5 Email Metrics Every Marketer Should Know

Building and launching an email marketing campaign is a piece of cake these days. Write the content, maybe style it nicely, perhaps you’ll even add it to a flow system so that users are channeled depending on if they open an email or not, then hit launch. Campaign done.

Essential Email Metrics to Track

That is something of a narrow view, and certainly not a view that’s going to promote the growth of a business. Marketing campaigns of all types need to be tracked and analyzed based on metrics, and an email marketing campaign is no different.

Pro tip: Email metrics are the baseline of a campaign. They help you understand what’s working, what’s not working, and what can be improved, even more so, they provide you with opportunities to build and grow.

There are certainly some metrics that are more important than others but those covered in this article are deemed to be essential. These should be tracked regularly throughout a campaign and used to benchmark performance as well as to understand progress towards goals.

Email Marketing KPIs

Clickthrough Rate

  • Percentage of how many people are clicking links within your emails.
  • Total clicks / delivered emails * 100 = Clickthrough Rate

Arguably the most popular metric in email marketing, clickthrough rate is an easily calculated and easily understood metric that displays performance in a simple to understand way. Each email that is sent will have a CTR attached to it meaning comparisons between campaigns are made straightforward.

It’s important to marketers as it’s a direct measurement of engagement. The higher the number, the higher the number of people interacting with your content.

Pro tip: This should be read in tandem with the conversion rate.

Conversion Rate

  • Percentage of people who, having clicked on a link, completed the desired action (subscribed, downloaded, purchased).
  • Actions completed / delivered emails * 100 = Conversion Rate

Clickthrough rate is all well and good but can be a vanity metric unless paired with a decent conversion rate. The conversion rate is where the real goals of a campaign are completed. Every campaign will have a goal, it could be to sell a product, get customers to download an app, or sign up for a demo. Whatever the goal, a good campaign will have a high percentage of people completing that action after clicking on a link. Many campaigns, especially lead generation ones, will simply be looking for a response. Tracking conversion rate often creates opportunities to increase your response rate.

Pro tip: If a campaign has a particular goal attached to it, the conversion rate is likely to be your number one email metric as it directly shows the campaign’s success.

Growth Rate

  • The growth of your email list.
  • New subscribers – unsubscribers / total number on list * 100 = Growth Rate

If a brand awareness or marketing campaign is running successfully then you should expect your email list to grow over time. Growth rate helps you to measure and track this. The majority of email lists slowly decline over time as emails expire or people no longer want to hear from you, but an upward trend in growth should be seen as a healthy indication that your brand’s reach is expanding.

Open Rate

  • Percentage of how many people are opening your emails.
  • Total emails opened / delivered emails * 100 = Open Rate

In the early days of a new email marketing campaign, open rate should be monitored closely. If a campaign is running with a very low open rate, then very few people are actually reading your email content. Many marketers then look at their email subject lines – this is the first impression opportunity and a chance to entice a reader. A winning subject line tends to lead to a high open rate.

Pro tip: It’s worth noting that an email is only counted as opened if images are downloaded too, and as many inboxes block images from downloading automatically this metric can be lower than it actually is.

Bounce Rate

  • Percentage of how many emails aren’t delivered successfully.
  • Total emails that weren’t delivered / total sent emails * 100 = Bounce Rate

Bounce rate will ideally be as low as possible, this is when an email never lands in an inbox successfully. The two types of bounce can be measured. 

Soft bounces are due to temporary issues (internet connectivity etc), but the email is considered bounced after your client has tried a few times unsuccessfully. These metrics usually resolve quickly. Ideally, your soft bounce rate shouldn’t be higher than 2%.

Hard bounces mean the email address in question no longer exists or never existed in the first place. These emails should be removed from your list.

Key Takeaways

Tracking email metrics is a necessary part of any email marketing campaign. They let you know exactly how a campaign is performing, how it can improve, and where there are opportunities for growth.

  • Don’t sleep on email metrics – especially not these 5 essential ones.
  • Once you’ve gathered the metrics, use them to understand more about the campaigns.
  • Leverage the data to improve campaigns in the future.