We've mentioned this before but we wanted to revisit measuring email opens and link clicks from an Internal Communications perspective. We find a lot of the communications professionals are interested in their open rate and repeat open rate (how often people open the same email). While opens are a great metric to track, link clicks can offer much more insight.

Download our guide to measuring internal email here.

Opens measure whether people are informed

Don't get me wrong, tracking opens is great! Opens provide the first level of indication of how engaged your readers were with your email - did any of them even open it? They measure whether your readers were informed.

Repeat opens go a little further and tell you whether your content was so amazing and funny and engaging that some readers opened it a second or third time. Great, you’re well on your way! These are valuable first indicators, but let’s look at the next level of measuring engagement.

Clicks measure action

Engagement isn't a binary measurement. It’s not on or off, engaged or not engaged. It’s measured on a scale; not are my readers engaged? but how engaged are my readers? And clicks provide the metric to measure that.

Every link clicked is a demonstration that recipients are taking action. Whether they're clicking the link to follow through to a survey, or connecting to the local intranet to read an article, they are further pursuing your content.

Not only do clicks show further engagement, but by viewing what links were clicked, they also let you know what specific content your readers connect with. Opens can only tell you what subjects your readers are interested in. Clicks pinpoint the exact content that your readers will act on.

Don't settle for high open rates only, track both

When opens are up that's great because it means that more emails are being read, but if clicks are dropping simultaneously you may actually be losing more than you're gaining.

It goes something like this:

E = OC²

Engagement equals Opens multiplied by Clicks squared. The clicks are squared because they are much more valuable. In fact, if you’re actually going to use that formula (don’t) the clicks should probably be cubed, they are that important!

So, make sure you're tracking both. Track open and click metrics to see what level of engagement you’re reaching. Then study your clicked links to learn what content leads to action. This information is invaluable and you can use the data to shape your future messaging.