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Updated Mar 07, 2024

7 Email Marketing Metrics You Should Track

Take your email marketing campaigns to the next level by tracking these metrics for success.

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Jamie Johnson, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience and turn subscribers into buyers. Just because you run an email marketing campaign doesn’t mean it’s as effective as it could be. 

The only way to know if your campaign is working the way you want is by tracking it. When you track your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), you can measure whether you’re hitting your goals and moving your business in the right direction. 

Editor’s note: Looking for the right email marketing solution for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

7 email marketing metrics and KPIs you should be tracking

The email marketing metrics you should track depend on your goals. Every campaign is unique, and you may have different priorities for various campaigns. 

However, there are specific email marketing metrics that you should examine for each campaign. Here are the top seven email marketing metrics you should track:

1. Open rate

Monitoring your open rate is the first place to start. The open rate is a pretty basic KPI that you should examine. Your open rate tells you what percentage of subscribers actually opens your emails. 

Monitoring your open rate is helpful because a low open rate could indicate a problem with your subject lines. And if you can’t get your recipients to open your emails, your campaign is unlikely to succeed.

If you are struggling with your open rates, you may want to start experimenting with different subject lines to see which ones resonate the most with your audience. Your email marketing provider will let you A/B test different subject lines to see which ones perform the best. 

Here are a few ideas you can test:

  • Using a question vs. a statement
  • Adding emojis
  • Using different subject line lengths
  • Adding a subscriber’s name to the subject line

Finally, to calculate your open rate and see how you’re performing, divide the number of opened emails by the number sent. You’ll want your open rate to fall somewhere between 15 percent and 25 percent. If your number falls below the average, it’s time to rethink your initial approach.

Did You Know?Did you know
Using CRM software and email marketing tools together can help you keep track of your customers and better personalize your content.

2. Bounce rate

When you’re growing your email list, there’s nothing more frustrating than learning a large percentage of emails you send doesn’t even reach your subscribers. This is known as a bounce rate, another important metric to track.

There are a few reasons you want to pay attention to your bounce rate. First, a high bounce rate can help you identify if you have a lot of fake email addresses in your system. Many people will give a fake email address so they can access your email opt-in without having to share their information. 

A large number of fake email addresses will significantly affect your bounce rate, and a high bounce rate can negatively impact your company’s reputation. Your account can even potentially get suspended if your kickback rate is too high. It’s essential to know your bounce rate so you can remove fake subscribers.

Implementing a double opt-in is an excellent way to reduce the number of fake subscribers. With a double opt-in, after a subscriber signs up for your email list, they’ll receive an email to confirm their subscription. If they don’t finish the final step, that person won’t be added to your email list.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
Using a double opt-in may mean that it’ll take longer to grow your email list, but you’ll have more active subscribers.

3. Click-through rate

Your click-through rate reviews how many people clicked on the links in your email, and this metric can give you insight into how many people thoroughly read your messages. 

It’s important to note that click-through rates aren’t typically as high as open rates. Just because someone opened your email doesn’t mean they’ll click on any of the links. 

To increase your click-through rate, make sure you’re sending personalized and relevant content to your recipients. You can do this by segmenting your audience by location, profession, and whether or not they’re a customer. 

You may be targeting the wrong audience if your click-through rate doesn’t seem to improve despite making appropriate changes to your content. Make sure to reach out only to those who would be interested in your product. 

Additionally, you want to ensure you’re aware of your current marketing demographic. As time changes, so do the interests of your past subscribers. Make sure to be up to date with your marketing approach. 

4. Unsubscribe rate

It’s vital to know how many people unsubscribe from your list. Your unsubscribe rate will break down how many people are no longer interested in receiving emails from you. This information should be available on your dashboard when you log in to your email provider.

It’s not always a negative indicator if you see your business lost subscribers. Not everyone is a good fit for your business, and when you get rid of unengaged subscribers, you make more room for the right people. 

Every email you send should give your subscribers a clear way to opt out of future emails. Making it easy for people to unsubscribe will help you build trust with your audience. 

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
It’s normal to have unsubscribers, but there could be a problem if you notice an uptick in people unsubscribing from your list. It may be time to reevaluate the content you’re sharing.

5. Conversion rate

Your conversion rate lets you know how many people clicked on a link in your email and then followed a specific action, like a purchase or signup. But it goes a bit further than determining your click-through rate. After all, just because someone follows a link doesn’t mean they’ll make a purchase.  

When you track your conversion rate, you’ll see firsthand whether the money you’re putting into marketing is paying off. If no one clicks on your links and buys your product or service, the conversion rate will tell you this data. 

The easiest way to measure your conversion rate is to divide the number of purchases by the total amount of emails released. You’ll then multiply that number by 100. For instance, if you have 100 purchases after sending 2,000 emails, your conversion rate is 5 percent.

If your conversation rate isn’t ideal, the answer could be something as small as changing your subject lines or adjusting your content. But you should also look at more significant factors, like whether your landing page is easily accessible. 

If your patrons are having difficulty signing up, you’ll likely lose them from your email list. They won’t even make it to the point where they have an option to purchase from your company.  

6. Device statistics

Monitoring your device statistics helps you see how your subscribers are accessing and reading your emails. This matters because different devices display information in various ways. For instance, your emails will look different on a mobile device versus a laptop. 

Increasingly, more consumers are checking their email from their phone rather than a desktop computer. This is especially true if your subscriber demographics are mostly made up of younger people. Consequently, it’s important to ensure your emails are optimized for mobile devices. 

It’s also a good idea to use short paragraphs and include plenty of white space in your emails. It’s best to limit the number of photos you use; if you use graphics, make sure they are small and clearly visible. This will ensure your emails can be quickly scanned.

7. Spam reporting

It’s necessary to know what inbox is receiving your outgoing messages. It’s problematic if most of your emails end up in a subscriber’s spam folder. Unfortunately, messages that go to spam frequently get reported, which can hurt your deliverability rating over the long run. 

Additionally, you want to make sure nothing is going wrong on your side that is causing your messages to go to spam. If too many emails go to spam, your account can get blocked, and you won’t be able to send any emails. As with your bounce rate, your reputation can be affected if your emails are frequently being reported as spam. 

If you keep receiving a high spam score, it may mean your subscribers aren’t valuing what you’re sending them. As difficult as it may seem, it’s a good time to reevaluate your email marketing campaign. 

TipTip
If you’re interested in learning more about reducing your spam score and improving your email marketing, visit our list of the best email marketing software packages that will help you maximize your results.

Importance of tracking email metrics

Many factors go into successful email marketing, but tracking your metrics is the only way to know whether or not you’re truly reaping the benefits of email marketing. Tracking these metrics is essential to measuring the success of your campaigns and is a critical part of all the best email marketing strategies available to your business.

Tracking your email marketing helps you better understand how your subscribers are engaging with your content. Without tracking your metrics, you won’t have a clear picture of how your content resonates with your subscribers and whether your efforts are paying off. 

Tracking your metrics also informs your future email marketing campaigns. When you can see what works and what doesn’t, you’ll know what improvements you should make. 

For instance, you may hook your subscribers with your subject lines, but then when they open the email, the content is lacking and not very engaging. You could also be losing a large number of subscribers because your emails are always going to spam. 

Understanding where your issues stem from can help you fix the problem and grow your audience. 

Did You Know?Did you know
The right email marketing software can help you avoid mistakes, grow your customer base, and expertly market your products and services.

The best email marketing software for metrics reporting

The most effective email marketing tools on the market will offer detailed reporting and analytics that make tracking metrics easy. These reports can help you leverage data-driven insights to make better choices in future email marketing campaigns so you more effectively reach your target audience, drive more conversions and keep them engaged with your brand. Here are a few of our favorite platforms:

  • Mailchimp: If you’re just starting out with email marketing and want a solution that makes it easy to get started, check out Mailchimp. This platform gives you the most important metrics you need without overwhelming you with information. 
  • Constant Contact: If you need a slightly more advanced platform that still provides a user-friendly experience, check out our Constant Contact review. Constant Contact offers detailed reporting data so you can easily track the success of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud: When you want to put your data to work, Salesforce may be the best choice for you. Seamless integration to Salesforce CRM means you can quickly update customer and lead profiles to inform your sales team about who’s most likely ready to buy. In this way, Salesforce doesn’t just help you track metrics; it helps you act on them. Read our Salesforce Marketing Cloud review to learn more.

Optimize email marketing by tracking metrics

By making it a priority to track these seven email marketing metrics, you’ll have a better idea of how your campaigns are performing. It will also help you understand your subscribers better and learn the type of content they enjoy receiving. From the subject lines that drive the most engagement to the CTAs that compel readers to click, tracking metrics helps you improve upon your email strategy to drive more interest and conversions from this all-important marketing channel. 

Tejas Vemparala contributed to this article.

author image
Jamie Johnson, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
For more than five years, Jamie Johnson has been guiding business owners on financial matters both big and small. This includes investment advice, insights on business loans and funding options, recommendations on insurance and more. Johnson excels at delivering easy-to-understand direction so entrepreneurs can make the best financial decisions for their businesses and, as a solopreneur herself, she regularly tests business strategies and services. Johnson's expertise can be found in a variety of finance publications, including InvestorPlace, Credit Karma, Insurify and Rocket Mortgage. She has also demonstrated a deep understanding of other B2B topics — including sales, payroll, marketing and social media — for the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. News & World Report, CNN, USA Today and Business Insider.
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