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B2B email marketing continues to be the most popular and quickest return on your investment.  Not only is it one of the least expensive advertising channels, but it also gives you enough space to start a compelling message to your potential customers.  Email marketing is one of the easiest avenues to personalize and tailor to where your leads are in their buying journey.

“Email is still the most direct way to get the most buyers, especially when it comes from a known trusted source.” – Gene Geiger, MAS +, CEO at Geiger.

“Nothing is likely to make you more money than sending another email.” – Dela Quist, CEO of Alchemy Worx

With email marketing being so popular, how do you know if your emails are effective?  There is no guesswork with email; there are easy ways to measure the effectiveness of your blasts so that you can make changes as necessary.  Here are the top three metrics that savvy marketers use to analyze the effectiveness of their email blasts.

1. Email Open Rate

An email open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email, compared to the number of email addresses that you sent the email to.

Email Open Rate = Email Opens / Total Emails Sent

To determine if your emails are getting a good open rate, compare your email open rate to others within the same industry. MailChimp has compiled benchmark statistics by industry from more than 15 million of their users.    Suppliers in the promotional product industry can look at statistics for the Marketing & Advertising Industry.  While distributors can evaluate their blasts based on which industry or industries that they specialize in.  Here are some notable stats which are of interest to the promotional product industry.

E-Commerce: 16.75% Open Rate

Marketing & Advertising: 17.81%

Non-Profit: 24.98%

Business & Finance: 20.97%

DistributorCentral’s Supplier Email Blasts: 33%

Many factors go into open rates, so if your emails are consistently delivering lower than expected, evaluate:

  • Sender reputation – Are your emails even making it to the inbox?
  • From name – Does your list know and trust you?
  • Subject line – Did you give the recipient a reason to open the email?
  • Disinterest – Are you reusing old content? Has something changed for your recipient that your emails are no longer relevant to them?
  • Relevance – Where is your customer in their buying journey?  Does your email pertain to them?

2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

An email click through rate is based on the percentage of people who clicked on your email after they opened it.

Email Click-Through Rate = Unique Clicks / Unique Opens

When a user clicks on your call to action from your email, the reader is looking for more information on that topic on your landing page.  Make sure that your landing page is relevant to the email you sent.  It should include a bit more information and provides a next step on the reader’s buying journey.  If the email is about a specific product, make sure that they can order the product or request a sample, whether it’s through a shopping cart or a form.

If your CTR is lower than expected, evaluate:

  • Content & Formatting – What does your email look like on a mobile phone? Do your emails have too much content or is the message unclear?
  • Call to Action – What are you trying to get the user to do?
  • Verbiage – Do your customers respond better to a softer email or something more direct? Do you have misspellings or poor grammar?

3. Post-Click Actions

Continuing to track a user after he/she has clicked on your email is more elusive.  The ultimate statistic is what happens after your customer goes to your website.  How many sales, sample requests, or leads resulted from the email blast?  Creating unique coupon codes are a popular way to track your conversions.  Additionally, having your Google Analytics Goals set up properly on your website and adding tracking links on your email blasts will help you see which marketing sources convert the best.

To add the Google Analytics tracking code to a link, append the following code to your link:


Link URL:
Source: blog
Medium: article
Campaign: email+effectiveness

Custom URL:

Review the Source and Medium in the Goals and Acquisition sections of your Google Analytics account to see which sources and advertising mediums are most effective for your business.