Looking Beyond Open Rates


Bronto Software

We’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple weeks chatting with customers – including our Customer Advisory Board – about the metrics they they use to measure their performance. Specifically, we’ve sought examples in which our customers look beyond Bronto’s standard metrics (delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, etc.) to create their own tracking benchmarks.

Here are a few of the ideas that we’ve found most interesting:

  • Revenue/Recipient – Online retailers and other conversion-driven customers may benefit from this type of measurement. Take the total revenue from a message or campaign and then divide it by the number of contacts that receive the message. This method is helpful because it smooths out any outliers – such as a large conversion – and yields a number that you can follow over time. Plus – there is no better way to demonstrate the value of email marketing to your boss or client than to tie an actual (and accurate!) dollar value to the contacts that you manage.
  • Clicks/Opens – We actually incorporate this measurement in our Reporting Groups feature. We divide the total clicks by the total opens to find the percentage of contacts that clicked on a link after opening the message. This number is helpful for assessing the “stickiness” of your message. In other words, does the content of the messaging effectively entice “the click” on a consistent basis?
  • Page Views/Recipient – If your bottom line is tied to the number of ads you serve, then it makes sense to track the impact that email marketing can have on your aggregate page views. You can get to this number either by using Bronto’s Clickstream Tracking feature or by blending metrics from Bronto and your site analytics platform. Again, this is a number than you can track over time and that should yield some insight into the quality of your content, specifically with any targeted landing pages.

These are just a few of the ideas that have come out of our conversations. Let us know if you have a similar “homemade” metric or if you have any thoughts on reporting in general. We’re always looking for ways that we can make it easier for you to measure your performance!

3 Responses to “Looking Beyond Open Rates”

  1. Avatar

    Thanks Eric – I especially like the revenue/recipient. The more we’re able to link money to action helps lend validity to email marketing. Whether its the metric that catches the bosses ear only time will tell.

  2. Avatar
    Heidi Bellm

    Interesting point on clicks and open however should be used carefully. Opens can be understated (ie, opens cannot be tracked from text emails or html emails where isps block images), thus the rate reported by your formula can be misleading.

  3. Avatar

    Heidi, that’s a great point, and one that bears repeating. While it is true that a good percentage of opens aren’t tracked, there are few things working to make this still a relevant & useful metric.

    Firstly, we implicitly count a view if someone clicks a link, this helps to capture a percentage of viewers who have images off or are in text mode. One other thing to keep in mind is that this stat is off by a relatively consistent amount every time we view a report. That means that it still holds a lot of value from a comparative perspective. So when I want to see if message A did better than message B, I can bet that open rates will both contain a similar number of opens that weren’t counted.

    In the world of email marketing, sometimes we have to deal with imperfect data, our challenge is, of course, to squeeze the most valuable data out of those numbers.



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