The most frequently asked questions are on returns. Many want to know what they should expect their delivery rate, their open rate and their click-through rate should be. This is the wrong question.
Do you remember petrol gauges in older cars? They were often graded 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 full with a shaded area at the zero end included just to frighten you. Within a f ew weeks you realised that the readings were there more to take away the boredom of the dial rather than to provide information. Once you had refilled the tank a few times you would use the needle position to indicate when you should refill rather than how much was supposed to be in the tank.
That is how email marketing software functions. It does not provide you with a way of comparing your company’s performance against that of your competitors. After all, they will be as close with their performance information as you should be with yours. Therefore any comparisons are little more than guesses.
You might wonder why you should bother reviewing the statistics. It probably seems similar to listening to the wild stabs of weather forecasters. That though is to miss its real effectiveness.
The most useful point of reference for you is your performance. If you maintain your levels then you are going backwards. Continuous improvement is the only option as that is what your competitors, or at least those who are competitive, will be doing.
If your open rate for your last campaign was 5.2% then you have your baseline. You will set a target, say 5% improvement within three campaigns. For your next one you will divide your email list, trying different subject and from lines. The returns will show which was the most effective. For the second email campaign try different send times.
For the third campaign you have clear and evidenced directions for improvement. If your returns show an open rate of 5.46% then you have hit your target. Time to move on to click through-rates.
Do not worry about how you compare to a norm. What should concern you is whether you are improving.