Alternative Metrics of Email Open Rate

Email open rate may be one of the favorite metrics for email marketers. This metric that compares the number of emails opened to emails sent is an indicator of the success of an email marketing campaign.

Unfortunately, email open rates may no longer be an indicator of email marketing success, especially for iOS devices. This was triggered by Apple’s policy to protect the privacy and security of its users through the iOS 15 update at the end of September 2021.

Most likely, that policy will also be followed by Google. Google has plans to limit the tracking of Facebook Ads on Android devices.

Alternative Metrics of Email Open Rate

Limiting the email open rate does not mean the end for email marketing. There are still many metrics that can used to measure the success of an email marketing campaign.

Here are the five metrics as an alternative to email open rates:

  1. Form Conversion Rate (FCR)
  2. Sales
  3. Click Rate
  4. Unsubscribe Rate
  5. Bounce rate

1. Form Conversion Rate (FCR)

The first alternative email open rate metric is Form Conversion Rate (FCR). Form conversion rate is the ratio between subscribers and visitors to the form or landing page.

Form conversion rate= (Visitor/ Number of subscriber) *100%

For example, the number of visitors to your form is 100. Meanwhile, there are 30 who converted to subscribers. So, the form conversion rate is 30%.

The higher the FCR value, the better your email marketing campaign will be.Because a high FCR value can indicate

The higher the FCR value, the better your email marketing campaign will be.

A high FCR value can indicate three things, namely:

  1. The right market.
  2. The right traffic.
  3. The right offer.

KIRIM. EMAIL already has a metric that displays FCR automatically. These metrics appear on your form or landing page. So you don’t have to calculate the FCR value.

KIRIM. EMAIL also has tracking features such as a customize link ID. So you can find out the source of traffic using this feature.

Read the guidance on using traffic source tracking and conversions forms or landing pages here.

2. Sales

One of the goals of email marketing is to bring in sales. No matter how great the marketing channel is, if it can’t bring in sales, then it means the campaign has failed.

Therefore, the number of sales converted can replace the open email rate as an indicator of the success of email marketing.

Email marketing certainly cannot measure how many sales you get. But here are some alternative ways to help you measure and track sales via email.

#2.1 Via coupon

The first way to measure sales via email is to use coupons. This is done by providing special and exclusive coupons that are valid only for people who receive and read emails only.

The coupons are not to be distributed in any other marketing channel, except email. Thus, the percentage of sales conversion from the number of subscribers can be found.

For example, you have 1000 subscribers and only 10 people use this special Coupon. It means that only 1% of sales are converted. From this calculation, we can conclude whether the email marketing campaign was successful or not.

#2.2 Via Conversion Tracking

The second way to measure sales via email is to use conversion tracking. You can use conversion trackings like Google Tag Manager or Facebook Pixel.

Using those platforms requires special skills because it relates to the placement of the tracking code and settings on the dashboard of the platform you are using.

If there is even a slight error, most likely the data will not appear. Or if it appears, the data you get usually does not reflect the actual condition. If you are not good at using Google Tag Manager, you can still use the KIRIM.EMAIL form.

In addition to calculating FCR, in the KIRIM.EMAIL form, you can also track conversions that occur from any source. It works by comparing the number of visitors on the landing page with the confirmation page.

Visitors who reach the confirmation page or thank you page will later be counted as one conversion. It can help you measure and determine whether the email marketing campaign you are running is successful or not.

#2.4 Different WhatsApp number

The third way to measure sales via email is to use a WhatsApp number that is different from the WhatsApp number your team usually uses. 

For example, the WhatsApp number that is commonly used ends in 123

For promotions or offers via email, the CTA is directed to WhatsApp with another number. It can help you find out how many total sales occurred from the email.

3. Click Rate

The next metric is click rate or Click-Through Rate (CTR). Click rate or CTR is the ratio between the number of clicks on a Call to Action (CTA) link and the number of email addresses that receive your email.

Click rate = (number of clicks/number of email recipients)*100%

For example, you send an email to 250 email addresses. Then, there are 25 clicks on the CTA in your email. So, the CTR is 10%.


You also need to know the Click To Open Rate (CTOR). CTOR is the ratio between the number of CTA clicks on an email and the number of opened emails.

CTOR = (number of clicks/number of emails opened)*100%.

For example, the click value is 250 clicks. While the open email value is 1000, so the CTOR value is 25%.

In the future, the CTOR metric may no longer use due to privacy restrictions on email.

That’s why CTR metrics are much more accurate than CTOR. With CTR, any number of emails opened will not be counted by the system. Because the number that will be compared is not from the number of emails opened, but from the number of email recipients. 

The good news is, in KIRIM.EMAIL, after you send a broadcast, you can immediately see the click rate / CTR of each campaign you send.

Once you logged in, you will immediately be presented with metrics that are indicators of email marketing success, one of which is CTR.

4. Unsubscribe Rate

The fourth alternative metric of the email open rate is the unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribe rate is the ratio between the number of contacts who unsubscribe to the total number of contacts in a list.

Unsubscribe rate = (number of unsubscribes/total number of contacts)*100%

For example, you have 300 contacts stored in list A. Over time, the report shows that there are 60 unsubscribed contacts. So the unsubscribe rate is 60/300 = 0.2. The result is 20% for the unsubscribe rate.

The lower the unsubscribe rate, the better your email marketing will be, and vice versa.

But suppose the value of the unsubscribe rate is higher; in this case, it means that there is something wrong with your email marketing activities, such as list quality issues, broadcast too many times, or maybe offers that are not suitable and not attractive to subscribers.

5. Bounce rate

Before entering the bounce rate, you need to know what bounce email is. A bounced email is an email that cannot be sent for some reason and returns to the sender (bounce).

Bounce email itself has two categories, hard bounce, and soft bounce.

A hard bounce is a permanent ‘bounce’ of an email. The email will not reach the recipient. It can happen because the email address is no longer active or an invalid email address. Or the email recipient has blocked you as the sender.

A soft bounce is a temporary ‘bounce’ of an email. It can happen when the recipient’s email inbox is full or temporarily unavailable. This soft bounce can still allow your email to be received by the recipient when you re-send the email.

The bounce rate is the ratio between the emails that return to you (bounce) and the number of emails you send.

Bounce rate = (number of email bounces/number of emails sent)*100%

For example, you send an email to 1000 contacts. The system shows that there are emails that bounce back by 500. Then the bounce rate is 50%.

If the high bounce rate continues, then your email delivery reputation will look bad on the recipient’s email system. And of course, the worst thing is that every email you send will always be marked as Spam and be stored in the spam folder.

As a solution, you can start switching from Single Opt-In forms to Magic Opt-In or Double Opt-In forms.

Learn more about Bounce Rate here.

Qualitative Metrics

In addition to the five metrics above, you can also use qualitative metrics to measure the success of your email marketing activities.

Qualitative metrics do not use numbers as a measure. It uses descriptions or facts in measuring the success of email marketing.

In this qualitative metric, there are three things that we can use, such as:

  1. Email reply
  2. Incoming question
  3. Complaint.

1. Email replies

We can use email replies to measure the success of email marketing qualitatively. How could that be? In email marketing, the email reply is gold, regardless of the positive or negative response.

If the recipient of the email replies, it means that they care about the message you sent. The more who reply to your email, the better it will be for your email campaign and reputation. In addition, it can make the email service, such as Gmail or others recognize and mark your email as the important one to the recipient.

If the email is considered necessary, it will impact the email address you use to send the email. So that every time you send an email with that email address, it will prioritize by the system to go to the inbox, not to Spam.

And that will also positively affect the delivery rate in the future. But unfortunately, there is currently no tool to convert the quality of email replies into a quantifiable metric.

2. Incoming Question

This is still related to the email reply. The difference lies in the content of the response. Usually, the response content for this second qualitative metric is in the form of questions. 

There are times when the promotional email you send is not easy to understand. So that people who read it become confused.

If the person replies to the email and asks for your offer, it can be an indicator of the success of your email marketing.

3. Complaint

If there are many email replies but in the form of complaints, the first thing you need to do is be grateful because emails reply is gold.

After that, you can respond to incoming complaints wisely and provide the best solution for them. Complaints should not avoid. It’s the best feedback on the service or product you sell so that it can be input for future improvements.

Those are six alternative metrics besides email open rate that we can use to measure the success of email marketing.

Hopefully, this article is helpful, and see you in the next article! If you have any questions regarding this topic, please put them in the comments below.

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