Open rates are not a very good metric for evaluating email marketing performance. This is because mail clients often pre-fetch images and other content in emails used to track whether an email is opened or not. Mail clients do this to improve performance and perceived load times, which is great. However, this results in our system logging that an email was opened, when really it was an automated pre-fetching of email contents. Therefore open rates should not be used as a strong indicator for email marketing performance.
Clickthrough rates are a much stronger indicator of email marketing performance.
Clickthrough rates will vary based on a number of factors:
- Industry - some industries make more frequent purchases than others. People buy pens all the time, but the machines to make pens are bought much more infrequently
- List quality - a well maintained and highly engaged list will produce a better click through rate than a purchased or low quality list.
- Seasonal trends - customers are more inclined to buy things during certain time frames, like the winter holiday season.