Use Email Metrics to Understand Your Impact

November 1, 2023

As you know, running a successful email campaign goes beyond crafting compelling content and hitting the send button. To truly make an impact and stand out from the digital noise, you must utilize direct marketing email metrics and guidelines tailored to your specific needs. Below are the top ones to monitor and some definitions in case you’re new-ish to direct marketing activities or can use a refresh.

Open Rate

The open rate is the percentage of recipients who open your email. This metric is crucial as it indicates how effective your subject line and sender name are at capturing attention. A higher open rate can lead to increased awareness of your cause. For optimal results, try A/B testing subject lines to see what resonates most with your donors.  Over time, this will allow you to craft emails and campaigns your donors will respond to. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the percentage of recipients who click on a link within your email. This metric reflects the effectiveness of your email content and the calls-to-action (CTAs) you include. You should track CTR to assess engagement with your campaigns. 

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate shows the percentage of recipients who completed a desired action after clicking through your email. For any campaign you conduct, conversions might mean making a donation, signing a petition, or volunteering. Monitoring this metric helps gauge the amount raised and/or the impact of your emails on your mission.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate indicates the percentage of emails that were not delivered to recipients. You should pay attention to bounce rates to maintain a clean and up-to-date email list, ensuring your messages reach your intended audience. Remember, a healthy email list of 250 active recipients is better than a list of 1,000 unengaged recipients! Plus, as most email platforms run on a tiered pricing system based on the number of emails you send, you’ll be saving money with a smaller, cleaner list. 

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate measures the percentage of recipients who opt out of receiving future emails. It's essential for you to monitor this metric to adjust your email frequency and content to retain supporters. If a contact has unsubscribed from all communications with you, you could get into legal trouble for sending further promotional content via email, no matter how brief or compelling your content is. In fact, many email marketing platforms won't even allow you to send further emails to unsubscribed contacts.

Direct marketing email metrics and guidelines are invaluable tools for any nonprofit striving to make a positive impact.  By paying close attention to the key metrics detailed above your nonprofit can more effectively connect with supporters, raise funds, and drive change. Remember, in the world of nonprofit email campaigns, every email sent has the potential to make a difference, so make them count.



Digital marketing for nonprofits with Focus Fundraising.
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