Despite what the social media crowd have been speculating for the past couple of years, email marketing is not dead—it is alive and well—and becoming more popular. 

In fact, according to a recent study by Forrester, the number of Americans that feel they receive too many email offers or promotions has dropped from 49% in 2010 to 39% in 2014 (Source: Business Insider/Forrester).

Some say that the more friendly attitudes towards email marketing stem from the fact that we take our phones everywhere, and during times where we are waiting in line, riding the bus, or sitting through a child’s soccer practice, we are prone to whip them out faster than Billy the Kid could draw his pistol in a dual to check emails, post updates, or surf the web.

Important Email Marketing Terms to Know

If you have ever run an email campaign, you know that there are several statistics available after delivery to help you determine how successful your campaign was. The problem is, if you don’t know what to look for, it’s hard to gauge how well your email actually did.

First, let’s go over some basic definitions to determine what the numbers mean.

Open Rate— The open rate is the percentage of recipients who actually opened your email.

Click-through Rate— This is the percentage of recipients that opened the email and clicked on at least one of the links within the email.

Soft Bounce Rate— This is considered a temporary delivery issue to a recipient’s email address. If a particular email continues to soft bounce over the course of the next couple of campaigns, it will then be considered a hard bounce. Why does this happen? It could be because the recipient’s server was temporarily down at the time of delivery, their mailbox is full, or the message you sent was too large.

Hard Bounce Rate—A hard bounce rate tells you that there is a permanent reason why your email campaign can’t be delivered. This could happen because the recipient no longer has that email address, their server has blocked your email, or the domain name doesn’t exist. Addresses are typically removed from your active subscriber list following a hard bounce. If not, you will want to clean out your hard bounce list periodically.

Abuse Rate— This happens when a recipient flags one of your emails as spam, as you might do when you find unwanted emails in your Gmail or other email inboxes. Once this happens, most ISPs will provide feedback to your email campaign provider where it will be registered as an abuse complaint. Unfortunately, many people will do this instead of “unsubscribing” from your emails. If your abuse rate goes too high, you can be penalized.

Unsubscribe Rate—This is the percentage of recipients who actually click the “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” link in your email to be removed from the list.

Click here to learn how OpenVine can help you grow your business with targeted email marketing solutions.

Mailchimp, one of the largest email marketing providers out there, did a study this year (updated August 3rd, 2015) which analyzed hundreds of millions of emails that had been delivered via their system. Companies with email lists that had 1000 or more recipients were included in the study. Companies of all sizes and marketing budgets from solopreneurs to large corporations were analyzed for a broad perspective.

Since OpenVine is dedicated to helping small business owners become more successful using internet marketing, we will focus on the stats that pertain to businesses with 25 or less employees. Here are some interesting statistics that they found: (Source: MailChimp)

For companies with 1 to 10 people:

  • Average open rate—22.11%.
  • Click-through rate—3.06%
  • Soft rate—0.72%
  • Hard rate—0.57%
  • Abuse rate—0.04%
  • Unsubscribe rate—0.30%

For companies with 11 to 25 people:

  • Open rate—21.08%
  • Click rate—2.69%
  • Soft rate—0.68%
  • Hard rate—0.54%
  • Abuse rate—0.03%
  • Unsubscribe rate—0.25%

Click here for more additional findings by industry.

If you have already started taking advantage of the power of email marketing, how do your email campaigns stack up against the averages above? If your emails are not performing the way you would like them to, check out some helpful tips for more effective email campaigns.

Do you need help with your small business email marketing? OpenVine specializes in internet marketing solutions to help your small business grow. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.