STOP using open rates to measure campaign success!

A lot of B2B marketers are still using open rates as one of the metrics to assess the success of their campaigns. If you are one of those, you might want to rethink your reporting strategy. Nowadays, the majority of people own a smartphone. It is not uncommon for people to check their work emails on a mobile device. They even do it while sitting at their desk.

How does your device know you’ve opened an email?

Why is this important? Well, ESPs track openers by inserting a pixel in the body of the email. When recipients download images, the pixel is activated. That is standard across all the email platforms. So, if you read some of your emails in the preview panel, images won’t display. The ESPs will not be able to track that you read the email.

Apple software and open rates

If you are an iPhone or Mac user, there is something else to consider. IOS technology downloads images as soon as the message makes it to the inbox. All the emails you receive on any of those devices are always reported as opened. Incredible, isn’t it? But this means you aren’t getting a genuine insight into who is opening and responding to your emails.

Click through rates and email success

To assess the success of your campaigns, you should instead look at the clickthrough rate (CTR). This metric is much more accurate at telling you if someone reads your email. If they do, great! It means that the content was good. It does not mean that they are ready to buy, though.

Tracking activity beyond email

There are other advantages in getting a click, beyond understanding the engagement. If you are using marketing automation software, anyone who clicks will be cookied. It will allow you to track contacts every time they visit your website.

By tracking their website activity, you can understand what their interests are. You can also assign them a score to help your sales team filter the leads. This will give you a much better understanding of who is ready to buy once they’ve engaged with an email campaign.

What we do

In our business, we no longer look at open rates. The only metrics we tend to focus on are bounces and click-throughs. Those are two key indicators that can tell you if a campaign is performing well. If you still want to look at opens to impress your boss, it is time to open your excel doc and start excluding IOS users. Good luck.

For any other help on creating an effective email campaign, including a deeper look at the metrics of opens and clicks, feel free to download this handy guide!


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