How do most marketers judge the success of an email marketing program and what tactics do marketers most associate with achieving that success?

A survey by Campaign Monitor in partnership with Ascend2 provided this insight:

Marketers surveyed considered the following four metrics the most useful indicators of performance (in ranked order):

Click throughs
List growth

Depending on how you define conversion, it might be simpler to say that conversion (which could be defined as a combination of click through, list-sign up, purchase, download or whatever further action has been invited in your call to action) is the primary performance metric. ROI, if quantified solely by dollars, might also fall under conversion, if there’s an immediate purchase, although in most cases the return on investment may be more fairly judged over time, perhaps even over the lifetime of a new customer.

Of course, before conversion comes another metric: open rate. And it is in this metric that the first skills of email marketing – subject heading, time of delivery, relevance to the target, strength of the list – all come into play. Conversion ultimately depends on the value of what a client is offering, as it is perceived by the target audience, persuaded by the message, both verbal and visual. Open rate, however, is the first hurdle.


According to one 2017 study, the average open rate for email for all marketers is 22%, and the average click through rate is just below 4%.

How does your email marketing program measure up?