While Canada’s new CASL legislation (more on this next blog) is likely to reset the bar for e-marketing metrics, it’s important to understand what the norm was. There are four critical metrics for e-marketing: Opens, click-thru’s, bounces and unsubscribes.

The B2B world is radically different from consumer e-marketing, so that’s all we’ll consider here. The telling factor for most B2Bs is that they send out their newsletters and e-mails to a captive “friendly” audience. If they are using a purchased list though, all bets are off (but that’s going to be much more problematic after the new law is in place).

  • Open rate measures how well your name/e-mail address rates for getting attention. Personal names always work better than info@ or news@…. With a friendly database, open rates are typically around 20% of the total sent.
  • Click thru rates measure how many readers were interested enough to follow a link to your website for more information. It is primarily a gauge of interesting content. This is likely to be 1-7% of the total.
  • Bouncebacks measure e-mails that didn’t make it to the sender. They are primarily an indicator of how accurate/current your database is (or isn’t).
  • Unsubscribes are the leave-me-alone notice. Usually because you sent out e-mails too frequently to your database. These should be well under 1%, but be aware that business people unsubscribe much more readily than consumers. And are harder to win back.

So imagine that you ask your existing database to opt-in for future communications, to stay CASL compliant. Expect 20% of your base to actually read the message. And around 5% to reply with an opt-in. The clock will start running for the other 95%. Be prepared.

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