Cold Mailing Glossary letter c

Conversion rate

Every email campaign you deliver has to have a goal. Whether you’re trying to sell a product, give away some free resources, or gather subscribers to a service—if you don’t have a goal, you’re wasting your time and money.
Determining how successful your emails are, however, is provided by your data. Email opens and clicks are great indicators of recipient engagement, but the critical numbers are all to do with your conversion rate.

How to calculate your email conversion rate

Your email conversion rate (ECR) is the number of conversions divided by the number of emails delivered.

Why is email conversion rate important?

When it comes to cost-effective marketing, email is still an absolute no-brainer. According to, the ROI on every single dollar spent on email marketing was $38. You can’t argue with that.

What are acceptable email conversion rates?

How long is a piece of string? When it comes to standardizing conversion rates throughout an industry, without predefined goals and practices, that create a fair fight, you could well be just picking numbers out of the sky, or comparing apples to oranges.

If there are specific data available for your industry, then there’s an opportunity to compare your performance to your competitors’.

What your conversion rates will help you to determine, however, is which of your campaigns perform well, which perform not so well, and which ones are your horror stories. This is measured by comparing your various conversion rates, not to other businesses, but to your previous campaigns.

What goals should you be measuring?

You might consider that driving traffic is an appropriate goal, with sales conversions perceived to be the job of your website. Or, with specific landing pages for specific campaigns, perhaps sales as a conversion are absolutely relevant.
Whatever you choose to monitor, the more data you gather, the more educated you’ll be about your customers and your efficiency.

  • Sales
  • Traffic
  • Subscriptions
  • Engagement
  • Leads

How to boost conversion rates

A huge topic and tutorial in itself, boosting your conversion rates means deep diving into your marketing strategies and selling techniques. That said, you’d be remiss if you didn’t consider the following:

  • Writing compelling subject lines
  • Delivering a strong value proposition
  • Segmenting your email lists
  • Matching content to sales funnel positions
  • Utilizing responsive email design
  • Sending calls to action to dedicated landing pages
  • Personalizing your messages

Email types to deliver conversions

Of each different type of marketing email, some will lend themselves to higher conversions than others.

For example, delivering a campaign to subscribers who abandoned a transaction, who had made it as far as putting items into their cart or reaching the checkout, show a higher likelihood of picking up where they left off and delivering the conversion you’re looking for.

Emails that follow up on new registrations also show reasonable rates of conversions. Why shouldn’t they? Your product is still fresh and exciting in your customer’s mind.

Even re-engaging an inactive customer can produce good results. A gentle reminder can show them what they’ve been missing recently, and if you offer an incentive to get back on board, how could they resist?