You know a good email when you see one. From subject line to body, it’s engaging and visually appealing. How do email marketers perfect these awesome email specimens? It’s not just a gut feeling. There are some really important statistics that inform the creation of these marketing emails. Email marketing is not just reserved for the corporate world and as we enter the end-of- year fundraising season it is essential that your nonprofit rocks its email marketing (digital donation) campaigns. So get ready to get schooled on the essential email marketing statistics.

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Open Rate

An oldie but a goodie. You want to be actively paying attention to your email’s open rate. This statistic is the number of opens over the number of people who received your email or:

# of opens/# of deliveries

Your open rate indicates the strength of your subject line as well as your brand’s strength. Those who are used to receiving your emails already know and trust your organization and are more likely to open your emails. If you see a big drop off in your open rate your subject line is a good indicator of what went wrong! Play with different subject lines to get a good idea of what works for your subscriber list.


Delivery rate

You want a clean email list for best statistic tracking. If you have a ton of people that are on your lists but aren’t receiving your emails it’s time for a list cleanse or maybe checking with your email marketing tool to make sure that everything is in tip top shape on that end. However, within your delivery rate you will have two “sub statistics” that influence what your delivery rate is:hard bounce rate and soft bounce rate. Your hard bounce rate reflects the number of invalid email addresses you are sending to. Your soft bounce rate on the other hand is a temporary bounce that is generally due to a full inbox. You can try this email address a few more times before cleaning it out of your lists.


Unsubscribe rate

How many people are unsubscribing after each of your email blasts? Are you losing a huge percentage of your subscribe list? This means that something is not right and it’s time to make some adjustments to the content of your emails!


Click to Open Rate

Your click to open rate, or CTO, is a little more complicated but bear with us because it’s an important one. This reflects the number of people who click a link within your email out of the number of people who received your email.

# of people who clicked / # of people who received your email

This is a more general number and gives you a larger idea of how successful your emails are. However, you also need to look at your CTR to get a full picture.


Click Through Rate

Your click through rate (CTR) is an extremely important statistic because it tells you how your email content is performing. This statistic is the number of people who click on a link out of the number of people who opened your email.

# of clicks / # of people who opened your email

This is an extremely important statistic because if you have an extremely high open rate but low CTR it means that your content is successful and you need to make some email changes!


Heat Map

This statistic is going to depend on your email service provider and may be more of a “click map” as well. This will show you where your recipients have clicked and which of your links and content are more successful than others!


Check out an example of one of our heat maps here:

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A/B Test

This isn’t a statistic but instead a pro tip! The importance of testing your emails cannot be overstated but how do you do so? We love A/B testing! This allows you to send out to slightly different emails and compare results. You only want to change one variable at a time, for example your subject line and then see which one performs better!

Email marketing is essential in the age of digital. Perfecting your nonprofit’s email marketing campaign will yield to more donations, volunteers and overall engagement with your cause. If you have any more questions about email marketing or nonprofit web design, please reach out to us. We love hearing from you!

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