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Marketers work hard to not only get their message out there, but to also engage with their targeted audience.

While social media makes it rather easy to measure overall audience engagement through insights on your brand’s pages, measuring your audience engagement in relation to your email marketing efforts gets a little more complicated.

What is audience engagement in email marketing?

In order to simplify this process, marketers often refer to audience engagement as subscriber activity because these individuals have chosen to subscribe to the brand’s marketing campaigns.

Unlike with social media posts, email engagement isn’t as apparent as reviewing the number of shares, reactions, or retweets. Audience engagement with your email campaigns generally involves opening the emails that are sent and then taking action, such as clicking on a hyperlink, video, or CTA button.

In this example from Starbucks, you can see each opportunity for a reader to engage with this email highlighted in red:

In this example from Starbucks, you can see each opportunity for a reader to engage with this email highlighted in red:

Source: Really Good Emails

Once you’ve sent out the email, you’ll want to start checking your email insights and analytics to see how well it’s performing.

How to measure audience engagement in email marketing

Measuring audience engagement involves carefully monitoring your email insights and analytics not only to see how well an email performs but you’ll also want to analyze how often your subscribers complete certain actions.

To do this, you’ll want to monitor these key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Click-to-open rate

These KPIs will help you see who’s interacting with each of your emails by opening them and clicking on various links, images, videos, and CTAs.

Once you’ve got your base numbers, you’ll want to compare them to benchmark statistics in your industry. We’ve simplified this process by providing marketers with key email marketing benchmarks for a variety of different industries in the chart below.

We’ve simplified this process by providing marketers with key email marketing benchmarks for a variety of different industries in the chart below. 

Source: Campaign Monitor

Let’s take the Starbucks email from earlier and say that their engagement looked something like this:

  • Open rate: 25%
  • Click-through rate: 0.89%
  • Click-to-open rate:  10.01%

Based on the information in the industry chart above, this is how well the Starbucks email performed, as far as audience engagement goes:

  • Open rate: 15.48% -> Exceeded
  • Click-through rate: 1.69% -> Underperformed
  • Click-to-open rate: 10.69% -> Met performance

With this comparison, the Starbucks email audience engagement was pretty on point for the Food & Beverage industry.

How to calculate your rates

Need help calculating your rates? Here are the formulas you’ll need to know:

Does audience engagement really matter?

Having your email content land in an inbox means absolutely nothing if your audience isn’t engaging with it in some way.

Sixty-six percent of internet users have made a purchase online as a direct result of email marketing.

This means that 66% of internet users have engaged with the brand’s email marketing efforts. Otherwise, no purchase would’ve been made as a direct result of their efforts.

What now?

Now that you understand how to measure audience engagement in email marketing, you’ll want to know how to increase those overall engagement numbers. This can be done in many different ways, from revamping your email design to increasing overall email personalization.

Check out our piece on ways to leverage email marketing for audience engagement and get started with Campaign Monitor today.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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