Analytics can be great, but can often lead to more frustration than value that they add. It's important to see the numbers, but they are useless if you do not understand them.
I want to start by sharing the number that Constant Contact shared in a seminar that I attended that a standard number of email opens for a newsletter is 10-15%. I don't know about you, but that number does not sound good if you do not understand it.
Let's be honest though, outside of emails directly from individuals (friends, colleagues, or business related), how many emails do you actually open? On a daily basis I delete dozens of emails from businesses and organizations without opening them at all. Sometimes I will keep them with intentions to read later when I "catch up on emails", but that never actually happens.
I think about the numbers in this way: If I have around 1,000 people on an email list and 10% open it that means that 100 people heard the message I wanted to communicate. My guess then is that nearly 50% saw the title pass through their email box and heard that message even if it is just the 1 line. While that number isn't as good as the 100% that many expect to eagerly read every word of every email, it's still not bad when you compare it to many other lines of communication.
My recommendation is that you watch the numbers and monitor your growth and engagement rate, but don't get discouraged if your numbers aren't as high as you would like initially.
Other Posts in this Series:
Keep it Simple
Make it Personal
My Take on Constant Contact