I’m a pretty massive nerd, and one of the things I like the best about digital-first fundraising is the fact that you can measure and analyse all sorts of data.
If you’re running an email program, there are only a couple of metrics you really need to be looking at.
For me, this is the metric I look at to judge an email’s performance.
It’s better than click rate – through the action rate, I can see how many people were driven to take action, but I can also figure out pretty quickly where in the chain something is going wrong if my email performs badly. If your click rate is high and your action rate is low, it usually means something’s up with your landing page.
Amount donated (if it’s a fundraising email)
It’s up to you whether you choose to look at average donation or total amount donated, but this can help you see if your email is inspiring people to give a higher or lower gift than normal.
Establish a baseline unsubscribe rate and just keep an eye on it. Unsubscribes aren’t always bad anyway [link] but if they suddenly spike, you should definitely look into why.
A quick note on open rates
I don’t really even look at open rates when I’m assessing email performance, because ultimately I don’t want people to open my emails and then do nothing with them. Generally, look at open rates if your email is deeply underperforming – it could be an indicator of deliverability issues.
Otherwise, just keep your focus on the action rate.