So you’ve sent out your first email newsletter and you want to know who “got” it. Well, that’s a tricky question. Your email provider should be able to provide you with some basic metrics on your message, including the delivery rate, open rate, and hopefully, the read rate.
It’s good to know how many were delivered as many never reach their intended recipient, but remember that this metric does not track how many get caught in filters your recipient may have on his/her computer (spam boxes, etc.). Nevertheless, it gives you a good idea of how many actually got where they were supposed to be.
Most email providers will give you an open rate, which is the percentage of those emails sent that were opened. But beware … just because an InBox opened the email doesn’t mean the recipient read it! Many email programs automatically open each message, so it’s impossible to tell if someone actually read your message. The read rate (less commonly reported) is how many messages that were opened and remained open for five seconds or longer. While this still doesn’t guarantee your recipient read your message (how many times have you been bombing through your InBox when the phone rang?), it’s still a much better gauge of their interest than the open rate.
So be sure to ask your email marketing services provider what your read rate was after you send out your next email campaign.