5 Internal Email Metrics Better than Open Rates

5 Internal Email Metrics Better Than Open Rates What’s more important than your internal email open rate?  

Internal communicators often create and send broadcasts for leaders who want to know how well the message lands. The first question tends to be, “How many people opened it?” This question is loaded because even if an email registers as “opened,” it can be challenging to know if a person actually opened the email (or if it was “opened” automatically by an email security product). 

Today, open rates are far from a simple, standard calculation due to how email gets opened by email security products and how email clients (desktop and browser) perform multiple opens simultaneously to improve performance. How your opens are measured matters, but because proxy opens can artificially increase open rates, many people ignore the inaccuracy because they believe a higher number is better. 

And what if someone opens an email and immediately deletes it or moves on to the next one? Readership is a much more valuable measure. Yet again, how readership is measured and reported matters. For some reason, many tools define page views as nine seconds of reading, yet most content takes much longer to read. 

Internal email metrics beyond your open rate include attention, readership, and engagement rates. You can compare results over time and to company or industry averages. 

To accurately measure the true impact of your internal email comms, here are five email metrics that matter more than the open rate. 

Moving beyond open rate: 5 key internal email metrics

1. Attention rate:

Goes beyond the email open rate, capturing who paid attention and who didn’t. Attention rate discounts those who opened but ignored the email (i.e., viewed for less than 3 seconds).  

2. Click-through rate (CTR):

Measures whether a recipient clicked on a link in your email. For emails that contain a link or action item, this rate tells you what percentage of recipients took the action. CTR can reveal more about the effectiveness of your links and calls to action, giving you deeper insights to improve your messaging. 

3. Read time or time-on-page:

Measures how much of your content the recipient is reading. Measuring how long a recipient spent viewing the email and dividing it by how many minutes of reading content you sent gives you a measure of the percent read. This metric helps you optimize your content length and know if employees read the content you send. 

4. Email engagement:

Measures the number of engaged readers and clickers within your audience for a message (or group of messages). When you measure the more comprehensive impact of your internal comms over time, you can discover ways to connect more often with employee audiences. 

5. Employee feedback:

Measures interactions with survey questions and responses such as likes and star ratings. By directly asking employees for their thoughts, you can collect qualitative data to better understand perceptions, improve communication strategies, address concerns, and implement employee suggestions.

To better understand how your employees experience your internal messaging, you may want to run a campaign and ask the following questions: 

  • Which types of messages do you enjoy receiving from the comms team? Why? 
  • Which types of messages would you prefer not to receive? Why? 
  • What type of internal communications do you find most helpful to your job? 
  • How could we improve our internal communications?

Improving your comms with better email metrics 

To truly gauge the effectiveness of your internal communications, focus on metrics beyond open rate: attention, click-through rate, read time, employee feedback, and employee engagement. This data will help you better understand and report on the results of your communications—what’s working, what isn’t, and most importantly, how to improve your communications to engage and inform more employees. 

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