How to Determine if an Email Marketing Campaign Was Successful

By Brandon Olson

Posted : September 23, 2015

Category : How To

How to Determine if an Email Marketing Campaign Was Successful
email marketing

You create your email, send it out, and wait with bated breath to see how many of your subscribers engage with your email. It’s definitely exciting to see that happen. But once the honeymoon stage is over, you’re left thinking about exactly what value you are getting from your email marketing campaigns, other than being happy knowing that people are opening and clicking.

Here are four metrics to focus on to determine the success of your email marketing campaign:

Open Rate

Your open rate is the percentage of recipients who open your email. Open rate is a good indicator of the effectiveness of your subject line.

So what’s a good open rate? It depends on several factors, including your industry, your frequency, the health of your email list (i.e., how engaged your subscribers are), etc. As a general rule, your open rate should be anywhere from 20 to 30 percent. 

You should establish a baseline for your email marketing efforts. What is your average open rate? That will be a good indicator of how well your future email marketing campaigns will perform. The goal is to improve upon your past campaigns.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your open rates:

  • Be clear and direct in your subject line. Highlight the "what’s in it for me" aspect for your subscribers.
  • Provide relevant content in your emails. Segment your subscriber list to make your emails even more relevant for your audience.
  • Be consistent with the timing and frequency of your emails. Find the ideal day and time that most of your subscribers open your emails, and stay consistent.

Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate is the percentage of recipients who click any link within your email. Click-through rate is a good indicator of how effective the content of your email is at driving action.

Unlike open rates, a good click-through rate depends on the content of your emails, including the length of your email, the clarity and prominence of your call to action, etc.

Here are a handful of tips to help you improve your click-through rate:

  • Keep an eye on the length of your emails. Too long and you’ll lose your subscriber’s interest. To start, follow this rule: If you print out your email and it’s longer than one page, it’s too long.
  • Don’t use too many calls to action within your email. Maximum: two.
  • Make sure your call to action is clear and prominent.
  • Try adding an incentive to elicit the click.

Website traffic tells you how effective your email campaign is at driving your subscribers to your website or blog. Using a tracking tool like Google Analytics is a great way to track the amount of traffic from your email campaigns to your website or blog.


Unsubscribes occur when your subscribers no longer wish to receive your emails. There are a variety of reasons someone might unsubscribe from your email list. Unsubscribes are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, you can learn a lot from this data.

Here are a couple of things you can learn from your unsubscribes and can use to improve your campaigns:

  • Look at your email stats to determine after which message your subscribers opted out. Evaluate the message and look for things you can do better next time.
  • Pay attention to the frequency of your emails. Sending too often could lead to subscriber fatigue. Sending too infrequently could cause people to forget why they’re receiving your emails in the first place.


Your open and click rates and unsubscribes are great indicators of the effectiveness of your email campaign. But the ultimate goal is to see whether your email campaign is producing sales and boosting revenue. That’s the real value of email marketing.

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of driving business growth. Pay attention to the key metrics highlighted above and apply what you learn to improve your campaigns. Then you’ll be well on your way to finding success with email marketing.

About the author:

Brandon Olson is Content Marketing Manager at AWeber, which helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs connect with its suite of email marketing tools. To learn more about AWeber, visit

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