing software, so that’s one less thing to stress about.

3. Responses & Replies 

Another slightly more obvious way to see that your email marketing strategy is working is when your clients reply. 

I mean that’s what you want right? 

Interested, engaged prospects having a conversation with you… 

Not getting any replies? You could be missing the mark with your content. 

Build that rapport, get them to see you as that epic person you are. Show them you actually care about them, that you’re interested in their problem and that you want more than just their cash. 

You want to help them achieve their goals, their dreams, or at least make their lives a little better!

When you start using your email marketing to start conversations and stop trying to sell, you’ll soon see results. 

One word of warning… 

Some replies might not be polite ones! But don’t take it personally. Chuck it in the “f*uck it bucket” and move on with your day. 

They were probably having a tough time and they weren’t likely to be your clients anyway. Unsubscribe them and move on. 

Is Your Email Marketing Working How To Measure Your Results

4. Too Many Bounces? 

An email bounce is when the email you sent gets returned to the sender (ie your email marketing software). You might not think that a bounce rate really matters, but it can impact your deliverability and lead to poorer results. 

There are two types of bounce: 

A hard bounce is when the email address no longer exists. This is a permanent problem – and clearly won’t convert to a sale, ever. It’s just dragging you down… So take it off your list. 

A soft bounce is a short term bounce. Your client’s inbox may be full. Or the server might think you’re spam and chuck it back at you. Soft bounces might seem a little more tempting to keep, but in reality, it’s not worth the damage they cause. So lose them too.

A high bounce rate can be an indication of a dirty mailing list. Dirty lists occur when you scrape data (basically find email addresses online and add them to your mailing list), buy cold data, let your list go cold or fail to clean your list. 

You might feel uncomfortable deleting subscribers from your list. But when it comes to email marketing, quality matters more than quantity! 

Hygiene is important! So keep it clean….your list that is!

To learn more about how dirty lists affect your results check out my previous blog post…

5. What If People Unsubscribe? 

Don’t panic! Some unsubscribes will happen. In fact, it’s inevitable.

Good content should stir up opinion and reaction as well as educate. But some people might not like this. So they’ll leave. 

And that’s ok. 

Because if they didn’t like what you stand for, or had to say, then they probably wouldn’t buy from you anyway. 

Some unsubscribes will actually do you a favour. They are cleaning your list for you. Leaving behind quality contacts rather than those who weren’t going to engage and convert. 

Remember, size doesn’t matter – it’s quality over quantity.  

Ultimately, don’t stress too much about unsubscribes. 

It’s all part of the process. But if you’re feeling a little uncomfortable about unsubscribes, my previous blog post here may help put your mind at rest. 

One more thing… 

We don’t worry about unsubscribes when they trickle in, but if there’s suddenly a high rate of unsubscribes then you need to look at what went wrong and find out the reason why.

Look at your data – did you say something offensive? Have you been selling too much? Was your subject line tacky or spammy? Have you been emailing too frequently? Or infrequently? 

Figure this out and you’ll be able to avoid the same mistake again.

Dirty List

6. Sales – Show Me The Money!

Ultimately, email marketing is all about the sales. Even nurture emails have the sole end purpose of converting clients. 

More sales is a clear sign that your email marketing is working. 

With some email campaigns, such as sales campaigns with a set deadline, you’ll be able to track sales super easy, and see that change in pounds and pence!

But not all emails are designed to make sales… 

The core of your email marketing should be used to nurture and build trust. Because you’re not asking for the sale the results are not as clear cut but you are still laying down the invaluable groundwork for sales later on. 

Want To Get Better Results From Your Email Marketing? 

So now you know how to measure your email marketing to see if you’re getting results. What if the results are disappointing? 

Well, don’t give up on it just yet… 

Email marketing has tons of benefits for businesses in all industries: 

  • It offers the best ROI of all marketing activities (remember, £36 for every £1 spent). 
  • It puts you in control of when your prospects hear from you – no algorithms required! 
  • It allows you to build a relationship and nurture your prospects easier. 
  • It gives you the opportunity to make direct sales and convert clients. 

But how do you make this all happen? 

It’s simple. 

You can slog it out, spend hours researching, learning, testing and tweaking to get your email marketing right – or you can ask the experts… Just book a call with me and I’ll be happy to help. 



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