Analytics is one of the most complicated aspects of marketing, and email marketing is no exception. With the sheer number of data and metrics available, it can be challenging to know which email marketing metrics are important to measure.

If you want to stay on top of your email marketing, read our ten need-to-know email metrics below.

Open rate

This email marketing metric is the percentage of recipients (out of the total number) who opened a specific email you sent. While average rates vary per industry, an acceptable open rate for your brand can range from anywhere between 20% and 40%.

If you sent a product announcement email to 2,000 subscribers, and 500 of them opened it, this would make the email’s open rate 25%.

Click-through rate (CTR)

This represents the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link or an image within your email. CTR is one way of measuring your subscribers’ engagement (or lack thereof) within a particular campaign.

For example, let’s say you send a welcome email to 100 new subscribers, and your message contains a link to an exclusive discount code. Of those 100 recipients, 20 clicked on the link. This gives you an email CTR of 20%.

Forwarding/share rate

This is the percentage of recipients who either shared your email on their social media pages (via your social sharing buttons) or forwarded your email to one of their contacts.

The purpose of measuring this metric is to determine the quality of your content. For instance, if subscribers shared your newsletter on their social media pages, then they most likely found the content interesting and relevant enough to share with their followers.

Conversely, if your newsletters aren’t getting shared, then that means you need to create more engaging content.

Engagement over time

This shows you the opens and clicks that an email campaign gets over a specific period of time. You need to measure engagement over time because it provides you with valuable insight into the best times and days to send your emails.

If you look at an email’s engagement over time, and you see that most subscribers engage with your emails at 8:00 PM on Fridays, then you know when exactly to send your next email campaign.

Conversion rate

This is the percentage of recipients who take action with your email (the action you want). Conversion rate is one of the most important email marketing metrics because it is a strong indicator of whether or not an email campaign was effective.

To calculate for the conversion rate of an email campaign, take the number of recipients who performed the action (converted) then divide that number by the total number of recipients. Multiply the resulting number by 100 and that’s your conversion rate (expressed as a percentage).

Sales rate

This metric signifies the number of orders an email generated. Like conversion rate, an email’s sales rate is also used to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign. The two metrics are also calculated in the same way.

The only difference being: the sales rate is solely an indicator of revenue. Conversion rate, on the other hand, can be used to measure non-revenue generating actions, such as downloading a free eBook.

Return on Investment (ROI)

From the name itself, this metric is the overall return on investment of an email campaign you ran. To get the ROI of one email campaign, take the total revenue of that campaign over a specific period of time and divide it by the total amount you spent over that same period.

Unsubscribe rate

This is the number of subscribers who unsubscribe, or opt out of receiving future emails, after receiving an email from you.

In email marketing, it is inevitable that some of your subscribers opt out of your emails. No matter how good your strategies are, it’s natural for certain people to lose interest in your emails. Therefore, unsubscribes cannot be fully curbed, they can only be managed.

Preventing unsubscribes depends on a variety of factors. It could be that your unsubscribes are due to your team sending too many emails, in which case you need to cut back. On the other hand, maybe you’re not sending emails your subscribers are interested in. If that’s the case, you might need to segment your list further in order to send more targeted and personalised offers.

Bounce rate

This is the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered to their intended recipients for a variety of reasons.

These reasons can be classified as either a soft bounce or a hard bounce.

A soft bounce is when you send an email to a full inbox or when the email client’s server is down. Meanwhile, a hard bounce happens when you send an email to an invalid email address or the recipient’s email client blocks your emails.

It’s crucial that you keep an eye on your hard bounce rates. You need to remove all email addresses that cause hard bounces from your list immediately. This is because hard bounces negatively impact your sender reputation.

Spam report

This is the number of times a recipient marks your email as spam.

The industry threshold for spam reporting is about 0.02%. This is about one spam report per 5,000 recipients. This figure is based on standards established by various internet service providers (ISPs).

It’s critical that you monitor this metric because getting marked as spam damages your reputation with email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.

Wrap up

The overall success of your email marketing strategy depends on measuring the right metrics. So, if you want to take your email campaigns to the next level, make sure you’re closely monitoring these ten digital marketing metrics.

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